One step at a time, to empower the younger generations from community schools into becoming conscious of their emotional health. The assembly on Children’s Mental Health took place on 26th August, 2022 the audience present at the site were the entire school students and staff from Bal Kumari school. These students who are in-fact beneficiaries of ESL- educational project under GFF Helps Nepal, took the lead on sharing awareness on Children’s Mental Health and why it matters? The assembly aimed at improving the students in both public speaking and pronunciation in English Language. While, supporting the overall objective to spread knowledge Students from class VI perform an assembly on Children’s Mental Health Matters on mental health with the entire school. The use of posters illustrating imageries such as: An Ice-Berg (on the surface and within water displays actions and emotions respectively); two minds one filled with a beautiful garden , while the other filled with thunderstorms; posters that shows a cartoon boy with a message saying: It is okay to be sad, anxious, worried, confused, angry; the final poster shared the message on using words that are loving, healing, kind, caring and life giving. The ESL (English as a Second Language) and mental health sessions are inter-related focusing on both of GFF Helps Nepal -Education and Emotional Learning Projects.
Joe FisherEMOTIONAL LEARNING- ASSEMBLY ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
The children of Chandragiri Municipality attend school everyday. They are taught basic speech, movement and disciplined by the staff working in this school. Apart from the daily routine, GFF Helps planned to organize a musical therapy session with these children in order to cater to their emotional well being. The children enjoyed singing along with the dance session. This therapy helps in releasing and exploring the children’s emotions, helps with active listening, use of both gross and fine motor movements, recalling of song, non – verbal and verbal communication, self – management of behaviour. This session also help them to improve their social interaction and improve relationships with their peers and teachers.
Supporting Health Clinic
As the saying goes “Health is Wealth”. GFF Helps Nepal has been supporting the Child Development Society Health Clinic as a regular part of a work-day in the office. As, certified in Basic First Aid training, the GFF team has been taking care of patients suffering from physical injuries such as: sprain, cuts, wounds and allergies, with the knowledge from the first aid training received from Nepal Red Cross in the month of December of 2022. The beneficiaries mostly consists of students from Bal Kumari school or children and parents from the CDS Day Care Centers and the local people from in around the office region.
ESL Classes Community School- Education Project
English as a Second Language (ESL) classes with the students from Bal Kumari school has come to a three months of completion. The best performer were rewarded dictionaries (Nepali to English) as a means to encourage them. English language as a global language is crucial for learning as a life-skill. Within Nepal the students from community schools have a hard time learning English. The purpose of ESL classes was to support children’s emotional health alongside building a bond of trust and respect for one another.
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Joe FisherGFF Helps Nepal emotional projects in Specially-abled Children, Schools and Partner NGO
Conducting session on Eco Brick with the students of class XII in Tri – Jyoti School
Session on Eco Brick with the children of Bourgandi Nepal Children Home
Most of the localities in Kathmandu is seen littered with plastic and all other types of waste. This is due to the poor waste management system and lack of awareness. GFF Helps has been conducting sessions on plastic waste
management with the children of Shree Bal Kumari Basic school, Tri -Jyoti School and Bourgandi Nepal children home in order to generate awareness and intending that the children learn from these sessions and pass on the knowledge to their peers and parents. Children have been engaged in making Eco Bricks from the discarded plastic waste in order to turn into something useful later on.
With the help of such sessions, children have been able to understand how to focus on reducing waste, reuse bags in order to avoid single use plastics and not to burn plastic in the open roads which in turn results in damaging effect on human health. The children have been able to understand how plastic has affected us in everyday life. In order to stay healthy and live a long life, it is necessary to take care of our environment which in turn affects the whole ecosystem.
Joe FisherEco Brick- Environmental Project with Schools and Children’s Home
Reading Workshop & Mobile Library
“Enhancing the opportunity of access to library resources.”
“Engaging students in authentic reading experiences”
There are two groups of kids located in different towns that GFF Philippines visit once a week. This month, Stefany and LPchanged location and visited the students from Capitan Tazan Memorial Primary School located in Ugsod Village in the town of Banga. These kids are related to each other and live in the same neighborhood. The opening of classes already started, and these kids were also going to school for a half-day class. In the afternoon, they spent time with us and do many activities to enhance their vocabulary. We prepared worksheets for them and they mainly focus on vocabulary and letters. This is a good reinforcement for them after going to school. One of the mothers commented that instead of playing after school, they are looking forward to an after-class workshop with us. They are very happy that their kids had this free workshop something that only privileged children could afford. An after-class workshop that will further help them in their studies, will cost them a good amount, but we are giving it for free. That made them responsible and active.
