Newsletter Week of 22-28 June, 2020

Dear Friends,

This has been a week where I feel our little community is expanding. Our volunteer, Camila has got going with our, Getting Us Connected Project. We are taking a country-by-country approach starting with Kenya; only because this is the country where I started my career!

I was a class teacher for 9-10 year olds at Imani School, Thika. I always found it hilarious that the first lesson that I was ever required to teach was, East African History! I decided to hand over to the children and got them to teach it to me for the first couple of weeks to give me a chance to catch-up! Before tackling this lesson, I had to ‘take the register’ and I had no idea how to do that. So, I asked the children and I remember Veronica and Tove slipping their hands into mine and leading me to the office to pick up the register for my class and then they sat me down and showed me how to fill in the boxes.

Two memorable experiences which, unknown to me, were already contributing to my ‘children first’ approach!

I’m still in touch with several of the ‘kids’ I taught between 1983 and 1985! I remember those years with great fondness. It was a crazy school in many ways, but a kind and fun one too. I had 15 nationalities represented in my class of 23 children and everyone seemed to just get along.

 

COVID-19

Our COVID storybook is coming along! I’ve had discussions this week with colleagues in Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Swaziland who are all wanting to work with us to develop COVID messages for children to learn and share. Meanwhile, our curated list is still being updated.

 

Black Lives Matter

It’s been hard to know exactly how to respond to this protest and campaign. I’m aware that I need a lot of time to reflect probably because of my ‘slow processing’. (Those interested in this – there’s a lot online. I know about it as one of my children got a formal diagnosis and the more I learned about it the more I realised that I have it too!). I digress. You can read the response I’ve got so far, by following the link in our blog section below.

 

SuperBetter Children In Africa

We are in discussion with the fantastic SuperBetter organisation based in the USA. It is a bundle of ideas packed in a book and an app and created by the wonderful Jane McGonigal. We want to develop a paper-based well-being and resilience programme based on her ideas. Using LinkedIn, we quickly recruited a marvellous young teacher in Zambia and an organisation in Tanzania who are not only willing to help but who will also translate the programme into Swahili! I had two amazing conversations with them about this last week and we now have two new stars in the Children for Health sky!

 

Getting Us Connected

Camila is doing well in her first week with this project after moving house! Thank you Camila! The first contacts have been made with child-focussed organisations in Kenya. There is great interest and I’m wondering if we should set up country focussed Zoom meetings to bring all us like-minded folks together. I’m a fan of this close networking. Hugh Hawes and David Morley, during my years with Child to Child, were the greatest role models in close networking that I could ever hope for and this was way before we had social media! If your organisation is based in Kenya and you’d like to be a part of this, let us know!

 

This week, on the blog…

Kelvin with two of his students

  1. Stop Diarrhoea in Lagos, Nigeria – news from the field in the years after our work there.
  2. Two New stars in the Children for Health Sky – introducing Kelvin and Imani who are working with us on our well-being project.
  3. Participation, Protection and Provision for ALL Children Everywhere – a reflection on the Black Lives Matter movement.
  4. The Empowered and Empowering Educator – a reminder of a great resource from The Virtues Project.
  5. PCAAN Mozambique Adventure – more on the visit in February that is such a joy to remember – our work to secure the future of this amazing programme – is ongoing.
  6. The Eye Health Session of the Week focuses on Breastfeeding
  7. The LifeSkills Session of the Week focuses on, Avoiding Risk – seems timely!

 

Highlights Only this Week

There’s quite a lot else going on, but I don’t want these newsletters to be too long! So that will do for this week.

Wishing you all so very well, and our special thoughts go to many of you in India, Brazil and Mexico where COVID-19 seems to have the upper hand right now. Please tell us how you are and how we can support you.

I know that I always end the newsletter with this… but every week we have new members… so every week this messages seems worth repeating! Please, please, become one of our 100 precious supporters! Please join us if you can!

 …if you think our work is valuable and you are able, please consider donating at any level and enable us to make it through this difficult year. Click here to go to our donations platform (UK taxpayers can also add gift aid).

If you are not in a position to give but have ideas or contacts with partners who might like to know more about our work, please get in touch.

Enjoy the next week.

Clare

P.S Here is a link to our weekly posts since April!