HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD seeks to help vulnerable children around the world, encouraging enthusiastic and well-prepared volunteers to offer practical help, skill-sharing, support and friendship.
Jun 24, 2013

June 2013 Update

Much progress has been made with the Nursery over the last couple of months - it is now running on a daily basis. There are now around thirty 3 to 5 year olds attending. They have mats to sleep on and are provided with a daily breakfast of porridge, and a meal of rice, beans, and vegetables. A lot of the credit for this success has to go to Izzy one of our volunteers and the Immaculee the school headmistress who between them have overcome the financial and Local Government problems that faced them.

Plans are underway for windows and doors to be placed in the holes that presently exist in the oldest classroom block. With the help of local labour, of whom 28 were employed last year, it might also be possible to lay concrete floors and plaster the walls when we return in October / November 2013.

There is also work to be carried out on the long-drop waterless toilets and there is still a need for more water tanks to be purchased and installed enabling the children to access clean water.

Improvements are slowly taking place in this ever-expanding School, the work is hot and often difficult but the appreciation is apparent not only from the children and the teachers at the School also the local government and
officials who usually pay us weekly visits.

Although our volunteers’ expenses are met by themselves, all this work is only made possible by people kind enough to make donations, allowing us to continue helping at this school. We hope for these very under privileged children that this in turn may give them a better education.

May 28, 2013

May 2013 Update

I visited Benin during April and May this year and was able to visit Dogba village and meet many of the young people who benefit from the generous donations received. Dieudonne Kakpo, our Co-ordinator in the country, continues to monitor the progress being made by each of them.
During this time twenty-five large containers of paint were taken on motorbikes to the edge of the river and then transferred in a ‘dug-out’ canoe to the village before being carried on heads to the school around half-a-mile further. After an amazing tropical rainstorm the motorbike journeys were very tricky!  
The painting of the three classrooms on stilts in Dogba has been completed and they are now in daily use.
The Headteacher, Mr. Achilles Degnion, came to Affame to express his pleasure and gratitude for this exceptional facility.
Discussion in the community between the African team, Hands Around the World volunteers, Headteachers and the village Chief, has confirmed as reported previously that there is a need to focus future activity on identified vulnerable children.
The Benin Government does have programmes to eliminate the abandonment, trafficking and abuse of children but serious concerns have been expressed in this community and our support is urgently requested.
Plans have been approved for the construction of a residential ‘rescue’ centre and training facility in the village of Affame for children of the wider community and we all are aiming to provide a closely supervised arrangement conforming to high standards of child-care.
Suitable land has been purchased with good access to schools, the health centre and the village playing field and Dick Wheelock from Hands Around the World is willing to play a key role in assisting with the construction. 
Future running costs will be governed by the number of children admitted - with the need to provide food, clothing and education costs, but the initial expenditure beyond the construction will be for bedding, including mosquito nets, chairs and tables.
Last year the team received a kind donation of a tractor and for a modest contribution they are using it to assist neighbours with their very strenuous farming demands.
Additionally they hope to raise funds by selling water once the well is in place, and eventually they expect to sell products from the training facilities.
Clearly this will be a challenging development; all donations will be most gratefully received. Many thanks indeed to all who have contributed to the Benin projects so far.
May 13, 2013

May 2013 Update

Continuing our links with Athi school, HANDS AROUND THE WORLD plans to send two new volunteers to the school this summer. They will share their time between supporting the disabled children at the school and working with the disability centre at the nearby town of Maua.

Children attending the school stay in the dormitory and benefit from regular meals as well as basic educational support. Families must pay a basic fee for their children to attend, however this is often a challenge for low income families.

Funds which are donated to the school are used to provide additional resources, educational equipment and to supplement support staff costs. Having a dining and kitchen area (built by HATW volunteers) has been a great benefit, but there is still need for additional basic equipment for cooking and serving food.

Additionally, we would like to raise funds to equip an Orthopaedic workshop – just £500 to start this project. All this money will go to the partner project at the Disability Community Centre in Maua – for equipment, staff training in practical skills and a contribution towards helping children of the very poorest families by funding the necessary mobility equipment. The DCC works with children attending Athi school, providing regular therapy visits for children with long-term physical needs; please help us achieve this initial target to ensure that the children attending the school can have appropriate mobility aids.

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