This Week: Social Welfare Minister Visits!
Welcome to our weekly news roundup! Here we share stories from each of our Villages about our Programs, celebrations, children, and staff. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, please subscribe to our newsletter.
This week we welcomed new students, worked together with caregivers, and received a visit from a Social Welfare Minister!
Bulale (Tanzania): Community Parents Lend a Hand
At VOH Bulale the kids are back to school and everyone is setting into the new school year well!
We have opened our grade two class, and welcomed over 70 new children joining all of our classes (pre-school, kindergarten, grades one and two)! This means we have also welcomed many new parents and guardians into our program as we’ve received and enrolled their children.
We try hard to develop a close relationship with the parents and caregivers and encourage them to be involved in our community and programs. Recently 93 of them showed up on a Saturday to help do some maintenance and cleaning up around our Village. They helped with cutting grass, levelling our pathways (after so much rain here they have been washed out), gardening, and general clean up and maintenance.
We are very thankful for their involvement and willingness to help support our programs. We look forward to continuing to build this great relationship with them!
Bwiza (Burundi): Monthly Caregiver Meetings
Last week at VOH Bwiza we held our monthly meeting with our children’s caregivers.
This month we discussed our children’s school results during the first term. We focused on how important it is that we work together to help the children succeed at school. We agreed that if we all continue to do our part, the children will have the best chance of receiving good results and ultimately succeed in meeting our mission of supporting them so that when they graduate they are equipped to become contributing members of society.
At the end of the meeting, we were happy to be able to send mosquito nets home with the guardians to further protect the household from malaria!
Chongwe (Zambia): 100% Exam Pass Rate!
At VOH Chongwe we are happy to see our grade 7 students back in school with big smiles on their faces after receiving a 100% pass rate!
We appreciate the grade 7 students and teachers for their outstanding academic input. Thanks to their hard work, our school is now one of the leading schools in the district.
We wish them all the best as they move onto high school. We know they will do well.
Kitwe (Zambia): Discipleship Class
Discipleship is an important focus at VOH Kitwe and we have a discipleship class that helps teach the students various life skills.
Currently, the class is learning how to live together in the community. In class, they see demonstrations from their friends on how to care for others when they are in need.
Children learn best when they are involved in the lesson. This is why each class is full of fun as the students participate in communicating the lesson of the week.
They are looking forward to more of these types of classes!
Luongo (Zambia): Meeting with the Parents’ Committee
VOH Luongo is thankful for our partnership with the surrounding community. We attach great importance to these partnerships for the smooth running of the Village.
When the school opened last month we called together our Parents’ Committee for a business meeting. The VOH Kitwe Director and the Pastor of a local Church also joined us.
During the gathering, we discussed working together to care for our children. Also, there was time to visit the construction site for the new school and the Pastor prayed for the site.
Malawi: Head Minister Compliments Our Work!
“By reputation, VOH Malawi is one of the best community based orphan-care programs in the country of Malawi.” This is what the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare the Honourable Mary Navicha had to say after spending a day visiting VOH Malawi!
Along with around 20 delegates from Social Welfare and the Ministry of Gender, the Minister spent time at our Village and visited the homes of two VOH children and their families in the community.
The visit was recorded and televised on the National News here in Malawi with Aunty Renatta gave an excellent interview as part of the broadcast.
Maramvya (Burundi): Electing a Committee of Guardians
At VOH Maramvya we recently held a meeting with the parents and guardians of our children. The main purpose of the meeting was to elect a committee of guardians who will represent everyone as needed. This will help us provide for the holistic development of the children.
The guardians have elected 6 representatives: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and two advisors.
At the end of the meeting, all the parents and guardians were excited to elect their leaders.
We believe this committee will play a major role in further strengthening the relationship between VOH and the surrounding community!
Mongu (Zambia): Dance Practice
There’s always lots of fun and games at VOH Mongu! We enjoyed seeing our kids come together and show off their talents, from the youngest children to the older kids.
Recently, everyone came to practice their dance routines that they plan to perform at the Kid’s Church on Sunday.
Clarissa, one of our amazing staff and missionaries, helped organize and co-ordinate all the children for each dance and worked together with some of the older kids–Mukungu, Kelvin, and Khahilu–who are also Kid’s Church leaders.
We had such a fun time with the kids watching them tap into their creative sides!
Mwanza (Tanzania): Welcoming New Students!
At VOH Mwanza we are back in full swing at school! All of our children and teachers are back after a long break and everyone is settling into the new school year routine.
We welcomed a couple of new teachers and 30 new community students. These children are coming from vulnerable situations at home. Some are double orphans who live with extended family, and many others come from single-parent homes. In both situations, poverty makes it difficult to afford basic care and education.
These students are enrolled based on assessments our team does in the community with the cooperation of local community leaders. Once they are enrolled we continue to follow up and work with their parents and guardians to ensure we improve their situation, help them meet basic needs for their children, and bring hope into their families.
We are excited to welcome these new children and help them settle into life in the VOH Mwanza community!
Zimbabwe: Adapting our Feeding Program
The beginning of the year is always exciting. At VOH Zimbabwe, we have many new children joining our community and we have some new programs starting up.
We also changed our on-site feeding program from a daily porridge to Mahewu. Mahewu is a nutritious drink that is prepared and each student gets some during breaks.
We noticed with the old system that some children were missing the morning feeding program porridge because they were not able to arrive at school on time. This new program helps ensure that every child receives the nutritious care they need.
The children cannot hide the joy and excitement when they receive this drink. It’s smiles all over; we’re so glad they love it!