Last week was filled with hard work at BCC in preparations for Melissa’s aunt coming to visit. Melissa’s Aunt Karen, from Colorado, came on Friday! She is an amazing person and has helped us so much throughout our young lives. She is planning to stay for about two weeks! We will go on Safari next week and then she will volunteer with the BCC program the following week.
More than anything, we are very excited to see a close family member after six months of being abroad. We are both very close to our families and we miss them all very much. It will be so exciting and it should be a wonderful visit!
Our week at BCC was hectic. We worked very hard to complete several projects before we left for our week long safari. It was also a very successful week! We were able to finish several policies that we will present at the next board meeting, we finished assessing each center to ensure it is accessible and child friendly, we completed a rough draft of the October BCC newsletter, and we were able to put together a plan to register every child to attend public school as an advocacy effort.
Moshi is a city of approximately 144,000 people. There are three public school special education classrooms for children with developmental disabilities. Each class can support 20 children and all three are completely filled. BCC alone supports over 140 school aged children who are not receiving educational services from the public school system.
In an effort to either increase the number of public school special education classrooms or obtain support or funding from the national government for programs such as BCC, BCC plans to register each child for public school. There is a Tanzanian policy that states that all children will have access to a primary school education. There are not enough public classrooms for children with developmental disabilities. The effort of registering every child for public school will provide documentation to show the national government that there is not enough financial support for the public special education system. It should be an interesting and inspiring effort!
This next week we will be on safari!!!!
For the past 6 months, we have heard westerners talk about how their safari was such a wonderful experience. They have talked about the animals and described scenes that could only come from a National Geographic documentary. So, we are excited to finally get our chance! John is hoping to see a rhinoceros. Melissa wants to see elephants and baboons. We will let everyone know how our safari goes next week! We promise to share many photos!
In our blogs this week, we will discuss a couple of events that occur in U.S. culture, but are very different in Tanzania. In the “Inspirational Tid-Bits” section we will discuss a primary school graduation. Shaeli, a center worker for BCC, invited us to her son’s graduation last week! It was very interesting and a great experience. Below is a sneak peek of the graduation!
In the “Through our Eyes” section, we will talk about Rosemary, BCC’s sustainability coordinator. She is getting married in December. Part of Tanzanian culture includes a “send off” party for the bride. There is a fund raising meeting for the send off. From this fund raising meeting, a send off committee is formed. We attended the fund raising meeting last weekend and we are excited to share our experience!