Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Kareema's New House Is Completed

Kareema is an inspiring lady who worked with African Impact on our HIV positive awareness community project. It was noted whilst working with her that her house was falling apart (see top picture) so we decided to build her a new one...as it was necessary but also as a thank you because we appreciated her positivity and guidance with the local community. It took a few months to build...however it has been finished this week by African Impact staff (Eddie, Joao and Samuel) and Kareema is very happy with her new house (see middle picture)...we certainly are and we hope it lasts many years.

Storeroom at Escolinha Completed

A spacious storeroom to hold all the necessary gardening tools, chicken paraphanailia and other 'junk' has been completed by Eddie, Joao, Samuel and Lorenco. It was started by the volunteers but because Eddie, our translator and head builder, was ill it was unable to be completed by the close of projects at the end of November. However in December all four men have worked very hard and now the pre-school will be a tider place...storing only teaching resources.

Keep checking for further exciting updates on developments at the pre-school!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Escolinha's New Mural

On my arrival at pre-school on Monday 11th November, the outside of the building was in much need of a fresh coat of paint and looked very grubby. We were told that one of the projects for our duration of volunteering was to repaint the school and paint a mural. I felt quite honoured that I was given the task of overseeing the completion of the mural and started wracking my brain for a theme! I was however saved any sleepless nights by a fresh bunch of teenage girls from an American travelling school. An artistic girl called Anna drew the outline for the mural and they also did alot of touching up of a mural inside the building too. This obviously made my job easier, as all I had to do now was to make the mural as colourful , educational and attractive as possible.

We, as a group, spent two afternoons repainting inside and outside of the school and I concentrated on 'my' mural. I was, I have to say, assisted by Amalia (my 13 year old English club student) without whose help I probably wouldn't have finished in time! This was also a great opportunity to have extra one to one time with her and her English has really improved! In turn, it also gave her a sense of purpose and working together. Katherine, I also have to thank for the beautiful birds!

The mural, as can be seen from the photos, depicts a garden with various fruits and vegetables, the names of which have been written in both English and Portuguese.

The children were, to start with, very interested when big pots of paint and brushes could be seen and initially I could sense they were just dying to get stuck in and make a huge mess! As I carried on every other day or so doing bits here and there at intervalo time etc and once outlining and detail took shape, they would point...and touch!... the various fruits and vegetables and say them in Portuguese and try to repeat them in English. One of the pupils, the feisty Felicidades, even came up before completion and said "Hey! Deb! Muito bonito!" with a thumbs up and then walked off.....praise indeed!!!

It's a great feeling to have been given the opportunity to contribute to something that will last, where I can leave a 'mark', just as these children have left a mark on me in ways that I cannot put into words.

I do know, however, that after the long summer there will be many little grubby handprints on that wall again...the next group of volunteers will patch it up I'm sure!

Written by Debby Weldacher....thank you so much Debby for all your ideas and hard work, the mural looks beautiful and the children absolutely love it! I'm sure you will be right about the handprints!!!- Kerrie.