The Children’s Programme
Since many families in our community have lost one or more members, frequently husbands and fathers, the remaining family members struggle to make a living. The widowed women are often mothers to many children. Some of these women, also inherit children from their deceased siblings, in addition to their own. This causes major problems in many families with large numbers of children to feed and put through school. Inevitably the children suffer and do not have a regular childhood, with time to play and go to attend school. Children frequently have to start work at a young age, or are involved in helping obtain food for the rest of the family.
In response to this problem Kar Geno formed a children’s group allowing young people to participate in positive leisure activities. We offer such activities as choir and dance, football, theatre, discussions about health and HIV, and cooking and group meals when possible. The children’s group provides a temporary refuge from the hardships and difficulties they might face at home. Some of the children walk significant distances from nearby villages to attend the program, indicating the importance and benefit the program holds for young people in the area. We do recognize the difficulties and obstacles some of the children are facing in their homes. We try to counsel children that are in need and offer support whenever we can.
We have partnered with local schools to target the children in need of assistance, to try and ensure their quality of life is maintained. When we have the opportunity and with the help of generous donors from overseas, we offer sponsorships to some of the highest need children who are unable to attend school due to the school fees. The scholarships are assessed and granted on a priority, need-based system.
We ask the children who are potential candidates for scholarship to write an essay describing their home life and how such a grant would affect their lives. In addition we have a home visit to discuss the option with the guardian(s) and assess the individual situation. Previous students who have been afforded this sponsorship opportunity have shown tremendous growth in school. Sponsored children generally show better attendance, improved exam results and an enhanced overall attitude. Showing belief in a student through sponsorship, results in the student increasing their own confidence and improving their performance at school.