by Shigeko Baba
Three months have passed since the tsunami struck this area. The villagers are still living in tents provided by various organizations. Life is hard, but work is going on to rebuild lives and homes. Temporary houses are being constructed, and the school is open, though some classes meet under tents and tarps as the number of students increased from about 124 to over 200.
SVS staff has been working hard to get the Blue Bird Nest Preschool up and running. We have hired two teachers and they are currently meeting with children in a tent. They do handwork, storytelling, singing, and so on. Alipencha picture book box library is in the tent and the teachers are teaching hygiene through CHAW (Clean Hands And Water) washstand and picture book. The children wash their hands before and after the snack time during which they eat biscuits and drink milk.
Providing a regular schedule for these children helps them feel secure and they enjoy themselves in the Blue Bird Nest.
We have plans to build a permanent preschool building, which is suitable for the environment. The plans have been drawn up and construction will begin soon.
We have built a low wall around the large mango tree where children and villagers can meet under its protective shade for storytelling activities and play. We have also made a permanent memorial star to commemorate those who were lost in the tsunami.
Village people and youth are helping us to complete these projects because they have seen that we are staying and trying to help them. We can feel that a strong base of trust is developing.
We have hired a specialist, Anton, who is an “animator”. He has been working with war-traumatized children and has been doing weekly programs at the SVS Blue Bird Nest for the past three months. He will begin fulltime work with SVS starting this month.
Thank you for all the generous support we have been receiving from many people, individuals, schools, and other organizations. We are encouraged by your care and support.
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