As we come to the end of our second week we have finally started to find our feet, beginning our sessions at the schools and having our first lot of home visits.

We started the week by presenting our activity plans to the schools that we would be visiting throughout the placement, starting with Bumhira Primary where we received a very warm welcome from all of the staff and pupils. We had a chance to tour the school ground, visit the Early Childhood Development (ECD) which gave us plenty of ideas to take back to the ECD at Regina. We also visited the orchard where I personally was attacked by ants (big ones) which provided the teacher in charge with endless amusement. Before we left we were given a parting gift of mangos for the team as it is customary in Zimbabwean culture to make sure a guest leaves with something. As we left the ECD, children were also finishing for the day so we also said our goodbyes, in doing so Esther found herself a little admirer and walked her home.

After presenting our plans to the schools we could now begin our sessions, our first session was at Bumhira Primary where we taught on leadership and the importance of having a child led school development committee and how it could benefit them. For the rest of the schools Samanyika, Regina Primary and Regina high we ran ICT sessions. For the primary schools we introduced the basics of turning on the computers, opening a program, very simple word processing, how to save their work and how to turn off the computer safely.

However for the high school students, as most of them had an understanding of computers and how to operate them, we just recapped on their knowledge to date and gave them a project that Jen had compiled and they worked through that in small groups. To liven things up a bit we made it a race between the teams to see who could complete the project first and the winning team won some Haribo.

At the end of our week we had our first home visit around Bumhira. This gave us an opportunity to see how people live in the rural areas and to hear the personal stories of HIV support group members and how they have benefited from DOMCCP (our local partner organisation) initiatives; we also got an appreciation of how people rely on the land and farming in their daily lives, and of course we didn’t leave empty handed, we were kindly given a sack of onions and tomatoes to go home with.

Blog by Ryan Poingdestre.

Photos 1: Esther and her new friend

Photo 2: The pupils of Regina Primary learn to type their name and age and save their work

Photo 3: Ryan, Esther and Jen learning how to weed crops on the home visit in Bumhira