We have very exciting news to announce, over the course of the last quarter we expanded our service to cover 74 kids, we distributed over 3000 meals and conducted 24 school reinforcement workshops, on top of all this, we are moving to a bigger facility with a capacity for 200 kids! If you want to know how all these happened, please read till the end.
Given improvements in the public health situation during the last quarter, we were able to fully resume our in-person activities, which allow us to more directly attend to the urgent need for food reported by the families in the telephone follow-up that we were conducting. To do this, it was necessary to adjust the hours of operation, to bring different groups of kids at different times to comply with social distancing standards established by the health agencies.
Breakfast Club: In this quarter we distributed around 3,000 breakfasts to the kids, and added new beneficiaries completing a population of 74 children. We encouraged parents to take an active part in the breakfast club by accompanying their children whilst they eat. This is because the breakfast club is not just a space where food is given, but one where parents are stimulated to have expressions of affection and attention towards the kids, which is so necessary for integral development.
School Reinforcements: We continued working with kids that are falling behind in their studies, our approach is based on using pedagogical games to facilitate learning, with a special focus on filling the gaps in the children's basic reading skills. This approach has had a great reception among the children since they learn by playing and this motivates them. It is important to mention that the results of these activities will take time to be evident, as some of the children have major knowledge gaps which will take time to address. Nonetheless we already begin to observe small victories with children who begin to recognize letters and sounds. We are also working on strategies to get more support from the parents in this area as their lack of engagement can be a challenge in some cases, which translates into difficulties in the children’s learning progress.
Creative reading workshops: These activities are carried out with all children from 5 to 12 years old, and they are conducted both in-person as well as virtually through videos in WhatsApp groups. In these spaces, we encourage the children to read and to develop their creativity, hence using reading as a tool that strengthens learning and the development of their thought process. Through the reading of narrative texts, children have the opportunity to make their own artistic or literary productions. There have been 12 workshops in this period.
Women craft workshops: These activities aim to promote spaces of relaxation and skills development for the mothers, using crafts to develop their creativity, socialize among themselves, and recharge energies. From their feedback, we know that they really value these spaces as they see them not only to develop new skills but also as a form of relaxation and a break from their daily cares.
Family follow-ups: Through telephone calls and home visits, families are followed up on topics related to attendance to the breakfast club, the children’s academic progress, the promotion of responsible parenting practices, and the critical situations they have in terms of satisfaction of basic needs. Families are very satisfied when we visit them because they have an opportunity to talk about the difficulties that they face day by day. Bear in mind that the families we serve have very complex situations, with structural problems that are sometimes difficult to resolve, however, they find relief in expressing their emotions and concerns. These visits are made every 15 days and phone calls are conducted more frequently.
As we said in previous reports, our goal for 2021 is to expand our service to cover 100 children, one of the main requirements for this is to have a facility that is spacious enough to accommodate all those kids and given our current facility does not have the required space, we need to procure a new one. As you can imagine, acquiring and moving to a new facility is costly, but we are excited to tell you that your generosity has played a major role in providing us with those resources, and we are about to start the building procurement process as early as next month!
Acquiring a new facility is one thing, and we are grateful for your support so far in helping us achieve this; expanding the service to cover 26 additional kids and sustain the running cost is a completely different challenge, therefore, it is important as ever that you continue alongside us given us your continued support. This expansion phase feels like sailing to new horizons with many unknown and exciting possibilities, and with your help, we are sure it will result in the material transformation to the lives of many more kids in need.
Learning By Playing