Footprints Children's Home 2018
Here we will keep you up to date with all the latest news straight from Footprints...
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Mothering Sunday 11th March 2018
On Sunday 11th March 2018 - our children resented the Mothers Union with sweets for Mothering Sunday. Children and mothers alike enjoyed sharing a moment in time together.
Counselling Sessions - March 2018
All of our children come to Footprints with a story, it is often difficult for them to adjust and we recognise that we need to allow them to explore their emotions. I have been doing some sessions with our middle group of children using art therapy to enable them to express their worries and concerns.
We will keep giving them time and opportunity to talk about their feelings, within our family.
Training Day held at Footprints - March 2018
Every 3 years we have to complete a huge amount of documentation which is submitted to our local social care department, where it has to be checked and sent on to Nairobi to be verified at Governmental level.
This year Footprint's documentation has been chosen to bench mark other children's homes by. We were asked to host a training day and as you can see in the photographs many people attended.
We are very proud of the work we are doing and enjoyed supporting other homes to up level their documentation as well.
Learning in the Crèche - March 2018
Aunty Christine is now developing sessions to help our youngest children develop. She is making sure that the crèche is set up with different activities each day to support their language development in both English and Swahili. She also ensures they have plenty of different toys to inspire play.
More of our children join Makemba School down in Ukunda.
When returning to Massai Academy in January, we found their management team had some disappointing news for the Grade 4 children. The Kenyan Government are introducing an entirely new curriculum for the whole education system. Massai Corner made a decision to make the Grade 4 children redo the Grade 3 year again, as you can imagine we were not happy with this change, particularly as it had not been discussed with any of the parents.
Kerry and Patrick made the decision to move 9 of the children to Makemba Academy with the older children. They all took and passed the entrance exam. So here they are in their new uniforms. They have settled in well and are enjoying their new school.
Education is so important to enable all of the children to have more opportunities in their lives, so the decision to move them was definitely the correct one.
We will keep you all up to date with their progress throughout the year.
Children of the month - February 2018.
Dotty and Sophia are this months daugthers of the month.
They achieved this award for their kindness, helping others and being organised for school.
Aunty Grace K. is proud of them both, as they are part of her house of children.
Well done girls, keep it up.
Elizabeth and Hadija started at Kingwede Girls Secondary School - January 2018
Hadija and Elizabeth have now started at Kingwede Secondary School, which is only about an hour away from Footprints, in Kwale County.
It has an excellent reputation, where the girls make good progress. This will be so much easier for everyone to have the older children within the locality.
Kerry, Patrick and the staff will be able to attend parent meetings for updates and provide more pastoral support to the girls.
Looking to the future all of the older children will attend secondary schools closer to Footprints.
Ali starts a new adventure at Polytechnic.
Although Ali started secondary school in January 2017 he was unhappy and not getting on well with his studies, so after a long talk with him about what he wanted to do we decided to help him get a place at a local polytechnic to study electrical installation, a skill that will help him to find work for his future.
Above you can see him on his first day looking very excited.
As all of the young people are older at polytechnic they have to be self sufficient, cooking, cleaning and washing for themselves. Just like here in the UK it is a perfect stepping stone towards independent living.
The Post 18 Strategy is now a reality for Footprints as the children reach that age.
We all wish Ali the best of luck and will be following his progress with interest.
Taekwondo Lessons at Footprints - February 2018
Taekwondo Lessons are now so popular with the Footprints children that the teacher comes up to Footprints twice a week, rather than everyone travelling down to Ukunda.
Have a look at these photographs, you can see how much they are enjoying learning this new skill.
The Holly Brown fund is paying for this enrichment activity.
We would also like to thank a Taekwondo club in the UK, who donated all of these
uniforms - they really make the children feel special.
Our Taekwondo Yellow Belt Team January 2018
Several of the children have been going down to Ukunda in the holidays to take up Taekwondo and as you can see they are becoming successful.
We have Joseph, Sara and Rachel with their yellow belts already. Now they are back at school they are going to continue attending lessons on a Saturday morning - again made possible with the Holly Brown Fund for enrichment.
If you are not sure what the belts mean here is a quick guide.
As the children progress we will keep you updated.
The Belt Colours and their meanings
Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Tae Kwon-Do.
