We primarily worked with the Deep Sea Slums community and partnered with two local grassroots organizations, and DJ Kalonje, a local celebrity. Prior to implementing our six week program we met with the parents to discuss the agenda and desired outcomes. After that we met with Project Mabawa, Victoria Sports Association to discuss our program and the schedule of speakers from the community, including female business owners. We met three times a week with the children providing snacks, sanitary, and hygienic products with each interaction. We scheduled to meet at the Deep Sea Slum nursery for two hour interactions, but many times we ran over with activities due to children from the community joining our activities at random times.
I was introduced to the community by a volunteer from Taiwan. Together we met with community leaders and parents to discuss some of the concerns and risk for children in the community. We then met with the children to ask what their concerns were and what was important to them. We also did a walk through the community to assess resources and risk.
We met with the community leaders, parents, and children to assess available resources and concerns The goal was to increase self-esteem, especially of girls and to provide entrepreneurial training to decrease the risk of dependency on males for support. We wanted to decrease the pregnancy rate, child marriage, drug abuse, and poverty. The girls were provided sanitary and hygienic products to take care of their personal needs and to increase their attendance.
We partnered with several local organizations (Victoria Sports Association, Project Mabawa, DJ Kalonge) to provide training discovering and developing talents, business management, building self-esteem and self-awareness.
This is an area that is definitely in need of improvement. There was not a formal evaluation. However, the community leaders and groups stated that the children benefitted from the training, and as a result the programs will be continuing. In fact, I have been able to connect this slum area with groups from Cleveland, Ohio who send sanitary and hygienic supplies on a regular basis. Having local female business owners and college students was probably the most effective for demonstrating positive alternatives for the girls.
Sustaining the Work:
We maintain communications with all stakeholders via telephone, whatsapp, email, and face book. The partnerships that were created have been maintained and continue to offer ongoing programs. We send funding to maintain continuation of programs. In addition, we have created connections with individuals and groups in the states to provide supplies and funding.
The community leaders and parents stated their children were excited about the information provided and this has increased their desire to do better in school, not take part in drug activity or other criminal behavior. We definitely, are successful in providing ongoing supplies throughout the year. An actual impact on self-esteem is something we would like measure more effectively in the future.