This week we found great inspiration in a couple of projects. We often find meaning in our work tasks while working with BCC. It is very easy to become inspired by simple daily tasks for us because we see the greater good in many of them almost immediately. This phenomenon is what has continued to keep us motivated throughout our time working with BCC.
One of the items in the three year strategic plan involved making each one of the day centers child friendly, accessible, and safe. This week, we worked to accomplish one of these goals in one of the centers. As mentioned in our update, we painted the inside of Karanga 2 day center during our first month in Tanzania. However, we had not had a chance to paint the outside of the center or animals and other child-friendly photos inside the center. With John’s parents present, we had extra hands and extra motivation to finish painting. We determined it was time to make the center child friendly so we took a small portion of the money donated by children in the U.S and we painted animals, flowers, and a welcoming message outside of the building.
Below you will see photos of the day center prior to our painting efforts.
None of us are artists, but we did our best to paint welcoming animals, an alphabet, hopscotch, numbers, and a message outside of the building that says “Karibu Karanga 2” (Welcome to Karanga 2). When Mama Grace, the Karanga 2 Center Coordinator, came to see the center when we finished, her eyes lit up. She kept telling us that she loved the center. See below for photos of the finished project!
We painted the floor red to add the final touch!
We are also in the process of completing a PECS program for each of the day centers. We have spent a lot of time cutting out hundreds of little pictures, laminating them, and placing Velcro on the back. The PECS program is an internationally used picture communication program. The hope is that the children will be able to communicate and learn basic steps of tasks through picture communication. For instance, if a child is nonverbal they will be able to use the pictures to communicate with staff and other children about preferences, emotions, and events.
We are excited about how beautiful Karanga 2 looks and we are hopeful for the potential of the PECS program to change the lives of the children that BCC serves.