Monday, 27 September 2010

Health Awareness Day

Health Awareness Day at the preschool was planned by the volunteers for Friday 24th September. The day before we had all had a walkabout around the local area with the preschool children. We delivered leaflets to each home that we visited encouraging people to attend. There were four subjects area –

  • Sexual Health
  • Healthy Eating & Drinking
  • Malaria Prevention
  • General Hygiene

The group of men and women moved from display to display listing to our presentations with the help of Eddie’s translation.

Written by Sue Fletcher

Sexual Health (L-R: Eddie, Sue, Isabelle)

Sexual Health

The Sexual Health Display was the first to be visited by an audience of about 25 local women and one or two men. Inevitably, our direct approach to sex education was met with many giggles, as it was a subject not usually discussed with such openness.

We started with some basic statistics on HIV/AIDS and the need for regular testing and possible treatments. With the help of Eddie’s translation, we went on to discuss the ways in which HIV may be transmitted, and we explained that it is possible to live normally with people who are HIV positive. We quizzed the audience, using flashcards, about activities that will not transmit HIV, which they understood clearly. Another key message was the right of women to refuse sex and the pressure placed upon them by men.

We then discussed other STDs, their symptoms, consequences and possible cures. Condom use was a major topic in our presentation, we demonstrated how to correctly open a condom packet and compared HIV transmission with and without a condom, using a diagram. After looking through the leaflet on how to use them, and laughing at our descriptions, each member of the audience was given a handful of condoms, which they gratefully received. Before the presentation ended, some questions were raised about the acquisition of female condoms, which we explained could be discussed at the local clinic.

Written by Sue Fletcher & Isabelle Younane

Healthy Eating & Drinking (Standing L-R: Margarida, Jade, Eddie)

Healthy Eating & Drinking

We talked mostly about 3 main topics:

*Food Pie Chart

*Food to limit (sweets/fried food)

*Healthy drinking

We described the food pie chart of how much wheat, meat, fruit, veg and dairy products should be eaten a day. We specifically mentioned the amount of fruit and veg they should have a day and how they contain a lot of vitamins to help prevent flues, cold and help boost their immune system. In contrast we focused their attention off the foods they should limit, for example, fizzy drinks, sweets and fried food.

Lastly we spoke about healthy drinking, how much clean water they should drink a day and showed how many cups this would be. In parallel we told them alcohol should be drunk in a moderate and controlled way and we gave an example of how many cans of beer would be acceptable to drink at once. We also showed them bottles of rum and wine to demonstrate the amount of alcohol is considered acceptable at once.

The audience was very enthusiastic about our stand and they were particularly interested at the end, they asked questions regarding alternative ingredients they could substitute others that are very expensive for them (eg. Meat/Cheese). They mentioned that beef is not a common product on their daily diet and we suggested that it could be substituted with beans, because they have the same amount of protein.

Another topic brought up by them was fruit and vegetables have more vitamins but how could they get the vitamins in more affordable foods? We explained that oranges, bananas, tomatoes have a lot of the nutirients that they need, but a good way of having more variety would be to add spinach and cabbage to their rice.

Finally, the women mentioned they would actually like to see the different ingredients on the table, instead of having them in a drawing of the food pie chart.Most of them specifically talked about cheese, since this is something they don’t usually eat, because it is very expensive when compared to other products.They suggested that next time we could have small pieces of cheese so they could try out how tastes and what they would use it for.

Written by Jade Thomas & Margarida Rodrigues

Malaria Prevention (Standing L-R: Eddie, Katherine sitting, Jantine)

Malaria Prevention

Our presentation for Awareness Day was based on Malaria. We had four main points to get across; where malaria comes from (mosquitoes), how to prevent mosquito bites, the symptoms of malaria and that going to the hospital to be tested was vital.

We made the presentation as visual as possible and this was received really well by the local women. When Jantine described how to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes Katherine put on a long sleeved top and climbed onto a pretend bed underneath a mosquito net which was hanging from a tree outside. This got a lot of laughs from the crowd and hopefully this will stand out in their memory and demonstrate the message clearly.

Overall we believe that the presentation was succinct, it relayed each message very well. The one query we received was questioning whether or not malaria could come from water. This was quite a shocking question and we quickly reassured them that malaria only came from mosquito bites. We connected and assured them that the waters role in malaria prevention was the need to put lids over water buckets and containers so that mosquitoes are unable to lay their eggs.

To conclude, the short nature of our presentation meant that it ran smoothly without a great deal of complexity.

Written by Katherine King & Jantine Verboeket

General Hygiene (Standing L-R: Eddie, Becky, Emily)

General Hygiene

General Hygiene covered hand washing, eye infections and oral hygiene. We explained the importance of washing your hands with soap and hot water, if available, or clean cold water, and when you should wash your hands after going tot the toilet, working outside, treating wounds etc and before eating and preparing food. In regards to eye infections, we described some symptoms of eye infections, including sore or watery eyes and a burning sensation behind your eyelids. We also explained how to prevent spreading eye infections. Tooth brushing was fairly straight forward as we demonstrated how to brush all surfaces of your teeth and the importance of using toothpaste and rinsing your mouth. We handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to all the ladies but of course they all wanted a different colour, different size and 10 more for their kids at home! We also briefly went through the dangers of smoking and its possible effects on your health. All in all it was a successful presentation that was easily received thanks to our translator Eddie. We hope that we imparted some useful information and that the toothbrushes will get some good use!

Written by Emily Edwards & Becky Hatton

Monday, 20 September 2010

Art Day (Thursday 16th September 2010)

Today the whole school participated in a day of art organised by Ashy and Dani. We began the day with the normal routine, which meant distributing e-pap as the children arrived and also singing a few songs together during circle time.

