Kindergarden Copadima Dipupo
The kindergarten Copadima is called by the residents only kindergarten Dipupo, after the name of our project and because everyone knows where Dipupo is.
Thanks to new donations, we were able to start building the kindergarten in December 2020.
Upon completion, the kindergarten will be approved and registered by the Namibian authorities and the children will be taught according to the Namibian school curriculum. This gives the parents the possibility to pursue their daily work without worries.
We keep school fees as low as possible so that many children will have access to education.
The playground was overgrown with bushes and undergrowth. This work was left to us women. Soon I had sunburn and blisters on my hands because of the unusual work and the strong African sun.
While the workers were busy building the kindergarten, Manuel Shillova started to build the playground "Büdu's Pokupepera".
The siblings of the workers and their children visited us frequently and were happy about the playground, because there is no swing anywhere in the area.
We can also report progress in the construction of the kindergarten. The interior has been painted and the exterior is currently being plastered and then painted.
We painted the kindergarten in shades of blue, because blue is suitable for finding inner and outer peace. Blue also radiates permanence and spaciousness, this permanence is followed by harmony, sympathy and satisfaction.
We want to show this appreciation to the children.
Although the kindergarten is not yet established, we started the "settling-in" phase of the children at the end of February. Still a bit shy, they stood closely packed next to the teacher, but already a little later they romped on the playground.
Thanks to another donation we were now able to furnish the kindergarten and start with the lessons. There are also toys, which are very much in demand, since the children have none at home.
The well-attended kindergarten closed temporarily because the parents did not want to or could not pay the discussed school fees and thus the salary of the kindergarten teacher could not be paid. Discussions with the parents were unsuccessful and we decided to close the kindergarten. Shortly after, all preschools nationwide were closed again until the end of July 2021 because of the pandemic. This gives us time to start funding the kindergarten teacher's salary.
At the beginning of July I started a call for donations, so that with many small monthly donations in the amount of a coffee (5 CHFr), the kindergarten operation can be resumed after the lockdown, probably in August. The renunciation of a coffee is quite bearable for many and so we hope to fill the symbolic picture with the coffee cups with many monthly donations.
Preparations for the resumption of kindergarten are well underway. With the newly introduced registration form for the children we want to show the parents that the offer of kindergarten attendance is to be taken seriously and that they commit themselves with their signature to contribute to the school costs.
Jennifer Namataa a young woman from Katima Mulilo, her parents died early and she grew up in a Polish extended family. She speaks English fluently and is very motivated to teach at our kindergarten.
Her letter of motivation is:
I am a hardworking, loyal person and my work requires little or no supervision. My undergraduate education equips me with all the necessary academic background, skills and knowledge.
I am looking for a job to build my career at a progressive, goal-oriented institution that offers exciting opportunities. In addition, I am excited to work in an environment where I can expand my skills and knowledge. I look forward to providing competent and dedicated service in such an institution where I see myself as a trusted member who helps achieve institutional goals.
I am very passionate about early childhood development.
As soon as the government allowed the opening of schools again after the extended vacations at the beginning of August, we started with a meeting of parents who want to send their children to kindergarten.
Parents as well as the children are happy that the kindergarten will start again and they try to pay for the school fees. So we decided to start the classes and after 2 weeks we will hold a new parents' meeting to see how the participation in the financing of the kindergarten of the parents is.
At the beginning of September there was a change of the kindergarten teacher. Now Feblonia Kutenda teaches the children in the kindergarten. Due to the uncertainty of the parents caused by disputes with the teacher Jennifer, we have waived the school fees for the month of September.
From October, all parents who continue to send their children to our kindergarten must fill out a registration form and confirm with their signature that they will pay the school fees in advance. This income will be spent on materials. As you can see on the picture, there are still some things missing in the school equipment like teacher's desk, storage cabinet for the material etc..
For this we are very happy to receive further donations.
On September 21, 2021, we received a visit from the Ministry of Gender, Equality, Poverty, Education and Social Welfare, who came to see our kindergarten and will help us to register it. We still have to fulfill some points, such as the construction of a toilet, for which we are also still dependent on donations.