Mr. Vincent with his family at their wide vegetable garden in Ugsod Village, Banga, Aklan, Philippines.
The Vegetable Garden Project Phase 3 continues to give nutrition and living to our families who are members of GFF HELPS Aklan Workers ’Association in Banga Town, Province of Aklan. It has been their everyday routine to weed, to water and to involve their children in taking care of the vegetables since Summer Time of this year- wherein some of the seeds got withered but somehow survived and were taken notice by our farmers. Now that the rainy season is coming, most of our farmers are thinking of a solution to where they could still continue planting their vegetables despite unpleasant weather – perfect timing is the secret. Most of them had reserved matured seeds out from matured vegetable fruits that they could plant anytime on a fertile soil. We are grateful that our members are doing their best to not waste any of our seeds.
“Teach hands-on skills as it gives learners an opportunity to try out new methods and fail in a safe environment.”
Stifhany, LP, together with the kids holding their reflection paper and mud volcano.
The kids poured ingredients inside the mud volcano under the instruction of LP.
The Group Workshop was inspired by the Summer Program initiated and facilitated by Willyn and Michael last 2019. It was held in different towns in Banga, Aklan. When the pandemic started, everything was halted. We decided to do it again but in smaller groups. Ten students have been selected for this workshop and all of them are living in Tabayon Village in the Town of Banga. Seven kids participated in the activity. The Workshop was divided into 5 days and depending on the available schedule of the kids, we will conduct each day. The First Day of the Group Workshop was successfully conducted. The topic was about Volcanoes, their types, and examples. The kids participated in an energizer activity, proceeded with the discussion, and made their volcanoes. They are monitored and instructed throughout the activity. The kids were assured that a failure to make a volcanic eruption is okay. In the end, they successfully made active volcanoes and were fascinated with the eruption. They wrote their reflection on the activity. Testimonials of the parents and the kids were collected and all of them were satisfied by the outcome.
“Gives students the power to express themselves through multi- literacy modes.”
The kids enjoyed reading the funny story of the girl who had her first wriggly tooth. They also shared memories of their first loose tooth.
Kids have been busy preparing for the opening of classes. They will be engage into different setting and lessons. Most of their classes will be half-day and they are not allowed to go out until 12 noon. But, the kids have been hooked into Thursday afternoon that they would still join Online Storytelling. One mother said that Thursday afternoon and the stories have been the only thing that they are looking forward to during the pandemic. Somehow, they got used to the time and the session. We are very glad for our avid attendees. The Storytelling Gala that we will be having soon will be a great opportunity for them to meet children from other countries.
To improve the reading skills and vocabulary of the village kids, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka planned to build a Mobile Library. By reading story books with the village kids we plan to improve their interest in the language and improve their reading skills.
Every week we engage with them and share books and ideas. It helps to improve their awareness of the English Language.
In order to collect books for the Mobile Library, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka organized a book donation drive for the SANASA Campus staff and the undergraduates. The book donation drive was held for the first week of June. With the support of the SANASA staff and undergraduates, GFF could collect 150+ story books for the Mobile Library. Nowadays conducting at Buruluppa Sanasa Society, Kegalle, and Ekiriyagala Sanasa Society, Kegalle.
ENGLISH FOR VILLAGE
Excessive dependence on the mother tongue, reluctance or shyness to talk and read in English, overcrowded classrooms, and lack of confidence are the major challenges students face in Sri Lanka. Sustained access to meaningful learning that has value is critical to long-term improvements in productivity. There seems to be a disparity between Colombo and the rest of Sri Lanka in terms of English proficiency, thus, there are fewer career opportunities for a student/young professionals who do not develop their English proficiency.
The Sri Lankan partner organization of the Sanasa campus and Center for Cooperative and Community Studies as branches of the SANASA movement have long-standing experience and roots in rural and vulnerable communities that would benefit from a free English learning facility amidst the economic crisis of the country. Among eight thousand primary societies, Ekiriyagala Sanasa Society was selected for the project. Ekiriyagala Sanasa Society was involved in the English For Village Project in 201.
