Alema the Teacher

Author Portrait_Jamila Barati, ECCD Officer, Maimana City, Faryab Province

Jamila Barati

ECCD Officer

Mainama City, Faryab Province

October 5, 2015

 Twenty-four year old Alema lives in Maimana City of Faryab Province, Afghanistan and is a teacher with Save the Children’s Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program.

Alema was born into a bright and educated family, with three sisters and four brothers. Her parents’ support and encouragement helped her to graduate from high school and go on to study Computer Science at Faryab University. She is a very creative, friendly and kind teacher and the children like her very much. 

Early Childhood Care and Development teacher training

Alema attends ECCD teacher training

Alema says that she always wanted to be a teacher. She loves children and working with them, and her wishes have come true with the teaching opportunity for her with Save the Children. She attended two rounds of ECCD training and is now running an ECCD Center where 40 children attend in two sessions.

Alema tells us, “Since I always loved teaching younger children I was thinking I knew everything already, but during the ECCD trainings I realized that there were so many things that a teacher or whoever works with children should learn.”

She has been one of the most active teachers and always keeps her ECCD children very engaged, using the different methods and approaches she learned during her training. She also creates her own activities together with the children. Having plentiful artwork and crafts keep her ECCD kids interested and passionate about learning.

Alema and her happy ECCD students

Alema and her happy ECCD students

She has been able to build a very strong relationship with her young students, and is very aware of their individual problems. Once when a girl was absent she learned that her grandfather didn’t allow her to come to the ECCD Center, as it was just newly established. After Alema went to their home to talk to the girl’s grandfather about the program, he not only sent his granddaughter but also began playing a supportive role in raising the community’s awareness of the importance of early childhood education.

Alema thanks sponsors and Save the Children, “I thank Save the Children for providing this opportunity not only for me, but also for the children, as Early Childhood Care and Development was an important part that was missing from the education system.”

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Child Satisfaction Matters Most

Agnes

Agnes Zalila

Sponsorship Manager

Lufwanyama Communities, Zambia

August 31, 2015

 

When we sit at our tables every day, developing strategies, writing reports, and completing many other management and programming procedures, we rarely realize what matters most in all the things we do. How does the child feel about all we do? What matters most to them? 

Group (1)

A group in the Lufwanyama communities.

This year we had our first Country Office review here in Zambia. The staff on my team were all very anxious, especially since the review team was comprised of very high powered Save the Children officials. Everyone wanted to prove and show that they were doing the right thing and following the guidelines.

On the other hand, I realized children did not really care about what everyone thought but wanted to have fun and enjoy their school and outside sessions as usual.

So it was after two days of meetings that it was time to meet the communities and children we are working with. Our group began the long drive to the Lufwanyama communities, winding and bumping along difficult roads. After hours of driving we met with core group members, teachers, and center care givers. Yet the most fascinating and humbling of the people waiting were the small beautiful faces of children.

After exchanging greetings, the children quickly forgot the strangers in their midst and went back to their usual sessions. They sang songs, danced, and spent time with their teachers.

When parents and teachers were asked about the impact of sponsorship programs, one parent proudly said “My child now teaches us hygiene as she learns from school which she never did before now.” Another proudly spoke about how the parents were working together to ensure that they built a permanent shelter for their children to learn in.

Dancing

Dancing in the Lufwanyama communities.

But what do you think the children said, on what they loved most and what more they wanted? “I like it when the teacher teaches me how to dance and sing”, or, “I like playing with my friends at school”.

While you and I are thinking of big, expensive, visible, and tangible physical development, that is not what matters most for the children we serve. For the child, what we may think is very small matters most to them.

All the way back to the office I could hear everyone talking about their favorite child’s song, or how they all enjoyed dancing with the children, and how we all remembered our own childhood. Even the CEO could not help but sit and be swamped with the many children who wanted to just sit with him. Those are the little things that really matter, to put back the smile on that child’s face. Learning must be fun. Our role is to make it so.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

The Dream Weavers

Mona

Mona Mariano

Sponsorship Manager

T'bolis Village, Philippines

August 24, 2015

 

In one of the southern parts of the Philippines where Save the Children works, you will find the colorful tribe of the T’bolis. Upon visiting their community, you will notice the assortment of distinctive and colorful clothing against the green backdrop of the hills. The native clothes of the tribe, made of T’nalak, make the brown complexion of the people shine. 

