Sorry I’m a bit late with yesterday’s update! I was so tired after we got back!
So Day 3 Update: yesterday we returned to the Early childhood development centre. The morning was spent split between the classes, I spent the morning in top class which had children of age approx 5+. We had around 40 children in the class to begin with and this steadily increased during the morning. I spent the morning assisting the teachers and I also had the opportunity to do some teaching aswell. The topic for yesterday was sizes so big and small and being able to identify and draw big and small shapes. The children are incredibly intelligent and the local children who do not usually attend the centre joined in and got a lot from the session too.
We then fed the children at the centre Porridge and Bread Rolls (Ugandan version has Sugar in the recipe to make sweet). It was beautiful to see other children from the community come for porridge and every child was fed, from baby to early teens. For break I led a game of football with the older children, there are some budding footballers out here!
After our traditional Ugandan lunch of beans, cow peas, chapati and fried okra we went to Soweto which is a slum children on the edge were active in for 5 years. They have now handed back over to the community. As soon as you arrive you can see the instant change in comparison to other local slums, it’s cleaner (still progress to be made), more market businesses, a more communal spirit and the smell is non existent in comparison to some of the others. Another huge point is that there were 14 illegal breweries in the slum which were brewing gin for large companies, they were being exploitative of the workers (mainly young single mothers), incredibly dangerous due to large floor distillery vats and unfortunately we were told they had lost two children as they’d fallen into them. Originally the community thought they had got out of the village but when the breweries were shut and vats removed the bodies of the children were sadly found. This was due to single mothers being forced to take their children with them to work, due to lack of childcare. We also met the beneficiaries of the £20 micro loan which helps establish businesses in the slum, I was able to purchase a beautiful bracelet from one of the jellewers for 5000ugx which is just over £1. They have also established a pottery, carpenter, farming and blacksmith business as a community and they continue to thrive. We also met Faith (name changed) who is one of the older women of the community who runs the child protection team in Soweto and we were able to hear some of the cases, they continue to be a force for good within Soweto.
In the afternoon we took over with the running of the sessions and the main sessions were zoom rockets/hats and boats for arts and crafts, mini sports day (with three legged races, sprinting, throwing etc) and cricket/rounders games. These were all thoroughly enjoyed by the children. Every day we are seeing new faces join and the numbers of attendees are increasing each day to approximately 300 children from tiny babies to 14-15year olds. Overall a highly enjoyable day had by all! If you have any questions feel free to ask xx
The photo attached is of one of the Loco slum buildings this is the most solid structure in all slums we have visited, these where originally built to house Ugandan railway workers, when the railways became unused the workers left and these became cheap homes, they are individual rooms. 10 per block and cost occupants 4000ugx per month which is less than £1