søndag 26. juni 2011

The San Children in Botswana

A San family in their home at a farm.
From the 11th to the 18th of June we did a tour to D'kar in Kalahari desert in Botswana. The purpose was to take part in a study about why San children drop early out of school and what can be done to keep them in school. We worked with Stella Nguluka and Sinnah Motetho from Bokamoso, Botswana. We visited some settlements and some farms where more san people worked, and we interviewed children who had dropped out of school, parents and teachers.

The kitchen in the home
It was interesting to visit the farms. Some of them were very big, one had about 30 000 cows. San people are hired as workers on these farms. They have their own homesteads in small villages in the farm. Houses were simple, but well organized. 

 It was nice to meet the families. They were very willing to give their views.

We will work with Stella and Sinnah on the report, and we hope the recommendations will be of help for the san children. We hope this little child will find conditions that makes it possible for him to stay in school.
The area were we were was desert or half desert. But once a year comes water flowing from the rains in Angola. The water flods into the sand and it turns into a see. With the water also come fish. So many were fishing in this newly arrived water, and they were getting fish!

mandag 25. april 2011


We visited Xai-Xai in Mozambique some 200 km north of Maputo, along the coast. We visited Mel and Diane Stauber who is related to our son in law Sean.

 They run 2 care points where children could come and hear some bible stories, sing songs and get some food. The care point was next to a church that was just built. About 100 children where coming and it was touching to see how they were interested to listen, to participate and learn.

Children were from 2-3 to 14-15. They want to start a preschool here, and then have some other gathering for the school going children that could come after school in the afternoon for a gathering and some food.
 On the other place the work was more new. It was also good to meet this children and their caretakers.
 Interesting to see how children are able to play with what they have. Skipping rope made of local materials where used with some rhymes that were recited as they were jumping.
Many of the  houses outside town was made of reeds keept together with some thin wire. It is cheap and easily available building material. It is quite relevant in a climate that is quite warm throughout the year. Here is even a church built of this material - Assemblies of God International was written over the enterance.

Good to see that people are able to use what they have to develop the kingdom of God.

lørdag 16. april 2011

Graduation for FEA Preschool Teacher Training College

Graduates in their beautiful gauns
Friday we celebrated graduation for last years students at FEA Preschool Teacher Training College in Manzini. 21 students graduated. They were dressed in their beautiful gauns, and came dancing into the assembly in the opening of the feast.

The graduation was led by Mrs. Winile Tzabedze who is a lecturer at the centre. The students sang a hymn and a self -composed song as a thank you to FEA. The student representative had a nice speech where she expressed the students gratitude to the FEA Ckollege for the training thay had got.

The Principal of FEA Preschool Teacher Training College, Dr. S'lungile Thwala Welcomed everybody and had a special welcome adress to the gratuating students. She was dressed in a beautiful gaun in red and yellow for the occasion. 

It was a joy to be the guest speaker on this occation
I was invited as the guest speaker. I congratulated the graduants with the choice of career and with the efforts during a two year study. When we estimate that each student could work at an average of 20 years and receive a new group of children every year - then this group of 21 students will touch the lives of more than 10 000 children during such a period!

I also had the opportunity to give Queen Maud's Price to the best student. This has become a good tradition since the FEA Preschool TEaacher Training College is affiliated with Queen Maud University College in Trondheim, Norway. 

The graduation ended with prayers and dedication of the new preschool teachers, and then everybody were invited to lunch- beef, chicken, and assorted vegetables such as butternut, beetroot,  etc. Very delicious!

A joyful day that we will remember!

søndag 10. april 2011

I barnehagen

I am visiting the preschool every now and then to see how things are going and enjoy the experience. Some days back I happened to come at a special time: a child had birthday, and the parents had brought a cake. A very exciting moment when the birthday- child shall take the first piece of cake.

We are still working in the project of improving the preschool. Last staff meeting the staff had made  puzzles, picture-lottos, and small books with pictures to have in the play corner and the book corner in their classroom.Corners like home corner, book-corner and block-corners are now being established in the classrooms.

Since we are now through with the period about forgiveness, Kirsti was introducing the value we are going to empasis on next month - after easter: honesty. After the presentation we had a good discussion. We agreed that in addition to telling stories, dramatizing and talking about honesty, it is very important that we ourselves are honest in relatin to children.

lørdag 2. april 2011

Maths and special needs eduation

Many things are going in here. We are planning a course with Anne Nakken from Queen Maud University College in Norway from the 23rd to the 26th of May. We are sending invitations these days to preschool teachers in Swaziland, to University lecturers in Swaziland and Mozambique, to members of our network for preschool teacher training in Southern Africa. A. Nakken has an ability to create enthusiasm and interest for maths among children and students, and we believe this will be a real step forward in competence building in Early Childhood Education in the region.

I am also invited to run a seminar for teachers on special needs education in Maputo. It is an new organisation that will work to upgrade the competence of teachers in Christian Schools when it comes to issues on faith, values, ethics etc. It is a great need for information and teaching on inclusive and special needs education in Mozambique, and I am looking forward for the day.


Krûger Park

Friday after working hour we went for a trip to the famus Kruger National Park in South Africa. I believe it is one of the gratest game parks in the world. It is about 3 hours drive from here. We drove up to Komatiport in SouthAfrica, and slept over in a lodge there. Then 5 oclock next morning we woke up, and bit after 6 we were in the park.
We met big flocks of may be 100 impalas in one group

 Kruger Park in one of the biggest in the world, bigger than the whole of Swaziland. We only drove through a part of it during 6 hours. We saw a lot: more groups of giraffs, elephants, sebras, impalas, hippos, a lion, rihno, birds etc. What makes it special in Kruger is that you find the animals in their natural environment living as they were supposed to live.

Two giraffs that saw us as we were driving by
 We also met more groups of giraffs along the road. These animals are impressive, they reach up to 5 meter above the ground and feed on the top of the trees. They look suprised when they look at you, may be wondering how it is to have such a very short neck as human beings have! I think God had fun when he made the giraffs!

We also met more groups of elephants. The group on the picture were coming to dring. Afterwards the smallest one played and smached in the water. Then most of them crossed over to our side. - Other elephans we found just in front of us on the road or as they were crossing the road. Very impressive animals.

I can recommend a visit to Kruger National Park, may be in combination by seeing some educational and mission projects in Swaziland and Mozambique.

onsdag 30. mars 2011


Teachers in our meeting today

We are running a project on forgiveness. In the grade 0 all three classes has used a week to tell everyday stories or traditional stories on forgiveness. Then for two more weeks they have told the story of Joseph from the Bible: a very touching story. The teachers have noted down spontaneous reactions from children. Today we met with the teachers to discuss the last part of the study where we will interview the children on what they think about forgiveness. We had a very interesting talk about the children's understanding of forgiveness and also about our own relationship to the theme. It is difficult to ask for forgiveness. In the African tradition it is rear that a senior person ask a lower placed person for forgiveness, that parents ask children for forgiveness, that husbands ask their wifes for forgiveness. However, forgiveness has a great value as it reestablish relations. It needs to be learned when we are young. We all felt we learned something about children and ourselves in relation to forgiveness.

The same project is also being done in preschools in Norway, Botswana and Kenya.