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Old 02-28-2013, 12:25 AM
fortheleastofthese's Avatar
fortheleastofthese fortheleastofthese is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
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Default Daycare in East Africa- Suggestions?

Hi, I had previously used this site before, when I was working as a full time nanny. Wow, that seems like forever and a world ago. I went on two short term missions trips to Rwanda, and in August 2012, I moved to Rwanda after selling all my worldly possessions. I currently have ten girls and one baby boy who live with me, who are all orphans. The girls are all older teens or young adults, who were reunified to relatives, that turned out really bad. The baby is a sweet boy I would visit in the baby room in the orphanage everyday. (Currently the baby room at the orphanage has over 40 babies!) Till one day I was confronted with the idea of fostering him in my home. I did not hesitate and a week later, he came home.

When I would go to visit Moses at the orphanage in the baby room, I got to know the house mama's really well. Whenever new babies came into the orphanage, I would always inquire how they got there. And a story I heard over and over multiple times, is that the mother died in Childbirth, and the father could not care for the infant and work. Surely there had to be some middle ground? Surely there had to be other options to these widows. Surely, there was no other options but to abandon their children to a orphanage.
So I am currently working on opening a daycare, that will be completely free to widows, single parents, and child run households, whose parent or sibling is currently or actively seeking work, or are in school. (school really helps cover for the child run households, so the eldest sibling, can continue a education if there is a infant or toddler in the home) Also here, it is common to leave a baby or toddler home alone all day while a parent or sibling goes out to work. I have seen toddlers die in flash floods of the river in the area, because they were left unattended all day, while a parent was off working. I know it sounds horrible, but you gotta put yourself in their shoes. What if you are a single parent, with a toddler, do you leave them alone for the day, or do you let them and yourself starve because you have no income to get food? The options here are small, to say the least.

Currently I will be employing two girls to work in the daycare. One of them is from the orphanage who is often found playing with the toddlers who adore her. She has finished her schooling, and currently has nothing to do at this point. And with her age, and some medical issues with her eyes, she will most likely not find employement. The other, her mother died, she is in her twenties, and her father remarried. Once he remarried he discarded his children from his first marriage, and she works tirelessly for $34 a month, to pay to provide a education, home, security, food, and all that for her younger siblings.

What I am wondering is suggestions from you! Here the supplies are limited and toys are virtually non existent. I have had sweet friends in the states who have been sending me cloth diapers, toys, bottles, baby spoons, and all that kind of stuff. I am getting so excited to see this stuff start to build. I also currently employed a local disabled man, to build the cribs, and he is rocking it!!!

What kind of activities could you recommend for toddlers that does not have to include things that are hard to get? What kind of schedules would you recommend? What are some games you would recommend? It is so different than working as a full time nanny at home in America. Life is totally different here. But I desire to give the parents a chance to raise their own children when faced with the loss of a spouse. I dont want to see anymore babies laying in cribs all day, with blank stares, and all that comes with a parade of caregivers, and no parent available.

Suggestions? (knowing my supplies are limited!)

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Old 02-28-2013, 03:40 AM
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Binkybobo Binkybobo is offline
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What an amazing story! What an amazing person! There are fundraising websites that can connect you to people who would love to help your cause! Check out fundly dot com. As far as activities, I would learn popular nursery rhymes and fables from their culture as well as American ones and share them regularly with the kids. The rhythm of the rhymes has the same effect language wise as music exposure. It helps kids to look for the syllables in words and enunciate correctly. I would do the same with common songs and preschool songs that you may be Familiar with such as ring around the rosies. Schedule music(with percussion instruments if possible), story, art time etc. Children are children. Set up a regular preschool schedule include their culture as well as yours and others. You will do fine! I am sure their childhood is already off to a better start just because you care! You go girl..or boy!
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:56 AM
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MamaBearCanada MamaBearCanada is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 701

What a blessing you are.

Some wooden spoons and pots/pans for music, pretend cooking
Fabric - can be used for dancing, capes, tents, doll blankets, pretend fields or water
Smooth larger pretty rocks (large enough not to be choking hazard) use for building, pretend cars, for counting, for decorating pretend food items
You could make some mobiles or wind chimes from metal spoons
Socks to make puppets or stuff them to make dolls
Could the man building the cribs make a doll sized one and some stools or chairs and simple table for the children. If he sanded some different size cubes and rectangles of wood the children would have wooden blocks. Depending how good he is at carving perhaps he could make some wooden animals and small barn or a dollhouse or cars?
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