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.
May 12, 2016

May 2016 Update

Dick with friends in Benin
Dick with friends in Benin

Dick Wheelock writes: "I spent most of April 2016 in Benin to meet up with old friends and see how the Chez Papa Geoff orphanage is progressing. Much has gone well but work has temporarily halted as everyone rushes to plant their maize before the rains.

For this visit I stayed in the orphanage to test the facilities which turned out to be wonderful even if bucket showers were the order of the day. The dormitories are well ventilated and were cool even during some very hot weather. The composting toilet functions as advertised, with no smell, and the separation of liquids / solids is foolproof with plenty of wood ash (to help composting) available throughout village."

Speaking to Dick on his return from Affame, it would seem that the hold up in accommodating the 22 children identified for the orphanage is the water pump. Due to the fine silt-like quality of the earth, the electric pump is clogging up. While there Dick was able to extend the depth of the well by 2 metres to allow the pump be suspended in the water. Also he has identified a new solar powered pump which will be both more effective and sustainable.

The main block with bedrooms, toilets, showers and an office are complete, as well as the kitchen area. The footings for the thatched dining hut are in place. Money sent recently will be spent on beds and mattresses so that the children can be admitted asap.

There is a bit of a delay at the moment as everybody is working in the fields prior to the rains. The dining hut can be completed when the children are on site.

We are now looking now the cost benefits of purchasing land for crops rather than rental. This would provide food and cash crops to secure the long term future of the project.

Education Project

Plans are in place to monitor attainment and attendance at the end of term. All schools are to send records of individual children to Dieu Donne (acting in loco parentis). He will then forward these to us to build into a spread sheet.

I will be visiting Affame in the 3rd week of October and should be able then to look at and discuss any discrepancies.

 

Thank you for your support for this wonderful project!

An interested small friend in Benin!
An interested small friend in Benin!
Apr 26, 2016

April 2016 Update

 

As I write this report, I am making plans for my forthcoming trip to visit our DCC partners and the disability school at Athi. I am delighted that I will be travelling with the HATW Executive Officer, David Steiner, who will be staying in Maua for a week before he travels on to visit other HATW projects in Zambia.

It is several years since I last visited the DCC and Athi school, so I am looking forward to seeing the recent developments. I am hoping to see the new therapy room at Athi school in use, with the children having access to regular therapy on site. Also, the improvements to the DCC workshop, including the upgraded power supply, should mean I see significant changes there. Our visit will enable us to evaluate progress and identify new development areas going forward.

During our visit, we hope to meet with the Disability Centre manager, Oliver, and the DCC staff team, as well as with Esther and the teaching team at the school. We hope to consolidate the plans for building the classroom block at the school (the money is now available).

The water supply to the school is still a problem – though piped water is available locally, the school still manages with only two standpipes for the children’s use; washroom facilities that have been in place for some years are still not connected to a regular water supply. We hope to be able to prompt local discussions and solutions to address this ongoing problem.

The 2015 annual report for the DCC has been published and identifies the good work which is continuing through the work of the staff team. This includes direct work with over a thousand children from the surrounding community. There is also wider support through 3280 mothers involved in 164 self-help groups (promoted by DCC), positively impacting a huge number of children in the local community.

The work of the DCC to support children with disabilities continues through:

  • Direct referrals
  • Playgroups Centre-based assessment, therapy and the provision of mobility aids
  • Home based follow up Community outreach clinics and school linked support

Identified challenges going forward at the DCC include:

  • insufficient staffing, for which ongoing funding is still being sought;

  • the continuing need to effectively educate and inform families and the local community, to ensure that children with disabilities are identified early and receive appropriate help.

What can you offer by way of help?

We place skilled volunteers with partner projects for 3 weeks to 3 months to share their expertise and encourage the local staff.

We also look for funding partners, who are willing to sponsor initiatives like classroom building or financing the water supply to the school.

Contact info@hatw.org.uk for more information or to arrange a volunteering visit; or donate directly to making a difference in the lives of children living with health challenges who attend Athi Special school.

 

Apr 26, 2016

April 2016 Update

Children of Bugarama
Children of Bugarama

Once again, my thoughts are turning to another visit to Muko School in Bugarama in the autumn.

We will hopefully be a group of four volunteers, including one returner who will again teach English to the teachers of Muko and the other schools in surrounding areas. This teaching program has proved to be very successful over the last few years, is well attended and appreciated by all present.

The other volunteers along with a local labour force will continue with the very successful maintenance program that has transformed the school to a good standard for its 1700 pupils.

Last year we were able to raise enough funds to build some additional toilets, plus a replacement kitchen block (by western standards still rather basic but it allows beans and rice to be cooked for the senior students). Additional water tanks have now been installed for washing in the toilets. The perimeter wall that has been a priority for the last three years is now nearing completion, and general cleaning, painting and repairing is still ongoing.

Would you like to volunteer to come with us? Or do you know someone who would? It's a great experience, very fulfilling and extremely worthwhile. Get in touch now on 01600 740317 or email david@hatw.org.uk

All of this work has to be financed, and although all of our volunteers pay their own expenses and fares, all donations are of course much appreciated! Thank you for your support.

 
   

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