Friday, 6 June 2014

New classrooms and long grass

Hi everyone,

We've been madly busy which in this case has been good. There is so much going on, that it is hard to decide where to start. Firstly I probably shouldn't be working at 9-30 pm on Friday evening, but I'm so exited of the new developments of this week and coming things that I wanted to update something.

I've been teaching Curriculum development and writing IEP (Individual Education Plan) for students with cognitive/intellectual disabilities this week. Which has been a great success. Can not wait for all these brilliant students to start their careers in Tanzanian schools. Change comes slowly but it comes. And it comes trough these new professionals seeing the value of all human beings contributing to society and being part of it.
http://www.sekomu.ac.tz/


Students working on case examples to build IEP 




Secondly we visited one of our newest classes in Mkuzi, where they are doing amazing job.The most amazing thing is that the community workers have started the whole classroom by themselves without no help or asking anything, when there is a will ,there is a way. We'll be going in o July to provide some materials and onsite training for the workers, but they are already doing amazingly well. Beyond that we are hoping to get some specialized students from the local university to do their field work practice there. Talk about two flies with one swing.

Thirdly we have a big awareness building happening next week in Duga where our work so far has been relativity small, but now we have the local government coming with us to talk about the importance of the issue. And we might be on TV too next week on this! About this obviously I'll update more next week.

Then my biggest joy, one of the oldest classes supported by Outreach is in Magamba and it has been working in rundown old cow shed, and now they are most likely getting a new building, where we are also planning a new assessment and therapy center+ special education university students practice center. We've had many discussions with Anneth Munga the Vice Chancellor of the SeKomu University and they'd be happy to give the building for our usage and work together to build new functions there. So we'll have people starting to clean the house and area next week and hopefully by July some of the functions, primarily the classroom can start there. High five us and the long going work of Monica the community worker. 

Here is some of the students and their teacher Monica from Magamba class, who'll be moving to the new building:





And here are the pictures from the building today: 



Me and Alfred digging if the kitchen building can be fixed. I swear my hair still has straws and different plants clinging in it due to our day trip to the abandoned building in the middle of the "long" grass.





There is three rooms in the building, both ends are half circle shaped middle size rooms, that we are planning to change to physio/therapy and assessment spaces.



One of the half circle rooms:





The big main room where the class will be:





Yes, I know it looks run down now, but on Tanzanian standards it is a solid very well build house that can be fixed with cleaning, new windows and some paint, there is really no massive renovation needed. And  then in goes tables and teaching materials. 

And then last but not least, Irente Farm has promised, if needed, to take a disabled student to work practice season (referring to my last posting). You got to start somewhere and here is the start of supported employment for disabled students. Or at least the knowledge that it is not impossible. I also got yesterday news from Mlalo, one of our most distant villages that they've started community farm for the students to practice and sell their own crop. 

This is a good place to finish and say that even sometimes it is frustrating and a slow path between the long grass there is hints of light!


I will post after pictures when we get there with the new building,
And of course of next week in Duga. 

Good night and enjoy your weekend.


Best 
-Kirsi

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