Garden at the Daughters of Charity
Our last week has been a bit crazy. There was so much to be done: tidying up assessments, final grammar tests, preparing for the “Oliver” performance, a night out with the admin staff, buying presents for the sisters…
On top of all that, we have had lots of visitors. Four students and two teachers from Castle Knock in Ireland arrived for two weeks volunteering at the streetchildren project.
We introduced them to our classes, which they’ll be taking next week, and spent some social time together.
Filed under Africa, CAFOD
”]A couple of weeks ago we had the brainwave of using the story “Oliver Twist” for reading and comprehension with our classes.
I’m not sure how Charles Dickens would feel about having his classic novel reduced to two sides of A4, but it has worked so well!
The children here identify with Oliver. Most of them have also experienced running away, sleeping in cold and dirty places and being hungry.
They completely understood Oliver’s dilemma in deciding whether to pick pockets in order to stay at Fagin’s or refuse to steal and continue to sleep on the streets.
”]Our latest idea for Wednesday activity day at the Streetchildren Project was an arts and crafts day.
I had brought some wire and a selection of tiny coloured beads from England for making jewellery.
Janet decided to make papier-mache pinatas by covering inflated balloons with newspaper dipped in flour and water.
Pauline learnt a few origami instructions from the internet for a paper-folding workshop.
Finally, one of the project’s staff, Adhanom, agreed to supervise a painting workshop so that every child would have the chance to do at least two activities during the day.
After five weeks here we are getting to know some of the children’s stories – most of them are difficult to hear.
Tekeste is in class 3 – my brightest class. He is a little star. Always listens with great attention, tries to answer every question, and is so helpful.
When I first arrived I thought he was about 10. He’s actually 13. He is the eldest child and has three sisters and a brother.
This week Janet went on a home visit to his house with Bereket, the project’s social worker.
A woman and her daughter, involved in the Women's Development Co-operative supported by CAFOD partner the Daughters of Charity in Alitena
This weekend we plucked up our courage and visited another of the Daughters of Charity communities in Tigray – this time at Alitena four hours drive North.
Why did we need courage? Alitena is close to the Eritraean border, and the border is still being negotiated since the war a few years ago.
We were told not to worry as the roads would have been swept for landmines by the Ethiopian troops early in morning before traffic was allowed to pass!