Group

A group of young girls wearing their T'nalak to school.

The T'nalak cloth comes from the leaves of abaca, dyed and meticulously weaved. The intricate interlacing of bold colors is a recognized community craft. The cloth is revered and can be seen in special ceremonies throughout a person’s life span, such as child births and weddings. 

The typical T'boli textile is history in itself. The unique patterns of the costumes are born from deep-rooted rituals that are passed from generation to generation. The weaving is a tedious job and would take women several months to finish one complete design. The patterns conceived by the weavers are believed to be imparted to them in dreams from their ancestors and from the spirit of the abaca called Fu Dalu. Because of this, the T’nalak makers are also known as the “dream weavers”.

Only women are allowed to lace the T’nalak. Men are forbidden to handle the abaca fiber until the weaving process is complete. There is also a saying that the weaver should not couple with her husband during the weaving time because it may cause the abaca to break or destroy the design sent across a dream. 

Twosome

Two young girls from lake Sebu are encouraged to wear their traditional costumes at lea.

T’boli communities observe the T'nalak festival annually in July, during the foundation anniversary of their province of South Cotabato. During this festivity, colorful street dancing can be seen throughout the cities with performers decked in native costumes of the various tribal groups.

As a people who value rich cultural heritage, T’boli women and men learn to adorn themselves with their native costumes from early childhood. Aside from their wonderful T’nalak outfits, men wear turbans and women are garlanded with hair accessories, combs, and colorful beads. In their very simple lifestyle, these traditional adornments markedly stand out and are a source of community pride.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

A Recent Graduate Joins Our Mission

Fransheshca

Fransheska Quijada

Staff Member

Panama

August 17, 2015

 

My name is Fransheska Quijada and I grew up in El Salvador, a country located in the middle of Central America. I went to the U.S. in August of 2012 to obtain my Masters in Public Policy at the University of Kentucky (UK). I wanted a graduate program that included field practice because I wanted to prepare myself to become a specialist in the planning, execution, and management of public education and community development initiatives. It was through my Master’s internship program that I had the opportunity to join the Head Start team at Save the Children the following year.

Boys

Christian and Robert enjoying U.S. Programs

Through my internship with Save the Children, I had the chance to work with a dynamic, multidisciplinary, and passionate group of people. At the end of the day their mission is, “To inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives”. Everyone involved with the U.S. sponsorship team, from the Director in Lexington, KY to the sponsorship liaisons operating in schools nation-wide, is committed to enhancing children’s lives in the present and creating a brighter future for them in the years to come.

Hearing the sponsorship team talk about sponsors with such reverence and appreciation truly helped me understand that it is the sponsors who are indeed the driving force of bringing positive change to the lives of the children we work with. Without them, Save the Children’s reach would not be nearly as vast or impactful as it is today.

Hanging

Christian and Anabella enjoying U.S. Programs

I still recall when Amanda Kohn, Director of U.S. Programs Sponsorship, came to UK and spoke to us about Save the Children’s work. I could feel the passion and commitment that she felt for her job. Amanda spoke about her team, coworkers, their work environment, and the high level of commitment that all of them have. It was in that moment I knew that I wanted to work for such an organization. A few short months later, I was the newest member of their team.

Currently I am living in Panama, another country located in Central America, working to transform communities through educational and health projects. My experience working with the sponsorship team at Save the Children helped me realize that when dynamic, positive, and passionate people get together to change the world, they can do it!

Have you had a similar inspirational moment in your life? Think of a time when you worked with a group of committed individuals who were passionate about the project at hand. We would love to hear some of the ways you have seen dedicated work pay off in your community, home, or work environment. Here at Save the Children sponsorship we believe loving what you do is very important!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.