SI FISHGUARD & DISTRICT SI Fishguard held a concert to raise funds for
a special needs school in Darkhan, Mongolia, where a member, Sally Francis, works with VSO as Educational Adviser to the Regional Government.
130 children, aged 6 to 16, live in the school, going home to their nomadic herder parents only when the weather allows them to travel the great distances involved. 20 orphans live permanently in the school. Conditions are basic and there was no stimulation for their emotional or imaginative development. The event raised £4,000. Heledd Francis
Wright, a professional flautist and Sally’s daughter, was the star of the show, including Mongolian music in her programme. The special guest was the Ambassador of Mongolia, who
SI YORK EBOR Members of SI York Ebor have supported
a refuge for women in Maher, (Pune, India) who were subjected to domestic violence, by taking part in First Aid workshops led by Club members, Wendy Dickinson and Rosemarie Temple and her partner, John. Whilst the practical “hands on” demonstrations were well received, members realised that many of the women, who would be cascading the training in the villages, had poor literacy skills. The Programme Action group agreed to
develop the Accessible First Response Training Pack; a training manual that would provide an instructional resource for the women to use which would consolidate the knowledge and skills developed during this training. Accessible formats are designed for people with little or no literacy skills by converting formal complex structured sentences into shorter simpler sentences using easy plain English, or in this case Marathi, and the use of pictures/symbols.
Two manuals; in Marathi and English were developed. The English version is for those who are literate but would like to develop their English language skills.
The development of this pack has been fraught with difficulties when translating the English into Marathi but over the past eighteen months draft versions have travelled to Maher for validation of translation and proof reading. The package consolidates the work that has been undertaken and will aid the ladies of Maher to independently cascade the training to other women in the surrounding villages. Not only will it promote confidence and self esteem through education, it will prevent potential deterioration by recognising the need to use first aid techniques and promote good health by seeking qualified medical advice as required.
SI BARRY & DISTRICT
The “Tilapia” Project started with a plan to set up an Afternoon Care for primary school children in the disadvantaged region of Camp Levieux, Rose Hill. At the Club’s Day Care Centre for the Elderly were two spare rooms, a large veranda and a walled garden to ensure total security to the children who would come after school. The children could learn to communicate with the senior citizens and both groups would benefit. Having obtained £8000 from two
sponsors, a roof was put on an open area next to the spare rooms. Furniture, books, posters, stationery and a white board were bought. Parents came to a meeting to hear about the plan, and the fact that the facility would be free of charge.
In May 2009, 16 children aged 4 to 8 came to the centre. From 3 to 5.30 pm, under the supervision of two teachers from a nearby pre-primary school, they enjoyed painting, singing, reciting nursery rhymes, sessions of reading and, for the eldest help with their homework.
In August, sponsors, the Mayor and the Councillors of the Municipality of Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, parents and members of the SI Mauritius came to the official opening of the “Tilapia Project”. The children sang, recited poems and their paintings were exhibited. This year, as soon as school reopened
in January new children came. They are kept busy doing their homework, reading, singing, painting and playing basketball. As soon as more funds are available, SI Ipsae plans Saturday activities for 7 to 9 year olds. They will need more furniture, books, educational games and computers.
Members recently staged “mock” interviews for 62 sixth form pupils from Bryn Hafren School, giving them advice on interviewing techniques. This was part of their Welsh International Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – key skills, problem solving and looking at what students would do when they left school. This was an area in which the members felt they could assist pupils by helping them develop their interview skills and boosting their confidence, in what can be a daunting experience for young people. The feedback from the pupils was excellent. Among many positive comments Jordan Dent said, “They encouraged me to concentrate on my strengths and present myself in a positive light”. It was an equally rewarding experience for the Soroptimists who took part. Member Jean Bisham said, “I really enjoyed my time with the students and under the guidance of fellow Soroptimists and Sixth Form Tutor, Jackie Memory, I hope I helped the students to improve their skills. I was very impressed with their commitment and determination and wish them all the best.” The sentiment was expressed by all the members who took part in the project and it is intended to make it an annual event.
Soroptimist News SEPTEMBER 2010 7
travelled from London for his first visit to Wales. At the school, a special room has been refurbished and furnished and provided with computers and all sorts of games, including chess and table tennis. It had an official opening in April and the next stage is to construct a basketball court outside the school.
Poignant letters received from the children said:
“We can now learn to play and make friends”; “You are the only people who help us”; “Thank you for making us stars”
SI Barry says “We are delighted that SI Darkhan has agreed to take on the project when Sally leaves. We hope to develop ties between the two Clubs in future to help further understanding between our communities. In this we have the enthusiastic support of the Ambassador, the County Council and the Town Council”.
SI CAPE OF GOOD HOPE For a number of years this Club has supported
an NGO project – the Shine Centre in Cape Town. The support has been mainly financial although one member was a volunteer assisting the children to read until ill health curtailed her efforts. South Africa has a monumental literacy challenge – not just reading words but being able to comprehend what has been read. There is also a lack of numeracy. Schools are struggling as even higher grade learners cannot understand the questions when given a test paper. Although they know the theory they struggle to understand the questions.
The Shine Centre is a volunteer driven NGO which provides support in literacy and language enrichment to second language learners in the Foundation Phase (Grade R-Grade 3). It promotes tirisano – a term for encouraging learners, parents, communities and businesses to work in partnership with us towards securing a better education for our children in South Africa. The Cape of Good Hope Club has recently
raised funds exclusively for this project with a very up-market fashion co-ordination evening. These funds have been applied to opening another outlet for the project. Photo: President, Lisette Genseberger (right) with the ladies from the Shine Centre who attended the function.
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