Happy girls :)
Since the last report where many new things had just been implemented, Caras Alegres has spent the last months strengthening the routine of our daily work. The Lunchroom is now up and running as if the project has been going on for much longer, and moreover, we start to see the children who attend this specific part of our program, gain weight and generally look healthier. It will be very interesting to see the changes measured and quantified in our halfway evaluation in a couple of months. Furthermore, currently we are raising funds for some equipment needed in the kitchen. We want to be able to store our food supplies properly, and for this, we need a bigger refrigerator and a freezer.
Another new initiative in Caras Alegres is the expansion of our sponsorship program. We believe that there are some strong advantages sponsoring a child through us than through some of the bigger organisations that manage sponsorships as well, and lately our focus on these benefits have helped us establishing some scholarships for secondary school children that otherwise very likely would not keep studying after graduating from primary school. This is a huge win for us because it helps us maintain contact with some of the older children while also allowing them to keep studying. New PR material and structuring the sponsorship options within the framework of the global SDG´s have been relevant factors for this positive change.
As always, we do diverse activities with the children during the afternoons. An increased focus from the administrative side on structuring and establishing our formal M&E plan for the program has made us ask the children about their opinions on Caras Alegres and the activities they do while spending their afternoons with us. It is very clear to us that the different handicrafts, where the children get to use different materials, create, and manufacture products they can bring home and show their families, are activities that the children much enjoy. We still do weeklong workshops with the children once a month where they get to put more effort into the chosen handicraft project. They really like having the time and opportunity to dive further into the creation of a specific object and it is great to see how proud they are when they finish a workshop like this.
Finally, we want to present you to four children. They are siblings between 5 and 13 years old. All four of them attend our programs, both the Lunchroom and the regular afternoon program. Little sister is always among the first three children that arrive every day around noon. She´s a little artist that absolutely loves drawing and painting and she tells us about the drawing tips her mother teaches her at home. Big brother is attending last year of primary school. During a couple of months he was very worried about next year because he´s parents had told him that they don´t have the money to send him in secondary school next year. However, his maturity and intelligence have now secured him a scholarship for the next three years and he´s back to being the happy kid that does not worry about having to leave school and start working full time. The two brothers in between are two cheerful kids. The biggest of them says he likes everything he does when being in Caras Alegres while the energetic little brother practically spends every free moment on a bicycle.
Thank you for all support!
Proud of the result of a workshop - a fox bag :)
Kids proudly showing the result of workshop :)
The four siblings mentioned above