Today at the Norviwo Community Centre we are busy wrapping up the 8th week of our Transition off the Streets (TOS) Programming. The last eight weeks have flown by for our #FOAFamily, and we are constantly amazed at all that we have accomplished. We have discovered what we as a family care about, and we believe that we have great power for change. Our #FOAChildren have shown us dedication and commitment as our class sizes have almost doubled; Our #NorviwoScholars have shown us resilience and determination as they continue to work hard and make progress; and our #FOALeaders have shown us integrity and creativity as Norviwo’s programming constantly evolves to better reflect the individuality of our students and the core values of FOA.
This week we had a few highlights, including brownies made by one of our #FOAVolunteers, a challenge of riddles, and an arts and crafts class where the #NorviwoScholars each made their own bags. Creative projects are always encouraged by our #FOALeaders as we have learned that our #NorviwoScholars love to express themselves. We believe that a good classroom environment here at Norviwo requires some element of creativity, whether it be open ended questions, team activities, brainstorming or arts and crafts projects. We have witnessed how innovative our children are, and crafts like this keep our programming more engaging and interactive.
Despite a week full of activity and programming, the big feature at Norviwo this week was without a doubt Solomon’s 17th birthday celebration. We are so thankful to have Solomon in the #FOAFamily and we feel privileged to have celebrated this special day with him. It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful; and as we express our gratitude for Solomon, we are filled with so much joy.
“May the happiness and optimism that you constantly spread throughout Norviwo come back to you on this day. Wishing you, Solomon, the happiest of birthdays. We believe that you were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned into the #FOAFamily and we wish for the best things to come as you start this new year.”
Our mission here #AtNorviwo is to successfully transition our #FOAChildren off of the streets, and onto the path of reaching their full potential. Each and every one of our #NorviwoScholars has big dreams, and we believe that with the right tools they will achieve great success and happiness wherever they may find themselves. In addition to our regular educational programming, we have placed a heavy focus on routine this week. #AtNorviwo we believe that developing and sticking to a routine that is harmonious with our goals is one of the surest ways to ensure success amongst our scholars.
Our #NorviwoScholars come from the streets where there is no stability or normalcy in their everyday lives. We feel that in order for Norviwo to be a safe haven and a place of growth, a schedule and a proper routine is essential. Having a proper routine has not only developed healthy habits amongst our scholars, but has also helped us to build an environment of trust. By eliminating the many unknowns of the street, our scholars are able to recognize that they are the priority and that the #FOAFamily is devoted to them.
This week we purchased a clock for every room in the Norviwo Community Centre. Our programming continues to follow a weekly schedule and we feel that this schedule should not only be enforced by volunteers, but that our scholars should also be taking a leadership role in their daily routine. #FOAChildren have faced several difficulties in their lives beyond their control, but it is important to remind them of the many things that they can control. Holding our #NorviwoScholars accountable for attending class, and completing their chores and homework on time, encourages responsible behaviour and the development of independence that they will need when moving on to school in September.
Through numeracy, literacy, and science lessons, we ensure that all of our FOA children are on track to write either school entrance exams or pursue an alternative path. These lessons have been tailored to each individual child’s skillset and goals, and maintaining a proper routine has been essential to monitoring this progress. In addition to monitoring progress, our classroom routine has set the standard for appropriate behaviour through a group reward system. Students adjust to positive behaviours when rewarded, by increasing their participation and responsibilities. The group reward system has promoted self-confidence as well as shared responsibility, encouraging our scholars to achieve successful results. Here #AtNorviwo we believe it is important to support long-term behaviour changes, in order for our #NorviwoScholars to successfully transition off of the streets.
Our hand washing initiative is just one of the ways we are encouraging proper hygiene practices and healthy patterns. According to UNICEF, more than 10,000 children in Ghana die each year from preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia. Though the simple act of hand washing can reduce preventable diseases by up to 50 percent, for children living on the streets, sanitation and hygiene are challenges of both access and education. We are confident that by instilling the knowledge and behaviours that promote proper wellbeing, we are one step closer to reaching our dream of ending child poverty in Ghana.
ADDRESS: 18 Nii Ashong Mlitse, Bridge Junction, Adjiringanor Road, East-Legon, Accra I P.O. BOX AN7541 ACCRA-NORTH I TEL: +233247733392 or +233504708878 I email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Future of Africa (FOA) is a registered not-for-profit organization in Ghana with Reg #CG077842017, TIN #C0008792844