The last two weeks were consumed by preparations participating inthe « Amani Festival ».  We had two teams of runners, men and women, in the Ekiden Amani 2016 marathon and we had a team who worked in the stands set up by the festival.  It gave us the chance to meet and exchange with other local and international organizations in order to know and collaborate with each other.

It was successful on two accounts. Our women’s team won first place in the Marathon and won the prize, which helps build our team spirit and will help in our efforts to protect the environment.

We exchanged contact information with a number of other organizations in Goma, and look forward to visiting each other soon, and learning from each other’s experience. Hats off to the team of young HOLD volunteers who made this all possible!

Health

Our counselors continue to listen actively and verify stories as they talk with beneficiaries of the seventh cohort.

24 women were met with these past two weeks.  12 were listened to for health reasons and others for psychological reasons.

We only have Vermox in our medicine cabinet », says Francine BORA, one of our counselors, "but we need a number of other types of treatments”. Our ongoing lack of basic medicines at the center continues.

Of the 71 children being followed nutritionally, 5 got sick.  2 of them went to the hospital, but according to the weekly report their health has improved.  

Education

In Tailoring, the women are doing very well.  After they mastered practicing sewing straight lines on paper, they’ve learned to thread a sewing machine, top and bottom.  This includes learning to thread a bobbin and properly install it in the machine.

Girls in Cosmetology in the new cohort are learning how to do simple braids (popularly known as « kusuka nyele ya mukono »), 38 girls are enrolled in this class, and according to the teacher and to the girls, 70% of them are learning it well.  They did a practical exam last week where each woman had to demonstrate her skill.  

In the Children’s Space, children of preschool age have learned to name the seven days of the week.  They’re learning this by memorizing and reciting it.

Community Development

Peer Educators led two awareness sessions on « battling poverty » for a group of mechanics in the downtown Goma.  Their approach focused attention on the importance of savings.

The girls from HOLD showed the mechanics that by creating solidarity groups and saving even small amounts, it would help them improve their living conditions.  

On the issue of microcredit, 3 girls, members of the Association of Human Development Clubs, are using savings accounts through the Association to save for equipment that will help them start small income-generating activities when they’ve completed their training.

Culture  

After the victory of our women’s team in the Ekiden Marathon at Amani 2016, all the athletes and their colleagues in the cultural club organized a day of reflection/discussions on the involvement of women in the process of the restoration of peace and on gender equity.  

Environment 

The Children’s Environment Club continues with sessions of awareness in order to create clubs of Children Protecting Nature within different schools in the city of Goma.   So far, two schools have agreed, Aigle Pecheur and EP Bora in the Majengo neighborhood of Goma.  

With the goal of contributing to a healthier environment in Goma and reduction of malaria, the members of Human Development Clubs have begun to recycle plastic bags, and have made handbags from them.  It takes 70 plastic bags to make one purse. 

 

Plans

In order to encourage the idea of raising small animals and growing food in the girls, we will raise 10 of 2 types of chickens and grow a vegetable garden at the HOLD center.  It’s being prepared now.