We are growing educators and leaders? Over the last 2-3 years, we have been encouraging older children to lead workshops during our weekly educational games and activities program. Some of the older children, who are regular participants in “Safe Park”, have taken up this challenge and are now leading workshops in HIV prevention and basic hygiene for younger children. These young educators have become role models and mentors for younger children and will grow up to become community leaders.
Leader in training: Meet Joe, a 17-year old, who lives with his aunt and four cousins. For the last three years, Joe has been participating enthusiastically in educational activities and games during our “Safe Park” program on Saturday mornings. He is also enrolled in Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program and receives a comprehensive package of health care services. As a result, Joe’s health has improved significantly over the last 12 years that he has been with us. He is studying in grade nine and is an excellent student. Since, 2017, Joe has been leading workshops on HIV prevention and hygiene and enjoys this assignment. He says that he loves mentoring younger children.
Benefits of “Safe Park”: “Safe Park” activities benefit hundreds of children like Joe, get help with school work, learn about HIV prevention, and have fun with peers. The children get an opportunity to play, interact freely with other children, and mentor younger children. In addition, their families are referred to government clinics for counseling and testing for HIV, TB and cervical cancer. All program activities are designed to help children learn life skills and to provide critical information (location of clinics for counseling) to family members. Homework help is also provided. The result is well adjusted happier children, and a stronger, more well-informed community.
What is Safe Park? “Safe Park” is Power of Love’s community outreach program and is free and open to all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. Most children in this community are vulnerable and/or orphaned; they live with extended families, grandmothers or older siblings and often face hunger, disease, abuse, and neglect. As a result, they need counseling, support, and a safe area to interact freely; their families’ need information about other organizations who could be help to them.
Thanks for helping provide a safe environment for vulnerable children to learn and play.