May 20, 2021

Empower 30 Students with Disability in Tanzania.

Adult Students
Adult Students

       EMPOWER 30 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN TANZANIA REPORT, JANUARY- APRIL 2021. 

A.  CONTINUED NEGATIVE EFFECT OF COVID - 19 is still very real as we could see from a number of our students who came back to school in January visibly thinner and unhealthy. Many heads of households still have not got their jobs back especially in the tourism sector. Most of our parents get their livelihoods from petty trade and subsistence agriculture which both suffered with loss of or less purchasing poweR. In February and March things got even worse as we experienced a bad second wave of COVID-19. Despite the fact that we put all protective measures outlined in the last report in place, wore masks, washed hands and kept distances, some students and staff still got sick. Thanks to your donations, we were able to give them prompt treatment. We were also able to replenish handwashing soap, sanitizers and masks. At the end of semester 1, we distributed to all the students and staff a total of 250 kilograms of beans, 250kgs. maize and 100 litres of cooking oil to buffer the students and their families during the holidays.

B. THE JUNIOR PROGRAM FOR YOUNG STUDENTS continued to thrive as we employed two fresh graduate teachers of Special Education to work with our older more experienced teachers and bring new ideas and competencies into the program. All the old students came back. We admitted 5 new young students out of which 4 are on the Home Based Program (HBP) because of the severity of their conditions. Staff follow them home on Fridays to do Physiotherapy, Reflexology, Speech Training, read stories and show them videos. The attendance for this period was good with 90% of the students attending school 80% and above. An evaluation of the Individual Learning Programs (ILPs) showed that 80% and above of the students made progress and achieved the goals laid out in their ILPs. The values of the weights, heights and arm circumference of the students confirmed that 2 students had stagnated in their growth while the rest made slight gains. All in all the kids were happy being at school, learning and playing with their friends in a positive safe environment.

C. THE ADULT PROGRAM FOR YOUNG ADULTS expanded and went very well this period. With your donations we were able to admit 3 new students into the program. They all spend 10% of the time strengrhening their Functional Literacy Skills and 90% learning Job Skills by fully participating in the Income Generating Projects (IGPs): jewelry making, gardening and keeping of livestock- goats, chicken, ducks, fish and bees. These activities besides bringing income, have proved to be great therapy for these students. We expanded the IGPs to include fruit trees and milk cows to increase income. Being active and productive have proved to be a big self esteem and confidence booster and most importantly a mindset changesr for parents and the community as they watch the kids who were thought to be useless and burdens now bringing income home! We train them to divide their stipends into 4: 25% take home, 25% savings (Akiba), 25% reinvest into the IGPs and 25% contribution to their transport to and from school. They will stay and work at SSLC until they have chosen and mastered a project well enough to be set up with one back home to run with help and supervision from home. SSLC will monitor and evaluate.

D. ENGAGEMENT WITH GLOBAL GIVING: We are preparing for July Bonus day.

BIOGAS & COW HOUSE
BIOGAS & COW HOUSE
COVID-19 RELIEF FOOD DISTRIBUTION
COVID-19 RELIEF FOOD DISTRIBUTION
FOOT PEDAL HAND WASHING UNIT
FOOT PEDAL HAND WASHING UNIT
FRUIT
FRUIT
IMRAN LEARNING TO READ
IMRAN LEARNING TO READ

Links:

Jan 25, 2021

Empower 30 Students with Disability in Tanzania.




EMPOWER 25 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN TANZANIA: STEP BY STEP LEARNING CENTRE, SSLC, REPORT NUMBER 3, JANUARY 2021.

A.    EFFECTS OF COVID-19

Due to the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the return of tourists from other parts of the world, we continued to take all the recommended precautions against the spread of corona virus. The homebased program described in the last report continued until we closed for the Christmas break. We have started back on campus this week with renovations and putting in place all requirements before the students come back from Monday 18th. We have

ØPlaced hand washing stations and sanitizers at strategic places

ØSpaced student desks at 2 meter intervals

ØPurchased of 2 temperature guns to monitor temperature of staff and students

ØFixed all windows and doors to ensure fresh air

ØPurchased  face masks for use each time we are unsure

ØMade a proposal for funding for COVID -10 relief items for students and their families

ØInformed parents and guardians to not send their children to school if they are sick or have a fever

B.     BACK AT SCHOOL

While the homebased program went well, the caretakers and four adult students who live near the school continued with the outdoor Income Generating Projects (IGPs) all of which continue to grow towards viability and sustainability. The chicken project in particular is a great story:

 

Five years ago the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) offered SSLC some money to buy eggs for the students but we preferred to use it for a chicken project so that we are able in future to raise our own chicken and have a more lasting source of eggs and income.  Well, it has paid off. A board member donated his sophisticated (so we thought at the time) chick house to us and so that initial funding was enough not only to purchase 25 free range chickens to start with but also build a small goat house and purchase 2 local goats. Two years later both projects grew to 75 chickens, enough eggs to supplement the students’ diet, a much larger goat house with 2 rotational grazing grounds on either side and 23 goats!  The goat project now has 53 goats including 4 kids that were born in November!

