Earlier this month a team of volunteers from our corporate supporters, including The Body Shop at Home™ and Redburn, set off to Uganda to help out with our second action-packed playscheme.
Aside from bringing a whole raft of colour and fun, the week saw the children grow in confidence, explore their curriculum in new and creative ways and learn new methods of sharing about their lives.
The scheme was held at the Child Friendly Space we support in Soweto Slum, Jinja where children from the most vulnerable households in the community come each morning for early years learning, nutrition and fun. Activities were held in the afternoons to compliment lessons in the morning. They were open, not just to the enrolled students, but to the whole community with most afternoon attendance totalling 250-300 children. Here’s some of the highlights!
Making something out of nothing
The team of teachers at the Centre are recycling champions, who create learning resources, toys and games out of local materials and discarded bits and pieces from around the area. Throughout the week the children made juggling balls out of earth and balloons, dragonflies out of pipe cleaners and serviettes, clay models from Nile mud, maps of Soweto with twigs, stones and grass and a junk orchestra using plastic bottles, sticks, brushes and stones.
New ways of sharing ‘News news’
Each morning the children at the Centre share about their lives and thoughts in a session called ‘News News’. This is a melodic routine with each child telling their story with a rhythmic group response. To build on this exercise, one afternoon all the children enjoyed a ‘Lucy and Butch’ puppet show, then made their own sock puppets and experimented with interacting using their puppets. This is a resource not just for fun, but an aid for teachers in talking to the children about trickier subjects.
Nurturing self esteem
Mask making and creating hand print designs on a new parachute was all part of developing a sense of identity with the children. In addition to this, a few children were asked to help lead the afternoon games, and the impact of being given this role was incredible. Ben Wilkes, Head of UK described how “They did such a great job and seemed to grow 6 inches in stature too. Their life situations might be tough, but the way they transformed in just 60 minutes makes me think that they started to connect with something of what they were made to be”.
Livening up learning and the usual dose of colour and fun
Morning lessons were given an added twist with activities done in the afternoon, like a maths lesson unfolding through making number puzzles to take home, and story time evolving into group role-play and singing.
Aside from the various learning milestones.. a huge part of the week consisted of simple, unbridled fun. Activities included football, rounders, ‘Duck Duck Goose’, ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’, ‘Hokey Cokey’, French Cricket, parachute games and (creating the most excitement) a huge Bouncy Castle. It was the first time any of the children at the Centre had laid eyes on one, let alone bounced on one, so it went down a treat. With a significant development in concentration from last year, the children were able to get the absolute most out of the games and activities.
We’d like to thank our wonderful volunteers Sara, Justine, Rachel, Rose and Karina who alongside Ben and Emily from Children on the Edge and the fantastic team at ASDN, made such a contribution to the week.
If you’d like to find out more about the project in Uganda, simply visit the project page or read our other news stories bout the Centre.
If you’d like to donate simply click here or text EDGE14 £3 to 70070 to give £3.
Trudy Goes Green
A few weeks back, Trudy McKnight dyed her hair a beautiful bottle green, not for the elections, not for an audition for Wicked.. but to raise money for Children on the Edge!
A Body Shop at Home Consultant, Trudy was working on increasing her party bookings. She decided to try an online training session from her Regional Manager and found this tip:
TOP TIP 30
Try putting this phrase on your facebook
Hi girls. Please complete this phrase.
“I will book a Body Shop Party with you only if.......
So she did... People started posting suggestions like ‘bring chocolate/wine’, ‘If it’s free’ etc.... so Trudy responded by saying that she needed a bit more of a challenge than that. It was at this point that one of her best friends suggested dying her hair Corporate Body Shop Green.
Trudy says “I have always been passionate about Children on the Edge, but even more so since I heard at our September conference what was happening in Uganda, so decided to do it to raise money for the project. Also my grandmother had recently passed away and the last photos we had of her were her having a laugh dressing up in a corset and stockings at 76 years old (as a result of a card sent to her by my cousin)! I figured life is far too short and it was time to do something wild”.
Trudy took the plunge, dyed her locks Body Shop green and is now looking for a permanent dye to keep the colour as long as possible, to continue raising funds for our work!
We think she’s a brave lady and she looks great. If you want to sponsor Trudy’s green tresses then donations can be made through her just giving page or you can donate £3 by texting "COTE54 £3" to 70070.
‘CowParade’ is the largest and most successful public art event in the world and their events have been held in more than 80 cities worldwide. Blank resin cows are delivered to a chosen city and then painted by invited artists before being displayed throughout the city, in banks, train stations, galleries and a variety of public places. After a few months on display the cows are then publicly auctioned.
Over the life of this event, organised from West Hartford Connecticut, USA, these painted cows have provided more than $20M to charitable organisations worldwide and it is estimated over 100 million people have seen one of the cows.
As part of the recent (and very successful) Chichester Art Trail organised by Malcolm MacDonald and his team, Chichester hosted it’s very own ‘CowParade’ and raised funds for locally based international children’s charity, Children on the Edge.
The parade was hosted In Graingers Barn at the West Ashling home of artist and sculptor Neil Lawson Baker and his wife Grace. They displayed one of the cows from ‘Cow Parade’ which was originally displayed in London some years ago and Chichester Art Trail Visitors were invited to ‘leave their heart on Goldie Horn’ as this cow had golden horns!
Each visitor painted a heart on the cow and there was a box collecting donations for Children on the Edge. £180 was raised for Children on the Edge, helping to fund work with some of the most forgotten children, living on the edge of their societies across the globe.
Neil has four of these cows and it is hoped that they can be used to raise money for charities in and around Chichester over the coming months and years.
We’d like to say a big thank you to Neil, Grace and all the team of the Chichester Art Trail, as well as all the heart painting artists! As you can see form the photo, they did a superb job!