Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Court of Dreams: Using Sport to Promote Dental Hygiene

After a 2 month long holiday last year (2016), most kids finally returned to school on 4th January 2017. This included many of the schools that are part of our Court if Dreams programme. The first few weeks had not been a smooth ride for both Sadili staff and the teachers at these schools as most of the pupils had not yet to report back to school. However, the third week of January (16th-24th) which is also the third week since schools reopened saw a good turnaround of events with a good percentage of kids back to school and settled. Sadili’s social educators successfully had life skills sessions with almost all the schools in the programme.This week (from 23rd -30th January), they are back to these schools with a focus on dental hygiene.
Practicing dental hygiene at an early age can help kids develop healthy, strong teeth into adulthood. This is why tooth brushing remains one of the major topics often discussed by Sadili’s Social educators through the Court of Dreams programme. Their first stop was at Olympic Primary School on Tuesday, 24th January. In a fun and effective way, they were able to get the children to think about their oral health. Some of the things they taught the kids included: the steps involved in teeth brushing,the health benefits of keeping their mouths clean by brushing their teeth, when and how many times they should brush their teeth as well as tooth diseases caused by bacteria.

The Social Educators clearly proved that brushing is not a chore; it can be fun with songs that encourage good health and hygiene. They came up with a simple song on cleaning of teeth that entertained and kept the kids engaged throughout the session. “If kids have a positive experience learning to brush, they will remember the lesson and be more likely to brush regularly,” said Kevin, one of Sadili’s Social Educators.

Apart from this, the kids had a chance to play tennis and other fun games with their favorite Coaches after the life skills session.

“We have enjoyed ourselves today playing and learning about teeth brushing,” said Michelle, a std. 2 pupil at the school. “We hope to have more fun next week.”
The Court of Dreams uses sport, mainly tennis and basketball, to encourage better hygiene habits among children 3-12 years of age, their attendance in school as a result of better health and therefore improved performance in school.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Court of Dreams Improves Health and Schooling: Success stories Part 3

Denzel Ochieng
Denzel is a standard 2 pupil at Jitahidi primary School. Records from the class register provided to us by his class teacher shows a steady increase in attendance since he joined our programme. His class teacher believes that the court of dreams programme has played a key role in improving Denzel’s and other pupils’ attitudes towards school.

“As you can see our school does not have a playing space, and so your court [Kibera tennis court] is the only one available for them. Our pupils, particularly Denzel, have always been very excited about getting down to the tennis court,” says his class teacher. “I have said it before and I still maintain that I hope the programme will keep going on, so that our kids have space to play, and have a good motivation at least once a week to be in school.”

“During the December holidays I had time to play at the tennis court every day. Now that we are back to school, I will be looking forward to our play days [Wednesdays],” says Denzel. “I also enjoy the life skills sessions with teachers [Social educators] from Sadili. There is always a lot of singing and playing, and we have a lot of fun.”

Comparing the second and third term of 2016, the increased school attendance rate by Denzel and many of his classmates is impressive. Other factors may have played a role in this improvement, but it is an undeniable fact that the Court of Dreams programme contributed to this. We are especially pleased that Denzel’s class teacher recognizes the programme’s contribution.

Lalety Akinyi
Lalety is a standard 3 pupil at Jitahidi Primary School. She was one of the most improved pupils in class last term and is one of the most active beneficiaries of the programme. She took part in several of last year’s Sadili 8-Series challenges held both at Sadili Oval and the Kibera Tennis Court.

Ms. Josephine, her teacher, notes that pupils in her class are now more engaged than previously and are always looking forward to sessions with Sadili staff. “I am particularly proud of Lalety for her improved performance and the fact she clearly shows a lot more commitment to schoolwork. Sadili has contributed immensely to this,” says her teacher. “The reason I am saying this is that I accompany the pupils to the tennis court every time they have a session with your staff, and I am impressed by the way they are handled by the coaches and the social educators. When they return to class after games, they are always more eager to learn, listen more and are much less stubborn.”

 “I love the fact that we always have play time with Sadili staff every Wednesday, and that sometimes we go to Sadili for tournaments. I am always excited to play on the blue court [Court of Dreams] at Sadili,” says Lalety. “I can now play tennis and can help in the teaching of others.”

We hope that Lalety and the rest of her classmates will be able to maintain their good performance.

Alice Achieng'
We walked to Becky School and could not help but notice Alice Achieng’, a standard 1 pupil at the school. Her uniform is clean, her hair well shaven, and on a closer look, her nails cut short.

 “Alice’s overall cleanliness has greatly improved since our school first joined the programme.” Her class teacher tells us. Unlike before, her hair is always either combed or clean-shaven like it is today.” Her teacher notes that she takes cleanliness a lot more seriously than she did before, something we all agree with as we have known her since the programme began.
We asked Alice to demonstrate to us how she washes her hands, and she did it very well. “I always wash my hands with soap and water every time I visit the toilet and before meals,” she says, “and sometimes I insist on getting soap until my mother gets upset.”

We are proud of the fact Alice has made such progress, and we hope that she will maintain it and be able to teach her friends and siblings the same.

Friday, January 6, 2017

University of Minnesota Students Visit Sadili's Girl Power Clubs Africa

Sadili’s Girl Power Clubs Africa was thrilled to start the New Year by hosting students of the University of Minnesota on 4th and 5th January 2017. The 10 students, accompanied by their professor, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, visited the country with the aim of exploring how in the Kenyan culture physical activity is used as a gateway to many aspects of life and how it can empower youth, especially girls.

“Sport is a big culture in the United States, and we believe it is the same in Kenya too,” said Prof Daheia. “I hope that by the end of our visit, the students will have a better understanding of how Kenyan girls use sports for empowerment”.

The team visited Olympic High School’s Girl Power Club during the 2 days where they had open discussions with the girls. They talked about how sport has changed their lives, school, life in America and Kenya and their personal lives. The Olympic High School girls also talked about the role of Girl Power Clubs in their education and development. The students also did a bit of football exercise, danced and did yoga.

“Before the students came I coached them on what to expect since for most of them were visiting this part of the world for the first time. I am happy that they feel welcome, and that they have been really inspired by the stories they have got from the girls at Olympic High School.” 

At the end of their visit, the university students gave little care packages to each of the girls. Each package consisted of sanitary pads, tissues, toilet paper, soap, sweets and a journal. The professor hopes to be back to Sadili next year with a different group of students from the university. 

Girl Power Clubs Africa is a leadership program focused on providing girls with a chance to learn life skills and learn to make decisions that affect their lives and their communities positively.


Football excercise
Group discussion
A gift for everyone