We welcome the development of the Proud Mums project to the WOW family
By Rehema Somwana Okonda | Proud Mums Supervisor
As the WOW 5 participants were preparing to leave the project and start their training, apprenticeships or small businesses we had various discussions about the girls and young mothers on the programme. Some of the young women were pregnant or had small children who still needed full-time attention. As a result of these discussions the Proud Mum's project was developed. Proud Mums is running parallel with our WOW 6 project. We have employed an Early Childhood Teacher, Agnes, to be in charge of our small creche where the babies can be minded while the girls go about the programme activities. In addition to more of a focus on tailoring and catering the mothers have also had a 12 week parenting programme with our tutor Sheila travelling from Eldoret each week to facilitate the session. Last week the young graduated from this element of the programme and were very happy to receive their Certificates of Completion. Sheila also facilitated a parenting session to include the Dad's and Dad's to be. We hope to do more work with the Dads in the future.
As always thanks to those who are making it possible for us to carry out our work with these young people. Asanteni Sana (Swahili for Thanks a Lot).
After spending over 6 months attending our WOW programme daily our young people are preparing to graduate at the end of September. We will continue to work with them for about another 6 months as they move on to their apprenticeship placements or work. Of the 22 young people who have been with us during this period 11 are young women. Two returned home and two we have assisted to be in secondary school. Two came to us from prison and two have delivered babies during this period. Some of the young mothers will continue to attend with us daily going forward as their babies are still young. Of the young men one has returned home to do agriculture. One is training as a barber, one has started his welding apprenticeship, two have began to train as motor vehicle mechanics and two have begun to train as motor bike mechanics. Two young men have begun selling second hand clothes and one is training to do nails and beauty. One has received a food trolley to sell street food with a view to returning to his home area. As we plan for continued working with the mothers and babies and some new youth we need to meet the cost of the apprenticeships. These include trainers fees, overalls, boots, tools as well as daily allowances for meals for the young people. Also house rents.
This week GlobalGiving is having its Little by Little Matching Campaign. Any donations this week from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd up to USD 50 will receive 50% match funding from GlobalGiving. I am aware that everyone reading this report has previously supported our project but if you should be in a position to give something further we will very much appreciate.
Apologies for the delay with this update... WOW 5 group are now coming to the end of phase 1 of their period with us. Since February they have attended daily and partaken in the various programme activities. All of the young people have now moved away from the streets are now in basic housing. The next phase of the programme will involve them moving on to apprenticeships or small business. During this time we will continue to offer various supports to them.
During this year we have been priviliged to have 3 Irish visitors Sr Frances, Eilis and Ursula spend time with us. Sr Frances and Eilis have been long term volunteers with us at VMM. Sr Frances worked with some of the WOW team in the area of counselling training and counselling supervision. Eilis brought her catering and tailoring skills to the project. A number of the young people can now bake lovely cakes as well as sew reusable sanitary pads and reusable nappies / diapers. Eilis also shared these sewing skills with the women at Kitale prison. For Ursula it was her first time in Africa. Ursula is a teacher from Gonzaga College in Dublin and among other things her legacy to WOW will be chess. She brought some chess sets with her and taught all the group how to play the game. Since that time the young people play it at the project base and at their homes with great vigour and passion. For Ursulas farewell send off we had a barbeque and an outdoor screening of the movie "Queen of Katwe" which follows the success story of a young Ugandan girl who takes up chess. The young people found the movie inspirational. There were many tears shed as Ursula departed.
With this report we would like to thank all those of you who have supported this project on a once off basis or as monthly supporters. Without your help we couldn't do the work that we are doing. We look forward to sharing with you how the young people of WOW 5 fare when they leave our day service to the next stage. Our next report will also feature the WOW 5 graduation and introduction to the WOW 6 group. Thanks again.
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