Sunday, January 30, 2011

The need for a new preschool classroom

Volunteer moms cooking chicken dish on Saturday which was prepared by APH. (More pictures after story).


A Friend of Tembari Children

WITH THE onset of the wet season in Papua New Guinea, the need for the Tembari Children Center (TCC) to build the third classroom for the new members of its preschool program has become more urgent and a pressing issue for us to deal with.

Yesterday during the resumption of my special Saturday lunch program in which I cooked a special meal for our beneficiary children, we had to rush the serving of the meal – chicken wing stew, rice, soup and cordial drink – because it was starting to rain.

Lunch, or whatever meal scheduled for the day, is usually served outside the classroom where our young beneficiary children sit on the dining table and enjoy the breeze while waiting for the food to cook and served.

Yesterday, we hurriedly evacuated them to the two small classrooms to shelter them from the threatening rain. Luckily, it was just a drizzle and did not last long.

The same scenario played last school year when the skies opened up while classes were going on.

The third batch of more than 20 preschoolers held its class in the open – under the mango tree because the two available classrooms were occupied by two other classes.

The outdoor class had to be sent home for the day because we did not have space to shelter them from the rain.

This school year which starts on Monday, February 7, we expect to see at least 120 preschoolers under our program, with each of our three volunteer teachers taking an average of 40 young learners.

The normal size for a class is between 20 and 25 pupils, thus making the delivery of instruction effective and convenient for the teacher as well.
But this year, each of our three volunteer teachers would be handling 40 pupils each – a number which could be a problem to deal with.

Of the 120 preschoolers, 60 new kids would be joining the program for the first time.

Of this number, 40 pupils have parents – a mother and a father who are able to support them. They are joining the Tembari preschool program because Tembari Children’s Care (TCC) center is the only one operating a preschool facility at the ATS Oro Settlement at 7-Mile, outside of Port Moresby.

The other 20 first time preschoolers are orphans and abandoned children who are our target beneficiaries.

TCC is basically a day care and orphanage facility catering for the less-fortunate children at ATS Oro Settlement.

Besides, providing early education to interested community children other than the Tembari kids is part of our service, being a community-based organization (CBO) duly registered with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).

LAST DECEMBER, I started a fundraising drive to help us build a multi-purpose hall that would include a classroom of 9m x 4m in size for the third batch of our preschool children.

The structure, which measures 15m long and 4m wide, would also provide a space for an office (3m x 4m) and a dirty kitchen of the same size. It will have concrete floor and roofed with GI sheets.

Initial estimate showed that it would cost at least K50,000 to build this multi-purpose hall.

The AP Engineering Ltd of Kokopo, East New Britain, was first to respond to my appeal by donating a cheque for K7,000.

Engineer Ariel Parro, APEL managing director, has assured me that he would continue supporting this project. He promised to help us prepare the basic design for the building.

For those who would like to support this project, here’s an opportunity to do so: You can contribute the needed materials like roofing sheets, cement, bricks, timber materials and others.

Initially, the structure would require 18 roofing sheets 2.7m long and another set of 18 sheets 3.6m long; ridge cap 8 length x 2.8m.

If you wish to donate cash, please write the cheque in the name of Tembari Children’s Care (TCC).

Also, we have an account with Bank South Pacific through which you can credit your donation to bank account number 1001481651, Waigani Branch, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

I hope this appeal would reach kind-hearted individuals and community-oriented business houses and institutions.

It is through your support and theirs that the Tembari Children’s Care (TCC) is able to make the lives of a group of less-fortunate children a little better by providing them daily meals and basic education.

I would be willing to discuss with you ideas that would help make our preschool classroom project a reality.

Moms busy themselves with three dishes: chicken wings stew, special masala-egg-beef bone-soup and rice.

Two young volunteers pounding Magi cubes before they go into the chicken wing dish.

Tembari children displaying their picture books which they browse inside the classroom.

Children enjoying their picture books.

Tembari children discussing something about the picture books they were browsing.

olunteer mom assisting the kids in washing hands while the soup is seen steaming in the background.

A little boy being helped cleanse his hands.

Bowls of lunch food now ready for serving to the kids.

Children having their soup before the main course is served.

Children enjoying their steaming hot soup.

A kid is caught by camera while sipping her soup.

Kids having lunch inside their classroom while it was drizzling outside.

A toddler shyly hides her face from the camera. An orphan, she’s one of the youngest beneficiaries of Tembari center. (All pictures by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ, January 29, 2011)

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