Thursday, November 22, 2018

One day at Sahwa

Last Monday meeting was held at the office in Sahwa nursery school. Walking through the school yard, planning improvements, reading-spot for  the library and a small vegetable garden. 

Children reaching out for NIHEP staff Getu and Amalath to show their newly received exam results. 

One grandmother who takes care of her orphaned 10 year old grandson was showing concern about the boy as he is not attending school. A home visit will be done. 

Amalath with one of the supported children                                                                                                                                                            

Another chance

This is, lets call her Jessica, who is passing by the office attending a tailoring course in town. NIHEP supports her with fee, material and transport. She did not manage to join Secondary school and this is a great opportunity for her.

Also, she loves football and will now be organizing football sessions coming Saturday!
Football and netball are excellent activities promoting the girls' self confidence, courage and communication skills. A brand new football has been donated and from now the game is on again!

Problems and solutions

Every week starts with Monday meeting in the office going through current matters and planning for the coming work week. It is important to gather at least once a week to discuss, to brainstorm and to develop solutions.

Updates from the meeting 12th of November with raised problems and suggested solutions:

·       The Tusome program is continuing but with to high absence rate. Field officer Gethu have met teachers and social workers involved and the way forward is to meet parents to the children with high absence in the program in order to find out why and what can be done. Nine parents came to the first meeting which was more than expected.
ð  Meetings with the parents, followed up by meetings together with the children and home visits when needed. Background and their thoughts on the children and education are gathered and simultaneously discussions with the parents are held.

·         The caregivers need to be strengthened in their parent role
ð  For that a pilot group is collected of 10-11 parents where awareness is raised on good parenting and talks on children’s need and one parent will be responsible and gatherer of the group.
ð  The parents should be provided with literacy skills and to raise their confidence and encourage them to support their children to education and funding for raised for the matter.
  • The para-social workers and NIHEP have had discussions of important matters but many of them are still unclear about their role and are not always reporting cases of abuse and maltreatment. Cases of malnutrition have been discovered by NIHEP.
ð  Additional training will be held about the importance of reporting and the role of the para-social worker.

Getu at the Sahwa nursery school yard 

A library in Sahwa Nursery school is organized and planned to be opened by the end of November. Looking forward to update this page with pictures from the opening. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Parents’ Saturday

On the 25th of August NIHEP organized the event “Parents’ Saturday” for the families in “Children’s support” -project. The aim was to bring the community together by inviting the families, education stakeholders, teachers, ward officers and para-socialworkers to discuss about the importance of the education. The event was held at Sahwa school in Lwanhima and was inspired by the last year’s event for the parents of the girls in “Wasiliana” project.

The content of the day included introductions, speeches from the teachers and NIHEP officers and open discussion. In the discussion the participants talked about how to support the children how to go to school. The parents shared about their own situation and challenges they are facing and advised each other. The ward education officer encouraged the parents to co-operate with the teachers and ensure that the children are going to school. The academic teacher told the parents about the “Tusome” –project and the importance of the reading, writing and counting skills. 

In the end the participants were introduced an art exhibition which the children had made. All in all we were happy to see that there were approximately a hundred participants in total. We felt that the event was a success and the participants were active in taking part in the discussion. The event was a good start for the collaboration in the community between the education stakeholders and the parents. We would like to thank all the participants for their interest and The Global Social Work Finland for providing the refreshments of the event.

Monday, August 27, 2018


NIHEP supports the most vulnerable children in Lwanhima ward. In 2018 NIHEP did home visits for families and noticed that there were many children who don’t know how to read, write and count, even though they are already at std. 3. NIHEP discussed about the situation with the teachers and they told about the challenges during previous years concerning the fact that the children are not allowed to recap a class even if they haven’t acquired the necessary skills. They also said that there can be over 200 students in one class which makes it very difficult to follow each student individually. In addition families are poor and some parents are illiterate so they can’t support their children. Some children don’t attend to school regularly because they are not encouraged to do so at home.
NIHEP started to plan with the teachers what could be done to help these 68 identified illiterate children. It was decided that three teachers will give extra lessons for the illiterate children every day during six months. NIHEP promised to get fund for the project if the teachers develop a plan on how to minimize the illiteracy problem in the future. NIHEP collected the money with the help of their Finnish interns Susanna Karasti, Elina Laine and Johanna Selin. The teachers came up with a plan to provide extra teaching in reading, writing and counting for those standard 1 and 2 students, who have not proceeded as expected. They also decided to add two more teachers to standard 1, so now there are three instead of one. 

The goal of the project is that all these illiterate children will learn the reading, writing and counting skills by the end of six months. NIHEP will co-operate with the teachers and the community during the project in order to improve the sustainability of the results. To get the parents involved into the program NIHEP organized an event called “Parents’ Saturday” for the families. By being able to read, write and count the children will have a chance to educate themselves and more possibilities in the future.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Water tanks fixing project at Sahwa primary school in Lwanhima ward

Ni Hekima Pekee’s program “Children’s support” has been implemented since 2010.  The aim of this program is to support vulnerable children by providing them school equipment, health support and children’s right protection. We want to make sure that those children are helped, get capacity to access social infrastructure and are part of the society.

During the follow-up of the Sahwa primary school students who we support, we noticed that the school water tanks were broken. More than 1650 students and 32 teachers were at risk because they didn’t have any access to water at all. The head teacher told that they didn’t have any fund to fix the tanks and they had been broken for ten years. We and our intern Anni Pihlaja decided to start fundraising from different children’s and nutrition stakeholders around the world, and after a few days we had collected enough money to fix one big water tank. Now the students and teachers can wash their hands and drink during school hours.

At the moment we are fixing the nursery’s water tank with the fund we got from the Friends of Kenya and Asegelile Investment Limited. We are staying in contact with the stakeholders for more contribution in order to fix the rest of the tanks. Along the project we realized that a fence should be built to protect the water tanks and the school area overall. As a solution we met with the school head teacher and the chairman of the school committee and we agreed that they will build a local fence around the school yard to increase the safety. A fence was built with the help of Mwembe Africa around the nursery and we are continuing fundraising to get a fence around the rest of the school area.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Success story of "Liza"

"Liza" is a 17-year-old girl living with her family in Nyamagana district in the region of Mwanza. She lives with her mother and four siblings. Three of her older siblings are married and live with their families. Her father ran away from the family when Liza was twelve years old and now he has remarried in another village. The economic situation of the family is poor because the only provider is the mother and she has health issues. Other relatives are not able to support the family.

Liza goes to form one in secondary school and she wants to become a teacher in the future. Liza has been attending Ni Hekima Pekee’s “Wasiliana” project for girls support group since January 2017. In the middle of April 2018 Liza told our workers that she is not going to school anymore. This was because her mother couldn’t afford transport from home to school after the changes of the daladala routes. Now she had to take two daladalas instead of one on the single way.

NIHEP started the follow-up on the same day that Liza told about the situation. We visited the family and decided to support the transport and the missing school materials for Liza so she could go to school next week. After the weekend our field officer visited the family again and found out that Liza still didn’t go to school. She was afraid not finding her name in the student registration since she hadn’t gone to school for the past three months. Also, she hadn’t told the teacher the reason for not coming. The next day we discussed about the situation with Liza and the family and Liza agreed to go to school. We decided to escort her to school because the head teacher was frustrated with the situation. After meeting the head teacher we all agreed that Liza continues going to school.

On May we met the street chairman and he promised to provide some help with the transport occasionally. At the moment Liza is going to school and we continue with the follow-ups.