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Early success

Posted on February 4, 2017

Patricia.9268.jpgOne of the first children to be supported at school by our Moses Okotel – just before Child of Hope started – has now joined our school as a teacher! 

Patricia Nzula (19) came from a desperately poor background with a single mum and she had no expectation of ever getting a good job. But then Moses started supporting her education, which was soon to be continued by one of our kind child sponsors in the UK.

She said: “It helped me and my family members so much. I studied the primary level and completed it successfully and later joined secondary school and also completed that too. In 2014, I joined a teacher training college, because I love being with children and I want them to prosper as I have.”

Patricia did so well at the college that she was nominated the best student and she shone when she recently went through our job interview process. 

We are so happy to see her success and the results of helping children through education… and thank you child sponsors for making such a huge difference in lives like Patricia’s!

For more of Patricia’s story, when she was featured on our website in Nov 2015, click here.

And if you’d like to sponsor a child at our school, please click here.

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A great start to a better future

Posted on January 30, 2017

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Our nursery section is now really officially awesome. Another NGO worker has been organising sending teachers from other schools to observe our nursery in action... so it truly has become a centre of excellence. 

And towards the end of last year, at a district-wide meeting for private schools, Child of Hope was mentioned by the Municipal Education Officer as a model school. So we're getting there slowly!

At the start of nursery, slum children join the school that cannot speak English, so there's a lot to be done! We're very proud of them and of our terrific staff.

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This week, our IGA Department is starting to conduct a household income improvement survey with mums we have helped to launch a small business. We will use it to assess new business ideas; what families have done previously; successes from the IGA programme; and gaps that need urgent attention.

This survey runs for two weeks to January 31. We’ll let you know the findings and anything that emerges to help the mums improve their household incomes still further.

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Health survey results

Posted on January 17, 2017

Health-malaria treatment.JPGThe results are in from last year’s health survey that compared Child of Hope pupils to similar resident children of Namatala slum – and it clearly shows that Child of Hope's medical interventions are improving health. 

The more obvious comparisons showing benefits for CoH pupils are in these areas:

• Teeth: 35.7% better
• Eye problems: 15.1% better
• Head infections: 15.1% better
• Nose problems: 14.8% better
• Anaemia: 13.7% better
• Underweight: 10.8% better
• Skin problems: 10.4% better

The anaemia score is interesting. A child showing signs of anaemia is an indication that he or she has recently had or still has some form of parasitic infection – including malaria.

During the survey we had help from some medical students and staff from JOY Hospice – the clinic we often use when our children fall sick and it is beyond what our small sickbay can manage. 

Children were weighed, had their height recorded, had their bodies thoroughly examined for wounds, parasites, vision/hearing problems – anything that might give clues to their physical well-being.  

You can see the full results from the survey by clicking here.

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We’ve been developing exciting new plans for 2017 that will add even greater impact to our work with slum children and their families. As we roll these out, we will work to safely place more of our most vulnerable children into foster homes; our children’s home will be re-shaped; and a new family support unit will expand our work with families.

Foster care

Foster care is family-based care for children whose own families are unable or unwilling to look after them. It provides a safe, secure and nurturing family environment. We are starting to establish relationships with suitable foster parents, who so far are all staff members. Presently, ten of the children that we were living in our children's home have been placed with five different foster families. 

Respite and rehab home

Even with the ongoing development of our foster care programme, there will still be a need for premises to give short-term respite and rehab services, to help children and families in emergency situations. We therefore want to reshape our children’s home so that our focus is much more on respite and rehab rather than on long-term accommodation.

Family Support Unit

We intend to build bespoke premises near to the school that will house offices and meeting rooms for our staff to expand their work with families, while the first floor will become the children’s respite and rehab home, replacing our currently rented children’s home.

These new facilities will accommodate more rooms for counselling, training and community meetings, which will enable our IGA and welfare teams – now working collaboratively as the Children’s Development Unit – to roll out many of their highly successful programmes to the rest of the community. Potentially this will impact many more families in the Namatala slum to improve their health, education and living standards in line with the UN sustainable development goals.

So, that’s what we’re up to in the Namatala slum this year… thank you for your ongoing support, prayer and donations, making it all possible!

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Child development unit… one year on

Posted on January 10, 2017

page 1.jpgIn December 2015, Child of Hope was awarded funding to kick-start its pilot Child Development Unit (CDU) project. The project was to consolidate its current holistic services - Social Welfare, Income Generating Activity (IGA) and Health departments - to ensure maximum benefit of the education services provided. One year on, we’re delighted with the results that the collaboration has produced.

Work between the departments has become seamless, emergencies are handled faster and families no longer find themselves slipping through gaps. Team management skills have improved, including organisation and communication skills, team work, motivating people and managing difficult behaviours. If you’re interested in some of the specifics… read on!

