At this time, we continue to maintain the working system we have established, as we plan for the future of this project. Since our last report we have been fortunate enough to be able to expand our SEAM library. We have received a substantial donation of books from our local book store – Textbook world. With this donation, the children will have access to wealth of additional educational material that they would normally use in school, but may not have access to outside school when doing homework.
Our lunch program has also continued to shine a light in the community. With the help our generous donors, we are able to provide a nutritious meal to the children when they come to the library for their activities. We continue to help develop their creative skills with jewelry and mat making lessons, after which they get to sell their products, and learn about financial and economic empowerment. The children also continue to expand their knowledge on farming and botany; lessons taught by the community’s local expert.
COHESU, which is the NGO through which we have been able to actualize the SEAM project, recently had its board meeting where member deliberated over ways in which we could strengthen the program. One of the ideas that was introduced after the meet, was to plan for an online version of the program (this would involve developing an online mentorship program that parents could subscribe to for their children at an affordable price), which would be made access to families who could afford the service. This is one of the ideas we are currently toying with for the future of the SEAM program. This proposal is currently at its infancy, and would take some time before it is comprehensively planned for and approved. However should we be successful in this endevour, this could help make the SEAM project self-sustainable, and provide additional resources which we could use for more projects and have a further reach.
As we enter 2023, we look back at the previous year with gratitude for everyone who has helped and continues to help support the children of the SEAM project. The children continue to engage with us with enthusiasm for the things they get to do and learn at the centre. We are continuously evolving and growing as we (the children and staff) get better at the what we do, and as we push the envelope of what we learn and manifest with what we receive from all our generous donors.
Since our last report, and as we look forward we are keeping the children busy with the following activities.:
Planning for SEAM plant sale
o Construction of a flower stand by the gardening/floriculture team, for displaying what the children have grown, during sales.
o Propagating and planting more flowers and expanding our collection of different types of flowers.
o Expanding our tubing and potting of flowers.
o Construction of vegetable beds for planting vegetables
Arts and craft group
o Making of more mats, bags, cushion covers, art paintings, scarfs etc
o Practiced folk songs and traditional songs/dances, poems
o Making beads, bracelets, bangles
o Arts and craft mentor on poems and music
ICT continued with basic concepts learnings
o HIV/AIDS general knowledge/information
o Adolescent counselling
o Career development and healthy choices
To evaluate the level of performance of SEAM’s kids adopted projects back at home (kitchen gardens, flower gardens, sweet potatoes plantation by agriculture mentor)
o To talk to parents and guardians to support these projects adopted by their children
o To estimate the level of assistance and supported still needed so the kids can improve in other areas of their lives.
NB. The children keep profits made from sales, and are also educated of financial planning and management.
It has been another educative phase of the year where we have registered tremendous steps towards realising the SEAM purpose, goals and objectives. Our adolescents and kids have had a more practical session with mentors focusing on understanding the sustainability part of the program’s goal. Our SEAM Saturday calendar for this period, was majorly based on letting the adolescents and kids practice the knowledge they have gained and learned in the program. Attention was placed on SEAM’s four main agendas, that is; Horticulture, Floriculture, Arts and Crafts and finally Library and IT.
Additionally, this period saw alongside with it, trainings geared towards bringing the attention of SEAM children their expectations and what the program expects they achieve from all the activities within the program. Program familiarisation have enabled us to identify specific interests of our SEAM children and this has boosted morale and enthusiasm in our program’s activities. The horticulture and floriculture departments in particular, has reported massive team participation that have enabled them to register positive adjustments in productivity such as lettuce, kales and aubergines. On the other hand, arts and craft department similarly reported additional new members joining the club and this has seen an improvement on production of marts, bags and cushion covers.
Moreover, our SEAM children have also been preparing for SEAM open day which will be held in December 2022. The SEAM open day will be the first ever been organised by our children. The main theme of the open day will be, to offer an opportunity to our adolescents and kids to showcase knowledge and experience they have all learned from the program to their parents, stakeholders and partners. Apart from that, it will be SEAM sales day where our children will display and sell their produces from different departments they represent.
Finally, the program had an opportunity to host a student attaché on Public Health for a three month period. This enabled the program and the children to learn and gain a lot in matters public health as well offer a platform for the trainee to practice and learn. During his period with us, the program introduced mental health assessment to/of our SEAM children so as to identify and understand their mental health status and create awareness on the same.
This year’s SEAM programs took off with a re-energized focus on the Self Educational Activities and Mentorships. Our children gained a lot from educational trainings on topics such as climate change, food and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, self-sustainability, community economic development, and behavior change among others. These trainings were organized through group discussions and presentations guided by our mentors and invited guest speakers. Our children have also been introduced to general computer skills by the ICT department which has impacted their knowledge on how to access the internet for SEAM’s educational trainings and learning purposes.
The SEAM mentorship programs have also focused on Arts & Crafts by a visiting artist who took the children through one-on-one art sessions to discover their talents. The children have also been introduced to yoga exercise for better health by SEAM mentors. The Horticulture Club has been going through gardening mentorship on how to prepare a garden for planting. Some of the SEAM children have adopted this knowledge to start kitchen gardens in their homes to promote self-sustainability. Similarly, the SEAM Horticulture Club had a flower sale with the Kisumu Horticulture Society where the children were given the opportunity to sell their flowers and to learn more about business strategies. Not to forget a garden tour to educate the children on different gardening techniques and to gain professional gardening knowledge.
Finally, we have recently introduced the children to book-keeping and accounting, by giving each child a passbook where they record any money they make from sales and to track on their expenses and savings. Thus, the children have learnt on the importance of book keeping.
We at SEAM have finally come to the end of our youth and parents, HIV prevention training. We have received positive feedback from both the parents and their children, who feel they have gained a generous amount of knowledge on HIV/AIDs prevention, and knowledge on how to engage with their children in the fight to prevent this deadly virus.
The horticultural club has been preparing seedlings of vegetables in their shed-net in readiness for the planting season. The club had trainings in different vegetable planting techniques, which each member will launch in their homes as kitchen gardens. They are also preparing for an upcoming Kenya Horticultural Society, Kisumu plant sale.
We also had a charity event where we gave out blankets and cutlery to members who the community who were in need.
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