Newsletter #1: August 2016

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25 August 2016

Newsletter #1: August 2016

Hello all. Here is the most recent edition of the KOST newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading all about the children, and KOST’s work in Kenya.

Capturing the voice of the child

Our discussions in recent committee meetings have focused on the need to consider the views of the children we are supporting. The UN Convention on the rights of a child (1989) state that it is a child’s right to be heard and have the views of the child taken into account. Furthermore, recent developments in safeguarding children also focus on this: “Spending time with children, talking to them, and making sure that you are actively listening and taking seriously what they say is an essential safeguarding activity.” NCB Communicating with Children 2006.
To facilitate this, we have asked Joseph, the home’s manager, to ask the children to respond to some open questions. These were:

  • What do you think of your new library?
  • What do you use it for?
  • How does having new shoes help you? Or what do you like about having new shoes?
  • Tell us one good thing about, ‘Day of the African Child? ’

You can read some of the children’s comments throughout this newsletter.

Day of the African Child

This took place on 16th June this year. KOST children played an active role; their song and dance performance was accompanied by one of our trainee boys, who has learned to play the keyboard.  The keyboard was bought by KOST after it was requested for use as accompaniment during Sunday worship time at the home.  Several of KOST’s children have learned to play it since it was bought.

According to Wikipedia, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the OAU Organisation of African Unity. It honours those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.

In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot. More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured.

On June 16th every year, governments, NGOs, international organisations and other stakeholders gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realisation of the rights of children Africa.

Here’s what some of the children has to say about the day:

“It encourages me to be more confident in terms of expressing myself before others”

“We get encouraging words and entertainment by children performing dramas, songs and dances.”

“It makes me learn that there are some other orphans and vulnerable children from other regions too. Not only us.”

“On the day of the African child I meet different people, children from different schools and homes. We get entertained through songs, poems and plays. Guardians and parents are also encouraged to take the children to school, feed them and dress them well.”

“On the day of the African child, I was happy because I went for the procession. Children were singing and dancing on the way. I also met many children. Some adults encouraged us to grow up and be good people. They also said that a child has a right to eat, dress and also be taken to school.”

“It is a day that we get encouraged as children to be focused on our studies because we are the leaders of tomorrow.

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New shoes

In March, KOST sent £237.69 to Kenya for 25 pairs of new school shoes. Children are not allowed to go to school in sandals or trainers, so school shoes are an essential.

Furthermore, without shoes, the children are prone to get ‘Jiggers’.  Jiggers cause all sorts of problems:

Jiggers burrow into human flesh, lay pea-size eggs and multiply. They cause swelling, itching, ulceration and infection. Victims can suffer blood poisoning, gangrene, tetanus and other diseases.

jiggers

Source: Daily Mail

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Here’s what some of the children had to say about their new shoes:

“I feel happy and confident while walking on the way to school. I feel proud when people look at them and admire them.”

“I feel happy when I put on new shoes. My friends look at them and say they are smart. My teachers also say I look smart.”

“The headteacher does not send me home to go and put on proper school shoes. They make me presentable when we go for functions such as Church.”

“The new shoes still have hard soles, so it is not easy to get injured by thorns or other materials.”

“They make us look neat. I don’t go to school or Church or Home in slippers or sandals.”

“It protects me from Jiggers and other injuries on my feet.”

“I walk in comfort because of the new shoes, they also fit my feet well so it’s easier to walk and run.”

The Library

Developing a library for the children has been an ongoing project for KOST UK and the staff of the home. As you can see from the photos, this has now become a reality.   This project was wholly funded by a kind donation from Mrs. Kath Wilkinson, who gave money in memory of her late mother, Margaret Allen.

Books have been identified and sourced by the two teachers and social worker employed by KOST.  The main categories are:

  • Text books for class work
  • Revision text books
  • Books for early childhood learning and for those who do not yet read well
  • Storybooks
  • Wall charts

There were other expenses, such as new plastic chairs for the children to sit in whilst they read and work, and fluorescent lighting, to make reading easier! Thank you to Kath for making this happen through her kindness and generosity.

Children reading in the new library

Children reading in the new library

The teachers and children are very excited about the library:

“It is good because it helps in discovering new words especially when I am reading storybooks.”

“I use it for reading and revising for any exams. I also get the past examination papers from it.”

“I like the new library because it helps me to study and pass my exams.”

“We get story books to read over the weekends.”

“It’s a good environment for studying. The chairs and study table is well arranged. .. It has good lighting and the walls are well painted.”

“It’s important because we keep our books in it. It’s attractive because it is neatly arranged, well painted, has charts and good plastic chairs.”

“We use it for remedial lessons. We also use it to read story books and charts that are hanged on the walls.”

Fundraising

give-as-you-live

Fundraising is a very important element of our income, even though our administration costs are kept to virtually nothing. One way that you can easily help with this is to sign up to Give as you Live. Give as you Live is a fundraising website that allows you to nominate your favourite charity to receive a donation every time you shop online.

Go to giveasyoulive.com and enter ‘Kenyan Orphan Sponsorship Trust’ in full, into the search box. From there, you will be given the option to click onto KOST’s page and select KOST as your nominated charity. Put in your details, and you’re ready to start helping KOST at no extra cost to you!

That’s all for now. For more information, why not explore the rest of our website or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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