Here in Arusha it’s a rainy day and although we do welcome rain here it is a bit chilly and grey. I am a little late with posting Nasim’s latest blog post – been a little sick and behind on my social media and blog updates. But better late than never, right?
Enjoy Nasim’s blog post ↓
A month in Tanzania for me now. I have finally learnt to take the local bus or “Daladala” to most places I go to, I have started to work on the very necessary skill of bargaining and I can now greet and shop in Swahili. I have also learnt some sentences to use around the children at Cheka. (“Good job”, “be careful”, “that is enough” and “again”, haha! It has come quite in handy).
Last week me and teacher Happy did home visits to the parents that want their children to start at Cheka next year. Not everyone can unfortunately get in so the school has to decide who needs the help the most. If there is any experience so far that has made me realize how necessary Cheka school is to the Kiranyi community, it is these home visits. For over a week we walked around the neighbourhood, some homes being an hour walk away, and talked to the parents and met the children.
There were the single mothers, living in mud houses, with their husbands either dead or having left the family, who had to take their two year old child on their back each day while selling vegetables to make ends meet. There were the families with a husband working as a motorcycle-taxi driver or farmer with a pay that barely covers the rent which still has to be enough for 4 people’s food and life. Because of Cheka the kids can get a chance to play with other children, get free quality education and a meal less for the parents to worry about. The parents who are currently staying home with the child or even forced to bring the child while working can be free to find work and increase their living standard knowing their child is well. When asking the parents why they wanted their child at Cheka, almost everyone answered “because my child will be safe there”.
For me, seeing the homes and living conditions of the families the school helps was a really important experience that I wanted to write about. When seeing pictures of Cheka I have seen the children smiling and learning, which in itself is wonderful and important, but what I haven’t seen or given as much thought to, is the importance it also has to the life of the family and the parents.
So this week, that is what I wanted to share with you.