Youth development beyond school education
In addition to supporting two nurseries and two primary schools, help2kids Malawi assists a number of programs that focus on youth education and development outside of the classroom. Our programs provide the opportunity for children to take proactive steps to further their education and utilize interactive methods for students to learn beyond what is taught in the school curriculum.
This ranges from running the community library, where children can practice their reading, to Grass Roots Soccer, which uses interactive games and activities to teach life skills and health education. These programs are open to all and reach beyond just the children who attend the local nurseries and primary schools. Although our school education programs strive to enable all children in Lifuwu to attend school, this is not the reality for a lot of children; due to a number of social, economic factors, children stay home to assist their families.
The Lifuwu community library has been extremely popular since opening last summer. Situated in the heart of the Lifuwu market, the library provides a space for the community to come and learn together. Nelson, our librarian, opens the library five days a week and it is always busy, especially after school hours. Due to financial constraints many children in Lifuwu did not have access to reading materials before the library opened. The library has a range of children’s books, including story books, picture books and educational books, which provides a way for children to come and read for fun! Even those too young to read enjoy going and looking at the pictures in the illustrated children’s books.
Volunteers often spend their afternoons in the library assisting Nelson and helping children practice their reading and develop their English comprehension. This ranges from pointing out animals in picture books to helping explain information from scientific encyclopedias. In the future we wish to expand the range of books in our library to include more educational material for older children, who can come to the library to study after school. Our library shelves are filled with donations from our generous supporters and the children are always very excited to see new books in the library. If you wish you donate any reading materials, please contact our Field Manager, Garrett, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help2kids supports Grass Roots Soccer (GRS), a community led after school program that uses interactive games to teach lessons about important issues faced by people living in Lifuwu. The program attracts an enthusiastic and dedicated group of children between the ages of 9 and 16, who meet with their coaches Dan, Solomon and Ali twice a week. The program is very successful with engaging students in conversation about sensitive and serious topics, which can often be difficult to address. This includes HIV, Tuberculosis, disability, Cholera, water sanitation and sexual education. GRS raises awareness of these issues and teaches students important prevention methods. Our volunteers regularly attend GRS. Every fortnight they run an educational Grass Roots session, where they devise a series of games related to a particular topic.
However, not every GRS session is focused upon addressing serious topics, and many sessions are devoted entirely to games! GRS aims to help students develop life skills and practice working as a team. This focus has fostered a great sense of community and inclusivity within the group. Despite being comprised of different ages, genders and abilities, all of the children are extremely supportive one another and they are always eager to assist one another both in games and learning. The children enjoy learning new games from around the world from the help2kids volunteers! Our volunteers recently ran a GRS sports day, where you can see the winning team pictured below in their home made rosettes!