Every once in a while a project comes along that truly touches your heart. Last year I was introduced to a wonderful idea to help children in developing nations learn how to overcome problems with worms. “The Secret to Being Strong” is a coloring book developed by Jean MacKay Vinson and JAMSBooks to introduce children to the concept of good health practices. Drew Davidsen, national recording artist, wrote a song to go along with the book. Children learn a lot through music.
Thanks to Child Health Foundation, we are delivering 2,000 coloring books to children in Ghana. We are reaching out to various schools; public and private. We focus on class 2, 3 and 4. In some schools we may add class 1 or maybe even the whole school, depending on the number of students. The drawings, by John Woodcock, reflect life in Africa and what it takes to stay healthy and strong-wearing shoes, washing hands, clean water, good nutrition, good bathing and toileting habits. Don’t you just love the smile on this little girls face. She knows the Secret!!
Each child is given a coloring book, crayons,as well as biscuits and drink for a treat. We ask them to tell us about each picture. Ghana schools are doing a good job. Most of the children know what is needed. The coloring book and song helps to reinforce all the principles that they have learned.
With the help of the Anglican Diocese of Accra we have distributed almost 700 books so far in one and a half weeks. The two private schools were amazing-one Methodist and one Catholic. Those children speak very good English. In the public schools we use Mercia as my interpreter. Drew Davidsen donated a week out of his very busy schedule to come and teach the children the song. They loved having a guitar in the classroom. I hope you’ll check out his website where you will find links to video of his time with the children.
The children are not the only ones learning
“The Secret to Being Strong”. In several of the villages we have been able to speak to the moms about keeping their children healthy and worm free. These moms are just like you and I. They want what is best for their children. In Trewebo they were so excited that they sang and danced from the room in their new T-shirt with their hand washing bowl, towel and new bar of soap. What a sight to behold.
Well, I have more dusty roads to travel. Looking for more stories.