Making Connections

Chiedza Child Care Centre strives for connection. Under their new director, Spiwe Chakawa, every staff member at Chiedza, from the gardener to the accountant, is assigned 20 children. The adult is asked to build a safe and trusting relationships with their cohort.  Groups meet weekly and take small field trips together.  Spiwe stated, “To my 20 children, I am not the director, I am their sister or auntie.  If they have a problem they just come in to my office and sit down.”  In this way, Chiedza staff cultivate family-like relationships with the orphans.

This is one of the many reasons Coalition for Courage is happy to support projectss at Chiedza.

They strive for a comprehensive program that supports the whole child.  They care about children’s self esteem, strengthening community and building trust.  This same mentality is evident is in their sports programming.  Chiedza not only fosters championship teams, but they use practice and games as a platform for teaching life skills and health information.  Chiedza’s coach explained, “In a typical soccer session the team might practice defense strategy and skill development for a portion of the time, and then we hold a conversation about how

the same concepts relate to life – how and when they need to defend themselves, their goals and values, and what to do when they meet an opponent. Those opponents could be difficult tests or HIV.”  The coach shared stories of friendship that have developed between children and how these relationships have resulted in positive behavior changes.

Chiedza evaluates their programs with pre and post tests. They have produced positive outcomes in increased self esteem as well as reproductive health and HIV knowledge.  We feel honored to continue our support of Chiedza Child Care Centre in 2014.

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