Safari Kids Kindergarten is Officially Open!
It has been almost one month since we opened the doors to Safari Kids Kindergarten and what a month it has been!
So that my post is not toooo long, here are the highlights, as of today...
- Our peak admission was 31 students though we are currently sitting at 29. This is because we took time to determine if children enrolled had actually been to school and over 2 weeks, we found that some were indeed enrolled elsewhere. To us, this defeats the purpose of free education to those truly in need and therefore, those children were turned away. We are here for truly needy children who do not have any other opportunity for education and although it takes work, we are constantly filtering through to ensure this is the case.
- Our challenges have been unique and include issues such as children skipping school due to parental inability, children attending without appropriate clothes, shoes, etc, children being forced to work on school days for small pay, hunger, lack of clean clothes (relates more to shame) and for some children, emotional issues stemming from poverty are strong.
- Malnutrition has it's presence in our class room and we are on high alert for "at risk" students, who are placed on an 'extra care' list and given additional food and closer attention. These children also receive follow up if they miss school for even one day (other's after 2 days).
- Our students are beginning to enjoy and understand art, music, toys, books and a world of resources they had little to no access to before. It is beautiful to see story time with 29 little faces entranced by a story they are yet to read or understand...they delight warms my heart!
- Our teachers, Irene and Noreen, are also doing an amazing job with working on the varying levels and abilities of the students. Initially, some children appeared to know more than they do and we have since learnt, they have adapted to no schooling so well that they are bringing to class little bits of what they've 'learnt' from siblings. This resulted in children being able to write the whole alphabet but having no clue on what the letters were or meant! Re-visiting is very important for these children!
- We have had one 'incident' of a child killing a bird and taking it home for dinner (a tiny sparrow) and while initially this appeared cruel and unusual, we have since learnt that the child, along with her brother, do not eat every day. On the days they do, it is more often only 1 small meal. The child is chronically malnourished, as is her brother, and the emotional runs as deep as the physical. We have initiated Play Therapy for these children and a few others in a similar situation.
In time, I will update this webiste as much as I can and do welcome any help to do so! It's not my strong suit but I am trying day by day and the help is always appreciated. You can also head over to @safarikidskindergarten on Facebook and check out what we're up to!
Thanks for the love!