Inter-team referrals

Prior to the project, teams were frustrated by the time it was taking to assist families discovered during their field work. The new inter-team referral system meant that this problem vanished. New walkie-talkies allowed critical emergencies to be communicated back to the relevant teams immediately. 

Parents meetings

Inter-disciplinary parent meetings now prevent repetition and ensure a consistent message to the parents. Topics included alcoholism, domestic violence, family planning, business training, child abuse, hygiene, forming groups/co-operatives, communication in families, children’s rights, economic development in the family and refresher courses. Attendees for these meetings numbered between 20 and 130 parents. 

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A health survey was completed comparing 400 of the children registered with CoH and the same number of unregistered children (similar ages) living in the same community. This was a joint project between the three teams and included JOY Hospice, a local partner clinic.   

Child resettlement

Prior to the CDU project a number of children had to be accommodated at the CoH children’s home due to risk of abuse and neglect. Realising that this was not a long-term solution, the teams targeted these children and their families for additional training and counselling with the hope that the children could be resettled. Many family relationships have been stabilised and incomes improved, so larger homes could be rented. Five children from the children’s home were resettled with their families. And through further training, 11 children have been accommodated with local foster families.

Critical events

The community is a slum and critical events happen on a frequent basis. Crisis meetings are held for issues such as evictions, child labour, arson, chronic absenteeism, parent criminal arrest and child arrest. These quick-acting meetings ensure children can be safe-guarded immediately and further trauma avoided.  

IGA programme

Our business start-up recruitment process was changed from a child registration chronological approach to needs-based. Through shared analysis between the welfare and IGA teams, 20 of the 40 IGA participants of 2016 were adjusted, lifting extremely poor families out of crisis situations. 

By the end of 2016 there were 202 mothers on the IGA programme operating successful businesses and providing for their families. Nearly half of these mothers had saved enough money for three months’ rent in hand, leading to greater stability, less evictions and less stress. Almost all of the families can now afford at least two meals per day for their children with more than half paying for other children to go to school. Five mothers were able to construct homes or commercial lock-ups for business purposes. All these women have greater self-esteem and respect within the community.

 

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The homes we’re building for some of our poorest parents are nearly finished. The latrines should be completed in the next couple of days and hopefully tenants will move in before the end of this month! 

The basic accommodation will house around ten small families and enable the families to stay together and the children to remain both at school and at home with their other family members. Otherwise, we find that when parents need to move away for various reasons, their child can no longer have a free education, or the child remains and has to stay in our children’s home.

We will rent the homes to the families at a very reasonable cost, which will give CoH a rental income to help reduce our childcare costs. There is also land that we can use for other income-generating or cost-reducing programmes linked to training the school children.

The ten rooms, two pit latrines, and three bathrooms have been built using metal poles as columns, local bricks and mud, cement plastering of walls and floor, and roofs of timber and iron sheets. Each room will be 12 feet by 8 feet in size.

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Teachers tie the knot

Posted on December 27, 2016

DSC09156.jpgLove is obviously still in the air - we celebrated another wedding just before Christmas… this time between two of our teachers at Child of Hope School.

Joseph and Fiona were married just before Christmas. Their wedding took place at a special ‘Love Sunday’ organised by Joseph's church and the reception took place at Child of Hope. It was so beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Party time for our slum children

Posted on December 20, 2016

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The annual Christmas party took place at the school on Friday and as usual turned out to be an enormous occasion, full of dancing, song and presentations from the children and their parents. There was a big meal and all the kids received gifts and clothing… and had lots of fun!

You can see lots more pictures from the party in this Facebook album.

Alongside the 490 children we support, there was a parent for each child and a sibling, plus local community VIPs and CoH staff… in total over 1,500 people! The Resident District Commissioner (RDC) was a guest of honour.

We could never have done it without your amazing support, donations just kept pouring in and covered all the costs. Thank you so much!

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Panya pancake fun

Posted on December 14, 2016

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We always like to make learning interesting for our children – and when there’s food involved, they get very excited!   

The children in Middle and Top Class of the nursery school recently learned about Mama Panya's Pancakes. It’s a story book about a poor lady living in a village in Kenya who learns how to make pancakes, which she is then able to share with her neighbours. It is a typical African story that teaches the rewards of sharing with others and the children loved it as they could associate themselves with Mama Panya’s children.

Mama Panya's Pancakes.jpgBut the fun didn't stop there. Once the children had learned all about the story, we decided to teach them how to make the same pancakes that Mama Panya had made in the story. We bought the ingredients and the children helped to mix everything together ready for cooking. They then watched as the pancakes were fried. Finally, they got to eat and enjoy the pancakes they had helped to make.

The children loved the whole thing and, even after classes had finished, they could be heard discussing the story with one another. One child even asked her teacher: "Teacher, when will you take us to visit Mama Panya in her village?"

 

 

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