On November 16th, Karin Staisch travelled to Adigrat accompanied by Montessori kindergarten director, Sybille Schwarzer, and the new volunteer Larissa Brachvogel. In addition to donated toys, clothes and stuffed animals, the luggage also contained Montessori material. The intention was to introduce variety and playful methods of learning to the children. The Adigrat kindergarten is in very good shape; the 60 new children already feel at home and seem to be happy and content. According to the nurse, the health of the children is satisfactory and the new mothers also enjoy their monthly consultations with her. Sybille Schwarzer, long-term director of the Montessori kindergarten in Munich, which is also a partner kindergarten of Adigrat Vision, motivated her Ethiopian colleagues with many new ideas. She explained the use of the new materials which the teachers and the children then tried out enthusiastically.
The new volunteer, a student from Augsburg, is staying three months in the kindergarten to help out wherever needed and especially to practice English with the teachers. Two other interns are currently working with her. To give the children more opportunities to play outdoors, the construction of a playground was commissioned. A sandbox, swing and two sea–saws are just the beginning. A water tank is also being installed in order to provide the kindergarten with independence from the city`s somewhat unreliable water supply.
The new kindergarten year in Adigrat began on September 13th with the addition of 60 new children between the ages of three and four. Two new groups were formed and the necessary new teachers were hired. With a total of 110 children, daily life in the Adigrat Vision Kindergarten has become very lively.
Adigrat Vision is pleased to have found foster parents for all of the new children. The donation of 18 euros/month covers the kindergarten costs per child. Our heartfelt thanks to all foster parents!
Members Annette Weltz and Karin Staisch visited the kindergarten together with two recent gymnasium graduates. The second building has been completed, trees planted in the courtyard and a vegetable garden started. Furnishings such as tables, chairs, shelves for the dining room, and beds for the volunteers were chosen and ordered, as were the new kindergarten uniforms. It is common in Ethiopia for all kindergarten children to wear a little smock in the same colour.
Karin Staisch and Annette Weltz found the kindergarten clean and in very good shape. The staff really likes to work there, although they regret that the distance from the city center to the kindergarten is quite far. Adigrat Vision is faced with the demand for salary increases in order to account for inflation. Unfortunately, it is only possible to respond to salary increase requests once a year.
A nurse continues to visit the kindergarten regularly every week and is happy with the children’s state of health. Karin Staisch and Annette Weltz had the impression that, in comparison to their visit in March, the children are healthier and more robust. The kindergarten cook has been following the new ideas for a healthier way of food preparation.
The partner kindergarten „Die Igelfamilie“ in Munich collected clothes for the children. They were distributed and presented to the children with a little fashion show on the last day of kindergarten before the summer holidays. The happiness of the children, who had never owned such beautiful clothes, as well as the mothers’ gratitude, was overwhelming. To all of our foster parents, donators and association members - thank you so much for helping to make this possible!
Karin Staisch and Andrea Barth spent one week in Adigrat in order to get an impression of the first four months of the kindergarten’s operations. They also dealt with any of the Adigrat team’s questions and concerns. Ms Staisch and Ms Barth were particularly interested in the work of the nurse, who advises and cares for the children as well as their mothers in medical questions. Due to unbalanced nutrition and poor hygiene, the job of the nurse is extremely important and she performs it skillfully.
Although the children have only been attending the kindergarten for a few months, everything is already running smoothly in an atmosphere of lively team spirit. The 3 – 4 year-old girls and boys are astonishingly attentive, disciplined and eager to learn. The toys donated by the Munich partner kindergarten ‘Die Igelfamilie’ (The Hedgehog Family) were received with great enthusiasm: 50 stuffed animals travelled from Bavaria to northern Ethiopia along with an entire suitcase full of Duplo blocks – a real treasure for children who don’t own any toys at all!
The construction of the second kindergarten building has made such wonderful progress, that the next 50 children can start punctually in September. The Association still needs financial support for the building’s interior facilities (kitchen, medical area and room for volunteers).
The kindergarten’s running costs are covered by the individual foster parents through their membership fees. The next 50 children will also need foster parents.
The Ethiopian children from the Adigrat Vision Kindergarten are delighted about their new partner kindergarten from Munich, an integrative Montessori facility. Teachers, parents and children were involved in collecting 50 stuffed animals and sending them to Adigrat together with a suitcase full of Duplo blocks.