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Friday, 31 January 2014

Yumba Class and getting into the field

Hi All! This week while half of the team strived to complete the final draft of the report, Meriame, Shaibu and I started visiting schools and governmental offices in the area to gather information, integrate with key partners and learn more about the local community.
Shaibu and I started off visiting the Regional Education Office and the Regional Labour office for some statistics to enhance the report. Our greatest challenge that day was to realise how few official statistics are kept in electronic form if at all. However I was instantly struck by how friendly and helpful the people at both organisations were to us, and, how accommodating they were. Whenever we tell anyone about the Resource Centre we find everyone has an opinion on what we are doing and plenty of ideas regarding the issues we are facing, which is very motivational!
They look great too!
Later in the week, Meriame and I visited the Yumba School. Yumba is the only school in the Northern Region which caters specifically to the mentally disabled and the Resource Centre has previously established links with it. Again we received a warm welcome and discussed issues that the school was facing, including class sizes, lack of sports equipment and unfinished former NGO projects. Though some of their challenges seemed overwhelming, we are confident that we can work with them and look forward to assisting them with their sports day in February.
We learnt a lot about the importance of vocational subjects in the school as they gave the kids invaluable skills as well as generating money to support the school. Sewing and cooking classes are taught. We also noticed that a group of the students were collecting empty water sachets and found out, that the school collects hundreds of these packets and delivers them to a craft entrepreneur in town, who creates quality school bags from them and donates them to the school: We have already started collecting our water sachets to donate.
It was really fun to get out into the community, meet lots of new people and be inspired by the work that they are doing. See you next week!
Sophie

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