A lesson in oral hygiene at Kids’ Club
July 21 2016

Students at the Rose of Charity Orphanage in Zimbabwe were visited by ALERT and Lion Encounter staff and volunteers for another lesson of Kid’s Club aimed at teaching the students basic life skills.  This session was broken up into two sections – the first half continuing on with the STRIPE syllabus, and the second half to teach the children about oral hygiene, which coincided with a recent donation of toothbrushes and toothpaste from a Lion Encounter volunteer.

The lesson began with the students identifying words that are associated with being innovative, keeping in mind a worksheet that would follow.  A discussion was started around these words and how they were positive or negative traits, and examples were given for greater understanding.  To follow on, the students were given activity sheets that required them to find the words and link the positive word and negative word (i.e. challenging yourself vs taking unnecessary risks). The students continued to ask questions, and if they were unsure of what they were doing, staff and volunteers gave assistance and ensured their comprehension before proceeding onto the next words.

Once the students completed the worksheets, they were divided into groups and given a toothbrush each.  Volunteers and staff proceeded to give the children an introduction to proper oral hygiene; discussing the importance of looking after your teeth and gums, and why and when brushing your teeth is required.  The staff then gave all the students a practical demonstration.  Students were given toothpaste and water to copy the motions shown.  It was evident that many students did not brush their teeth regularly, so with their new toothbrushes and enthusiasm for brushing during the lesson, let’s hope they keep it up!

About Kids Club

Kids Club is our opportunity to implement our Basic Life Skills Course.  The aim of the course is to assist children and adolescents to gain essential skills needed to operate effectively in society in an active and constructive way.  Topics in the course include; self-esteem, coping with stress, effective communication, decision making, problem solving and non-violent conflict resolution.  The course has been developed by David Brackstone of John Taylor High School, UK using a programme in use at that school and adapted for use in our schools in Africa.

About ALERT Education Centres (AEC)

Basic Life Skills courses are one aspect of the work of our ALERT Education Centres.  The AEC operations at Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls and Antelope Park (Zimbabwe) are all aimed at supporting the formal education system by offering extra-curricular activities to enhance student learning, and assisting with access to education for vulnerable students.  Current programs include the provision of classes in conservation education, basic life skills, and English literacy.  In addition, we provide funding to pay the fees of vulnerable students to take part in education from pre-school to university level, and fully funded internship and facilitated research placements for university level students.  Future programmes will incorporate classes in numeracy, health & nutrition, physical education and business studies/entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of vocational training.  The AEC is operated in association with Coventry University (UK), Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) and Copperbelt University (Zambia), and with the assistance of David Brackstone of John Taylor High School (UK).   The first AEC, at Antelope Park, was opened in 2012 by the then Zimbabwe Minister of Education, Mr. David Coltart.

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