I have just taken my first malaria tablet because tomorrow, I will be leaving a wet and rainy Manchester to set of on an adventure to Africa!
I am going to support Act 4 Africa in establishing Kathy’s Kindergarten in the village of Mayuge.
Act4Africa is an award winning health and education charity aiming to promote gender justice for women and girls, equip them with life skills to be free from poverty, and combat HIV. They want to change attitudes, transform communities, and save lives.
The charity was set up in 2000 by husband and wife team Martin and Kathy Smedley.
Their holistic approach prioritises the needs of women and girls and poor communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Working at grass roots level with a focus on women, You can find out more about the charity here.
Kathy’s Fund was started in memory of co-founder Kathy Smedley, who died in August 2014. With the money that was raised the charity has built their first community health and education facility, Kathy’s Centre.
Part of Kathy’s centre is Kathy’s Kindergarten. There is also a youth club, HIV testing and counselling clinic, goat farm and an eco friendly brick making machine!
The Kindergarten has a Headteacher, Basil Amatre who trained in Uganda to deliver The Learning Framework for Early Childhood Development. You can have a look at an overview of it by clicking this link – Learning Framework Uganda.
Basil came over to the UK last year and had a packed week of visiting a variety of UK Early Years settings which were very different to the ones he had been used to in Uganda.
The Friars Primary Salford
The sort of furniture that you often see in our Early Years settings is not readily available in Mayuge so Basil and I had to design our own which he then had made by local craftsmen when he got back.
They look like a good set of Early Years shelves! The Kindergarten have got LOTS of donated resources which they are keen for the children to have access to. I am going to enjoy helping them to sort them when I get there!
Basil has now employed 3 other staff and Kathy’s Kindergarten opened it’s doors this week! Basil has been Whatsapping (is that even a word?) me their progress every day.
It looks even better with some children in it!
In the second week of my visit I am also being joined by the brilliant Oliver from Cool Canvas. Oliver is coming out to work with the local community to build the children an outdoor play space using the tools and resources that are readily available.
I cannot wait to see how that turns out!
All in all – a great adventure. I am also taking my middle son with me who is studying Media. His college have given him a (proper) video camera on loan for his trip, so hopefully we will get some good footage to share.
I am hoping to be able to share a bit more of my trip while I am there, but that is very much internet dependent. If not, I will do a catch up blog post when I get back.
Have a great half term – whatever you get up to.