Monday, May 10, 2010

My name is Elli, I’m from Austria (don’t mix it up with Australia – we don’t even have kangaroos in Austria ;-) ) and I’ve been working in Village of Hope for 3 months now.
I’m doing different things with the kids but the main focus is to help them with their homework and teach them, so that they can catch up with their fellow students at school in areas in which they are a bit behind. Besides I’m telling them bible stories, we play games together and have a lot of fun.
For me it is amazing to see how much the children have already improved in the short time I have been there. As Mama Lois keeps on saying, it’s just by God’s grace =). You can really see how God is working in each one of the kids and how he keeps on changing them – in their behavior as well as in their studies. When I first came to Village of Hope, they struggled with letters, number s and with English. By now they know all the letters, they even can write words, they know the numbers and can do easy sums and their English is improving every day. For me it’s a real pleasure to work with the children because they are, although not always easy ;-) just lovely and I really love all of them.

Teaching numbers

playing a game with memory cards

Ivan asked me, if I could take pictures from each one of the children and post them together with just a few sentences. So I thought I just start with the younger ones who are attending preschool at the moment:

Rose Namutamba
Rose is usually quiet but she can be very talkative as well. She has a lot of love to give and therefore she makes friends easily and she has a lot of friends at preschool. Concerning school and housework she is sometimes a bit slow but she picks up the things you are trying to teach when you help her a bit. When she is older she wants to become a teacher.

Shamina Kirife
She is just a lovely girl. When she smiles at you, your heart seems to melt and you can’t resist her big shining eyes. She is also very open minded and obedient and very intelligent – she is able to do some of the exercises I’m doing with the older ones and sometimes even tells them what they have to do ;-)

Ibra Kyaluzi
Ibra is very playful, he loves playing with toys and he loves talking – especially about teammembers who have been to Village of Hope =) That also shows that his memory is very good and he is quick at learning new things anyway. Ibra is joyful, kind and somehow the spirit of Village of Hope – as long as he is happy the other kids are happy as well =)

Then the P1-students:

Samuel Mafabi
He is the oldest of the boys and a natural leader. He directs the others but also takes care of them and tries to help the little ones and protects them. Sam is very lively and talkative but at the same time obedient and hard working. He loves work – especially working together with the teams which are coming and he often mobilizes the other children to work. He wants to be a pilot when he is older.

John Mwange
John is very playful and he loves books and reading. He is very loving and kind and shares what he has with others. Over the little ones he is protective and he tries to help them whenever he can. At the beginning he struggled a bit at school but now he has improved a lot and has caught up with the others - in some areas he is even ahead of them. John wants to be a pilot as well when he is grown up.

Deric Watumu
At first he was very reserved and quiet but now he has improved and is socializing – he talks when he is given the opportunity but he also listens when you speak. Deric is very polite and tries not to offend anybody. Besides he has a strong desire to learn new things and to get to know everything.

Paul Mukisa
Paul is a very active boy in everything he is doing – no matter if that concerns work or his studies. He likes work – especially building but he also enjoys studying and he is among the best students in his class. Paul is very organized and clean, he is intelligent and a fast learner and at the same time very playful. Like Sam Paul has many leadership skills and the others listen to him.

Rachel Latifa
Rachel is a very strong willed girl – she knows what she wants and she wants to get it. Sometimes Rachel can be quite tough but she is lovely and she wants lot of love. She enjoys drawing and writing and just everything that has something to do with paper work and also at dancing she is really talented. Later on she wants to be a teacher.

Sharon Asimwe
Sharon is most of the time quiet but respected in her quietness. That’s because she has a strong will she knows what she wants and you better don’t mess with her ;-) At the same time she is longing for love and attention and she can be very kind. Sharon is very observing and attentive and therefore promising in class.

Doreen Isege
She is a quiet girl and therefore good at listening and very obedient. Doreen is also very optimistic and is always smiling. She longs for attention and wants loads of love from everybody.

Debora Nakate
Debora is very playful, she is very friendly though sometimes a bit possessive. She knows how to dance and has a desire to learn new things and is longing for affirmation. Though Debora is a bit slow in learning, she has improved a lot and maybe she can fulfill her dream to become a doctor =)

Amuge Grace
Grace is a strong willed and sometimes tough girl but she loves her friends – is good at making friends and also at keeping them. Besides she always tells the truth and she wouldn’t lie to you. When she is older she wants to become a teacher.

And now to the older students:

Brenda Atwooki
She is an open girl with a good and big smile, she is very friendly and loves others. Besides she is very respectful, obedient, reliable and always available if you need help. Brenda is a great dancer and she loves books and studying. That’s why she wants to be a teacher later on.

Fiona Kyakaya
Fiona is a promising singer and dancer for she loves music, is bold and doesn’t fear people. Fiona is like Brenda very open, friendly, obedient and takes care of the rest of the kids. She wants to be a nurse when she is grown up.

Jane Nandudu
Jane is a natural leader, she takes care of all the kids, she is teaching them and telling them to what to do and what not to do. She is also very friendly and hard working and she has a desire to work.

Winnie Namale
Winnie is carrying, sensitive and obedient and though she has a hot temper, she is very relationship oriented and good at communication. For the younger ones she is a good example for she is good helper and likes to work.

Last but not least the mothers told me about their experiences at Village of Hope:

Mama Lois and Mama Agnes

Mama Agnes: When I first came here, I felt everything was too hard and I just didn’t see any future because the kids were just fighting and crying and arguing and shouting every day. I got tired of them and developed anger inside of me. I went before God and said, “I can’t take it anymore!” but God told me “I am with you, I will never leave you, I saw potential in you, that’s why I brought you here and I know you can make it!”. This brought relief to me and then I started loving the children with all of my heart and to discipline them.
By that time things also started improving and the kids began to change – especially the boys and all of a sudden I loved these boys so much even when they were still sometimes fighting. Now I know my being here is not mine but is God’s and I trust him – he is going ahead of me and he brings happiness to my heart.

Mama Lois: In everything it is God who works. At the beginning the Children were not easy, they didn’t have any guidelines in the dysfunctional families where they came from, but God’s word can change and shape children. The kids started loving God’s word and it started changing them. By now there is a great improvement in behavior, Village of Hope became a family in which the children think about each other, they mix up, the crying is a lot less and they are more obedient. The Kids know that Village of Hope is the place where they belong to and they developed a close relationship to us mothers.
At first it was not easy for some of the kids for the were on their own just like mothers and fathers and suddenly they were put into a family structure again but thank God, they start trusting one another and everything is just by God’s grace.

Ok that was a lot of information for now – I hoped it helped you to get to know each one of these great kids a bit more.

You can pray for each one of them that God just keeps on changing them and forming them so that they can be the person he intended them to be. You can also pray for their studies , that they pick up the things the teachers are teaching at school and especially that they get to know English more and more.

We all send you greetings and hope you are doing fine. Thank you for everything!