Community Newsletter | November 2021

Alderney | November |  2021

Dear Friends,

It’s been a couple of months since my last newsletter! I’ve been back again to the UK to see family and friends and spend a bit of time in London too. WELCOME to the many more members who have signed up since our last newsletter!

Since August, records show that our resources were downloaded 10,485 times from our website. We have now had a total of 82,797 downloads by people in 183 countries.

  1. Working towards a new poster on HIV & AIDS
    We are co-creating a poster and storybook with a school in Eswatini. We have had a great team working on this and there have been a LOT of changes from the original set of messages which were created in 2015. Once finished we will replace the old messages on the website with these new messages and change the English language versions of our 100 messages poster and the booklets. What’s not so easy is changing the content we have in multiple languages. However, we have decided we will put in a recommendation to those using the content to look at the new version in English and then (where we have help) we will change the content when we can.The project on HIV & AIDS includes a storybook too, but we have not had the chance to set-up the children’s workshops in Eswatini yet as there have been many lockdowns and, more recently, political unrest leading to school closures. The teachers there are frustrated, but our donors are very understanding and have accepted the delays.
  2. Lockdowns, Lockdowns, Lockdowns
    Since August, lockdowns have also affected our work in Guam and in Zambia, but we are slowly making progress. By the end of the year hope to have completed a new storybook on bullying and resilience (Guam) and have got at least halfway through co-creating our mental health programme in Zambia (see more under point 4.). Meanwhile – I was reminded this week that the storybook UNLOCKED! that we published during the pandemic is FULL of ideas about resilience. One of our closest friends stated this week, “This book should be in every school.” Do take a look if you haven’t already.
  3. A Poster on Immunisation
    By the end of the year, we hope to have a poster on Immunisation, and we are developing this with Pikin to Pikin (a partner in Sierra Leone), Stowelink (in Kenya) and with other experts from all over the world.  Both these partners are aligned with our vision and enthusiastic about participating in developing a poster on this important topic. We have conducted an in-depth interview with a colleague in Sierra Leone about the root causes of vaccine hesitancy and realise we have many new issues to weave into this poster since the arrival of Covid-19 in all our lives.
  4. SuperBetter Children in Zambia
    Our work in Zambia got going again after months of school closures and we are really excited about this next phase. The children are learning about the SuperBetter approach that uses the language of gaming to identify and find ways of overcoming obstacles and challenges. Our aim is to teach the children seven features of the approach and to then apply the approach to everyday physical and mental health issues. Up to this point the children have been developing a social and emotional vocabulary; this has including learning a dance that has taught them about resilience. For those interested, Kelvin Nsekwila is the team leader on this project and he posts updates on the project on his LinkedIn thread too and includes photos and videos. It’s inspiring! It’s also great to see how someone is adapting these ideas for their own context.

Annual Report and Fundraising

We have just completed our annual report and accounts and yes, we were very low on funds in 2020  – the pandemic year, but what was amazing was how the friends of Children for Health made the difference between life and… well… our probable demise. The smaller donations that come in all add up and they are SUCH A HELP. Thank you so very much to all of those who donate to Children for Health each month. You are making a HUGE difference.

IF you think you might have ONE friend who would be interest din supporting our work – would you send this newsletter to them with a personal note? It is our aim to DOUBLE the number of friends’ donations by the end of the year if we possibly can.

It’s not just the financial support… knowing that so many friends are supporting us also motivates us so much.

Other Activities

In other activities we are working on:

Photo Credit: HealthPhone

  • A project to develop resources for teachers in Mozambique. These are simplified sessions that focus on children’s action plans linked to our 10 topics. At the heart of this simplified approach is the activity in which children create their own ‘Action Plans’ arising out of them learning health messages and deepening their understanding of how these messages connect with their own reality.
  • Our Participatory Inquiry Process (PIP) which always begins with discovery conversations. In these we aim to discover the root causes behind why people choose (for example) not to get immunised, to eat unhealthy ultra-processed food or to lead a sedentary life, to NOT take life-saving HIV medications. We uncover the very good reasons why people are choosing a ‘lifestyle’ that can lead to ill health and suffering. We have conducted many in-depth interviews to test and refine our process.
  • A proposal to get more storybooks co-created with schools and children in Mozambique. If this comes through for us, these will add to our series of four books that are extremely popular and read by hundreds of people every month.
  • A mobile friendly website with an excellent group in India who we recruited using Upwork.

On the blog…

We’ve been busy on the blog since we last wrote. Here are links to our latest posts on a wide range of topics.

Our next newsletter will be our annual round up in December.

Thanks again for all your help and support.