Dani and Ashy organised use all into three groups; 3-4 year olds inside the pre-school in one room, 4-5s into another classroom and the 5-6s in a separate classroom outside.

Katherine, Emily and Jantine were with the 4-5 year olds. We started with leaf rubbings. Some of them found it very hard but one little girl managed really well...she's definitely an artist in the making!

The next activity was finger painting, which was of course rather messy....although not as bad as it could have been! The children enjoyed using their thumbs, and other fingers, to make flowers. Some of the volunteers also enjoyed doing this!

After a quick run around outside in the sun, we moved onto the next activity. The children coloured in little paper cut-outs of themselves, which were then placed onto a sketch of the school. The finished product looks amazing, it's bright and colourful and really represents the spirit of the school. Everyone was really pleased with the final piece of art and is now proudly displayed inside the school.

A huge thank you to Ashy and Dani for organising such a fun and successful day!

This blog was written by Katherine King (Thank you also!)

Sunday, 19 September 2010

New Bikes and Uniform for all African Impact Staff!

The African Impact Staff! (L-R Deolinda, Eddie, Joao, Cecilia, Lourenco, Zelia, Maria, Samuel)

Last Friday each member of the African Impact Staff received a new bike (brilliantly put together by Joao) and a very smart African Impact uniform. Each member of staff works so hard towards making this project the success that it is, so a HUGE thank you to them all!

Joao's mastered it! Eddie gives Samuel a helping hand

Friday, 17 September 2010

Completed Building Project...New toilets at Pre-school!

The volunteers and our very hard-working translator Eddie have completed a new set of toilets for pre-school. It took two weeks and alot of hard manual work but everyone got stuck in and the rewards are well worth it.....thank you everyone :)

*New Project* English Club

We have just started an exciting new project....English Club. Currently we have twelve students who all work at our volunteer accomodation, Aguia Negra, and they attend lessons on a Saturday morning from 9-10 a.m. The lessons are planned and led by the volunteers and focus on speaking and listening skills, which will aid them in their jobs.

We are hoping the project will prove to be as successful as our others and will grow to include more members of the local community.

Mozambique Victory Art Day

On Thursday 2nd September we held an art day at pre-school to celebrate Mozambique Victory Day. Victory Day, the 7th September, celebrates the date Mozambique initially gained independence from Portugal in 1974.

In their classes the children loved decorating and making brightly coloured flowers from pipe cleaners and tissue paper. They then all joined together for a colourful procession in the plyground. They enjoyed waving their flowers in the air and singing 'Bandeira Africana, Bandeira Mocambicana', meaning 'Flag of Africa, Flag of Mozambique'.

The volunteers later helped to make the flowers into two wreaths and a lovely garland, which are now hanging brightly outside the pre-school.

Using the colours of the flag- green, red, yellow, black and white, all the children helped to paint a big 'MOCAMBIQUE' sign. Many messy hands looks great hanging in Zelia's classroom.

It was a really fun morning with big smiles, loud singing voices and multi-coloured decorations in celebration of a special Mozambican national holiday.

Written by Laura Barton and Katie Hood- thank you girls for planning a fabulous morning!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

HIV/AIDS Awareness Project

African Impact has just completed 4 more successful weeks of our HIV/AIDS Awareness Project. We had three sessions at the Escola Secundaria de Vilanculos, teaching a class of 18+ year olds, and two sessions at Alta Macassa working with a group of HIV positive women.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the secondary school, and found the students to be enthusiastic, hard-working and knowledgeable. We taught the students about prevention and treatment, along with the biology and history of the virus. Although the students were already quite well informed, we found it necessary to clear up some of the common myths surrounding HIV and AIDS. The students were very engaging and asked many questions, which was fantastic and created a lot of discussion amongst the class.

In one of our sessions we performed a short play about HIV, in which our main character Pedro was persuaded by his friend not to buy condoms as “it’s better without!” Pedro then goes on to have unprotected sex with Nilza, a girl he met in a local nightclub. After the performance the students were asked what they thought of the play, and what they thought about how the characters acted. We then invited the students to change the play so it had a more positive ending, and asked the students to enter the roles of the characters. This worked really well, and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves. In the second part of the session we asked the students to create their own piece of drama about various HIV/AIDS topics. The students came up with some great performances and really explored the issues surrounding the virus.

Our two sessions at Alta Macassa were very different from those at the secondary school; the group was a lot smaller and our sessions were much more casual. We began both sessions with a quick game of Uno to help make everyone feel more comfortable. The women took to the game quickly and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Since it was already known that the women were HIV positive, we decided to focus specifically on the transmission of the virus and treatment.

In our second session we asked the women to create a piece of artwork that expressed how they felt about HIV/AIDS. This was very special because they had never done anything like it; most of them had never even held a pen. It took them a while to take hold of the idea, but once they started working they got very involved. The artwork covered a wide range of topics, some focused on the need for a healthy diet while others illustrated the need for support from loved ones. Overall, the two sessions went very well and the women were eager to learn more.

Throughout the past four weeks, we have been lucky enough to work with a lot of great people and have really enjoyed the project. We look forward to future updates on the progression of the HIV/AIDS Awareness Project.

Written by Catriona Currie and Katie Hood

Monday, 13 September 2010

African Impact Mozambique on YouTube!

We had the pleasure of having Yvette and Maurice from Activity International visit our projects last month. While here they kindly put together a video of Vilanculos, life as a Volunteer and the projects we are working on, check it out!