|Kevin showing some love outside the new dining hall.|
|New administrative offices, nurse's room, and volunteer room.|
|Dormitories with the new second floor and a paint job.|
|This is what is becoming the new library/game room! Lots of work to do!|
The new buildings will provide more space and opportunity for the staff and students. The old kitchen is becoming the new store room. The old dining hall is almost finished it's facelift. It will become a new library for both the staff and students to access. One of the biggest problems I noticed upon my arrival was the lack of use of all the donations the center receives. These donations include clothing, shoes, soccer balls, notebooks, pencils, paper, and art supplies such as crayons, colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, and paint. None of these things are being used. The main reasons they are not put to use is that the donations go missing or break when they allow the boys to use them. They will be around for one day and the next morning it will be broken or gone. Another reason is that the staff isn't aware of everything the center has received and they don't take advantage of the supplies. I think they are also unsure of how to divvy up the clothing and shoes to make it fair without the boys fighting.
Elena and I decided that there needs to be some serious changes in managing donations. We have put together a project proposal for the new library that we will present to Rafiki, the project manager, so he can give us the okay to run the project and take action. Our plan will allow all the donations (except for the clothing and shoes) to be accessible to both staff and students. The library will be a place where the boys can rent books and games. It will have tables and chairs for the boys to read and play games at. In order to keep the games and art supplies in tact, we will created a sign-out system and they will have to remain within the walls of the library. Whoever signs out the game is responsible for returning all it's pieces, or they are not able to sign anything else out until all the pieces are returned. We created a folder with sheets of paper called "The Naughty List" for students who have lost their privilege to sign anything out. Boys can also lose their privilege if they have not completed their chores or misbehaved in some other way.
The new system will also give the boys access to the soccer balls. This is a HUGE deal for the boys. On Friday, we gave the boys a soccer ball from the volunteer room. We were getting so frustrated going into the volunteer room and seeing all these brand new soccer balls just sitting there. We'd look out the window to see boys kicking around an old, flat, beat up ball of some sort. So we took one and gave it to some boys, who were elated with excitement. On the following Monday, the ball was gone and nobody knew of it's whereabouts. Out new system will require the balls to be checked out and returned after a certain amount of time.
We are really excited to put our new plan into action and see how the boys react to it. We will keep you posted on the progress and success!