 

In February 2020, 17 volunteer students and 2 professors from Pepperdine University came on an Educational tour to Tanzania through Edutours, raised funds and built a huge chicken house for SSLC, enough to raise a batch of 1,000 broiler chicks at ago! We were all set to start with 350 chicks but on 16th March, all schools were closed due to COVID-19. We resumed in June but with most of the students on a newly devised Home Based Program. Four adult students who could walk to school (rather than use public transport or the school bus) continued with the outdoor Income generating Projects (IGPs). On 4th September 2020, we brought our first batch of beautiful yellow 350 broiler chicks.  In just an hectic 4 weeks of intensive feeding and care, we were selling grown chicken of at least 1.2 kilograms for 6,000/= wholesale and 6,500/= retail. On 19th November 2020, we brought in a second batch of 400 chicks this time targeting high demands for chicken during Christmas festivities. We made good sales. We are now set to bring a third batch in the last week of this month so that all students will participate in this very therapeutic and rewarding project.

 

It was not all rosy because not all the chicks survived. It was somewhat difficult to enter the market and an unexpected additional expense for a big fridge for prompt storage was mandatory. The longer you keep the chicks, the more they eat into the profits. Otherwise, the returns are good: with a minimal of 350 chicken, we are able to not only break even, but also make a profit enough to give each student a small stipend to take home and a little bit to put in their savings.  We are counting the chicken project as successful, profitable and sustainable.

 

 

C.     ENGAGEMENT WITH GLOBAL GIVING

One of our big achievements in 2020 was earning a permanent place on GlobalGiving’s huge platform during GlobalGiving Accelerator, March 2020. We had access to information on improving our fundraising and organization. Above all, we connected with generous donors who became our crucial support and kept the program running in a year that was a threat to the survival of this wonderful program for our students. We attended several webinars and participated in all the GlobalGiving campaigns except the last one. We were very happy with our outcome given that it was our first year of partnership with GlobalGiving. For that, we are immensely grateful to GlobalGiving and all our generous donors.

 

For 2021, we intend to be even more active on the GlobalGiving platform. We have already engaged a supporter to start a fundraiser through GlobalGiving! We hope 2021 will be kinder and more fruitful than 2020.

 

 

Sep 21, 2020

Empower 25 Students with Disabilities in Tanzania.

Students receive relief items
Students receive relief items

 

EMPOWER 25 SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN TANZANIA: STEP BY STEP LEARNING CENTRE, SSLC REPORT                                                                              NUMBER 2, SEPTEMBER 2020.

  1. EFFECTS OF COVID-19

The first recorded case of someone with COVID-19 in Arusha was on 16th March 2020. The following day, the Government announced that all schools should close until further notice. When mentally and severely physically challenged students stay at home, it poses numerous challenges to the parents. In the following weeks, many of our parents who rely on odd jobs and precarious livelihoods started to experience hardships especially in feeding their families. The mandatory requirements to control the spread of corona virus looked impossible to many of our students and their families. In April, we had to divert funds from the chicken project in order to purchase masks, maize and beans to distribute to students and their families.

Thanks to GlobalGiving COVID-19 emergency relief fund of US$1,000, we were able to purchase and distribute a second round of food, masks and this time sanitizers (photos and accounts attached). These proved to be very welcome relief.

   2. SCHOOLS REOPEN

In May, the Government announced that all schools should reopen from 29 June 2020. Since none of our students can follow and practice the basic guidelines to control the spread of corona virus, we reorganized the program so that the staff follow our students to their homes. They start with educating and training them together with their families on corona virus and COVID-19 first before carrying on with the rest of the school program. Only five students who live near the school walk there and participate in the outdoor Income Generating Projects (IGPs) based there.

 We have done an evaluation of this homebased program and to our happy surprise, we got numerous positive outcomes:

  • Immediate relief from concerns and fears about corona and COVID-19 for both parents and us.
  • Some of our least supportive parents/guardians are now involved and are participating in the Individual Learning Program (ILP) of their children.
  • Parents/Guardians appreciate the program more and are more grateful.
  • Many are surprised that it’s basic therapy and involving their children in the ordinary activities of daily living and not some miracle cure out there that are making the big progress they see in their children since they joined SSLC.
  • The neighbors and community are seeing what a difference accepting, caring and including special needs children makes in their lives. This has already reduced the stigma usually faced by our students. 
  • Staff achieve more by focusing on one student at a time.
  • We were able to see the dire living conditions and realities facing some of our students. For example, one was found living in a dangerously washed out falling mud house! We have since started raising funds to build a simple house inside the school compound for him and the grandmother who raised him to move in.
  • We have made savings by not running two school buses daily.

 The big drawbacks are the fact that the kids are lonely at home and they really miss playing with their friends at school. We miss circle and meal times and cannot wait to be back at school January 2021!

 3. ENGAGEMENT WITH GLOBAL GIVING

One of our big achievements this year is earning a permanent place on GlobalGiving’s huge platform during GlobalGiving Accelerator, March 2020. We have access to information on improving our fundraising and organization. Above all, we have been able to connect with generous donors who have become our crucial support and kept the program running in a year of testing…to say the least. We are immensely grateful to GlobalGiving and all our generous donors.

 

Margaret Kenyi, Mrs.

Founder and Executive Director,

18 September 2020.

a student and mum
a student and mum
a teacher, student and football game
a teacher, student and football game
a student learning
a student learning
Adult Program students selling their products
Adult Program students selling their products
Adult Program vegetable garden
Adult Program vegetable garden

Links:

 
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