Tuesday, 29 March 2011

My Pre-School Experience By Runa Aarre Sommarset

My main reason for going to Vilanculos was the pre-school. I love children, and back home in Norway I used to work in a kindergarden. I thought it would be interesting to work with children in Africa, and I was looking forward to get to know children with a total different culture from what I’m used to.

The pre-school project is amazing! First of all, I got surprised over how much work earlier volunteers have done, and you can really see that it is making a difference. We have a lot of resources and games that makes it easy for us new volunteers to make the lessons fun for the children. So far we have been teaching numbers up to seven, colours, shapes and some letters. The children are working hard, and even though it’s not always easy to know the difference between green and yellow, or p and d, we can see that they are having a good time!

It is very hot in Vilanculos these days, sometimes up to 40ÂșC, so we arrange beach-day almost every Thursday. The children, teachers and the volunteers are all enjoying this day! It is nice to get down to the sea and let the children run and play in the water. At the end of the day we are all really tired, but it is really worth it!

We have also arranged and art-day at the pre-school. One of the volunteers, Chloe, brought some pegs from England and made dolls. The children had to give the dollies hair and dresses, and the result was a lot of cute, sparkling and dollies. We also made some gift-tags, and it is all going to be sold to raise money for African Impact’s team on the Amazing Race. At the end of the day the children went crazy with the glitter! It was a fun day! As normal, we have a lot of singing and dancing during a day at the pre-school.

The children are getting really good at the national anthem, and "I do, I do" is always a great way to start the day. The meals are always the highlight of the day! We are really glad that we just got some new cups. Now the children don’t have to wait so long to get their e-pap! As a volunteer, I’m really enjoying life in Vilanculos.

Of course there is some ups and downs; sometimes my lessons doesn’t work as well as I thought, other times I feel that I manage to teach the children something new, which is a really good feeling! And then you have the children, they are so adorable! Their smiles and laughter are priceless, and I will definitely miss them when I’m going back home!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Projects Update

Hello everybody, just a quick update as the projects have now been running for about a week.

Pre-school: The little ones are mostly settled in now, they really are tiny! Everything is now running with a smooth routine, obviously aided by the current volunteers. Unfortunately just before the school re-opened the chickens were stolen. We will buy more when we can ensure the safety of them! However, from the farm the peanuts and beans are almost ready to go into the children's rice.

Edson's (Adult) English: The testing day was a real success with over seventy students registered, although we had to turn away around thirty. If the numbers drop then at the start of every month we will hold a testing day to register the eager students. It's great to see the old faces return but also to see plenty of new ones too!

Orphanage: We have visited the Heart to Heart orphanage twice already. We have spent time with the gorgeous children there and also begun laying the cement floor for the second dormitory. At the end of this month there will be an Open Day we people can visit in and see what they orphanage is all about. The volunteers will have a large role in organising the activities.

English Club: Is running very well, the volunteers and students both enjoy the one to one time and a more informal and conversational based lesson.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Escolinha is re-opened!

We had seventy very excited (and very tiny) children at pre-school this morning. Many of them you will recognise as being brothers or sisters of previous pupils although they certainly do have their own little characters! The new children enjoyed singing songs, seeing the new library and being given their new sunhats (kindly donated by ex vol, Maureen Lonergan). Later today we will see the arrival of our first volunteers and as well as teaching at pre-school they will also re-open Edson's English by distributing and marking tests on Friday, with the classes starting next week.

Good luck future volunteers...we are looking forward to your help this year :D
p.s. I'm having really problems uploading photos at the moment so bear with me, there will be more!