Another fantastic time was had by all last week at our third play scheme, held at the Child Friendly Space we run in Jinja, Uganda.
This year’s team consisted of volunteers from our wonderful corporate partners The Body Shop At Home™ and Montezuma’s Chocolates and we were really pleased to have Sheena Campbell from Observer Series along to write about the project for their readers.
The week built on the progress of previous years by continuing to enhance the daily curriculum learning with a boost of creativity. Each morning volunteers would shadow the teaching staff in their lessons and the afternoons were a mixture of crafts and games that took the morning’s learning to another level through play.
What really emerged at this year’s scheme was the extent to which community are really owning the Centre for themselves and how this is impacting not just the children who attend but the wider community.
Ben Wilkes described how “Each afternoon I’d look around and the place was full of children, it was buzzing with all different ages in different uniforms, some because they’d graduated from our Centre into mainstream school, and some being welcomed in from other schools in the area. It really is a place run by the local people for their own community and the atmosphere was just one of exuberant fun”.
Clarita who volunteered from The Body Shop At Home said “To be selected by Children on the Edge to represent The Body Shop and my region is most definitely my number one treasured experience in the whole of my 11 years with The Body Shop At Home™ and I'm so grateful to all. The atmosphere in the Playscheme was how it should be, a happy safe environment and at times it was crazy but we all loved the buzz it created. The staff were amazing, they too learned new ideas to continue with moving forward.”
Volunteers were also able to see the transformation of Soweto on a wider scale. Since we started providing micro loans last year, small businesses have started springing up throughout the area, one of which is a women’s pottery co-operative. This was started by four women, who prepared clay from the riverbed, getting a local potter to make it into pots, and then selling them.
This group has now grown to 30 women who are all earning a wage from their work. During the week, our team were able to present the group with two of their own potters wheels, so they can shape their own pots, and cut out this cost of production. The money was raised by Chichester Observer readers, and The Body Shop At Home™ Consultants, so it was great to have Sheena and Clarita present the wheels on behalf of these generous donors. They also funded the hiring of a bouncy castle complete with slide, and a collection of T-shirts for the Community Child Protection Committee in the new areas we have started working in.
We’re really grateful to all our volunteers, and the companies who sent them. Also thanks to Sheena and the Observer readers and of course the incredible staff at ADSN for a fantastic week for the children.
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