Activities

 

Daily life skills

All pupils at the centre are taught daily life skills under trained supervision. Washing yourself, brushing your teeth, making the bed and cleaning your room are examples. These are important skills needed for independence and improving self-esteem.
Exemptions are made for severely retarded or physically handicapped pupils.

Pupils aged between 7 and 12 attend a local primary school which has a special unit for mentally handicapped children. Mama Linda Ngido, a teacher by profession and founder of the Mehayo centre teaches at this school.

While the younger pupils are at school the older children get on with their daily activities programme.

 

 

Cooking

Cooking is a very important skill for the pupils. Especially for those who will become residents of MKUNDI ( TUNAWEZA VILLAGE ), where despite the need for a lot of support their independence will be very much encouraged. It is expected that each child will have its own room.

 

 

Small scale farming (like gardening or keeping poultry)

This is the centre’s main activity. Most of the Tanzanian population, including the parents of our pupils, are involved in agriculture in some way, so learning basic skills is not only useful but essential. It also has a knock-on effect on other activities.

For instance when crop is sold on the local market, the pupils involved in selling will learn business skills. At the same time local people interact with them in a perfectly natural way, so raising awareness as well as discovering that a handicapped person can make a contribution to society.

The produce grown is used to provide food for the centre and the surplus is sold at the local market. The income earned that way is split between pocket money for the pupils and revenue for MEHAYO.

 

 

Bakery

Young female pupils are taught to bake bread and make cakes. They successfully supply the daily needs of the centre.

 

 

Wood working

The MEHAYO centre currently has a small carpentry department, which is only used for maintenance. A few interested pupils are trained there but it has a shortage of tools, so the programme cannot be expanded. It is hoped that In the future this could become a major activity to generate income for MEHAYO.

 

 

Card making

This is an optional activity for interested pupils. They are taught different techniques by staff and volunteers. Cards are made for fun as well as for commercial use, like seasonal greeting cards produced for the local market.

 

 

Drama

This is one of the favourite activities for many pupils.

They are trained in both dance and the performing arts. As a group they attend different festivals and take every opportunity to perform on stage. The performance may not always be perfect, but the audience invariably gets the message. It is also another chance to raise awareness among the local community of the importance of this long neglected group of young people to their society.

 

 

Sports and games

Involving pupils in sporting activities improves their physical condition. At the same time it emphasises the importance of recreation. For those reasons sports and games have long been part of our daily programme. Local schools are occasionally invited to join in matches and competitions, as part of our ongoing awareness programme.

Our teams have been able to take part in the National Special Olympics in different regions of Tanzania and we are very proud to announce that they won medals on various occasions.