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Apr 25, 2018

Art-bots and Lego Six Bricks - thank you for giving these children a chance to learn!

Gabby with her art robot
Gabby with her art robot

Thank you very much for supporting ORT SA CAPE's science and robotics workshops through CHW and GlobalGiving! We are so grateful that you are helping disadvantaged children in Cape Town to learn about science and technology.


Recently, twenty-two children from Rooikappie's Centre in Ottery attended a workshop run by ORT SA CAPE, and sponsored by CHW's supporters. CHW had been working with Rooikappie, through another organisation in Cape Town, called The Future Factory, and we are delighted to have made this link between Rooikappie and ORT SA CAPE.

Talya and Janet from ORT SA CAPE gave the following update:

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The workshop started with some Lego Six Bricks activities. Lego Six Bricks enables the learning of colours, colour matching and colour associations, while developing critical learning skills.

Then, the children, with some assistance from their teachers and the facilitators, built and designed dancing art robots made from various materials, mainly pool noodles, a DC motor and other arts and craft materials. Once the children completed their robots, they made beautiful art that they could take home, along with their very own robot.

The children also had a play session using Lego Duplo, where they built towers that could balance on wheels.


The children were provided with a snack during their break, and the workshop was concluded with a visit to the Science Centre, where they saw a magic show.


Tamia, aged 9, reported that she really enjoyed the workshop, saying “I liked making a robot and the magic was fun. I liked the stuff I could use to make my robot look nice, although I couldn’t make my tower stand up high."


Gabby , also aged 9, was asked  about her day at ORT SA CAPE.  She said, “We played with blocks and watched a magic show. I liked the robot I made because it could move. I liked to build with the blocks and toys and the food was nice.

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Faranaaz, the Principal of Rooikappie, sent us a message, following the workshop, saying: "Thank you Children's Helpers Worldwide, Catherine Franks , ORT SA CAPE and GlobalGiving, for making it possible for us, Rooikappie Pre-School, to visit the Science Centre for a wonderful, fun learning experience. Children and staff enjoyed every moment."

All of us at CHW are very grateful for your support for ORT SA CAPE's work and for giving the children at Rooikappie the chance to attend a workshop! Without you, the children would not have had this opportunity to learn. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

Gabby constructing a tower
Gabby constructing a tower
Tamia with her art-bot
Tamia with her art-bot
Tamia building with Lego Duplo
Tamia building with Lego Duplo
Children drawing with the art-bots they decorated
Children drawing with the art-bots they decorated
Building towers on wheels with Lego Duplo
Building towers on wheels with Lego Duplo

Links:

Mar 2, 2018

Your support is a great help for children in Romania

Mirabela
Mirabela

Thank you to each person who has supported the children at Refugiu's tutoring and mentoring programme!

The tutoring is going well and the children are making good progress with reading, writing and maths. The children are split into two groups, depending on their age, and receive tutoring sessions to help them with their education. Robert, the Head of Refugiu, has sent the following updates. 

Some of the children have health issues, which presents challenges. Mirabela is in Grade 2 and is in the younger group. Her father left Romania to seek work abroad, but does not send any money home to support Mirabela, nor her two siblings, Lushu and Alex. Mirabela likes school and is very willing to learn. However, she has bronchial asthma and has to spend a lot of time in the hospital, especially during the cold weather. Robert said: "Mirabela knows the letters, numbers and how to write. She would want to learn more but the fact that she stays in hospital prevents her from being at a high level."

Without Refugiu's support, Mirabela would fall behind in school and would not have learned all that she knows so far. This extra support she receives is making such a difference, especially as there are times when she is absent from school. 

Another child, Razvan, is in Grade 5. He started attending Refugiu's programme when he was in Grade 2 and at that time he could not read or write, but now he can do both very well. He is one of the brightest children at the programme. His home life is not easy. Robert says "He feels responsible for the family because he is the man of the house. His father died a few years ago.

Very sadly, he has a problem with his eyes and it seems that in the future he will lose his sight. Robert said that he has taken Razvan to several doctors in Romania but there is nothing they can do for him. Refugiu's support for the family continues to be a big help.

As well as running the tutoring programme, Refugiu supports the children in other ways, making sure they have access to health care and assisting with food. Another child, Leo, was in the hospital and Sorina, whose younger siblings attend the programme, recently had a baby girl. Refugiu supported the necessary hospital trips. 

A huge problem in the Roma communities is the lack of identity documents, as children are not always registered at birth. Robert made sure that the new baby was registered and so has a birth certificate. He was also able to get a buggy for the family. 

Thanks to CHW's supporters, Refugiu is also able to distribute food to families in the village. Thank you for helping with this most basic need! Robert delivered this food during the extreme winter, where he said that the temperature was minus 13 °C one day, and had been lower. Robert was also able to find help with providing warm jackets and boots for the children, in time for winter. 

At Christmas, Robert was able to put together gift bags of supplies for the children and their families. Thank you to Katherine from the UK for a special Christmas donation! Her contribution bought sweets and bananas for the children. Other items included juice, biscuits, spaghetti, rice, chicken pâté, sausages, cooking oil and sugar.

The children have a range of needs and having help with food and with their healthcare enables them to be able to learn, and the support with their education is invaluable. A massive thank you to each person who helps this programme to continue.