In order to build the confidence and improve the interest in the language of children in Ekiriyalaga and nearby villages, English classes were started on the 17th of May. Because of the instability and civil unrest of the country the English classes were started virtually. A resource person is conducting the sessions for primary students of the village. In the initial sessions, we focus on practicing tongue twisters and enjoying rhymes. Primarily it is to improve their interest in language studies. Teachers play a significant role in motivating students the learn a second language.
The resource person is Mrs. Reshani Tamasha who is a postgraduate of the University of Peradeniya. She is an award-winning Toastmaster in the Kegalle Toastmasters’ club. She is based in Kegalle therefore, it is easy to contact and coordinate the face-to-face sessions.
Joe FisherGFF SRI LANKA CONNECT DOTS WITH STORIES AND BOOKS
FELICITATION OF OUTSTANDING STUDENTS OF SOGG LEARNING CENTRES
I am really happy that I got 83% in my board examination. Had it not been for the teacher’s guidance and dedication, I would not have scored well.’
‘It is important to hold such felicitation programs, because it will encourage not only the students but also parents. They will know the value of education and in this way, there will be zero drop-out rates. Thank you for recognizing the hard work of children and teachers.’
GFF Helps India has been working in tandem with the SOGG Open Learning and Information centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung since the past two years. The areas of collaboration have been in the field of education, health, sports, livelihood, providing awareness among many others. In the field of education, the SOGG Learning centres provide free tuition classes to students with the aim of reducing drop-out rates in the villages.
Every year, the students of class 10 and 12 appear for board examinations- The scores achieved in these exams are considered very important for getting into universities, professional courses or training programs and other occupations. The teachers of the respective centres guide the students in preparing for the examination for a minimum period of one year.
This year, the students who had appeared for the board examination from SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung did excellently well. Most of the students are first generation learners. Despite the challenges of attending classes online; their hard work, teacher’s dedication and parent’s support have reaped good fruits. Thus, to acknowledge and honour the students for their outstanding academic performance, GFF Helps Representative in collaboration with the staff of SOGG centres felicitated the students in the presence of the parents as well as executive members of managing committee of their respective villages.
As a follow up of the felicitation program and based on need assessment, GFF Helps representatives- Melissa & Nikita will thus be organizing a career guidance program/ career counseling session for the students in the forthcoming days.
Community school students of classes VI & VII receive ESL classes after school program
English as a second language class, has been conducted since the past two months at community school of Bal Kumari, Kapan. In collaboration with the school which was aimed at helping children have a better foundation at approaching English language. The classes were taken on weekdays after school for 45 minutes. With the vision of participatory learning, funlearning and hands-on learning methods. ESL- Educational Support Project Overall Learnings involved: Grammar, Poetries, Songs, Public Speaking, Letter Writing, Essays and weekly evaluation.
ESL Classes were conducted regularly on week days with classes 6 &7
Emotional Learning- Supporting Children’s Home
As the saying goes: A family that plays together stays together. The family-like environment at the Bourgandi Children’s Home has made the weekly session with the children at Bourgandi an eventful, fun filled learning space. The GFF Helps Nepal team is invested in creating a safe space for emotional support. This month the session comprised of : basic self defense training, games, storytelling, story listening and moral science lessons.
Aimed at taking action towards waste-management and creative means of recycling and reusing. The Eco-Brick project initiated by GFF Helps Nepal is intended to empower younger generations to take part in the global call for action against plastic waste and environmental degradation. The project beneficiaries being junior school community school students who were taken for an educational tour to a recycling factory located at Bhaktapur, named Doko Recyclers. The tour was divided into a presentation/ touring within the factory. From recycling plastics, glass, metal, furniture’s, books, papers, and degradable compost, the tour was a fruitful experience as a means of out-door learning.
Supporting Specially- abled Children
Regulary monitiring visit and support is provided to Specially-abled children to enhance the basic muscle movement of students at Srijanshil School. This month GFF Helps Nepal team supported the school staff to help children with their fine motor skills. While, supporting the school staff in documentation purposes.
Exercising of fine motor skills with children at Srijanshil School, Chandragiri.
Women Empowerment- Menstrual Health & Hygiene Session, Kavre
Women’s menstrual health is not a popular issue in the discussion in different parts of Nepal. The lack of knowledge on the matter has largely affected women’s health. GFF Helps Nepal has initiated to bridge the knowledge gap to help women learn and make efficient choices for themselves Referral mechanism and a means of awareness were aimed at providing the women group in the village of Pachkhal, Kavre.
