Last weekend saw the pre-launch of the Kids Club at Natebe Primary School which is located in the Dambwa Forest, 12 kilometres away from Livingstone town. As it was the first time ALERT and Lion Encounter had worked at the school, it was very encouraging to see a total of 58 children turn up for the session; all excited and ready to learn.
The Kids Club is designed to allow local children the opportunity to play in a supervised and safe environment. Many of these children have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and are often living with the disease themselves. Having to deal with situations way beyond their years, these youngsters are forgoing much of a childhood themselves. During these sessions, the children take part in informal lessons on a wide range of conservation and health topics, whilst being encouraged to relax and have fun. The club also allows project staff to identify children who may be struggling in their home lives and to bring that to the attention of community leaders, so that additional support can be provided.
During the first session, two community volunteers, Peter and Dorothee from Germany, conducted a lesson on the importance of education. When asked what they wanted to be when they grow up, one of the children, Mufana Kaniki said he wanted to be a teacher. Some wanted to be pilots, others doctors. After the lesson, the children enjoyed a session of games; a fun end to the first Natebe Kids Club!
Members of the Twabuka Reading Club have now been divided into three colour groups according to their reading levels; Blue is for the beginners, Yellow is for intermediate readers and students who are classed as advanced, meaning they are already able to read well, have been put in the Red group.
For the first reading session in November, each group had a different book. The Blue group were reading about holidays and celebrations, such as Christmas, Halloween and New Year’s Day. The Yellow group were reading a book all about bears and the Red group were learning about advanced dialogues; how to be able to have a full conversation with another person.
The importance of being able to read cannot be over-emphasised, as these students are well aware. This is illustrated in the fact that Elina and Claudia, who were part of the Red group but have now completed their seventh grade examinations, still showed up to carry on with the reading sessions in their free time. Well done girls; keep it up!
You could join ALERT as a community volunteer. Visit our website for more details.