Making the difference

Over the last few days we have been working together with Teacher Selvin and Teacher Celin to understand the importance of routine and daily activities that are interesting and inviting for the children. We explained how we work in Yellow Dot by setting out provocations on the table for the children to explore and how we follow the children’s interests. We explained that too much on one table can be too much for a child and that it can sometimes be over stimulating, making it difficult for them to focus. However we also explained that other things can come out if the children lose interest. Both Teacher Selvin and Teacher Celin have taken on what we have said.
Today we arrived and the tables were already outside, children sat around them, happily engaged in what activities were going on. Eventually all tables came out as it was a nice morning and the children had 5 tables to explore, each set out with different activities. We were so impressed and really praised both Teacher Selvin and Teacher Celin! We spoke briefly about what a difference it has made and how the children are learning through their play. We have noticed the black board has not been used for any formal teaching all week. The children are becoming so proud of their creations they are making and coming up to us to take a picture of it, others quietly enjoy the praise they are given. Their smiles just say it all!
Whilst on the drawing table with the children i noticed one child drawing C4C (photo included), which made me so proud as this is what the charity is all about (Citizens 4 Change). The children were able to draw objects that were familiar to them and the older children wrote letters/sounds and numbers. I wrote a child’s name on their paper and she was able to copy it underneath. They love to draw and create models, the language and learning that is going on is just outstanding, and it just shows we can make a difference and we have!
Teacher Selvin said she wanted to take the children out for a nature walk in the local community so they could spot different colours and minibeasts – we thought this was wonderful, as children learn from real life experiences. We gathered all 35 children and walked out onto the street, children from 1 years old to 4 years old walked along while Teacher Selvin pointed out the different colours of flowers, which the children loved to pick and then bring them to us and told us the colour as they gave to us. We also found some grasshoppers and butterflies which they enjoyed showing us. The children of all ages were engaged and we could tell this is something they do regularly, they were happily walking in the streets, very relaxed. All of the children walk to school through the slums with their parents or older siblings so they are used to walking from a very young age. We all collected natural materials whilst on our walk. Once we got back the children were encouraged to explore what they had found, talking about the different shapes, colours and textures they had observed – even a grasshopper and a dead moth made it back to school with us!!
Later on we went to the Maasai market for the Charity Coffee shop in Romsey, Asante. Asante buy things from the market and sell them in their shop, continuing to raise money for the Life Centre School. There are lots of lovely African crafts along with traditional cultural items. We have selected a few items that will be on sale at the coffee shop when we get back. It was extremely hot at the market and we feel obliged to go to every store to show respect to them. A big part of visiting the market is being able to bargain with the stall holders which is exhausting! But we got through it and are very happy with our bargains.

We hope you all have a lovely weekend and thank you for taking your time to read our blog. We can’t believe we have been here 2 weeks already and only have 1 left, but we strongly feel we have made a huge difference to the provision in the day care and cant wait to continue with it next week!