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The AfriKids Blog

Three success stories


It starts with £10

Atintono is a strong woman and commands a lot of respect in her community. She is the leading member of her local women’s cooperative, a group which has been benefitting from AfriKids’ micro-finance initiative. She has a small business which sells meals at the local market – it’s claimed the best ‘tz’ in town! Every market day her stall, selling ‘tz’ and other millet based dishes, is crowded with people trying to buy lunch from her.

Before support from AfriKids, Atintono was forced to buy millet on credit and when she struggled to make her repayments, she often found conversations with her suppliers very upsetting and embarrassing.

An initial loan of just £10, allowed her to buy a bulk supply of grains to properly stock her stall on market days, removing the stress of paying back her debts and helping Atintono concentrate on the growth of her business. With two children and many grandchildren to help support, she wanted to push her business further and generate more profit to benefit her family.

Whilst still a small business, Atintono has now given three other women in her community employment opportunities; paying them a small wage to help her prepare meals on market day. She has not only improved the lives of her family, she has also given these other women the chance to better support theirs too.

Atintono is a true entrepreneur and inspiration to others!


 

It’s all about interactive learning

Madame Paulina is a Kindergarten teacher who’s benefited from specific early years teacher training. Here she explains the difference it’s making in her school.

‘The Programme has brought remarkable improvement in the way we teach the children at the Kindergarten level.

Before, we had little and in some cases no teaching materials. This programme however has taught us to be more creative and to make teaching and learning materials using materials within our environment.  For example, I use crop stalks in maths to help the children learn to count and cut shapes out of paper so that they can learn them. This has made my classes very interesting and I have noticed a consequent increase in attendance due to the interactive nature of the classes. Pupils who used to have low attendance because they didn’t enjoy being in school are now attending more regularly and are being persuaded to increase their attendance even more!

My pupils, especially those who were introverts are now opening up. For instance, one pupil in my class was always quiet and didn’t interact with his colleagues in class. He would not obey even the smallest of instructions. However, introducing a lot of teaching and learning materials and my new mode of facilitation has allowed him to open up and he is now even asking questions in class!’


 

Disability is not inability - Javed’s story

At the age of six months, Javed was diagnosed with cerebral palsy - a condition which impairs his motor function, meaning he struggles to sit without assistance and can become stiff and uncomfortable without regular massage. People in his local community didn’t understand his condition and when he didn’t start to crawl or develop like other children, they believed that he must be a spirit child.

Javed is lucky that his mother, Mary, was determined to prove her community wrong and sought help from AfriKids. At this time, we only had one clinic which provided rehabilitation for children like Javed and it was situated in a village quite far from where he lives. But Mary was determined to seek help and she began travelling the four and a half hours there and back every week with her son; precious time she could have spent working, but improving her son’s condition was more important.

At the clinics, Javed benefitted from specialist physiotherapy to improve his coordination and mobility. In 2014 we were able to launch a new arm of this project in Javed’s local community, Mary immediately registered him at the new Feo centre so he could continue his rehab closer to home.

The team have now seen huge progress in Javed! When we first met him, he couldn’t sit or walk and he struggled to communicate, but the team are optimistic that in time he will be able to walk with support from mobility aids and that he will also learn to talk. With the right support, he has every opportunity to live a fulfilled life.

Mary has also been empowered and is training to become a hairdresser so she can better provide for her son’s needs. She says she would like to establish her own business so that she has time to prioritise Javed and his specialist needs in the long term. The future is looking promising.


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