Drawing wildlife with Mukambi Primary School students

In January NGO Mondo volunteer Olle Kaidro and WEFOCO school coordinator Sophia Malaha visited different schools in Uganda and Kenya, among them Mukambi Primary School. During their visit, students drew pictures of various plants and animals that could be found near their school.

Students were given drawings made by the students of Pärnu Rääma Basic School. They were fascinated to see some Estonian animals and learn their Estonian names.

After seeing the drawings students were eager to draw their own.

Students were inspired by the surroundings

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Everyone were excited and had lots of fun. Especially commenting on each other’s pictures.

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They wrote down the name of the animal in English and in their language, suahili.

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All of the drawings were gathered to send them to their partner school, Pärnu Rääma Basic School.

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Every one were active and really enjoyed the day. Hopefully the pictures will be as well received as the pictures from Estonia!

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Photo Essay – Munganga and Tamsalu

Munganga Secondary School and Tamsalu Gymnasium have a long history of partnership. As the latest activity, NGO Mondo volunteer in Kenya and Uganda Olle Kaidro and WEFOCO school coordinator Sophia Malaha organised a fun workshop for Munganga pupils and Anne Kraubner from Tamsalu gather her students to discover the pictures sent!

Step one – Receiving letters from Tamsalu’s students

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Step two – Answering to Estonian partner school

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Step three – Receiving letters from Munganga’s students

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St. Stephen´s Eshiakhulo Secondary School – Wild Nature

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Pupils in actions – reversed classroom

Hello! We are St. Stephen’s Eshiakhulo Secondary School in Kenya. Our WILD Nature activities involved groupwork around two tasks – messages of plants and making dolls with reused materials and natural materials. All students could work on the project they liked!

We hope our partner school, Toila Gymnasium will see them and organize their project work around the same topic.

 

Here you can see the pictures we draw. The most important plants in our nature are sugar cane and lemon tree with local importance and coffee tree as an international export article.

 

The second group worked on making dolls. We used materials that we could easily find – plastic bags, seeds, plant fibers. It was really fun to get creative and make something with our hands! The ready-made dolls we brought to our younger siblings.

You can see the process from these pictures and the video:

One group got very artistic with their poster while using the colors of Kenyan national flag!One group got very artistic with their poster while using the colors of Kenyan national flag!

 

One group got very artistic with their poster while using the colors of Kenyan national flag!

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Look what Kaylee Shark did!

 

Recycling workshop in Yakoti Primary and Junior High School

A group of students from Yakoti Primary and Junior High School took part in a recycling workshop on the 4th of November. We discussed the problems that plastic waste causes in the environment and ways to solve these problems. We came to a conclusion that the most important step to dealing with the waste problem is not to create the trash in the first place. By reducing the amount of single use plastics (bags, bottles etc) we buy and take from the shops we create less waste that needs to be disposed of. We also talked about how we should reuse these same plastic items many times and when they are no longer usable we can recycle them to make new objects.

Groups of students went around our school buildings and collected the plastic trash that was on the ground. We learned how to make yarn from that plastic and used it for weaving ropes, knitting and crocheting different objects. Some students even got the clever idea to make a net for the football goal in our school. All in all we had a fun workshop and learned a lot!

Zanlerigu Primary School and plants in our yard

Classes 4, 5 and 6 from Zanlerigu Primary took part of different school linking activities. From 7th to 11th of November.

Our friends from Estonia sent us a presentation about plants in their school yard. We looked at it with classes 6a and 6b and the Mondo teacher from Estonia was explaining the uses of these plants and some things about the climate and nature of Estonia. For us it is quite difficult to imagine a place than can be so cold at times. We made herbal tree from linden tree flowers and drank it together.

With class 6b we then went around our own school and talked about the ways we use the trees that are found here. The trees that we saw were Neem tree, Kapok, Flamboyant tree, Mahogany, Eucalyptus and Acacia. The most obvious benefit of all these trees is that they provide shade and coolness for us and our animals when the weather is very hot outside.

Some trees also have very special value for their beauty. For example in the beginning of rainy season the Flamboyant tree bears very decorative red flowers that are pleasing to look at. Flamboyant tree and Acacia belong to the the bean family of plants which means that they bear fruits that are stored on pods. These pods of seeds can be used to make different sounds and play music. These trees also have fern-like leaves that are made up of many small units attached to one leaf-stem.

The trees that have medicinal value are Neem tree and Mahogany. We can make tea from neem leaves, which can lower fever, clean blood, support liver function and much more. Around here people often use small sticks of neem tree to clean their teeth (the bark of neem is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory). The seeds inside neem berries can be used for making oil, which is widely used in production of cosmetics. This oil also has a use as natural insect repellent. Because neem is a fast growing tree it is also often used as firewood. Growing neem trees also makes the soil more fertile because the roots can grow very deep and bring minerals back to the surface of the ground.

Mahogany is a tree that is prized for the beautiful colour and texture of it’s wood. That is why it’s often used to make luxury furniture. Mahogany is a slow growing tree. We use the bark and sap of mahogany tree for medicine, especially to cure stomach pains. That is why when you see mahogany here, their trunks have many scars and holes in them. People routinely go to the tree to cut it and get medicine.

The Kapok tree has fruits that contain cotton like fibre. We use it to make pillows.