Signifies earth, from which a plant sprouts root as the Tae Kwon-Do foundation is being laid.
Signifies the plant's growth, as Tae Kwon-Do skills begin to develop.
Signifies heaven, toward which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon-Do progresses.
Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.
Opposite to white, therefore signifying maturity and proficiency in Tae Kwon-Do. Also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear
Christmas Day at Footprints.
Well a whole year has gone by and it is Christmas Day once again, through generous donations the children's Christmas hats were full once again.
They, like children all over the world were excited.
This year there were beany hats, boxer shorts, toy cars, monkeys, small games and of course sweets and an orange.
It is only through your kindness that the chidren were wearing a new outfit for the day and had these treats.
As always it is pure joy to see them open the hats and explore their treats.
Thank you to you all, merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Local Holiday Makers Donated to Footprints December 2017.
The Tui Reps down in the hotels in Ukunda regularly support Footprints by collecting donations from the holiday makers. There are many tourists from Poland and Germany who are interested in finding out more about the charity.
Our next project, back here in the UK, is to get the information leaflet translated in to Polish and German to make the links even stronger.
A huge 'thank you' to all of the Tui Reps who continue to support us in our work.
Guardian's Day December 2017
Each year Aunty Grace spends a great deal of time contacting the children's extended family members and invites them to come to see how the children are doing at school and at Footprints. All of the children hope that someone will come to visit them. Of course most of them have a visitor or two but 6 of the children didn't see anyone, which made them very sad. There were lots of volunteers and staff on hand to care for them and make them feel special with a treat of two.
You can see from these photographs what an important day it is to keep contact with their families.
This year Uncle Howard brought with him an instamatic camera so we all had fun taking small photographs and watching them develop in front of our eyes. Each child had a photograph to keep as a memory of the day and the families took a photograph home with them. Everyone loved them. Rabecca and Lavena's grandfather was fascinated.
A day like this takes a huge amount of effort but here at Footprints we recognise the importance of keeping in contact with extended families so that the children know where their roots are.
Tsarvo East Camping Expedition December 2017
As part of the enrichment programme funded by the Holly Brown Legacy - 29 of the children went on an exciting trip to the wonderful Tsarvo East Reserve.
The anticipation was palpable! Each child prepared their clothes and the older children sorted out the tents, sleeping bags and of course all of the food.
Seven adults accompanied the children, but it was very much a trip for the children to take the lead.
At 4 am we were up and on our way. It was a long drive with a short stop for a breakfast of chia and chapatti - a welcome snack after our early start.
We arrived at about 1pm and took a game drive seeing a whole array of animals. It is fabulous in Kenya, the government want all residents to see and understand the countries wildlife so the admission to the park is subsidised - which makes it affordable to take the trip.
The camp site was empty, so the older boys were up on the roof of the bus getting down all of the equipment. There was a food tent, which had to be tightly zipped up to keep the monkeys out!!!!! They were great to watch around the campsite but very cheeky!
We spent 2 nights on the reserve with fantastic game drives and great campfires and cooking on the open fire. The children were a credit to Footprints.
We had a scary encounter with a very angry elephant and a massive scorpion - but we survived both.
The campsite toilets ran out of water after the first night, so that was a challenge but after informing the reserve staff, a huge water tanker drove over and saved the day!!!
Some of the children had never seen elephants and lions before and all we heard were gasps of delight- which was a joy to hear. The children also used binoculars, some for the first time and were mesmerised by what they saw.
The whole trip was enjoyed by all but the thing that sticks in my mind is Mathias exclaiming, 'Wow, wow, wow' - 6 months earlier he had been living on the rubbish dump near Ukunda, how life can change.
So as always we say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who contributes to life at Footprints - without you all we would not exist and our 36 children would not have a bright future.
The Alestree WI craft group made 6 black dolls for the younger children to play with.
Lots of the dolls that the children have to play with are white, as they are donated from the UK, so the Alestree WI craft group made 6 black dolls, with babies strapped to the backs.
The children love the vibrant coloured clothes and it wasn't long before they had the dolls strapped to their backs, using a kanga just as the locals do.
It is such a huge part of young children's development to replicate what they see in their families and communities, so it is great to see them loving these dolls.
Thank you to all that spent so much time and love in making them.
The dolls are played with daily.