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NaiMa creating an environment where children can learn

NaiMa creating an environment where children can learn

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On November 13, 2011, leading up to universal children’s day (November 20), charitable organization NaiMa – “Always kids Joy”, in keeping with its mission “to impact the lives of children by assisting them to persist positively through life,{{more}} thus shaping a healthier nation”, launched a play date project branded “Let’s Play”.

This project was launched in the community of Biabou at the Hard Court. This saw children of and around the Biabou community participating in guided or instructional play time. NaiMa, the name of the foundation derives from a feminine, Arabic name, which means comfort, peace and contentment, a quest everyone hungers for in life.

The Foundation is designed for learning and holistic development through play and other programs which captivate children’s interest. It is an initiative which came about as a result of inadequacy of play or fun parks throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was the idea of a five-year-old, Adonia Naima John-Bramble who, for her 5th birthday wished to visit a play or fun park with lots of kids, games and attractions to enjoy. However, on hearing this was not possible because of the lack of such facilities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, she called for an improvisation of this, in the form of a play date, and requested that her mom grant her wish by creating the environment of play for herself and other kids.

In light of this, her mom Niesha John, who through her daily experiences, as a teacher, youth activist, and the strong believer of voluntarism and heavily involved in community groups and non-governmental charitable organizations, saw the opportunity for giving back to her community in making a difference. Along with the contributions of close relatives and friends, her wish was granted, the play date was born. The play date engages children in guided traditional/folk and modern outdoor games and indoor games face painting, treasure hunting, and storytelling and more; it focuses on different themes, colour schemes and learning disciplines and academics. The play-date activity will be held every two months, and will soon be expanded to other areas of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

NaiMa targets children between the ages of 5 – 10 years. Through the programs, children can gain essential life skills such as social/behavioural, cognitive and fine motor skills. This program capitalizes on the fact that on a daily basis most children reading or learning is done through or for an aesthetic purpose. NaiMa is designed to create the environment where children can learn and grow together, thus developing fundamental skills for future living hence the need for a program of such nature.

Since then, on the second play date on December 19, 2011, the task of NaiMa has extended to mentorship sessions. These sessions were developed to help children who face difficulties or challenges in their school work. It is set up to motivate them and heighten their interest in academics. This program is consisting of a literacy/Reading program and a homework assistance program.

On the third play date, February 11, 2012, another set of programs was launched, namely a Book Club, Art/ Craft Room and an Expressions Space. The Book Club came about because of the increasing number of children who read and comprehend below their chronological age level. The focus of this club is to motivate the good readers, with the hope that they would become much better readers, reaching their true potential in reading.

Art/ Craft Room is designed to give children who are interested in art or craft the opportunity to learn more about the field and develop their skills.

Expression Space – This Space focuses on children’s talent, allowing them to showcase it in whatever way whether sing, dancing, modeling, poetry or creative writing providing the audience for them.

The project is well received in the community by the parents, children, villagers and possible stakeholders as these children are encouraged to participate fully. At present, the program receives contributions and support from Save Alot, Super J Supermarket and very good friend and villager in the Diasporas Janiela Roachford. Other contributors are Lemora Jacobs, Aphene John, Adonis Trimmingham and Family, Onequa Hunte, Fannie Clarke, Kelisha Hackshaw, Ronniefa Clarke and the Biabou Area Sports Management Committee.

NaiMa’s next initiative is to raise funds to start an outreach program in assisting children who are at a disadvantage.

The play date will soon be expanded to other areas in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as it sees the opportunity for potential growth. Visit our website at: http://www.naimafoundation.org

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