Kiki’s Kindergarten offers hope to young blind children in Tibet. Our local partner, Kyila, runs Kiki’s Kindergarten which teaches crucial life skills to these young children. Often in Tibet, blind children do not go outdoors, they do not play with other children or move around at all. Because of this immobility, they can become physically handicapped. By attending Kiki’s kindergarten students are able to socialize and develop skills before blindness becomes a handicap. Kiki’s Kindergarten helps teach the children how to read braille, daily living skills, mobility, and self-confidence.
Today the kindergarten is integrated so blind and sighted 3-5 year olds can learn together. In addition to offering education for children Kyila has begun a parent training program. Here parents are made aware of how their blind child can learn, and how, with an education and support, their child can become a successful, productive adult.
Global Roots’ first children’s garden in Tibet will give Kyila’s children an opportunity to feel and smell life taking root in a garden of their own. A greenhouse will be used to maximize a short growing season on the Tibetan plateau and the vegetables grown will help diversify a largely rice and ox-milk diet. Our greenhouse will also include a flower garden so that Kyila’s children can smell the flowers as they come into bloom.
Update! 2014 Global Roots Transparency Mission and Canine Companion Program Delivery
In 2014 Kyila started the next phase of her plan to allow better sustainability and quality for her protégés. Moving the kindergarten to Lhasa and opening a cafe and massage center to generate income. Global roots volunteer Emilie and project manager Patrick arrived in Lhasa with an brand new Italian coffee machine, and a set of ideas to further improve Kyila’s operations and the well being and future of the children.
The team first trained the staff at the coffee shop in making coffee and serving customers. The shop is ideally situated near the …. Monastery with lots of tourist traffic. At this time the staff gets 8 to 12 customers per day without marketing. Volunteers from abroad and local agencies are partnering with Kyila to promote her small place. Per Kyila “this is not going to be much at first but it’s a good way for to train our older children and give them a job, and get exposure to our kindergarten”. She displays many tools and games in shelves to bring awareness of how blind children learn, operate and interact with the world. “people always ask how we answer the phone, read and write email, it’s better now with smart phones and your support for Braille machines”.
We discussed nutrition and unfortunately the quality of vegetables in lhasa is poor, where farmers heavily rely on pesticides and fertilizer “we want our children to eat good organic vegetables and the only economical way is to grow them ourselves.” We visited farms growing pumpkins, tomatoes and mushroom and have good contacts on renting a greenhouse. 2015 will see to having tomatoes and cabbage for the kids.
Thanks to the generosity of longtime Global Roots donors Walt and Marilyn Gearhart, we were given the necessary funding to search for and acquire a golden retriever.
“This puppy will be the perfect companion and guardian for the kids. At their age they have few opportunities to interact with animals, so this is helpful to further developed their senses and abilities.”
Finding a healthy puppy was no small affair and Emilie had to wear her doctor, lawyer and buyer hat to make sure the puppy will be healthy and unharmed during his vaccination process.
“We had very exciting time choosing the puppies,” she said. “At first we wanted them all, small or big, quiet or loud, but then we decided to have the smart breed which is able to sustain the cold Tibetan winters, and also be a good companion for the children. You know kids could easily hurt a small puppy so a mid-size dog was best”.
Kyila overcame lots of challenges, as a single visually impaired Tibetan woman, yet she continues to demonstrate her leadership and dedication by educating, caring and feeding the children on a daily basis. Global Roots is committed to make it as easy and efficient as possible for Kyila to run her kindergarten.
We awarded our local partner Kyila a 20K grant three years ago to help her establish her dream: a kindergarten boarding school for blind Tibetan children. Kyila, a blind Tibetan herself, created her kindergarten in Shigatse, a rugged 2.5 hour drive towards Mt. Everest from Lhasa.
We first heard about Kyila’s efforts to bring world attention to the virtually ignored issue of sightless children in Tibet when she herself climbed to Base Camp at Everest in 2009. It’s not everyday that a blind woman makes it to Everest Base Camp!!! Please watch the movie below to learn more about Kyila and her beautiful personal struggle to help blind Tibetan children live a more fulfilling life.
Running Costs for 2014.
Thanks to a generous eBay grant that we received in 2013, we were able to commit a second 20,000 USD. This time, however, we agreed that Kyila could use it for the annual running costs of her home in 2014. Kyila and her team continue to supply us with the transparency we must have to keep the funds coming.
a careful review, the school is approved and local review panel is set up to monitor the future Children’s Garden
A greenhouse kit is purchased and a team is hired to construct it
A local is hired to serve as Master Gardener
A chicken coop is constructed and chicks are reared
Local mothers come to cook for the children
Produce and eggs are distributed for a school lunch program
Monitoring Our Results:
Using A/B testing methodology, Global Roots is able to measure, validate and correct our strategic approaches to helping children in need most efficiently and effectively through our nutritional gardens.
A random set of students are chosen as a sample population prior to the establishment of the garden
A Global Roots representative interviews each member of the sample population and records initial metrics per individual child:
Attendance in school
Teacher assessment of class participation and performance
Physical health post nurse check-up
Caloric and protein intake from the garden/chicken coop produce is monitored and recorded for the sample population of children
The amount of time each child spends in the garden is carefully recorded, as is the level of their personal involvement in the project development:
Responsibility for a portion of the garden, accountability for certain plants, in charge of selling/delivering produce, etc.
After six months, the sample population of children are re-examined and interviewed once again with the same questions
Once we have analyzed the results and drawn conclusions as to what has worked and what may be improved, our findings are emailed to project donors and included in the Global Roots Annual Report
A second group of children are then chosen as a new random sample for a succeeding six-month cycle of our project’s assessment, allowing us to test any potential alterations and continue to improve the strength and impact of Global Roots’ Children’s Gardens.
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