More from Bugando

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Second lesson and both things I’d predicted had happened – the class had doubled in size and the posters had gone.

As I arrived, the lookout went tearing off to tell everyone I was coming and I came round the corner to a huge crowd of children, patting me, pulling at my clothes and screaming about everything they could see in my kikapu. 15 children scrambled to sit on 7 chairs round 6 desks, all grinning at me. It’s incredibly humbling.

Then I noticed the bare walls. I asked the founder to explain where they had gone and he told me that a teacher had borrowed them for another (hearing) class. I requested that they be brought back and was told he was not in school that day. I was furious. If they’re not back next week I’ll just have to buy some more and take them home with me every day. The attitude makes me so sad but also more determined to continue here.

First off was to write their own name cards and see if they recognised their names printed (most didn’t). These will also be put up on the wall for sticker reward system etc.

So we’re still on the theme of colours – Red, Blue, Green, Yellow. Recognising the words visually, matching them with objects of the same colour, practising writing them and then we did a creative exercise.  4 groups each had a letter – (B)lue, (R)ed and so on, drawn on to a piece of paper. They then had to sort through a collection of materials I’d brought and create a collage. (Just as an aside – I’d had a very fun afternoon with a friend the day before, visiting all the street tailors and asking for scraps. Everyone was very generous.) Ha, that was an eyeopener. No one had used glue or scissors before and the fighting that went on over each and every scrap of material or pom pom or paint brush… Definitely going to have to work on the sharing skills!

So there’s more stuff up on the wall. Everyone got a sticker for good work and all wanted confirmation that I was coming back again.  Their level of learning is more like 4-5 year olds and that’s where I’m pitching it. Some of them can write the word ‘Red’ beautifully because of copying letters off the board for 2 years but still have no understanding of what it means and don’t recognise it printed out. It’s going to be a pole pole process but as long as everyone is enjoying it and they’re trying new things I think that’s the main thing.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far – it’s meant I can buy the materials and add some colour to their lessons. Thereza, Amina, Riziki, Steven, Andrea, Awahdi, Elias, Ilagi, Geofrey, Jabiri, Pendon, Anastazia, Abdallah, Said, really appreciate it. If you’d like to help me continue, the link to donate is http://www.justgiving.com/Kirsty-Lee1

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