Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Care's Support

We have been very lucky over the last few months in having incredible support from CARE International. CARE have been incredibly generous in the diverse areas which they have helped Escholinha de Boa Esperanca.
Since March with the help of volunteers and the dedicated work of Lourenco an area of land has been cleared at preschool. Last month the land was leveled and CARE organized for local carpenters and builders to come and construct the playground. As you can see from the photographs the children have loved playing on the seesaw, slide and swings.

CARE have also donated five beautiful wooden tables and twenty chairs. Now with a brand new roof on the main building at preschool (paid for through our Sponsor a Child scheme) we no longer have to worry about rainy days disrupting lessons and materials and resources being effected by the water and the new tables and chairs being damaged.

We have always provided the children with daily rice (cooked for by a volunteer or Lourenco) which has been supplemented with the vegetables grown at the preschool farm. Now with the support of CARE the children have ePap (a vitamin and nutrient powder) which is added to hot water. When the water is cool enough to drink fresh fruit juice is added as well as oil and sugar. This ePap constitutes to the daily allowance a child needs daily for growth and development. This is given to the children on arrival at Preschool and goes down really well!

A New Roof on the Preschool!

For years now we have had constant problems with the roof at Preschool leaking. Although many attempts have been made to patch the offending areas rain still seemed to seep through into the school. This caused extensive disruption to lessons as the water flooded the main classroom.

Now I am so thrilled to say that we have a brand new roof! This was paid for by the general funds of our Sponsor a Child scheme. The new roof brings with it many benefits including the obvious lack of disruption to classes. Volunteers can now paint the interior of the preschool (something that is already well under way) without having to repaint in a few months time to cover the water damage. CARE have been very kind in donating some beautiful wooden tables and chairs which we can store without the worry of them becoming damaged by the water.

Esperanca’s Children’s’ House

Last month saw the completion of a house which the volunteers built for the children of Esperanca; our teacher who tragically died last November.

The house was built for the eldest three of her six children who live with their father Alfredo. The younger children live out of town in the countryside with their grandmother. Before the house was built the children were sharing in a house with their uncle and auntie.

The volunteers greatly enjoyed seeing how the house came together under the leadership of master builder Eddie. When it was completed Deolinda and Zelia, Esperanca’s colleagues from the preschool came to see the end result.

This project was kindly supported by Michael Poppel who has given very generously to African Impact Mozambique. Thank you Michael.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

HIV Project Impacts the Secondary School!

June has been a very exciting month for the HIV/AIDs awareness project! Owing to a strong working relationship with Laura, a Peace Corp Volunteer, we were able to deliver a series of four teaching session promoting HIV/AIDs awareness at a local secondary school. We worked with a class of forty students aged between seventeen and eighteen years old which provided us with an excellent opportunity to work directly with our target audience.

As the content of the sessions was of a highly personal nature we began by agreeing a set of rules to which we would all adhere to throughout our time together. The students expressed the importance of trusting and respecting one another and ensuring that all information discussed in the sessions remained confidential.

At the outset, we created a list detailing any questions the students had about HIV/AIDs in view of answering them over the coming sessions. The class were very proactive and showed great interest in furthering their understanding of HIV/AIDs. Many of the questions concerned fundamental issues regarding transmission of the HIV virus. Accordingly, this exercise was very positive as it reinforced the importance of conducting such workshops.

In our first session we introduced the topic of HIV/AIDs by presenting information about the prevalence rate of people infected with the virus in Vilanculos. This elicited a mixed response from the class with many surprised by the high infection rate. We played a game whereby students were asked to write a statement they had heard about HIV/AIDs and indicated whether they thought it was a true or false. This task raised some common misconceptions about the virus and led to discussions of relationship issues such as the importance of being faithful. It was really rewarding to see the students considering the social context in which the information we were giving them was operate.

In the second session we focused on the differing ways in which the HIV virus can be transmitted. Through the use of role play, illustrated flashcards and a DVD presentation we discussed the range of possible transmission methods. The class had many questions and really engaged with the material. We then explained the biology of the virus to ensure the students understood the effect the HIV cells have on the human body. In particular, one student expressed his surprise at the aggressive nature of the virus. This was a very satisfying moment as the class were really comprehending the severity of contracting HIV and consequently the importance of protecting against it.

In the third session we focused on treatment of HVI and discussed the important things to remember once someone has begun taking medication. We used true or false games and group discussion to reinforce the crucial requirements associated with controlling the virus. We also used diagrams to show the speed at which HIV can spread as a result of unprotected sex.

In the final session we conducted a quiz and referred back to the set of questions from the first session. Much to our delight the students were themselves now able to answer those. This was extremely rewarding as it showed their knowledge and awareness of the HIV virus had really developed.

It was a pleasure to have worked with such a welcoming, bright group of students and this session marked the end of a truly fantastic experience.

Written by Laura Robinson from England who volunteered for one month from June-July 2010

Monday, 12 July 2010

Keeping Fit and Having Fun on Sports Day

This past Thursday we had a 'Sports Day' at the Pre-school. We planned a day of fun and games for the entire school and it was a great success! We spilt the children into eight different coloured teams, which were each led by a volunteer. We began the morning with an extended 'do as I do' gym session, to get the children warmed up and stretched out! There were four different events, a wheelbarrow race, egg and spoon race, skipping rope/army crawl challenge and a water relay. After the morning session we spilt the school into two groups and they enjoyed a game of soccer or a circle game with some beach balls. It was a fun day and all the children had a blast!

Written by Kelliann Devine, who with another fab volunteer Laura Robinson, planned the morning.

(Sorry we have been having problems uploading photos....they will be put up as soon as possible!)