Sunday, 27 June 2010

Art Day at Preschool - Mozambican Independence Day Theme

The volunteers got creative in planning a ‘Mozambique Independence Day’ (Independence day is on the 25th June) themed art morning for the whole school. Using the procession from Maputo through Vilanculos as an inspiration, the children made paper and sequin torches and we held our own procession, holding our torches high, through the playground. Each child also contributed to a fabric painting of the Mozambican flag and got very messy with handprints! A very fun morning enjoyed by all....Well done everyone!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Children’s Day with CARE International

Tuesday the 1st of June was a very special day for the children at A Escolinha De Boa Esperanca as it was Dia Das Criancas (Mozambican Children's Day) and we celebrated with a huge party! For weeks the teachers and volunteers had been preparing the children for this day by teaching new songs in both Portuguese and English and as well as performing these songs they played 'pass the parcel’. The children were also treated to a puppet show from CARE International and they donated the children's lunch which included chicken, vegetable rice and for a treat a bag of sweets and biscuits. After lunch the children then had some wonderful cake baked by Deolinda and Zelia. It was such a fun day for the children and rewarding for everyone involved. As well as this a new uniform of a red polo neck T-Shirts were given to each child very generously donated by Maureen Lonergan. Don't the children look smart?!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

HIV Testing at Escolinha de Boa Esperanca

On the 25th May we had an HIV testing morning at the Preschool. The previous week the volunteers made fliers and posters and walked around the Mahaque area letting the community know that we were organizing free testing with CARE International. The volunteers as well as Annie a volunteer from Mozambique Horse Safari arrived at 8am and there were already a few people waiting. CARE arrived soon after with five people to do the testing. Three stayed on site and set up separate testing stations while the other two walked around the neighborhood doing testing’s.

The volunteers playing a true and false game based around HIV/AIDS awareness and by this time there were a substantial amount of people waiting to be tested. Many questions were asked which was very encouraging and many were well informed and talked openly about HIV/AIDS. One woman explained that it is difficult to use condoms and when the volunteers asked why she said that her husband refused to wear one and she was tired of asking him. The volunteers gave facts about HIV/AIDS in Africa and specifically about how it is effecting Mozambique.

Darren and Mirjam then showed how to use a condom with the use of a cucumber. A number of the young men made fun of it but Darren reminded them that it is not a joke, could save your life and therefore is very important. They then offered for anyone to come up and try putting the condom on the cucumber. Sofia (the lady we are involved with in our HIV project) volunteered and gave a speech about the importance for woman to carry condoms as well as men and that a woman should walk away from a situation if the male does not want to use it. A number of young men then came up and did the demonstration however the women watching were a little shy to volunteer.

Karen and Annie played out a comic made by Mirjam about the ways you can contract HIV/AIDS. This was very entertaining and provoked a number of questions and comments by the audience.

Through out the time the volunteers kept the waiting audience engaged in total 56 people were tested of which 6 were HIV positive. If was a very successful morning which the volunteers found very rewarding. Many thanks to CARE International for doing the testing’s and we look forward to working again with them soon.

Written by Andrina, Mirjam and Alexandra (HIV Project Volunteers)

Welcome Kerrie, our new Volunteer Coordinator!

May saw the arrival of our new Volunteer Coordinator Kerrie. Kerrie is a qualified Primary Teacher from Salisbury, England with six years teaching experience in Salisbury and London. She took a career break last year (February to April 2009) to take part in African Impact's Lion Conservation project in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, where she absolutely fell in love with Southern Africa. She feels that her new job as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Mozambique community projects combines everything she is passionate about: teaching, working with the communities, Africa and working in a team with a variety of people. A huge welcome Kerrie!