Supporting PNGO with Editing and Health Clinic
Monthly supporting The Child Development Society Electronic Bulletin is a means of harmoniously working alongside the Partner NGO- The Child Development Society. This months EBulletin was edited and sent to the CDS publishing team. Working in coordination with the PNGO in editing and designing has been ongoing for the past one year. There is also a constant requirement of a resource person in the CDS Health Clinic where the representatives attend to patients and visitors at the clinic and attend to toddlers in the Day Care Centre .
Joe FisherWhat does holistic education mean? – GFF Helps Nepal
The GFF HELPS Philippines is delighted with the successful result of the 2-day Occupational First-Aid and Basic Life Support-Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation with Automated External Defibrillator (BLS-CPR with AED)Training 2022 by Red Cross Philippines Aklan Chapter, headed by Mary Joe B. Galeon, the Chapter Administrator in La Felicidad Granja Farm, Lapnag Banga, Aklan last July 14-15th, 2022.
The twenty (20) participants of the said Training came mostly from our GFF HELPS Aklan Workers’ Association Members and School Clinic Teachers who have elderly, children and infants at home and have students whose schools are located far away from the town proper. Their location hinders them to rush in the hospital just in case accidents could happen. The training suits every participants since no one knows where and when the accident could happen. As they were trained as First-Aid providers, they could perform and help the victims while waiting for the Emergency Response Teams to reach them. The training provided them enough knowledge on Bandaging, Carrying the patients, CPR, and many more.
As Mr. Nelson Tulio has quoted: “The training adds up to my knowledge as a Physical Therapist in town. The Certificate of Completion that I have received from Red Cross Philippines also serve as a proof and people won’t question my credibility in performing First-Aid Training.”
safety needs for our GFF HELPS Aklan Workers’ Association Members”
These are the Head of the families who benefited the First-Aid Training, from left to right: Mr. Simon, Mr.Tulio, Mr.Rebano, Mr. Villanueva
Reading Workshop & Mobile Library
The session of the Reading Workshop with Barrera siblings and their cousins continues. This small group of kids continues to progress, and we always praise and encourage them to do their best. All of them were recognized by their school as achievers and received awards. We are happy to see their growth as well as their parents. We make sure that they receive simple prizes like stickers and small toys after the session. They would always look forward to these prizes and do well during activities. We also developed a strong bond with these kids that they would always give us a hug when we arrive and leave.
Enhancing the opportunity of access to library resources
“Gives students the power to express themselves through multi- literacy modes.”
Blended learning has been introduced recently to help the students cope with modular challenges since the pandemic started. In this kind of system, students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching. We are happy to see that most students allocate time to join our Online Storytelling session despite strict schedule. Most of them were recognized recently by their school because of their exemplary performance. We did not forget to include their pictures in the presentation as our congratulatory gift for them. We are proud that the kids associated with our projects were talented and achievers. As we look back, these kids have been with us for more than two years. We can see how much they grew. In our eyes, they are still the same kids that like to read stories and colorful pictures.
VEGETABLE GARDEN PROJECT – PHASE III
The GFF HELPS Philippines’ Vegetable Garden Project has always been part of the daily lives of the beneficiaries in the different villages in Banga Town. As we got to visit the participants’ houses on the later weeks of July, we were able to see the growth of the crawling vegetables like squash and string beans. Our beneficiaries are very responsible and hard working in making bamboo fences that would serve as crawling support for these vegetables. They also tend on their vegetable plots most time of their days. Some produce were sold and some were consumed by their family. Junlen, spent almost of his mornings and afternoons in his ricefield that he turned into a beautiful vegetable garden with the seeds given by the GFF HELPS PH Team.
the “Healthy Meals: Healthy Bodies and Minds” aim
This is LP together with Junlen while he is maintaining the cleanliness of his vegetable garden in Agbanawan, Banga, Aklan
The lack of knowledge related to first aid is identified in the staff and the undergraduates of the SANASA Campus. It is necessary to have the knowledge to act accordingly in an emergency and to have an understanding of how to act with limited resources. Available knowledge of staff and students to respond to an emergency is scarce. Due to the economic crisis of the country, there is a shortage of fuel and medical supplies. By providing the First Aid training to the staff and the undergraduates, we are planning to uplift their health and hygiene capability to navigate situations with limited supplies.
