Monday, June 4, 2012
May HOPE Update
This was quite a busy month for all of us. The second term of school started for all the children. We met with the new kids and added 15 more kids to the program, increasing the amount of kids by 50%! This has been no small task this month.
Usually its a busy month when we start a new school term. We currently have 6 different schools we are working with. So fees are paid and everything is worked out to make sure the kids can continue with their schooling. This month we also had to find places at the different schools for the new kids. That took some extra attention, time and money as well as getting backpacks, shoes, uniforms, and books for them.
The new kids also needed to be part of the food program and so we have had to rework our food budget and change a few of the meals we are preparing for them.
This took awhile as well to compare prices at different places. Buying items in the compound of Chipata or Kabanana versus buying the items downtown or even at the neighborhood grocery store Pic and Pay. So we have tried to get the best prices and start buying some items in bulk. The kids now get a breakfast shake and then for lunch Monday through Thursday they are eating beans, sausage, eggs and chicken along with vegetables and rice or the staple food nshima. I hope occasionally we can provide some fruit as well.
Progress is still being made on the kitchen. The walls are up and next is to finish plastering the walls and floor and put on the roof, add the windows, etc. At least the structure is there now. Every few weeks Maureen asks, when is it expected to be done! I know she is eager to move the cooking out of her house and into the building.
All the kids are in school now and doing fine. A schedule has been set up for tutoring the kids and so far that seems to be working out well, especially in the new classroom.
We have run into a few challenges with the tutoring of the older kids. Some of them have not been showing up for the class, and then we have experienced a difficulty with the tutor not being on the same page with the subjects that are needing to be taught. So please pray for these details to be worked out. It is especially important for the older kids as they are preparing for their grade 9 exams. If they do not pass they can not continue on to the next grade level, and essentially that removes them from the program. So it is serious and we would appreciate your prayers for them to see it as weighty.
We had to put off the group meeting/open house we anticipated having with the kids as we worked out some of the “growing pains” we were having this month. So hopefully we can get all the kids together next month for a meeting.
We have a meeting scheduled with the guardians of the new kids on June 11th. Some of these kids are from an even worse area than the typical kids come from and and they are not very friendly to white people. Some people believe that if we were to go into their area and visit them that bad spirits would accompany us. Or if we visit one of the children’s homes then the neighbors would all think they were involved in something satanic, OR that home would then be robbed because we could have given them something of value. So at times there can be different superstitions or suspicions associated with us. For that reason only Maureen and Fanny have gone to visit these homes. We are hoping that as we interact with the kids and the guardians at the building they will in time trust us and open up.
Some of the kids from All Efforts School
Memory practicing her letters on the board
Ruth, Nelia, Felix
Katryn and Fanny teaching
It is working well to have 2 boards and they each can be teaching at the same time.
The kitchen in progress