Eucalyptus is a tree uses up a lot of water from the ground, so people plant it to irrigate very wet areas.

After seeing all the plants and talking about them each student chose one tree and drew a picture of it also stating some of the uses of this tree.

With both classes 6a and 6b we read the letters from our friends from Kuristiku Gümnaasium and wrote letters about ourselves back.

Clean up activity with Kongo Primary School

On 7th of November all the students of Kongo Primary School participated in a clean up activity of our village. The clean-up activity was a part of the program for our school anniversary celebration. In Kongo we have quite a big problem with waste management. The disposal of waste is not so well organized by the govenrment which means that most people are left to dispose of their waste on their own. Some people burn all of their trash (including the plastics) and other people just throw it on the ground somewhere. Because of that there is a lot of plastic trash littering the environment here, which of course as we all know, is not good.

The more than 500 students of our school all came together on Monday to clean as much of the village as possible. Students from Kongo Junior High School joined us as well. We took the road from our school to the education office in the village and picked up trash that we found on the way. The road looked much nicer afterwards 🙂

It’s one thing to try to clean up the litter that’s already around, but more importantly we have to find ways to keep the trash from getting to the environment in the first place. For that purpose we had a discussion with classes 5 and 6 where we talked about different ways to solve the waste problem. Namely the importance of reducing our use of plastic packages, reusing the plastic object we already have and recycling the things that can no longer be used. As a recycling technique we learned how to weave and crochet with yarn made from plastic bags.

We learned how important it is that everbody takes responsibility for keeping our village clean.

Presentation Primary School: Trees around our school

A group of students from classes 1-6 from Presentation Primary School learned about the different trees that are found near our school. Our teacher David was telling us about the uses that these trees have.

The trees that we talked about were: Jatropha, Mahogany, Fig tree, Shea tree, Neem, Dawadawa. Red and yellow berry trees.

Jatropha is a plant that can be used to produce oil. Mahogony tree has very hard and beautiful wood and therefore is used for carpentry, but besides that it also has medicinal value in easing stomach pains. Neem tree is also used as medicine to lower fevers. Dawadawa tree fruits are very nutritious and we use it in many dishes (like soups, stews and rice dishes).

After seeing all the trees we went to the library and everybody chose one tree to draw. We made picture of the trees and wrote uses of them next to our drawings.

Field trip to Pitanga rocks with Kongo Junior High School

Students from Kongo Junior Hight School forms 2 and 3 took a field trip to nearby Pitanga rocks on the 25th of October 2016. Pitanga is a village next to our school which is famous for the big cliffs that it has. ‘Pii’ in nabt language means a rock so this means the village has been named after the cliffs.

We started our trip early in the morning so that the sun would not be too hot on us. On the way there we were singing and dancing. Some of the songs we had created for ourselves and some of them are local traditional songs.

While walking we also talked about the different plants and trees that grow here and discussed the ways we can use them in our daily lives. Some of the plants that we saw were: shea tree, dawadawa tree, burasus palm and the red berry tree.

The tree that has the most uses here is the shea tree. People eat the fresh fruits of it and use the nutty seeds inside the fruit to produce shea butter. Shea butter is widely used for cooking and skin care. In addition to the butter, people also cut the bark of the tree to get a special gum, which can be used for mending things or just as chewing gum. Also the leaves of it have some medicinal qualities so after boiling them in water the liquid can be used for bathing newly born babies. People use the wood that you get from shea tree to make different tools as well.

 

Wild animals of Ghana by 5th grade of Gorug School

5th class of Kong-Gorug Primary School made an art project about wild animals in Ghana. We made sculptures of native animals of Africa (elephants, crocodiles, zebras, lions). We collected clay  from the field near our school and each student made their own animal. When all the animals were finished we placed them on the classroom floor and drew a water hole on the ground for them to drink from. Then we sang a song about the same animals. Our friends from 4th grade made drawings of our sculptures.

Art activities with natural materials in Kong-Gorug Primary School

Kong-Gorug Primary School students from 4th, 5th and 6th class worked very hard for two weeks in September of 2016 and participated in many different art activities. We mostly made art using different natural materials. For example we printed different patterns with leaves and did drawings from shadows of different plants from around our school.

We also made land art works in the classroom from natural materials such as grass, sticks, leaves, flowers and stones. 6th class created land art works of traditional Adinkra symbols. Adinkra is a traditional textile printing art of the Ashanti people in Ghana. Special symbols with religious and philosophical meanings are printed on cloth with natural pigments extracted from different trees. Nowadays these symbols are widely used for decorative purposes all over Ghana. We see these symbols on people’s clothes, painted on buildings or imprinted on different products (as logos or decoration).

6th class worked in three groups who each chose one symbol to make from natural materials. 1st group created the symbol  “Gye Nyame” or “Only God”, which represents the omnipotence and immortality of God. 2nd group made the symbol “Nserewa”, or “Cowries” which is the sacred okra flower, which stands for wealth, affluence, abundance and sanctity. The 3rd group used white stones to make “Ese ne Tekrema”- “The Teeth and the Tongue” which reminds people the need for friendliness and interdependence to enable improvement, advancement and growth. After all, our teeth and tongue may come into conflict with each other from time to time (we accidentally bite our tongue) but they still need to work together for us to be able to eat and grow strong. The same is true for our relationships with other people.