Saturday, January 7, 2012
Pictured: Pouridge (Uji) time at the Children's Village! The new day-care style schedule gives the children a nice routine and structure to their day.
This month a program has started at the Children’s Village that will revolutionize the way the children go through their daily lives. A pre-school or daycare system has been started that has given everyone at the children’s village a daily schedule of events to follow. The children will benefit from having an early education program to follow, with a routine, and guidelines leading them through each day. The program is being introduced here to keep the children of younger ages (pre-school aged) more active and to get them early experience with education. The house guardians are enjoying the program as well as it gives them a structure as well. Everyone knows what is expected of them each day, and everyone seems to be taking on their roles perfectly.
It has worked out well that two of the house guardians have certificates to teach at the lower levels of primary school, so they make the perfect ‘head-teachers’ for this program. Each teacher has another guardian as a helper and so the ratio of student to guardian never exceeds 1:5 in 1 to 2 year olds, or 1:7 in 3-4 year olds. The children will benefit from this direct care, and they will be even better prepared for school when they reach the age of going to Igoda primary school for kindergarten and standard 1.
Milk Powder Program
September 7th was a busy day at the children’s village as 22 mothers visited to collect their monthly allotment of milk powder. This month we wanted to tell the story of one child on the program to highlight the good work this program is accomplishing. One baby on the program comes from the village of Ikaning’ombe, and has recently lost her mother due to HIV. The baby has been named Shamira and is enrolled in the milk formula program. The baby’s aunt, an 18 year old recent secondary school graduate named Dorcus has been assigned by the family to now care for the child. This month Dorcus and Shamira are at the children’s village learning proper child care, and how to raise an infant on the milk formula. This family has really impressed us, as they all have shown respect to the workers at the children’s village, as well as they have contributed as much as they can to upbringing of this infant child. Each milk powder day the guardian of the child receiving milk is required to bring the child’s clinic card so we may see if the child’s health is improving. After just two weeks on this milk program Shamira’s weight has shot up from a very dangerous low of 1.98kilos to a healthier 2.26! We are excited to see how this family will progress through the program in the coming months.
Igoda Community Hall
This month saw the return of a popular event at the Igoda Community Hall- Oral history day. This month’s history day was the first to include elderly men and women who shared stories from the past, and explained about the history of this area of Mufindi, and the Wahehe people. Students from Luhunga Secondary School together with students from Madisi Secondary School attended the event, and the students had great questions prepared. Students were asked to submit their questions ahead of the event, and our events coordinator Titus Nyunza played emcee getting the questions answered by the elders. Everyone on hand seemed to enjoy this educational experience.
This month we bid farewell to volunteer Justin Dominguez who has been with the NGO for almost a year, and has just returned home to continue his studies. With his background as an emergency medical technician he was very helpful not only following up with Dr. Leena’s longer-term patients, but also when any health issues arose with the children from the children’s village. Justin helped us accomplish quite a bit as he became part of the management by the time he ended his stint with us. He was instrumental in securing a grant from a Dutch organization for over 17,000Euros that will enable us to build our final orphans’ home. His contributions will be missed. He has gone back to Texas, and has plans to possibly attain a medical degree and would like to return one day to assist the Mdabulo Hospital project or home based care program.