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Tuesday22August2017
Kindergarten in Kivumu!
Friday, 28 July 2017 Written by fra Ivica Perić

Kindergarten in Kivumu

Well, dear readers, I have a story to tell. For many months now, I have been driving past what is meant to be a kindergarten for the children of this area. Unfortunately, all I saw was children being sent outside to play while two women sat on stools watching them. The children were not being given any formal program and their hours were constantly being shortened. Meanwhile, the Franciscans were sponsoring at least fifteen of these children!

So I got an idea…. Why not start a kindergarten of our own? We had an older building nearby, so why not fix it up for a kindergarten? So, with the help of our construction section of Padri Vjeko Centre we began to renovate...

We redid the windows and doors. We repaired and painted walls. We built a ramp to the entrance so the wee ones could make it up the slope more easily. We arranged some desks in the room for the children to sit at. Then we hung colourful posters on the walls. And, of course, we hired a teacher as well as an assistant to help with toilet breaks, play time, etc.

Kindergarten in Kivumu

Kindergarten in Kivumu

And so it began! We thought perhaps we might get twenty or thirty children, but as the days passed, word spread and more and more mothers kept coming in hopes of placing their children with us. Now we have ninety-six children!!

Soon we will divide them into two groups….one group will be the younger ones and the older ones will be preparing to enter Primary school next year.

Another thing…… we feed these young people a large cup of hot porridge every morning. That way we can be sure that every mouth is fed for the day. You see, in this area where we live, many families only have one meal every second day. It is a very poor area.

Kindergarten in Kivumu

Kindergarten in Kivumu

And this is not all! We had some children’s shoes that came in a recent container from Croatia, as well as from some visitors who came to volunteer. So one day we brought all the children together and fitted them with the footwear.

Well, we did our best. We ran out of the small sizes and a few children came out with shoes a few sizes too large, but they were still happy and excited! We also gave each child a bag with a drawstring that they could wear on their backs, so off they went with their new shoes and ‘school bags’.

Kindergarten in Kivumu

Kindergarten in Kivumu

Now, not every parent who came to place their child is able to pay the small amount of money that we ask for a kindergarten fee. But we have learned that if the families pay a small amount, they are more ‘invested’ in their children coming to school. So what we have done is to ask the parents who are unable to pay to volunteer their time doing some chores that need doing for the school…….cleaning up the yard, leveling land for a playground that we are going to build, and assisting when any construction work needs to be done.

Kindergarten in Kivumu

So now we now have a Padri Vjeko Kindergarten in Kivumu

 
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