Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Busy Life Makes a Happy LIFE

Abi, a member of Team Life, engaging with the girls at Girls Club

Team LIFE had to work exceptionally hard over weeks 7 and 8, which were potentially the busiest weeks of their placement yet. With the re-established boys and girls clubs starting, our best school sensitisation to date, our first ‘call in’ radio sensitisation, a community sensitisation in Chuchuliga and some great team bonding activities, it is safe to say that we have been rushed off our feet in Sandema.

After multiple meetings and visits to schools to promote the return of the Boys and Girls youth clubs, we finally started the clubs up again on Saturday the 25th of February. The turn out for both clubs were higher than those of previous cohorts with an attendance of 14 boys for boys club and around 80 girls for the girls club, showing that our promotions of the clubs around Sandema had been  successful. The clubs are not only educational and focus on topics the young people of the community need to be aware of, such as hygiene, but are also a fun activity for the children to look forward to on their Saturday afternoons every week.

Week 7’s school sensitisation took place on the morning of Friday the 24th February, and was our most successful school sensitisation of all. We had a great response from not only the children but the teachers at the school too. The sensitisation was held at the English – Arabic School. The small size of the group meant all students were able to interact with the team throughout the presentation and there were even students taking notes, showing a high level of engagement and interest in what we were teaching. In this presentation the teachers were even ready to ask questions and get involved. The headmistress of the school went on to say that we had delivered the best sensitisation the school has ever received from International Service which was a huge compliment to our team and the work we have put in to perfecting our sensitisation and their delivery.

An  informative school sensitisation at the English - Arabic Primary

Our first ‘call in’ radio sensitisation took place on Friday the 24th of February in the evening. The radio sensitisation focused on the rights of people with disabilities and the listeners of Radio Builsa were given the opportunity to call in to the show and give their views and ask questions about human rights and the work our team are doing. Although the spontaneous questions asked to the radio team were difficult, the radio team handled this new situation professionally and answered all questions to the best of their ability, broadening their skills and improvising well under pressure.

Team LIFE’s long awaited community sensitisation took place on Saturday the 4th of March in Chuchuliga, Namonsa and was a hit with the members of the community. The sensitisation included speeches on topics surrounding disabilities, such as the types of disabilities and their causes, false myths surrounding disability and the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. These speeches were broken up by performances from cultural dancing troupes, which Team LIFE were eager to partake in. Our drama called “The Success of the Dumping Child,” which showed how, when given the opportunity, people with disabilities can and do amount to great things, was the most succesful section of the programme. People shuffled around to get the best views of the drama and all were smiling and fully engaged. Our team was supported by our partner organisation (PCBR) and members of the Disabled Peoples Organisation. Our sensitisation had a final turn out of 298, which was a lot better than we had anticipated. .

Residents of Namonsa enjoying the LIFE Team drama
Despite Team LIFE being busy and completely rushed off their feet, we have still found time to relax and have fun as a team! On Tuesday the 28th of February, the team came together to celebrate Shrove Tuesday with the usual western tradition of pancakes! This was a time for the UK volunteers to show the in-country volunteers a small part of UK culture and also prove that they too are capable in the kitchen, even if the food is different to what we have been eating in Sandema. The pancakes were appreciated by all members of the team and the UK volunteers felt victorious in cooking food that the in-country volunteers enjoyed! As well as this, we managed to have another movie night on Saturday the 4th March after the community sensitisation. This too was a fun way to wind down after our very busy time here in Sandema.

Team LIFE has been working hard and keeping busy with their project but will always be the “LIFE of the party”, and we know that having fun and being a unified team is an important part of any work project!

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