Summer 2016 Issue II - I AM Special Education Society Volunteer Day
Summer 2016 - I AM Special Education Society
At CIEE Gaborone, we make it a point each semester to give back and lend a much needed helping hand to members of our community. This Summer, we decided to chose a group we had never worked with, the amazing: I AM Special Education Society! Here's whats in this issue:
I AM Special Education Society is a small community-based education centre for children and youths with learning disabilities. I AM Special Education Society aims to "Empower and provide education services to those who learn differently", and their main objective is to promote a sense of self reliance amongst people with disabilities and to help them integrate into the society.
I AM Special Education Society is situated in Tlokweng, just behind Tlokweng Main Kgotla. They enroll several students with different disabilities such as Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, spina bifida and other developmental delays. The students are taught basic academics (literacy & numeracy), pre-vocational studies & self-help skills, PE, Computer awareness and they all undergo Auditory Integration Training.
I AM Special is one of the few centres in Botswana that is dedicated to children with learning disabilities. Special learning schools like I AM Special, still lack resources, and support from the local community. The centre therefore welcomes visitors to come and meet the children to raise awareness about the challenges people living with disabilities in Botswana may face. They encourage visitors extend their time, get involved and share skills with members of I AM Special Education Centre!
Our day started bright and early! Even though our time was limited, our mission was to ensure we left a long lasting impact on the organization. We decided to focus on a few things that we could help change in one day. Prior to our visit, we had a put a comity together to help identify key areas where we could focus. We noted a few of the surroundings needed to be refurbished, the sign into the centre was abit old and the students at the education center really enjoy interacting with visitors.
With these in mind, a group of our best got together to draw, outline and paint two new signs, which could be placed outside the Education Centre for all to see. Our students and volunteers worked hard and tirelessly to produce a wonderful end product. A special thank you to our very own, Regina Brecker for the insurmountable effort she put to pull this together.
Our students and volunteers working hard on the new signs
As I AM Special Education Society caters to children of all ages dailey, we thought to brighten up the surroundings by giving the hall ways fresh coats of paint. We as a team added hand prints and beautiful designs to create a warm, welcoming environment.
Keyandra ready to make her mark!
Our student volunteers did a wonderful job in the hallways
Our most exciting moment of the day came when we had the opportunity to meet and interact with the children of I AM Special. Once they arrived, everyone was eager to get them fired up with a number of games. Our most enjoyable game happened to be an interesting take on Duck Duck Goose. Our students and volunteers clearly needed more practice as the kids from I AM Special showed us just how its done!
As some of our students enjoyed games with the children and staff of I AM Special, a few members of our Team prepared a quick meal for everyone to share. After the fun and games, we settled down and enjoyed lovely treats; They prepared hotdogs, fruit, muffins, snacks and juice for the children, which made for a wonderful time to chat and get to know them on a more personal basis.
As our day came to an end, we donated a few necessities to the centre to help them ease up their daily tasks and wrote them a sincere Thank You card. Our efforts were small, and insurmoutable to the efforts the staff and team of I AM Special Education Society dedicate on a daily basis. We hope our visit there may inspire and urge more members of the community to get involved and experience the wonderful individuals we got the privilege to meet. To those who would like to get involved, spend some time or would be in a position to make any form of donation to I AM Special Education Society, please telephone +267-3910214/71517761 or visit them at I AM Special Education Centre, Mangwana Centre, Tlokweng, Botswana. Postnet Tlokweng P/Bag T010 #66 Tlokweng.
Till next time, Sala Sentle ( Stay Well).