Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ChildFund´s Rainbow of Activities

 From Modules on Human Rights to Preventable Diseases; Talent shows on sexual health to christmas parties with Santa; Murals on violence to playgrounds made from tires; the ChildFund team have had a colourful 6 months, over the course of which we have achieved a great deal and made many lasting and memorable relationships.
Anselm, Hannah Charlton, Hannah Folwell and Simon

In June the ChildFund in-country team put together a 9 month plan that defined our objectives and helped to ensure continuity and direction for the 3 cohorts we would work with. As we enter the third and final stage of our 9 month plan, the latest additions to the ChildFund team look to have a challenging and colourful 3 months ahead, concluding our project work and leaving a lasting and sustainable impact. 

Objective one: To deliver “products” across our centres which contribute towards the strengthen of their practice, activities and environment.

Uni Play Area

Dirt streets lined with pigs and donkeys and the ever looming glacier of Illmani; the community of Uni lies 40 minutes outside the city of La Paz, but in many ways it feels a world away.  The children of this community have proved some of the most challenging to work with, and our hearts often leap as they charge over piles of bricks and balance on broken pipes and windows.  When we asked the leaders, school principal and mothers of the community ways in which we could support and work with them they were united in their response; “We want to build a play area”.

In the last cohort of volunteers, Hannah George got to work planning a play area made from disused tires, which proved cost effective, straight forward to build, and in-keeping with the schools campaign on caring for the environment. The play area plans where a big hit with the community leaders and permission was granted to begin building in 2014.  This cohort of volunteers will take the lead in co-ordinating and building this play area with the community.

Field Trip

Avance Communitario Director Moira recently commented, “For many of the children who attend the centre, Chasipamapa is their world.  They´ve never seen other parts of La Paz, nevermind Bolivia”.  To provide the young people in the community with the opportunity to visit another community, and participate in some active learning, we are planning a trip to Mallasa Zoo!

Human Rights Mural

Building on our Human Rights work last cohort, we are excited to develop a human rights mural at Avance Communitario.  Using arts based education activities, we will work with the young people to design and paint the mural on their rights.

Objective 2: Develop educational modules on Human Rights and Preventable Diseases, which contribute towards the institutional strengthening of ChildFund Bolivia, and increase awareness and understanding amongst young people. 

Preventable Diseases Module

 Poor hygiene, cramped living conditions and cost of health care are some of the factors which contribute towards a high prevalence of Preventable Diseases amongst children and young people in Bolivia.

 ChildFund Bolivia recognises the role of education in helping young people to identify symptom, develop habitual routines, practice good hygiene, and consequently minimise the prevalence and impact of preventable diseases in the communities where we work.  The ICS ChildFund team have been tasked with developing an educational module on Preventable Diseases, which will be used as a resource pack for educators across ChildFund´s 46 centres in Bolivia. 

The initial cohort of volunteers undertook an investigation into Preventable Diseases, carrying out focus groups, interviews with professionals, observations and desk based research.  Based on their findings, the following group of volunteers identified the learning objectives and competencies of the module and began to develop activities. It is the responsibility of this group to trial the activities, develop the format of the module, and complete it!

Human Rights Module

As a Human Rights based organization, we are passionate about young people recognizing and exercising their rights.  Last cohort, ChildFund requested that we develop a module for educators on human rights, so that they have the tools and resources to facilitate workshops on this theme across our centres.  ChildFund volunteer Jamie took the lead in developing some brilliant activities and resources.  At the request of ChildFund, this cohort of volunteers will develop a section to the module which focused on violence and the rights which surround it.

Objective 3: Support educators in the facilitation and delivery of activities in their centres

We have the privilege of working with a teams of inspirational educators who are constantly rushed of their feet to meet the needs of the young people they work with.  Volunteers play a vital role in facilitating sessions with young people, and providing individual support and interaction, which often the educator don´t have the time to provide.  Each cohort, we try to partner the skills and experience of volunteers with the needs of our centres to ensure that our work directly with young people is as mutually enjoyable and valuable as possible.

Avance Communitario – Drawing on our field trip to the zoo, volunteers will be facilitating music and dance classes with 8-12 year olds. We will also be working on the theme of human rights and art to develop and paint our mural!

Mothers – In Avance and Uni we will continue to work with the mothers. At their request, we will be focusing on “Healthy Lifestyles”, looking at nutrition, cooking and other themes.

Las Lomas – Building on the great work of previous cohorts, in Las Lomas we will be focusing on sports and human rights with 8-12 year olds.

Niñas San Gabriel – With a change in educator and staff at Niñas the focus of our work is yet to be defined, but it is likely we will play a greater role in assisting the young women who attend with academic studies and personal development.

Jilañataqui – We will be working with a new centre for young people from challenging social backgrounds, focusing on the themes of sport and art.

We are excited about getting going on our activities for this cohort, and celebrating the impact of our work over the course of our 9 months, as the evolving ChildFund Bolivia team.

Written by Sarah Cassidy

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