In order to address this issue, a Health and Safety training initiative was initiated by GFF Sri Lanka on June 07, 2022 at Uththamavi Hall, SANASA Campus. Fifty beneficiaries actively participated in the session. Ms. Shamalee and Ms. Nimani from Red Cross society, Kegalle conducted the introductory First Aid Training.
The strong positive feedback from the participants reflected the importance of the knowledge transferred to them.
ntroduction to First Aid included:
Basic life support (CPR)
Management of wounds, bleedings and shocks
Treatment of Hypoxia and burns
Fractures and sprains
Poison and snake bites
Medical emergency procedures
Casualty lifting and transportation were included in the training
Currently, the farming community is experiencing an enormous number of challenges due to the economic crisis Sri Lanka is facing. Micro scale domestic agro industries (industry connected with agriculture) are facing issues especially with importing agro chemicals and finding a market. By providing them agriculture and agro economics subject matter expertise, we are planning to develop their capability. Through the knowledge they gain, beneficiaries will have capacity to improve the production and become more competitive in the market.
To improve the livelihoods of selected pepper farmers from Ekiriyagala SANASA cooperative society, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka implemented a farmers training program in Ekiriyagala village. The farmers in Ekiriyagala and nearby villages are the beneficiaries of the program. Sixteen pepper farmers participated in the session. Ms. Indika from the Export Agriculture Department, Kegalle conducted the session free of charge.
These products have the potential to be further improved to meet export quality standards through further assistance. As Sri Lankan spices have a high brand reputation in the international markets, these farmers could be able to export their products directly or indirectly through a broker.
Farmers training program farmers + Ekiriyagala Sanasa employees
Farmers Training Program
Book Donation Drive and Mobile Library
To improve the reading skills and vocabulary of the village kids, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka planned to build a Mobile Library. By reading story books with the village kids we plan to improve their interest in the language.
In order to collect books for the Mobile Library, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka organized a book donation drive for the SANASA Campus staff and the undergraduates. The book donation drive was held for the first week of June. With the support of the SANASA staff and undergraduates, GFF could collect 150+ story books for the Mobile Library.
This program was initiated in Ekiriyagala village as a part of the English for Village program on 08 June 2022. The kids in Ekiriyagala and nearby villages gathered at Ekiriyagala SANASA cooperative society to read story books. Even Though the first step started with Ekiriyagala village, we plan to expand the program to the other SANASA cooperative societies as well. As the local partner organization SANASA has long standing experience and roots in rural communities, through that, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka can reach to the vulnerable rural communities easily with support of SANASA movement.
“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life”
English for Village
In order to build the confidence and improve the interest on the language of children in Ekiriyalaga and nearby villages English classes are continued. Focus of this project is to improve the English skills of the village kids by monitoring each kid personally.
Due to the limited facilities and crowded classrooms teachers at school can not focus on each kid separately. Therefore, a program conducted for free of charge is a precious opportunity for them.This program is conducted by an English tutor, Mrs. Tamasha at Ekiriyagala SANASA cooperative society for the kids in Ekiriyagala and nearby villages. The number of kids is increasing day by day and they are actively participating in the sessions.
Joe FisherSri Lanka empowering communities through trainings
On 5th June, students from BalKumari community school gathered on the occasion of ‘World Environment Day’. Several activities observing this special occasion, was conducted, such as: Clean-up campaign and group art work. Valuing the importance of the children’s educational classes in school, the sessions were conducted on two separate days one for each event. The excitement to both work and learn outside the classroom has always kept children interested and they have valued it.
“I really enjoyed doing the activity”.
STORYTELLING SESSION IN BONG, CHIBBO AND PUDUNG
BY MS. MINKET LEPCHA
In order to keep the local stories alive Ms. Minket has been sharing stories based on nature and culture. During the CoVID19 pandemic, GFF Helps India along with her (GFF Helps Nepal Volunteer) conducted online storytelling sessions for the children of India and Nepal. For the first time children of Kalimpong got the opportunity to hear her stories in person. The session was held in all the 3 SOGG centres namely Deorali, Chibbo, Pudung and sub centre Kameshi. There she shared a story on Totola (medicinal flower) and Yeti. Along with the story, activities were also conducted based on meditation, self reflection and gratitude towards nature. A total of 60 students participated. The sessions were held in the evening time after the school hours. After the 2 hour session, children were happy to have learnt about a new story about their locally found Totola. Children were happier when they received a Totola flower from Ms. Minket as a gift of nature.
“Stories tend to die if not shared with the upcoming generations”