The Ambassadors have been busy getting ready for our return trip to Pandamatenga over Discovery Week. Working within their 5 focus groups, they have been brainstorming service learning activities for the village. Once all the ideas were developed and costs were analyzed, these ideas were put forth to the whole group for further discussion and feasibility, then a vote was taken among members.
Flo, our Director of Marketing, loved playing the recorder when she was in elementary school, so her group decided to bring MUSIC to Pandamatenga. We are purchasing recorders for the children and will teach them how to play, so they can continue to enjoy music long after we leave. At night, they can listen to their own melodies and drown out the scary noises of the hyenas nearby.
Ece, our spirit coordinator, wanted to get the kids excited
about learning something new, so, her group decided to introduce a new SPORT to the village.
We will be bringing some volleyballs and a net to set up in the village. The students remembered a perfect spot between two trees and are certain the children will love learning the game as much as they love serving up the lessons. They will be dedicating the court to their former advisor and volleyball coach, Ms. Delane =)
Last year, Global Project member Elisa had a great time taking selfies with the kids and then showing them the pictures on the back of her phone. We brought large printouts of these photos to Pandamatenga this summer and gave them out to the kids and their parents. The GP group decided to do a CRAFT project with the kids using photos, cardstock, stickers, and decorations to create keepsakes to remember their time together. They researched purchasing instant cameras, but decided on the Fujifilm Instax Printer instead, which runs on batteries and will turn each cell phone into an instant camera.
The ES Ambassadors wanted a way to connect with the kids in Pandamatenga and since they don’t have electricity, computers, or internet, the service group will be taking letters from them to the village and passing them out, then helping the village children write letters back which we will bring back to Moscow.
In order to help the children learn more about each other, HS Ambassador Maria has been spending her Wednesdays after school interviewing and filming her younger mentees. Not only is she asking the young Ambassadors questions about our AAS community; but she is capturing important moments like snowball fights and asking the pertinent questions, such as “What does snow feel like”? For a child in Botswana, these vides will give them a whole new view of the world. Once we get to Botswana, Maria will be filming the village children in Pandamatenga, asking similar questions, filming where they live, what animals inhabit their community. She will combine the footage into one unique video that can be shared with the whole AAS community, making us all more globally aware citizens.
The PTO has again generously donated Fun Run shirts to us and since they are in larger sizes this year, we will give them to the adults. We are planning a day of service to clear brush from the and are going to invite parents to work alongside us to clean up their community. The shirts will serve as their rewards. This way they can feel that they have earned something and can feel good about serving their neighborhood.
Last year during Discovery Week, we planned a day of activities with the children and were dismayed to learn that due to a delay in the government water truck, the children had not had water in 2 days. Since the only meal most receive is the bowl of porridge at school (and you need water to make porridge) most hadn’t eaten either.
Communications Director and Service Coordinator Victoria Lanovenko was determined to find a solution. Talking to lodge owners, community members and the local lawyer, she researched how a water system might assist the village. By the time we left Pandamatenga, she had a plan in place to install a well for the village and had several people working on quotes and suppliers for her. Back in Moscow, Ambassadors and recent graduates Katy Myers and Camille Duvieusart took over this project after exams, raising the necessary funds and travelling to Pandamatenga at the end of August to oversee the digging of the well. Victoria is excited to return and see her dream a reality
The Ambassadors continue to develop ways to help the community of Pandamatenga as well as raise funds for the construction of a primary school in the village. We will keep you updated on our progress. As always, thank you for your continued support.