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.
Feb 27, 2017

February 2017 Update

Students acting out polio immunisation
Students acting out polio immunisation

 Global Giving February 2017

Education in the broadest sense is paramount at the New Life Centre School in West Bengal. Alindra Naskar the Founder and Director of the school is keen to educate the parents as well as the children to be not only academically enlightened, but also to be ‘good citizens’ of India and their local community.

When I heard that the children were being asked to go in fancy dress for their Annual Sports day recently, I was intrigued to know how this fitted in to the day. Alindra wrote to me that this event is informative for general public awareness. ‘Go As You Wish’ is a way of educating each other in the school of current problems in society or general Health and Safety advice.

The pictures with this report show the children enacting various scenes illustrating issues currently being tackled in India at this time. Clean up India is an important theme in the school as the children are made aware of the consequences of litter. You can also see a boy showing Green India by Plantation.

Another topical dramatic scene is of a currency forger being arrested by the police as the Government has tried to clamp down on ‘black money’ recently.

Other scenarios covered by the students were the importance of immunization, as shown here representing the polio vaccine, the consequences of when people ride/drive drunk, over speed or talking with a mobile phone whilst cycling, equally dramatic scenes with liberal quantities of fake blood!

When I was there last November one of the girls in the school was extremely ill with measles, and had been off school for a month. Alindra went to see the parents who had sacrificed chickens and set up a loud speaker chanting prayers on her behalf.

Had they thought about using the money they had spent on visiting a Doctor Alindra asked?

Education at this level will save lives in this poor deprived area of West Bengal, and to inform whilst having fun at the same time, seems to me to be what will make the biggest impact. In being asked to participate in these dramas, the children will learn lessons that could never be learnt as effectively in class.

Wouldn’t you like to support this enterprising School?

Students illustrating the cleanup campaign
Students illustrating the cleanup campaign
Acting out a Police Arrest
Acting out a Police Arrest
Feb 21, 2017

February 2017 Update

Bonaventure
Bonaventure's House

 Getting more sophisticated

One of the trainees at Paluoc has progressed to the point where he has been able to build a new house for himself and his parents. It isn’t sophisticated by western standards but it’s a lot better than the one they had, and it is a testament to the skills that Bonaventure has developed and the self confidence that it has given him. He is very proud of it and justifiably so. The woodworking involved he did himself.

The primary goal of the workshop isn’t image. They are all about providing needy youngsters with the skills and self- esteem to earn themselves a living. However even in Kisumu, Kenya, image matters. If you want to persuade customers that you are capable of a good job. You want them to place orders that will give trainees valuable experience. You are trying to encourage trainees to think that they are worth something; then projecting a smart initial image is still necessary. Paluoc has painted a mural on the outside of the workshop. That gives a very good first impression.

The inside of the workshop is also going to be given a smart lick of paint in the next few weeks . Visitors and trainees can see that the workshop is aiming to produce better than average products and trainees with better than average skills. The actual skills and certificates are important but so too is the image that youngsters and customers have of the workshop.

Meantime the youngsters are getting on with their training inside the building. One of the HATW trainees who helped to build and fund Paluoc is going out to visit the workshop in the beginning of March.

A new helper, Ouma Melchizedek, who is originally from Kisumu but now living in Nairobi, is also going to visit the centre to help Paul upgrade some of his accounts and list the assets. It’s all becoming a bit more sophisticated and we hope will soon be able to carry on independently.

That doesn’t mean that we are cutting them adrift and that they may not need a bit of help for some specific purposes occasionally. For example; one of the trainees has recently had quite serious health issues. There are still plenty of youngsters in the area in need of a sympathetic and free helping hand to give them a bit of a leg up. However, the plan is that long term they will be self-sustaining. We think they are gradually getting there.

Nigel Sampson

Feb 2017

Mural
Mural
Paluoc Skills Centre
Paluoc Skills Centre
Feb 21, 2017

February 2017 Update

Hands Around the World Benin projects February 2017

 

At this time we have a commitment that 12 new children per year will be able to access

secondary education.

I gave an undertaking that I would Identify all the children who are in the programme and

provide a spreadsheet for the 5 schools with the child name, year, attendance and

achievement records. As of 2016 year we are supporting the following :-

98 young people across 5 secondary schools

6 young people in University (plus one young woman in a nursing MA)

4 young people in new apprenticeships

8 young people in apprenticeships paid for in a previous years

That is a total of 116 children and young people being supported

 

Chez Papa Geoff

 

The main building is completed with capacity for 24 children/young people, except for

connecting the shower pipework.

Kitchen completed with workstation equipment and fires in place.

Payotte completed with roof and flooring for dining, play area and homework.

Store room completed with solar roof panels for electricity for whole compound. Work

needed to finish flooring and storage racks.

Water pump needs replacing and well whole needs clearing out.

New room needs building off the side of store room for office space.

 

As of October 2016 there were 6 girls and 5 boys in residence at Chez Papa Geoff. They are

being well looked after and seem happy. It was decided that for 6 to 9 months this will stay

the number to make sure the systems work appropriately. The team has given Alice (a

widowed mum with a 2 year old child) the role of on site manager/carer of the orphanage.

She is a hard worker and looks after the children and buildings very well. She does live on

site in the room with a bathroom that was going to be an office. This is working very well but

she does need some financial support.

 

We would like to see some revenue from excess water and electricity and the renting out of

the tractor that Dick provided come on stream in the near future.

 

Agriculture

 

On the 8 hectares (20 acres) donated to Chez Papa Geoff project a variety of crops will be

planted to support the orphanage directly by providing food, (the largest expense) and cash

crops from the sale of the surplus crops. FAO figures for yields in this area show that the

project will be viable.

 

The land is currently being cleared of grass weeds and a few non productive wild palm trees

ready for the main planting season in April.

 

Initial crops will be maize and manioc (cassava) which form the staple diet locally. Maize

planting in April will be harvested four to five months later giving time to raise a second crop in one year. Even at very low yields of 3 tonnes per hectare. One hectare should produce all the

orphanage requirements of maize for one year.

 

Cassava requires an 11 month growing season but can flourish on poor soils and is more

drought resistant, so even in a bad seasons produces something.

 

Beans and peanuts will be grown both for their protein content and the much valued nitrogen

which leguminous plants fix into the soil.

 

Tarot (another root crop with high vitamin and protein content) yams and sweet potatoes are

proposed as minor crops.

 

In the longer term palm trees (the oil is a very profitable crop) will come into production.

 

Bananas are especially useful as they yield throughout the year and thus provide some cash

income outside the main harvest season.

 

As can be seen from the above figures the first produce will come on stream in September

2017. From March 2018 support from HATW should fall steadily.

 

There is the obvious risk of natural disasters but generally Benin has a fairly stable rainfall

and mixed cropping reduces the chance of catastrophic losses due to pests and diseases.

 

Dick Wheelock

Nigel England

 

 
   

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