Part 1 – Update on the school kids

A massive thank you for all your support which allows all these kids to attend school!

Bethan with Tumaini (left), Eman kubwa (back right), Eman dogo (middle) and David (front right)

This week Bethan (above) writes about how they visited all of the school kids to find out how they were doing and, especially, to give you a long-awaited update on how our new four – Pendo, Andrea, David and Abdulli – are settling in!  This involved visiting Usa River Academy in Usa to see most of the school kids there, and to visit Abdulli in Tengheru, where he is staying with his family.

Tumaini (left) and Dainess (right) skipping/jumping rope
“So, the Usa visit was brilliant! So nice to see all of the kids! Emelie, Bekka, Riz, Mama Pendo and I went there two Fridays ago. The Nkoaranga kids suddenly ran up from nowhere! They must have all been playing together in some other place on the field. Olivia, a volunteer here from America (my friend) sent me with some skipping ropes which the children immediately wanted.  There were some Nkoaranga kids that I didn’t know as they had left earlier than when we were first there but nonetheless they were still so friendly.”

“They all spoke very old English, particularly Tumaini! But it was impressive to hear Andrea, David and Pendo who have only been there since January also immediately speak English. They all seemed very happy and it was lovely seeing them all together with strong bonds just like when they were in Nkoaranga.  They all looked very smart in their uniforms.  Mama Pendo brought a suitcase of new woolly hats and jumpers that had been donated and which the kids all loved and crowded round to receive.  A couple of kids came running to the car as we were leaving to see if we had any left – luckily we did!  The school grounds are beautiful and there is so much green grass and outdoor space for them to run around in. As we left, they were all going back to their dormitories. I hope to visit again before I leave in 3 weeks.”

Left to right: Andrea, Eriki, David, Pendo, Dainess and Stevie

Dainess, Tumaini and David in their hats

“Unfortunately the SOS children’s village visit to see Gracie, Farajah, Aroni and a couple of other Nkoaranga kids was unsuccessful. We arrived to find that very recently they have brought in a new policy where we have to make an appointment to visit any of the children, which never used to be the case. The secretary was not prepared to make an exception, so although we had made the journey especially to see the children and came so close, we were not allowed any further which was such a shame.”

“Later at day, we met with Abduli and his father in Tengheru where we then drove to where they stay. They have just one room for Abduli, his father, stepmother and their other young son.  The father spoke of the few problems they are having such as the tiredness he faces everyday having to get up at 5 to journey into Arusha to drop Abduli in at school and then back again later. The Small Things do pay for the transport costs but the time it takes out of the day to get to Arusha twice means that they lose out on some money from their salon. Additionally, Abdulli is wetting himself every time he sleeps, including any naps he has at home. This is a problem as it costs extra to boil water to wash him twice or three times a day. He is still having some problems with being violent and hitting at school.”

“Despite these issues, they are determined to keep Abduli with them in their family at home, which is brilliant. They want to work through the problems which we of course will help with wherever possible, as long as Abduli stays with them. They seem like a very strong unit.  Abduli spoke of his best friend at school which was lovely to hear about and he wrote his name down for us in a notebook.  He is enjoying it.  But we will talk and look into other options like a closer school, and also speak to the school about how they are managing the students and just get their opinion on how Abduli is doing.”

Mama Pendo with some of the many kids she has raised and who were delighted to see her!

We will continue to monitor how all the kids who are at school with your help (THANK YOU!) are doing and to help out wherever we can, and keep you updated!  We have lots more pictures of individual kids that we will share with you all on facebook – there just wasn’t room for them all here!  Thank you, Bethan!

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