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|In This Issue:|
|Growing Children, Growing Community|
|New CAUSE Kids School Seeking Sponsors|
|CAUSE Kids Program Overview|
|Growing Children, Growing Community
A Letter from Dusty Parker, CAUSE Kids Program Manager
I just returned from Sierra Leone, where I was honoured to visit with CAUSE Kids partners and beneficiaries. With schools closing down for the summer in mid-July, it was an excellent opportunity to meet with teachers, students, community leaders, and parents near the end of another long and fruitful school year.
In Koinadugu District, the farming season is now at full speed. Most farmers have sown their upland rice seeds and many are now harvesting vegetables for market.
The CAUSE Kids gardens, too, are very green and growing with remarkable quickness. Bean stocks are taller than I am, okra blooms are offering their large yellow smiles, and cassava plants are gowing into great green bushes.
It is a beautiful time to be in Koinadugu, though the beauty fails to show the hard work of so many people. School Management Committees, Chiefs, women's groups, parents, teachers and students - entire communities have dedicated themselves to seeing CAUSE Kids gardens grow. With the help of CAUSE Kids agricultural specialists, the communities in turn benefit from innovative sustainable agriculture techniques that they have replicated on their own farms.
In the gardens, and in the schools, I see healthy children with bright smiles, giggling little girls in first grade, the "cool" boys of grade three, and tall, shy junior high young people. Students eat their hot lunches with messy enthusiasm. I am greeted by glasses standing in unison, greeting, "Good morning, how are you?"
Like plants in a garden, these children in the classroom require an entire community in order to grow and flourish. Parents sacrifice their children's labour in the household to send them to school. Community members encourage one another against convention to make sure their girls are educated. Headmasters work tirelessly to make the most of their infrastructure. Teachers commit themselves to clasrooms that average 66 students, even though many of them are not formally educated and do not always receive a salary. CAUSE Kids staff monitor attendance, teacher lesson plans, and student health and nutrition.
CAUSE Kids-supported schools are watering minds and feeding bodies, giving children the opportunity to establish deep roots whie growing skyward. They have great potential as future leaders, and they radiate the hope that they will improve themselves, their communities, and their country.
CAUSE Kids currently offers full support to 5 schools. 10 others are growing gardens - the first step in growing their children. It is our mission to build CAUSE Kids to offer these schools, too, the full opportunities of CAUSE Kids sponsorship.
Thank you so much for being part of this growing community!
|New CAUSE Kids School Seeking Sponsors|
The primary school in the community of Heremakono has anticipated becoming a fully-supported CAUSE Kids school for 3 years. In 2008 they started a community-run school garden as the first step towards a full partnership. In other CAUSE Canada programs, the people of Heremakono have shown tremendous commitment to community development in both School Management Committees and Mother's Clubs. Now we are arranging to further assist Hermakono by adding more formalized healthcare, water and sanitation, school supplies, and nutrition enabled by individual sponsorships.
Children's education is a foundational step in enabling a community to thrive. Please consider extending this opportunity to another child in Heremakono through CAUSE Kids child sponsorship.
CAUSE Kids Program Overview
click here for a pdf version of the CAUSE Kids program poster
|Schools!||Kabala WCSL, Kabala Baptist, Koromansilaia, Affia, and Sulimania are fully-supported CAUSE Kids schools. 10 others have partial support, cumulatively benefitting 5,000 students. In 2011, CAUSE Kids built 3 new school buildings!|
|Harvested crops from each school garden are used for the school feeding program that provides every child in every supported primary school with a cold breakfast and a hot lunch every day. Community volunteers build cook shelters and mother's club members prepare healthy and delicious meals.||Nutrition!|
|Water & Sanitation!||
This year, the CAUSE Kids program initiated soap-making with the students. School-crafted soap stocks each hand-washing station and the excess is sold to the public to support school finances.
Student governments and mother's clubs, organized by CAUSE Canada through UNICEF, help ensure school compounds are kept clean by building and fencing waste and compost pits and organizing clean-up activities. CAUSE Kids builds, rehabilitates, and maintains water wells and latrines at all supported schools.
|Uniforms, shoes and supplies are provided to all students in our fully-supported schools. Cupboards were built and installed this year to hols books and supplies, including text books provided in partnership with UNICEF and the Government of Sierra Leone.||School Supplies & Uniforms!|
|Teacher Training!||CAUSE Kids staff visit schools to meet with teachers to monitor proper use of the teacher's manual and text books. CAUSE Kids is also providing thematic training and paying tuition for ambitious but untrained teachers to complete distance education.|
Students participate in active sustainabable agricultural education in school gardnes where they plant groundnut, cabbage, okra, pepper, cassava, potatoes, and pigeon peas. With help from community members, schools also undertake rice farming projects.
Harvested crops are used in school meals with the excess sold for income to support the school.
|Health!||CAUSE Kids staff visit students at home, enabling them to identify and monitor students with health issues. CAUSE Kids staff give health talks in schools, and the CAUSE Kids program pays for any necessary surgeries and other medical needs|