HATCLIFFE EXTENSION PROJECT
ANNUAL REPORT 2004
This year has been the most challenging year with our very limited resources and a huge community to attend to in our entire project that is the preschool/nursery, clinic, feeding scheme programme, school assistance and counseling work.
The beginning of year started peacefully. We started with 120 children, 6 teachers, 2 cooks and a caretaker. One teacher left during the term because she had other commitments and was soon replaced through the preschool committee. Seeing the great number of children who were in need of the services we provided at our center, our number of children increased to 180 and that of teachers to 9 towards the end of this year. We managed to accommodate that big number with the help of pour good friends in Aham.
We also erected two new classrooms, a steel washing line, new blankets for every child, new benches for the school, new crockery and spoons and many other things to make the lives of these little children more comfortable.
During the course of the year we received 180 plastic plates, 189 plastic cups, 190 tablespoons, 29 floor mats, 14 benches + five stools, a medium sized teco pot, and a big silver pot, stationary such as pencils, crayons and exercise books. We also provided 26 uniforms and 13pairs of gumboots for the motivators. Each motivator got 2 uniforms and a pair of gumboots and one extra set of uniform, which is still in one of the containers.
Barclays Finance Division team has visited us thrice to uplift our garden. The garden has sustained our children very much throughout the year. We have been depending on it once or twice a week. It has provided the children with fresh vegetables such as rape, covo and spinach relish for a change from the beans and soya nyama they normally get.
Three children passed away from HIV/AIDS related illnesses throughout and more children are showing symptoms of the disease. We buy medicine and treat all the children as far as possible, some of the children need very expensive medicine and we are so grateful to our good friends in Germany who help us.
1.3 TOKEN OF APPRECIATION
We have made an agreement with Inter-Country Peoples Aid (IPA) from the beginning of the year that each child was to pay 3000 ZWD per month as a preschool fee, which will serve as a token of appreciation for the volunteers. Since we enroll orphans and vulnerable children, who cannot pay the fee, the Dominican Sisters have been paying that sum of money for each child out of the donation from our families and friends.
The volunteers have been receiving their token of appreciation every month on different days through the preschool committee and they had to acknowledge that they have received it by signing.
Bearing in mind that to be a volunteer is not easy, we have agreed with the preschool committee that our volunteers will serve us for a year to avoid any problems which comes by.
1.4 SCHOOL FEES ASSISTANCE
We have paid fees for 170 children in primary school and five students in high school of which 49% of the children in primary had been boys and 51% had been girls. 13% of the children in the primary were referred from the headmaster, 11% were referral from the counseling sessions and the clinic and 76% were children who attended our Tariro preschool/nursery. We have already enrolled 61 more children in the primary for next year 2005. School fees has increased once in primary school from 10000 ZWD in first term to 15000 ZWD second and third term per child, this is a big expense for us but we want the children to get at least a basic education.
Since there is a large number of children who need assistance of school fees, we have managed to exchange lists of children who are already being assisted with St. Gerald church and National AIDS Council (NAC) so that there is no duplication and that we are able to assist many children through networking with each other. One of the children we were paying for died mid-term.
The clinic has been running every Wednesday with two qualified nurses from the Dominican Sisters. During the year, the HIVAIDS disease has challenged the two nurses. Many of their patients who came for treatment suffered from the disease and they were all in need of food. They have managed to send 85 patients for counseling, thereafter for testing and were later sent to the Connaught clinic in Newlands for antiretrovirals.
Towards the end of the year they was an outbreak of scabies among preschool children and many adults from the community. From findings this disease came about because people were lacking hygiene in their homes. Most of them could not afford to buy soap for washing and bathing as most of their money went towards food so we received a large donation of bathing soap (protex) and key soap for washing clothes and blankets from the Diplomatic Spouses Association.
Some of the people have been driven to the clinic by hunger. They came to the clinic complaining with headaches, eyes, and stomachaches when in actual fact they wanted to be assisted with food. This was another challenge the two nurses were faced with, knowing that they were food shortages for those who were in real need. They were also home visits on bedridden patients. More than 15 of our patients died during the year.
1.6 FEEDING SCHEME
Due to food shortage experienced, this past year has been hard. Many people have been driven to our center by hunger and yet we could not help all. Most of the food we had, had been given to:
- 85 patients on antiretroviral drugs,
- 1 Child headed family,
- 1 000 food packs which consisted of 10kg mealie-meal/5kg rice, 1kg beans, 500ml cooking oil, 5kg porridge and peanut butter for emergency cases we came across for the whole year
- Most of it has been feeding children at the preschool/nursery. We spend large amounts of money for the children, food is very expensive here now.
Inter-Country Peoples Aid (IPA) conducted two workshops for the preschool/nursery aunties this year. The theme of one of them was Working with grieving children and the other one was a refresher course on the basics when playing with children. Since there was a shortage of Learning through play manuals, some got and some didnt.
We started off with one qualified clinical social worker from Connect this year. Towards the end of the year we got another volunteer to make them two. The two have been coming once or twice a week to provide counseling services or whenever there was need. So far they have managed to counsel individuals, families and children with the help of caregivers from the community. They have also visited clients in their homes so that they feel the environment they clients are exposed to and how they can help depending on the cases. During the mid term, LOTTO donated five sewing machines and a phone to assist those in need. The counselors worked with the two nurses to identify the group of people who were in need of the sewing machines and the phone was given to the youth group.
1.9 CHRISTMAS PARTY/ GRADUATION CEREMONY
This is one occasion, which takes place once a year and we normally have it in third term. This year it was done beginning of December and it mainly focused on preschool/nursery children unlike other years were all the patients and caregivers were involved. Each child got a large Christmas gift of clothes, a pair of sandals/shoes and a packet of 5kg rice.
Though this year has been a very difficult year, with few donors forthcoming, it was a success because we have managed to run our programme as planned from the beginning when we had enough. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our good friends in Aham and all those responsible who were actively involved with the preschool/nursery and the clinic throughout the year and all our friends local and international who made it a success.