SEAM has had a productive year despite the covid-19 pandemic. We have managed to provide the children and their parents with our services while observing all Covid protocols.
We are continuing with our HIV/AIDS awareness project. We have currently completed our trainings with the children and adolescents, and are now providing trainings and psychoeducation to the parents, on how to become effective participants in their children’s lives when in come to HIV/AIDS preventions. These services have been provided outdoors while ensuring mask and sanitization protocols and observing public gathering rules, with regards to number of people permitted.
We are also continuing with our founding agendas of self-sustainability, climate change impacts, life skills & economic empowerment, while remembering to always use mental health and health in general as our guiding compass.
As mentioned in the last report, we started an HIV/AIDs outreach project, to help educated children-adolescents and their parents on the subject. Since then, we have managed to reach just over 360 youth, who have also been assessed for areas of concern. SEAM has has facilitated this programme to children from schools in the area, who are not yet members of the SEAM programme.
As for the children of SEAM, who did take part in the HIV/AIDs intervention, they are also continuing with the their regular projects and mentorships. Our latest volunteer mentor has been teaching the children how to make their own bags, which they can use to carry their school books.
The youth are also carrying on with their farming and tree nursery projects where they continue to learn about their environments and ways of preserving them. We hope this road will lead down the path to programmes where the children can learn more about climate change, and what roles they can play to help make a difference. We are teaching them about the carbon prints we all contribute towards and what changes the future holds for us all.
The children are returning to the program and their activities in a controlled manner. No more than a handful of children are allowed to come in at a time, however, activities are back to normal. The older ones are learning how to mentor the younger children. They are all continuing with their environmental programs, and study time is still a favorite for the children so we have introduced some new books for them.
This year we also plan to introduce a new program. Our focus with this program will be HIV/AIDS- education that will target the youth aged 10-19, and will also involve an educational session/program for the parents (mothers). Part of this program will involve the introduction of technology that will assess the youth’s knowledge on HIV/AIDS and also provide a platform where they can access information about the virus. The program will be extended to non-SEAM member of the community.
We hope to raise more awareness about the virus and hopefully prevent our children/youth from falling prey to a problem that is very prevalent in the community.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to be very careful about what activities we allow at the site. And, because our children are rural children with little to no access to technology, we have been unable to provide cyber activities.
However, this has not stopped us from making improvements at the site in preparation for the kids, when things become safe again. These include managing and expanding the variety of foods in the gardens, and improving the sanitation facilities on site.
Because we do have activities that the children can take part in outside, we still allow them to visit the site in very small groups, and remain outdoors. This we feel allows them to stay involved in some of the activates they had been so involved in prior to the pandemic, creating a sense of continuity even during these uncertain times.
With that being said, our desire to provide an environment where the children can learn, play, grown and generally focus on their mental health remains unchanged.
Since the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic, activity at SEAM has come to a halt. Which has greatly upset the children. Before closing of the library however, we carried out a few educational exercises with the children to inform them on risks of the outbreak, and hygiene practices they should always keep in mind during this time. Apart from the hygiene awareness activities, we also gave each of the children some soap to take home. After our Covid-19 risk and prevention day, the government soon declared a pandemic and that all public gatherings, schools included, should discontinue regular activities.
Since the lockdown, our project has received more funding through GlobalGiving, which we are currently investing in key areas of interest for the kids, one of which includes farming. We have since constructed a drip irrigation shed for the children, as we wait for them to return. When back, the children will be able to grow more/different kinds of foods, which they will be able to sell, take home and even prepare and eat at SEAM. Our focus on teaching the children about farming comes from the hope that this skill an ease the strain of poverty and malnutrition in the community.
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