We had an excellent meeting with our first Social Welfare Center (community center) in the town of Triolet on Tuesday, which was organized by the Ministry of Social Security. Around fifty social workers from all around the north were brought in, and we were given a great introduction by the ministry, and subsequently gave our own presentation.
The primary focus of the meeting was to familiarize social workers with our program, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Social Welfare Centers run programs to support the local community, and provide a space for community activities, which we intend to use for our community outreach programs, and in order to get community support for projects like apprenticeships and vocational training.
We had the social workers fill out a survey, and will post a compiled report of that tomorrow.
After meeting with the Social Welfare Center, we returned to the Currimjee Orphanage at 3:30 and talked with the girls who had returned from school. The orphanage was surprisingly quiet, given the number of kids who were there. The overall mood was very calm, and it was clear that kids could really benefit from structured after-school activities.
We talked with the girls for a while, and asked them what kinds of programs they would enjoy, and what they would like to be when they grow up. Answers were fairly predictable, but enlightening. The most common answers included music, dancing, and drawing for projects, and doctor, nutritionist, teacher, and engineer for professions.
Perhaps our biggest realization came from the fact that it will take a lot of energy and enthusiasm to run a program in a place like Currimjee, where there is little structure for these kinds of programs. It is clear that places like this are just waiting for a dedicated fellow to inspire and excite, and to open these kids up to a new world of learning outside the classroom.