Friday, November 4, 2011

Lending a Hand, Here and There, in Humjibre

Last week, the staff at GHEI engaged in the provocative act of painting a message on the side of a building.  It was not street art, it was actually a task that had been on our to-do list for some time, which was to paint GHEI’s mission on the side of the classroom, directly by a popular footpath. This would be an effective way to advertise what we are here to do, because, as I found out a little while ago, many know that we are here to do good things but few know what those good things are.
Painstakingly, Jen stenciled in the letters by pencil in the morning, expecting that we would tackle it at some later date. Before long, Happy and Clement had already gotten out the paint, and everyone was picking up a brush.  Some of the recent additions to our team even joined in, like our National Service Volunteer Emmanual Hagyrahirah  and Nikki Webb, a Pediatric Resident from the states here for three weeks to provide training to clinics in the district.  Some had detailed skills, others needed a little practice, but fortunately there were a lot of letters, and thanks to everyone pitching in, we finished mid-afternoon.

While we’ve been at the forefront of a big push in local schools to get student’s hands washed, the need to keep our own students hands clean, somehow got lost in the mix.  Which is why the Health Team recently unveiled the new Veronica bucket (a bucket with a small tap at the bottom for running water), especially for our Early Childhood Literacy students and young library patrons.   Education staff keeps an eye out making sure student’s hands are getting clean, while Health Team puts the bucket out for use. Much like the gentle camaraderie of our painting mission, Health and Education are working together to keep the water flowing. 


Just recently, we had our annual ECL vs Library football match.  The students who regularly patron the library after school are selected by Lawrence to form a team that squares off against the ECL students.  It’s a popular match, and even those kids not normally going to the library come out to support their friends.
The pitch itself leaves much to be desired unfortunately.  The spaces infront of the library is rutted and eroded from the heavy rains that have tapered off recently, but come roaring back every few days.  It’s quite a challenge, and I can’t imagine playing on that field (somewhat like how I have difficulty envisioning playing on the rock strewn official field), but to the kids it’s no sweat, the ball just bounces a lot.  Girls Library won their match with a touch of finesse, while the boys team played to a boisterous and sweaty draw of 1-1.

The day was a scorcher too, and kids were getting thirsty real fast.  Noticing this, young Attah asked Jen for a bucket of water.  Together they got a bucket of water, and Attah spontaneously organized a rehydration unit.  She organized lines, and with just one cup, she quenched dozens of kid’s thirst.  I stood impressed watching this, and even more impressed when she sent a kid to the back of the line for trying to cut, and then withheld the cup when there was too much pushing and shoving. 

It was neat to see her lending a hand...


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