Mambo all! This time, Francesca and Marc have written the blog together.
Our new English project at the Wamato Primary School (here the link:
www.help2kids.org/orphanage/projects/schoolproject is going really well. We changed our teaching-days from Tuesday and Wednesday to Tuesday and Friday. The advantage of this change is that both the volunteers and the students can prepare themselves much better for the upcoming lessons. Concerning the volunteers, they have now more time to structure the lessons but also to set up and correct all the homework. On the student’s side, it means that they actually have more time to do their homework and they don’t receive all the lessons in a short time like two days and they don’t forget everything until the next time.
It is every time nice to see other children at another place and to teach them, even if their English level could be much higher. We’re working now on the basics such as the verb “to be” and we try our best to create each lesson in a little different way so that they enjoy learning English. It is surprising, how fast one gets used to stay in front of 40 children and teach them a language that isn’t even the volunteer’s native language. Of course, they love to play games where they have to run from the wall in the back of the room to the blackboard and write something on it. But on the other side, it is sometimes really hard to explain them the English grammar because they don’t seem to understand us, so it’s important to have one local teacher who can translate English into Swahili in order to make our explanations more comprehensive.
Regarding the efforts of teaching English and other subject also at the Orphanage, we had the idea of splitting the kids up into groups of two, in order to get better and more effective lessons. With this kind of teaching, every volunteer can focus much better on every single child and is able to give lessons for the individual levels of knowledge. So the ten groups are distributed to the current number of five volunteers. After some hours of tuition, the volunteers detect their strengths and weaknesses.
Up to now, it has been difficult to control and teach groups of more than two children as we’ve had it for a long time. There has been a lot of running around and disturbing the class by other children that have not been part of the group that has been taught. In addition, now every volunteer gives two to three private lessons (depending on how many children he/she is in charge of), one per child and per week.
To sum up: each kid receives now one hour of group tuition and one hour of private lesson per week. It seems that everyone is really happy with this new sort of teaching and the results should be astonishing!
We also started to give lessons at the laptop. At first, we weren’t really sure if it would work well especially because the programs are all in English and the kids have to handle with the utilization of the laptop. From the second they saw the computer, they immediately felt in love with it! It is so much more fun for the kids to work on a computer than on a piece of paper. And also, they learn a lot more in the same time because they are so concentrated on what is going on the screen. Of course we can’t ignore the disadvantages of using the laptop as a teaching material: in fact we are not able to teach them how to write. For these lessons we still have to stitch to the good old sheet of paper! As a cute little side effect, we hear the children more and more often begging for the computer lessons which sounds like: “Teacher, computer!”.
Dear help2kids friends, we are looking for a special donation that will permit us to purchase a laptop that will be used only for this didactic purpose (in fact the one the children are using now is the same that Francesca uses to work on!). Any little help is more than welcomed.
Another big news of this week regards William and his reunification with his family. As we stated in our Youth Concept, “If a child, admitted in help2kids Children’s Home, had the opportunity to return to his own family or to be adopted by a foster family, help2kids would consider this opportunity.” After a long meeting with William’s family and our Social Worker Muhali, we have decided that the best opportunity for William is to be reunited with his family. We will still support him and his family. William will always be in our hearts as a special kid!
Few little updates about the kids and the life at the orphanage: few days ago our princess Dorie injured her feet with a dirty nail so we had to run to the hospital. Our concern was to provide her with Tetanus injection. Now she seems to be better and already running around.
Our little daily problems with shortages of water/electricity/fuel are always on but we are starting to deal and live with them.
The renovation works in the side house are completed. We will buy new furniture soon. Stay tuned because on the next blog you will see more exciting pictures about it.
Finally, our Mamas’ uniforms are ready and they look amazing now!
Last but not least, welcome to Monika, our newest Volunteer from Austria! Is really good to receive additional support in order to better improve our new didactic system. Monika will stay with us for 2 months and the kids already love her!
A big thank-you to our special volunteer Emma from Sweden. Thanks to her huge and precious donation, we were able to purchase vitamins to improve our kids’ diet. Asante Sana Emma!
For this week, that’s all. Stay tuned for new exciting news.
Regards from Mbezi Beach,
Francesca (Director Tanzania) and Marc (Volunteer Switzerland)