As part of Calabash Trust Programmes at schools, an ABCD (asset based community development) workshop was initiated for the parents and teachers of Emafini Primary School as the first step in introducing permaculture and creative thought programmes. We invited a group of parents from the school and started an ABCD process, which included creating awareness of the group/community’s assets (human, social, natural, material, financial), and the importance of appreciating oneself and others.
Parents at the ABCD Workshop…
Caregivers and parents discussing ABCD Principles…
The group/community usually have their own visions and ideas, which we try to support in whichever way we can, for example helping to shape their vision, mission, goals, objectives, plans, project management and organisational development, as well as linking them to potential beneficial networks.
Parent and teacher from Emafini sharing on social assets and root causes of poverty.
Parents presenting on ABCD principles discussed in groups.
One parent, Monica, who lives down the road from the school, says that every day she stands outside her home watching the children pass by on the way to school. If she notices a child with a torn school uniform which needs mending, she grabs her sewing kit and approaches the child to fix it. She understands that some of the children come from tough backgrounds and purchasing new school wear every year is a need some parents cannot meet and that saddens her. The best that she can do is try help so children don’t feel inadequate and prevent any form of bullying. She hopes that the school will recognize this and with assistance she is willing to open a second hand school shop where scholars know that if they have school clothes to be mended, the school has a place for this.
Monica, Parent from Emafini, presenting a map on physical and material assets in the community.
During the ABCD workshop we noticed that the parents played such an important supporting role at the school, and the teachers acknowledge their volunteer work in the school. Some initiatives that were identified as low hanging fruits we after school care, assisting teachers in classrooms, improving the library and starting/expanding food gardens….