Afterschool Program for Children at Risk

by Reachout Foundation
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk
Afterschool Program for Children at Risk

Unfortunately, the Covid crisis continues to affect the school learning process this school year as wellexacerbating the knowledge gaps of the children attending our program. In order to be of maximum use to them in recent months, we have continued to help them by focusing on the most important skills they need to acquire in order to be successful in the future. Some of the older students needed help to improve their skills in writing essays on various topics related to civic education. Another group had difficulty with English, especially when they had to attend school online. In addition to helping the children with homework we provided further opportunities for them to develop their English language skills. Our volunteer from India meets with them once a week to talk and play educational games prepared by her.
We also provided materials to some children to help them develop their student projects.

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The fourth school year has started, during which our project will continue to provide educational support to children at risk. During the summer months we were happy to have face-to-face classes with our students again, after another lockdown. We are currently preparing individual plans to support the children and young people included in our program. Some of them, along with their desire to improve their language skills in Bulgarian, want to learn English. They are especially enthusiastic after the first meetings with our new volunteer from India. The children in our program are becoming more and more curious about other cultures. The creative workshops we do periodically bring together children from Bulgaria, Syria, Afghanistan and Iran. In this way, children are motivated to learn languages and be tolerant of each other. During the summer months, for a second year in a row, the children learned how to ride horses and take care of them as well as curious details about these animals.

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After five months of online lessons in the beginning of May we started our face-to-face activities again. Prolonged restrictions due to COVID have negatively affected the motivation of children to study and participate in educational activities. At the same time, they are willing to discuss topics related to emotions, thoughts and feelings, social roles, the right to choose and rights. Therefore, together with our on-going educational program, we offered the children several Self-awareness Workshops. We created a package of materials for different topics like 1) What I like to do in my free time 2) I am happy when I stay with.... 3) The five most important things for me are.... Besides the direct work with Bulgarian children, we also worked on several requests to help refugee children who had had difficulties to deal with some administrative procedures. In order to guarantee their right to access to education and to support their integration, we helped them to resolve various type of problems. The assistance we have provided to refugee children in recent months includes help with school enrollment, referral to legal aid and the preparation of a social report for an unaccompanied child at risk. We also drafted an opinion in defense of an asylum-seeking girl at risk of forced marriage.

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For a second school year in a row the students have mainly online classes. Due to the lockdown restrictions Reachout centre is closed since November. The only way to continue supporting the kids is online. The isolation, the lack of direct contact with their school teacher and the impossibility to receive face-to-face after-school support have strong negative effects on the motivation of children with learning problems. That is why we decided to reorganize our normal on-ongoing program during the lockdown and to try to provide complex help depending on children’s individual needs.
Together with the regular staff and some volunteers we provided homework help on a regular basis. Refugee children and adolescents needed assistance mostly for their Bulgarian language and literature and biology classes while the Bulgarian ones - for their language classes in English and Spanish.
We continued encouraging the children enrolled in the Project “Summer Stories with horses” to work on their diaries, waiting for the spring when they will have horse riding again.

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The summer was great because we were together again with the children! In June we welcomed new children into our Bulgarian language program – some newly arrived refugee children who wanted to learn the language of their host country but also a couple of Bulgarian kids who wanted to develop their mother tongue fluency. It’s amazing how children speaking different languages can communicate, learn from each other and spend time together. During the regular educational activities children worked with many texts and improved their reading and writing skills. Also, they used various materials to learn how to implement projects and prepare presentations. In addition to these activities, we organized some creative classes for those kids who really love drawing and art. Usually, as a part of the summer program, we organize our traditional summer camp but that was impossible to do this year due to the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean that there were no adventures left. There is no kid who doesn’t like animals – therefore we organized horse riding for the children in our afterschool classes during the summer program. They rode twice a week and those who participated regularly can already ride independently. Horse riding motivated them to put more efforts in learning and helped them to overcome some communication problems. It also inspired them to develop their talents. The other thing which children enjoy a lot is biking. In order to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors one of our volunteers ran a small donation campaign to repair the bikes of the family-type accommodation centre. This allowed children to go cycling in the park and have a great time together!

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Organization Information

Reachout Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Kristina Gologanova
Sofia, Bulgaria
$35,323 raised of $38,000 goal
 
572 donations
$2,677 to go
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