Sunday, October 30, 2011

The opening of the 2011-2012 school Year

We are happy to tell you that 3 weeks ago we opened the new school year!

Mdm.Beljean is helping the excited children find their way to the classroom
Our school who is just one year old has grown tremendously in this past year. If you followed us from the beginning you would know that we started with a fundamental school and 3 kindergarten classes - some were under tents, total of children came to 330. This year we have  a separate building for Kindergarten and 4 kindergarten classes, we have 13 fundamental classes and we have opened a middle school for 7th and 8th grades which will gradually grow to the older classes, a total of 500 students.

Mdm. Merieuse welcoming her new students, Grand section kindergarten

First day ceremony at the new Bonita-JDC Ecole nouvell Zorange, middle school
 The school now has a new structure for a Cafeteria and Prodev has joined forces with the BND food program that provides our kitchen with food for the children. Energising cereal bar for breakfast and a cooked lunch.
Kitchen staff working vigorously from 6:00 AM to have the food ready in time

In the compound we now employ 33 teachers, 3 directors, 2 assistant directors, 1 secretary, and 17 supporting staff such as security, gardening, cleaning, kitchen... This comes to 50 people who find employment in the school.

6th grade class
The children's smiles fill the school with hope and positivity - a gaze into a possibility of a different reality.

Mdm.Roucourt Prodevs' Pedagogical Director is welcoming the students and explaining the rules and regulations on first day of school

Brake time
Ecole Nouvell Zoranje wishes students and all over the world an enlightening school year !

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Voila embraces the people of Zoranje

Voila foundation is showing great commitment partnering with Prodev and embracing the community of Zoranje. On the 18th of September the Voila Foundation sponsored and participated in the project of data collection and I.D card production for the community of Zoranje.  This was done with full cooperation of the village committee and Young volunteers from the village that went from “door to door” to collect the data.

Volunteers from the village going 'door to door' to register the population

 We managed to get over 2000 listings.  On Sunday  the 18th of September I.D cards were distributed to the community together with a special present  to each resident; a cellular phone to any one over the age of 16.

Briefing Volunteers before the day begins

Volunteers from Voila came to Zoranje to distribute the phones, the process was carefully planned in advance by Prodev and Voila teams

This day was carefully planned and executed by the Voila and Prodev teams with volunteers from both sides. The people of Zoranje were extremely happy to get a new phone or for some people their first phone ever! Voila also catered for food and entertainment on this successful day of outreach to the community.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27 – Computer Program – end of first course

During the last 6 weeks, the student participants of our computer program had a daily lesson. Two weeks out of the program were dedicated to story telling and story writing. Each young student designed their characters and scenes then drew them on the computer. Most of the kids added animation and movement into their stories. We spent one week learning about the internet and various popular uses for it. Each participant now has his own email account.
One page from a story

For some of the kids this was the first time they used a computer, The progress made between the first lesson (how to hold a mouse, how to open and shutdown the computer) and today’s final class is remarkable.
Today, each one of the kids got a chance to show his/her parents what they did and learned. All the parents came and we had a wonderful, exciting and proud afternoon.
Each kid is showing his work

Selected stories were shown to the entire audience

The program is not over. Our second group of kids will start next week.
We would also like to mention 3 local young teachers who are teaching the program to the students. Berjou, Alain and James are doing a wonderful job and we are very happy to have them on our team!
Handing out certificates to the graduates

Explaining about Etoys

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7 – MOJIVAR

During the summer break the school still holds afternoon activities for the community  we have computer and English classes, some people come to use the wi fi internet and others play basketball or just sit around to talk to each other in the nice afternoon breeze.  A very special group of young people have come up with a plan to make a ‘young peoples association’ because they understand that they will find greater action when working together as a team. They name their association MOJIVAR.
Mojivar association celebrated its becoming today by organizing a cultural evening for the village community. The show included singing, theatre and dance pieces performed by talented young from the village and some guests from the nearby villages. The initiative, preparation and execution were beautifully done and everyone had a wonderful afternoon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25 – Summer Kids Club – First Day

 In the last few weeks we’ve been busy preparing for a summer kids club. Curriculum, staff, material and registration have been occupying us – but we are happy to say that the hard work is starting to pay off. The first day ended with a lot of happiness.

Theater class
78 kids attend the summer camp ages 6-14. In their groups they sing dance play and also learn through experiencing new activities like painting their own portrait, making recycled sculptures, making a  theater show and being ‘journalists’ as they compose their own village newspaper. Each group is led by young people from the village who are responsible for the group activities.
The kids are happy and cooperative and we have been having a good time organizing this activity. 
Learning about the environment

Working with recycled bottles
Art Class

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24 – Planting Trees

We often get visitors at the school. Everybody comments on how beautiful and well kept it is and then after a few minutes they ask: “but it’s so hot! Why don’t you plant some trees?”
We end up explaining that trees depend on water and irrigation and that it requires a little more planning than it looks. The trees that were planted at the beginning of the year are doing great, and are a constant reminder that a job was not done.
In the last 3 weeks we bought some trees, and also received 2 very nice donations for additional trees. Our water system is working regularly, and we have some irrigation equipment. We planted all around the school fence and are planning to continue planting around the school yard. It’s a process, but – it has finally began!

Planting Trees

School vegetable garden has drip irrigation system

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21 – Waveplace Computer Program

We’ve been looking into various computer programs for a few months. We wanted a program that had a curriculum we can follow and not one that just provides computers. The Waveplace program was a good fit – it gives children access to computers, uses computers in a non-orthodox way (basically focusing on programming and not computer literacy) and encourages imagination and problem solving. In the past 6 weeks we interviewed mentors for this program. We found some energetic, smart, young people in the village to become the program mentors . Our mentors went through the waveplace training session, and after that spent an extra 2 weeks with us preparing lessons, discussing methodologies and coming up with a plan.

Mentor Training
Our Mentors preparing for class
We launched the program a week ago and its going great. The kids show up excited, the mentors are well prepared and the learning is done in a fun way leaving everyone thirsty for more.
At the end of next week we’re starting self-work with each student writing, drawing and animating his own story, we cant wait to see what the kids come up with!

Each kid has his own laptop for the duration of the course
One mentor leads the class
The mentors help our when needed
Most of the time - the kids work on their own

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 7 - End of school year

Today was the last day of exams for the first school year of Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje. It’s a good time to summarize – but we have no time. Our summer activities are starting next week. There are no real structured activities for the village kids during the summer, so our school is becoming a center of activity during this period. Stay tuned for our summer reports….

School is Over!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20 – Theatre and Farewell

Pauline and Lena are two volunteers that have been accompanying the school since the beginning of the school year. Throughout the school year they worked in the classrooms to enhance French speaking capabilities, assisting the teachers and preparing many of the special activities and celebrations.

Before returning to France, they prepared and rehearsed a theatre piece with the children. Today the entire school gathered to watch “Les vieux doudoux” by Paul Madec presented by the school theatre group.

We then sadly said our goodbye to Lena and Pauline. We want to say thank you and wish them best of luck in their future. We hope to see them again!



Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 18-19 – Kindergarten Teacher Training

One of our main focus points is ongoing teacher training to enhance teacher capabilities and knowledge. This weekend Zoranje’s kindergarten teachers joined the rest of the Prodev kindergarten staff in a 2 day training and workshop which covered working with the children and creating and using teaching aids suitable for small kids.