All smiles at Livingstone
September 1 2014

One of the things almost all of the children from Maunga Kids Club in Livingstone love the most is music; dancing, singing, or just enjoying listening along.  So you can imagine how enthusiastic they were about last week’s lesson, which was all about music.  They explored different genres using an interactive activity that also gave them chance to have a good dance.  The students were played a piece of music and once it stopped, they had to run towards the sign that corresponded with the genre of music they had just heard.  It didn’t take too long for the children to become quick at identifying the musical styles, so they then moved on to a game of Musical Chairs, which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

At the end of the lesson, the students gathered into family groups to be given donated items of soap and petroleum jelly to take home.  As it is the dry season in Africa, a lot of the children are suffering from rough and chapped skin, so this was a welcome gift.  They were asked to bring their parents along next session to receive a donation of adult clothing.

Students from the Twabuka Book Club were also given a nice surprise recently.  While they were hard at work in another room, Lion Encounter staff and volunteers were busy setting out a suitcase full of donated clothing.  Having been told that there was something special waiting for them, the children were excited to be shown into the room, where their faces lit up to see the array of clothes.  Jessica, a Livingstone community intern, was given the job of helping the children to choose a new outfit.  As many of them wear the same clothes day in day out, this was a very special treat and the students had fun helping each other to see what suited them best.

For Jessica, seeing the children being so happy because of something we usually take for granted was heartwarming: ‘Some of these kids I had seen in the same clothes almost every week for six weeks and to see them sort through these donations was one of the best experiences that I will never forget.’

A library system has now been introduced to allow Book Club students to choose a book and sign it out for a week to take home.  As this has not been done before, Lion Encounter staff were initially unsure of the condition the books would be in when they were returned.  It was good to see at the end of the first week that the children had obviously taken care of them and all books were brought back on time without any sign of damage.  To improve comprehension, each session will now begin with the students completing a journal in which they can write down their thoughts on the book they have just read at home.  Books are a luxury for children in rural areas, so this scheme is a significant development; allowing students to continue to improve their reading skills outside of the classroom.  It is also a positive step in reinforcing the importance of education to their parents, siblings and other community members.

If you would like to help support children from the schools around our project sites, you can find out how to sponsor a school here.


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