Razvan
Razvan
Distributing food to the families in the snow
Distributing food to the families in the snow
Robert preparing the Christmas gifts
Robert preparing the Christmas gifts
New Dad with buggy donated by Refugiu
New Dad with buggy donated by Refugiu
At the tutoring programme
At the tutoring programme
Concentrating on their work
Concentrating on their work
At a tutoring session
At a tutoring session

Links:

Feb 20, 2018

You are supporting Ismael, a boy with disabilities, in Argentina

Ismael riding with Veronica on Cafe, the horse
Ismael riding with Veronica on Cafe, the horse

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the Impact Fund! The idea behind this fund is that your contributions will go directly to help with any emergency needs at one of our projects, or to help with a project that Children's Helpers Worldwide (CHW) is struggling to support. In this way, your contributions will make sure that disadvantaged children can get the help they need and deserve. 

Right now, CHW needs to find funding to sponsor a year's worth of therapy sessions for Ismael, a little boy in Argentina who has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. The sessions are offered by Fundación Cordobesa de Equinoterapia, a horse-assisted therapy centre in Cordoba. The therapy is a massive help to Ismael both physically and emotionally. Ismael attends the centre every Tuesday. Sponsorship of a month's worth of sessions is 2000 Argentine pesos (around £73 at today's exchange rate) which is out of the reach of poor families, For this reason the centre would like us to be able to provide sponsorship for Ismael. We launched the Impact Fund on #GivingTuesday and 16 amazing people have donated a total of £559. This will sponsor over seven months of sessions for Ismael! 

Rosa, who is a single mother, is very grateful for this support for her son, Ismael. At home, Ismael uses a wheelchair. However, many of the local buses do not have ramps for wheelchairs so Rosa has to carry Ismael in her arms when they go out. She has carried him on the bus to the horse-assisted therapy centre. She really wants him to have the chance to attend the sessions as she has seen how beneficial it is for him. 

Veronica, the founder of the centre, wrote a book about horse-assisted therapy and included sections about some of the people benefitting from this, including Ismael. We would like to thank some of our translation volunteers for their support with this project, including Hafsa, who helped us through GlobalGiving's volunteer site, "GlobalGivingTIME". Luciana, who is from Cordoba, visited this project in December, along with Catherine from CHW. She kindly offered to help with translations as well. Below is her translation of what Veronica wrote about Ismael: 

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Ismael 

Ismael was born on 6th April  2008, and he was diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. It is a very unusual genetic condition which results from a deletion (loss of a part) of chromosome 22, which is associated with a delay in motor skills, as well as in language and learning abilities. Ismael takes Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) sessions, with a double saddle. The therapist who rides with the child gives him complete support and helps him to straighten and control his trunk, head and neck. During the session, and with the assistance of the therapist and his carers, Ismael changes his position to the following: “full Indian” (cross-legged), “half Indian” (one leg crossed and the other down to the side of the horse), “bear hug” (lying face down with the arms around the sides of the horse, “hugging” the horse), and “asleep” (face down, relaxed). In between these changes of position, Ismael enjoys relating to the nature surrounding him, like listening to the birds singing or to the gentle rustle of the reeds in the wind. His mother Rosa says, “I am happy that Ismael attends EAT because, since he was little, the horse has really helped him to relate to the people around him. Before the therapy started, he didn’t use to look for a connection with other people, just with his family: his dad, mom and grandpa. For instance, when he was younger, he would look away from people who wanted to say hi to him or touch him. Once he started EAT, we noticed he had a deep connection with the horse; and in turn, the horse helped him connect to people. Another reason why I like this therapy is that the horse riding aids him physically; it is as if Ismael was standing, and it strengthens his back, helping him straighten up.”

At home Ismael uses a wheelchair. However, Rosa needs to carry him in her arms when they are out, since she takes the bus (buses do not have a ramp for wheelchairs). Rosa notices the innocent gazes of people, who are intrigued, curious or just lack knowledge of Ismael’s condition. There are other gazes though, stronger and harder ones, stares from people who seem to be judging Ismael without even knowing him or his ailment, as if he suffered from a contagious disease. His grandfather, who accompanies them, adds, “their faces, expressions and eyes say it all.”

Rosa tells us of one clear occasion when lack of understanding prevailed. “It happened today. I arrived at the registry office with my eight-year- old son in my arms, and we went straight to the queue where birth certificates were issued. I asked the first person in the line whether it was the correct one. Pointing to the end of the line, he just succinctly replied, ‘Yes, madam’. I stood still in my place, looking at him, and I said, “Come again?” My kid was so heavy now that I was left there just wanting to reply to him, ‘Look, let’s do this: you pick him up, and I go to the end of the line’. Fortunately, the registry’s employee called us in. Sometimes I wonder why it always comes to situations like this; since our society is already improving in so many aspects, it would be even better if we all had a truly inclusive view towards the disabled person.”

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Thank you very much for supporting CHW's Impact Fund through GlobalGiving. Your contributions will make a huge difference for Ismael this year! Further contributions will help children at our other projects and we will always keep you updated with how your donations are making a difference. Thank you for your kindness and thank you for caring about the children at CHW's projects!

Changing position on the horse
Changing position on the horse
Ismael riding with Veronica
Ismael riding with Veronica
Luciana (in the light blue top) visits the centre
Luciana (in the light blue top) visits the centre
Catherine, from CHW, at one of Ismael's sessions
Catherine, from CHW, at one of Ismael's sessions
Taking part in CHW's #GivingTuesday Campaign
Taking part in CHW's #GivingTuesday Campaign

Links:

 
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