An October Update from Sr. Leonida Kwamboka
Director of Wanawake kwa Wanawake
We have been very blessed this month. 13 news students were recruited to the sponsorship program. They began school beginning of second term this year, 2021. They are vulnerable children from poor families living in Kibera. Their families expressed their willingness to encourage their children to work hard in their studies in order to better their lives.
The new students joined different schools within Nairobi and upcountry. This year we are very lucky to have enrolled 34 primary and secondary students to the program. Children who were enrolled earlier in the year adjusted well to their new schools and they are happy and grateful for the golden opportunity and support towards their education.
No matter how small the light is, it has the power to dispel the strongest darkness. We are forever grateful for education aid offered to our primary school children. From the month of May this year 7 children were blessed to have sponsors. The 7 are schooling in different schools, their families are forever indebted for education fortuity rendered to their children. Their hope has been rekindled once more and trust that this will make their lives better. 27 secondary students were also sponsored so that they can complete their education.
The school calendar changes due to pandemic this year distorted the traditional dates of closing and opening of schools. The students concluded the year on 15th July and children were set for their holidays. Despite the fact that it was only a short holiday of 7 days our children were excited since it was time to transit to the next class. The first term concluded on 1st of October and children 7-days break. They went back to school on 11th October 2021. Students carried out the following activities during holidays at the centre.
Letter writing: Children wrote letters of appreciation to their sponsors to thank them for their support and generosity towards their education. Children informed their sponsor about the wellbeing of their families and their gratitude towards the aid.
Games: Children are always full of life and energy. We had competition on different items; arranging newspaper, filling a bottle with water fetched and passed by hands, passing on a boiled egg to a group while running without dropping it , dancing and singing different songs taught in schools. This was geared towards promoting unity, teamwork building, bonding with the new ones and the lesson that hard work pays. Staff members joined and assisted in the evaluation of the winning group.
Children were given assignment from schools and indeed they were able to work out on them before opening of schools. This made the children relaxed and less tensed because they had already accomplished teachers work.
Primary students were given the opportunity for counseling, within the short period of one week the counselor was able to conduct group counseling for 4 groups of students. Each group comprised of 6 students therefore 24 students benefited from group counseling therapy and other were taken through individual counseling all these was geared towards building their self-esteem.
Families of Kibera were delighted to receive food hamper each, they expressed their gratitude reiterating that the food boost the families especially when children are home for holidays since their expense of food is high and most of them go hungry. Kibera families are forever grateful towards this gesture of generosity and willingness to support one another.
Home visits were conducted and families really appreciated the aid they receive towards their children education. Majority of them expressed that their family’s status has greatly improved in that they have been able to upscale their income such that they have food and other basic necessities for their families. They are forever indebted to WKW and to all the sponsors for their kindness.
Parents meetings were held in July and a number of things were discussed. They were grouped into two group in order to avoid crowding for safety reasons. The meetings were conducted in the afternoon hours and these were the agendas:
Academic performance: Parents were encouraged to ensure that their children are utilizing the opportunity of being in school and working to achieve their goals and dreams. Parents discussed that their children be taught to practice generosity so that as they benefit from their sponsorship and be able to extend their generosity to others who are in need.
Character and Behavior: Since behavior builds character parents discussed and agreed that success of a child relies on the behavior therefore it is a parent’s responsibility to monitor and mold their children through their own examples in their life experiences. Therefore, a parents encouraged each other to be sensitive on how they behave because this will contribute a lot towards success of their children.
School Calendar; This year is unique since the term dates are different from what it has been due to pandemic. Parents discussed about the short holidays and term they were to expect throughout the year. They expressed gratitude towards support of their children since without it their children would home because short holiday periods could not give them time to save for their children fees and shopping.
New school rules and guidelines; Parents also discussed the new guidelines put in place by the government towards safety of the children in schools. Parents were encouraged to report to office and schools the state of their children health especially those who have issues with their health.
Schools were opened officially on 26th July and we thank God that all students were able to go back to school. Students were visited in schools to check on their progress and to encourage them to work harder. Children were happy and the teachers too. Teachers pointed out children’s behaviors which were to be worked on and the information was shared to the parents so that the children are helped to attain their dreams. New students adjusted to their schools and were able to settle fast.
Mid- Term break.
Children came for their mid term break for three days from 26th to 29th August. The three days were occupied by assignments and drawing which were to be used for fundraising in Australia. The creativity and effort of every child was seen through the nice colored hand drawings.
We thank God for protection and blessings he has bestowed upon us this year, children came home for a short holiday on 1st October and resumed back to school on 11th of October 2021.They were all happy to go back to school and they are happy and grateful. We hope that all will be well and that children will be save throughout the second term. The following activities will be carried out: Home visits School Visits Counseling Motivational talks during holidays. Letter writings Parent or Guardian meetings
From the beginning of the year up to now we were able to undertake beehive of activities in order to support the children. Due to pandemic our hope and certainty of our future were dim. We can look back and say all has been a blessing.
Home visits were conducted on members of Uzito group in order to know them and listen to their stories. The general findings were that the families are poor and vulnerable because they lack basic necessities such as food and education for their children. Majority live in poorly constructed mud houses and they also suffer from discrimination. Even though they live in the poorest houses, they still struggle to pay rent because they do not have stable jobs.