Institutions

Greetings from IRS, May 2006

Caroline Bidmon sends us greetings from Irente Rainbow School, and tells us about improvements and problems.
 
Assessment of a child for the Outreach Programme
Assessment of a child for the Outreach Programme
Dear friends of the Irente Rainbow School,
After a long time without hearing from me, today I want to send you many warm greetings from Irente and tell you a little bit about what has been happening at our school since I wrote the last newsletter.
Jaqueline, Godlisten and Thomas, three of our youngest pupils
Jaqueline, Godlisten and Thomas, three of our youngest pupils
We at Irente Rainbow School (IRS) are now four months into the second school year and after two weeks of midterm break pupils and teachers came back this week for the second half of the first term. At the moment we have 27 pupils and for now the school is at the limits of its capacity. Unfortunately, this means that the only thing we can offer parents who come here, desperately looking for an opportunity for their children is to put them on a waiting list, so they can be enrolled once we get more teachers and funds and are able to start a new class. Hopefully next year.
With the new school year in January we introduced a new timetable, which was developed in cooperation with all teaching staff members. We are very happy with this new timetable because it is more structured and gives more opportunity for individualised training of all pupils. Since January we also have a special Montessori training room which is used regularly by all classes. Also, we have about 20 chicken and two sheep at IRS and our pupils are learning how to take care of them. Thanks to funds from the German Embassy we were able to purchase mattresses for indoor sports, a keyboard and tools for gardening and carpentry. All those things make it easier for us to provide our pupils with good quality lessons and training.
We have three new pupils that joined us this school year. Hassan (13 yrs.), Thomas (7 yrs.), and Eliamini (9 yrs.). Eliamini just joined us recently. He is a severely multiple-disabled boy who for the beginning only comes once a week together with his mother. It is not easy to give him adequate training at the moment because we lack the special equipment for severely disabled children like him. We have decided to have him once a week and we are happy how well it works out so far. Besides the fact that Eliamini seems to enjoy his hours at school, it seems to be very important for the mother to get at least some support for her son and share experience and worries with the teachers. Being with a child like Eliamini in Tanzania where it is almost impossible to get any professional assistance is a big burden and it is amazing how well the family copes with the situation. Eliamini is not able to sit or move by himself. He needs to be fed and he cannot go to the toilet nor can he express his needs. He is already a big boy for his 9 years and he is growing fast. Of course the mother is asking herself what will happen when Eliamini gets older. It seems that being at IRS gives her strength and hope for the future, even if it is only once a week.
From November until February our IRS team was joined by Mr. David Ries, a German student of Special Needs Education, who worked here as a volunteer. With his openness, empathy and profound theoretic knowledge, he was a great enrichment to our school and we thank God for the time he was with us. Since February two young volunteers who are sent by the Swedish Evangelical Mission are with us at the school. Karin Sagen and Elisabet Holmlund are both trained teachers and will stay until June.