In Transcarpathia, Childhood is funding the organisation Advance which has organised a number of after-school activities for children from at-risk families. The children sign up for weekly computer classes and photography, cooking, or sports and excursions. Once a week, they also attend a playgroup session led by a social worker and psychologist. Being a bit of a computer geek I was thrilled to attend the best computer class I have seen in any project. Unfortunately, most computer classes end up with the kids just playing games or chatting. Here they all learned how to open, change and save documents, how to cut and paste and create images. Happily the children all followed instructions and put their personal touches on the image they were taught to make step by step. Everyone was so concentrated and quiet. Afterwards I spoke with three little boys, all of them looking malnourished and dressed in worn clothes. They were so happy when talking about the computer class and how much they are learning, how cool the teacher is (I agree – he was), and (most heartbreakingly importantly) how this is the only thing they get to do outside of school.
Here’s a collage of the images the children made during the class.