Samstag 22.10.2011 11:54 

Changes

Hi help2kids friends and supporters, this time it is Marc writing the blog and updating you about the news in Mbezi Beach. Since there are some boys now volunteering at the orphanage, it’s time to play some soccer! Or maybe tennis for some other kids. We spent three afternoons on the soccer field, sweating in the heat and having much fun also with kids from other schools. Of course, there had to be also a program for the little girls, who didn’t want to play soccer. Fortunately, we had Emma, Jenna and Janet (our new lovely volunteer from Germany) taking care of them. So they opened a small beauty saloon for the girls and painted their nails in different colors. Due to the great number of volunteers, Francesca had to buy two new bicycles. It seems that since the new volunteers have arrived, the tires have begun to pop! Someone must have eaten too many mishkakis… After the first day, the boys (Vinzenz, Romain and me) had to visit the mechanic to have two of the bicycles repaired. Within one week, the guys had to go twice to the mechanic. Jenna, Romain and I are taking Swahili lessons 3 times a week, not only to improve our ability to negotiate but also to communicate with the kids in the orphanage. It’s the well- known Mr. Gift who teaches us the language. He’s a very funny guy and he might give us a discount because of his good experiences with the Organization. 

The kids had a free day on Friday, because it was the day on which Julius Nyerere, the man who led Tanzania’s independence, died. That’s always a big event for the whole country. The volunteers taught them the alphabet and some mathematics by playing several games. Obviously, it is easier for the kids to learn the things when they are having fun at the same time. Francesca and Christian had the idea of making groups of two so that the kids can be taught by their individual skill levels. The volunteers give lessons for not more than 20 minutes to one group and then take the next group. It looks like it’s a good idea but it’s really difficult to realize this new sort of teaching because there are always the other kids asking to be played with or otherwise attended.  

On Tuesday, Francesca, Jenna and I visited our partner school near our orphanage to meet the students and their teachers. After speaking with the Headmistress of this school, we arranged that two of the volunteers from help2kids will give English lessons every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. We’re all really excited about this new project of teaching English at another school. Since those kids are already in standard VI, it’s absolutely necessary for them to be able to write and speak English. At the beginning it will be our job to find out their skills in English and to slowly start our new partnership.

Here you can find more information about our English School Project: http://www.help2kids.org/orphanage/projects/schoolproject.html.

On Wednesday, it was time to say goodbye to our dear friend and volunteer Vinzenz. He ordered the “ice cream man” to the orphanage, as a sweet little going away present for the kids. They were really excited about that and wanted to have a ride on the bicycle. The kids sang a song for him and he had a last talk with every single one of them. After two months being a great support to the organization, he left the orphanage for the last time with tears in his eyes. But he was not the only one: it was an emotional moment for everyone.  

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The new dormitory, which is still under construction, looks nice; you can already see that it’s becoming another good place hosting new kids soon.

 

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There were also some negative things  happening. In fact in the past three weeks we had a lot of water shortages due to work roads. For 4 times we had to call a truck of 7000 lt of clean water in order to supply the orphanage and it was really expensive. It was a difficult time because the children and the Mamas need water every day to  wash, clean and cook. No one was able to tell us when the water supply was coming back and one day the truck of water capsized on the road to the orphanage! Water in Africa is really a precious good and not being able to have the daily amount of needed water created some problems to the orphanage. In the same time, the water pump got broken once again probably because the plumbers in Africa don`t receive a good training and are not able to fix properly a pump but they use tape and super glue!

Another issue we had to deal with is that sometimes the kids are not behaving that well. But we have to bear in mind that our kids come from difficult situations so we are trying to teach them how to behave but sometimes the old habits are hard to change. For example, for the second time in two months one of our boys was kicked out from school because of aggressive attitude. We are now facing a big problem because the Headmistress of the school refused to admit him back. The volunteers and the Mamas are putting big efforts in showing the children the best way to behave.

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Well, dear help2kids supporters, that`s all for this week. Thanks for reading and for your constant support.

Marc
Volunteer help2kids





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