Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mwili Wangu Ni Mwili Wangu - My Body is My Body

We have started a new and a very important programme!

We want to encourage both children in Nursery School and also the girls from the Wasiliana Project to say; No!

We are using a programme called My Body is My Body - Mwili Wangu Ni Mwili Wangu. 
It is a well prepared programme that suits children from 3-10 years but also works very well in older ages.
The programme brings up questions and educates in a simple way how to talk about abuse. It teaches children that nobody has the right to hurt or abuse you in any way.
This programme will empower the children so they know what to do if there is a problem. It is very important to keep it simple because, young children don't need to know all the details about abuse. But they need to know that they have the right to say No and know their boundaries. If they see or hear something, then they know who they can talk to. And they should not keep it a secret. This is something that is important for both girls and boys.

Visit the website for more information.

We started to introduce the song My body is My body for the children in Nursery School. We have also talked about that it is ok to say no, and to respect if somebody says no, stop.
The children got to practice in a group to say no, stop when somebody gets too close.
We called the exercise "My Space is My Space". We explained to them that you have a invisible space, a "bubble", that marks your personal space and no one should come too close if it doesn't feel right.

The songs are very good and easy to sing along to, it also makes it easy to remember what we have talked about. The children learn the lyrics fast when you can have movements to the song as well. We want to educate them in a very young age, it is a way to prevent child abuse and keep them safe. Because the sooner they know about it the sooner it will become something everyone knows about. Our goal is now to share this programme to the parents, teachers and the community. Everybody needs to know how and what to do if a child reports anything.

Our vision is to get this program to grow and be a part of our community here in Mwanza.
This is our Pilot project at the moment, but we want it to expand to more schools and reach even more children.

Practicing My Space is My Space
Singing together the song "Mwili Wangu Ni Mwili Wangu"
Discussion with Wasiliana girls, about My Body is My Body.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Library's final touches

The Library project is getting ready to use. 
The shelfs have been painted and the books have arrived.
We have been cleaning the Library and made it nice, now the books are in their place. We are very excited about this project! Children can now come and read books from the library two days every week. The children is also provided with a nice place where they can sit and enjoy the books.

The library will encourage the children to learn and find the joy in reading. 
Our goal is that the children will get opened up to the world of books and knowledge, that makes them grow and feel the excitement to learn more. 

The Library will be open after easter, when school has started again. Stay tuned! More pictures will be posted soon.
Amalath is placing books on the shelf, Kajuna is happy about the progress
Books are now filling the shelf's

Books ready to be used.

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.