In small steps we are getting closer to our goal. With the construction of the toilet for the kindergarten we fulfill another part to register the kindergarten later. Most of the children who attend the kindergarten don't have a toilet in their home. They go somewhere in the bush around the shacks. There is always the danger of being bitten by snakes.
With the construction of the toilet, we not only ensure safety against snake bites during school hours, we can also give them the everyday hygiene rules on their way through life.
In addition to the school and play lessons, it is important to us that the children are trained and strengthened in daily hygiene and that they regularly incorporate and perform this in their daily lives. In doing so, they act as role models for other family members.
We have placed a canister with a foot pedal at the entrance to the kindergarten and next to the toilet for washing hands. This is a simple device that can be set up and operated anywhere with little resources.
We bought cups with the names of the children written on them, so that they can leave their toothbrushes, that we have received from sponsors can be left in the kindergarten without any confusion.
We decided together with the teacher to keep the toothbrushes in the kindergarten because the children do not come to school every day and they can forget or lose them at home.
I was able to bring the kindergarten not only clothes but also many toys, crayons and two memory games.
The children were especially excited about the watercolors. They have never seen this type of paint before, and it was also a new experience for the kindergarten teacher. Full of anticipation, they first carefully dipped the brush into the water, then gently stroked the paint, and finally let the brush glide gently over the paper. These bright and grateful children's eyes fill my heart with a great deal of warmth and gratitude every time!
One sad moment I experienced in kindergarten was during recess. Not all the children had brought something to eat, so only the children whose parents had given them something could have their meal.
Those who had not brought food sat around idly and sadly in the meantime, or played games to distract themselves. Only when a child was satiated did he or she share the rest of the meal with the others.
After the Christmas vacations, the kindergarten reopened in mid-January. Again we discussed that the parents should take their responsibility and that they should pay a minimum contribution to the school fees. The announced meeting was not attended by the parents, which left those responsible speechless. We started an attempt to let only those children attend the classes who paid the school fees.
However, we did not have the heart to enforce this, since we can continue to pay the teacher's salary through the COFFEE CUPS DONATIONS. Once again, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks !
In the middle of February our teacher fell ill with COVID. During the time she was in quarantine and recovering from the infection, the kindergarten had to be closed. After 3 weeks she recovered so much that we could pick her up in her village, 17 km away, and since then she is teaching the children again in the kindergarten.
We decided to waive the school fees for the children until the kindergarten is registered.
Our teacher Linda is moving on to Windhoek. Linda not only taught the children, but she also accompanied them home after class. The way to school for some of the children is about 3 km along the dangerous main road.
We thank her very much for her commitment to our project and the care of the children and wish her all the best in her future career and life.
We have already discussed with Linda that we want to offer the children a small meal in the future. With the monthly donations we receive through the coffee cup campaign, we were able to buy some food and cook something small for the children for the first time.
We hope that by providing a small meal, more parents will send their children to kindergarten to give them a pre-school education.
We are very grateful for any monthly donation equal to the price of a cup of coffee to keep our nursery running .
Kindergarten is closed from December to mid-January for the vacation season, and I did not have the opportunity to attend classes this year. The gifts I brought, clothes, crayons, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and learning and coloring books about Namibia, I placed on the children's work tables, preparing a surprise for them for their first day of school after the vacations.
This year, at the request of the parents and the kindergarten teacher, we created an evaluation sheet of the children's progress and promotion points.
At the end of the year we had 13 children who regularly attended kindergarten. The kindergarten is therefore not fully utilized and it would be nice if other parents would also send their children to the school.
The discussions with teachers and representatives of other private kindergartens about the low utilization of the offer were interesting and informative. We are still far from our goal of educating a majority of all children in the area, but our offer still enables 13 children to receive an age-appropriate preschool education in a protected and loving environment. We will stick to our concept and pay attention to the health of the children with the additional offer of meals. For the next school year, we hope that word of our offer will spread among the population and that more parents will be interested in sending their children to kindergarten.
