Last week we had the new community center opening, and it was a big success! After a very busy couple weeks of preparation and postponements, we finally were able to open the center and introduce its current and potential activities to the community. We had about 200 people of all different ages come to the opening. We didn’t run out of popcorn or fruit, and the drink mix was a surprisingly big hit and seemed to make up for the fact that there wasn’t any meat, which apparently is standard big event fare.
The event was a blast, even though four organizations that RSVP-ed did not come. One organization, Kick4life brought four coaches and had great activities, teaching about AIDS and healthy living through sports. Almost everyone got involved in the games and had a really great time, laughing and eagerly participating. Who would have thought teaching about HIV could be fun? And in my very traditional village, there is very little knowledge, and even less discussion about AIDS. It was truly inspiring to see. Check out their website at kick4life.org for more information on this amazing organization.
We were thrilled to introduce our new chicken tractor to the community. Chicken tractors are a permaculture technique that allows us to have semi-free range chickens feeding on grubs and fertilizing our children’s group gardens, while not eating their seedlings. By mid January we hope to have 7 chicken tractors housing 50 chickens, providing poultry husbandry training for the community and a regular egg supply for Ha Mali’s double orphans.
So now we’re off and running with Community Center activities such as weekly educational programs, Saturday gardening, arts & crafts, library and future sports programs, and special events by our community partners!