We will gladly continue to accept monthly donations in the amount of a cup of coffee . With a regular monthly contribution of 5 CHFr, a child can attend classes for one month. We prefer to receive this as a standing order, which also minimally debits your own account.
If we can keep the kindergarten running with these donations, we do not additionally burden the meager income of the parents.
After the long vacations the kindergarten has started again in the middle of January. The teacher Serafina will teach the children again. We offered her to stay overnight in the kindergarten, because she could not find a suitable accommodation for herself and her baby. Although the settlements are getting closer and closer to our property or are newly inhabited, the huts often consist only of wooden poles and thatched roofs.
The sleeping place for the teacher is supposed to be provisional. We are looking for suitable solutions.
On the first day of school, Serafina distributed the clothes I had brought.
Our kindergarten project is getting noticed in the region and we were visited by Mernah, who created the NGO wenikavangoproject.
On her Instagram account she wrote.
Just over 15 km from Divundu is a kindergarten that was recently opened to provide access to education for the little ones in the area.
We have the most fun when we are here, and we are happy to know each and every child here. ✨️
@costodykristophgail.com4 is the founder of this kindergarten. Not only are we proud of him for building this kindergarten for his community, but we are also happy that he has given so many children access to education.
We believe that each of us has a responsibility to spread kindness in our community, and Costody is an example of that.
Every smile is worth everything.
Maria Rosa, a young San girl, has been living with the family of Chris Mureka for almost 4 years. Her father tended the cattle of the Mureka family, but kept getting into trouble with the authorities. He is currently serving his sentence and the mother is now solely responsible for the five children. She therefore asked Chris Mureka to take in and care for the eldest daughter.
When Maria Rosa was ready to go to school, we were able to pay for her first two years with donations. Now Mr. Mureka sees to it that Maria Rosa can go to school. Her grades are good, although she had to learn the local language first.
Besides school, Maria Rosa is also responsible for the two children of the Mureka family and their cousins. Before Maria Rosa can go to school, she has to wake up the little ones in, wash them, dress them and feed them. After school, it is Maria Rosa's job to look after the children and only when the housework done can she take time to do the homework.
Maria Rosa visits as often as possible together with Chris Mureka her family near Divundu. Like many people in the Kavango region, the family lives in extreme poverty. Maria Rosa is the only one of the family who has the possibility to visit a school. Knowledge is a big key to get out of poverty. Unfortunately, her siblings live too far away from our kindergarten to learn how to read and write. The nearest school is in Divundu, 2 km from their home. The children are used to walking this distance and it would be feasible, but they cannot afford the school fees and the school uniform.
The registration of the kindergarten has its pitfalls, which unfortunately we have not yet been able to solve. Contacting the authority's employee proved to be just as difficult as meeting their requirements and the teacher's demands.
The requirements demand that the entire kindergarten area is enclosed by a secure fence so that the children can play outside without danger. We have complied with this since the opening and the kindergarten is about 80 m away from the highway. Access to it is secured by a private passage leading to our house. The sandy road does not allow fast driving like on an asphalt road.
The toilets must be gender-segregated and flushable with water. We only fulfill this requirement to a limited extent. We have two separate toilets, but without a cistern. I wanted to discuss this requirement directly with the authorities, as no child who attends our kindergarten has the luxury of a toilet at home. Washing hands after using the toilet is more important than a cistern. In addition to the school lessons, we also expect this training from the teacher.
We will not fulfill the teacher's request to build accommodation for her next to the kindergarten. Nevertheless, we hope that she will continue to teach the children next year.
Serafine left us again shortly after the start in January. The commute was too strenuous for her and we were unable to fulfill her condition of building her a house.
In the search for a new teacher, many questions about accommodation for future teachers remained unanswered. Fortunately, we were able to recruit a new teacher, Theresia Ndhovu. However, the problem of accommodation will also arise here at some point, as Theresia comes from Maghamba, a small village behind our project location. Her journey to work is about 4 km along a narrow bush path.
Project news are continuously updated.
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