We have been involved in a number of projects since we launched in 2009, here are our most recent:
Dance 4 All
In 2019, the Dance 4 All project was launched at St Thomas School with support from the National Lottery Community Fund. Under this project, over 30 children were engaged, on a weekly basis, and this has continued throughout the pandemic.
The aims of this project are;
to provide inclusive dance classes for children and their parents and carers, designed to strengthen their relationships and increase their confidence.
To promote health and fitness from a young age
To provide a fun hobby after regular school hours
To encourage meeting and doing different activities
To perform educational activities in a fun manner
Currently, the Dance 4 All Club is continuing virtually.
The ongoing pandemic has brought about a lot of distress for everyone including children who have sometimes seen times of isolation from their friends and activities they would normally do. As such, we have adapted to the current times, and tried to ensure that some level of normalcy remains for the kids.
This has been through 2 projects under D4A.
Arts and Crafts Club
Dance and Fitness Club
For the Arts and Crafts, we deliver art packs and supply every week. These are used for a different challenge on a weekly basis, as taught on a tutorial.
For the Dance and Fitness classes, these are via Zoom and allow children to join from their homes, and enjoy Zumba virtually. Additionally, fruit baskets are delivered with the art packs, to promote healthy eating.
These activities have been important in keeping all the kids connected, through the activities they enjoy the most.
Cultural Exchange Project
St Thomas Primary School in Swansea have been highly integral in the work of the organisation, since the establishment, together with the St Thomas Community and St Thomas Library.
This has not only been through support of activities in Zanzibar, but active participation in the work.
In 2009, Nawal passionately shared her story of her visit to Zanzibar with her class and her classmates and teachers were very interested. They shared this with the school head who then invited Nawal’s mum, Layla, to present at assembly. This marked the beginning of a long lasting partnership between Bigger Heart and St Thomas Primary School, forming this Africa-Wales link.
Since then, the school donates much needed supplies to their sister school, Kizimkazi Primary School in Zanzibar. Supplies include; stationery, books, uniforms, clothing and sanitary wear.
Apart from that, the children at St Thomas continue to learn more about the Zanzibar culture and language from their own interest and through independent research and culture sessions with BHZ. BHZ visits Zanzibar every 2 years. Student teachers from St Thomas have often joined BHZ on a voluntary basis on these trips, learning more about the country first hand.
Pupils at St Thomas school have been involved in the following activities;
Building relationships with their peers in Zanzibar schools
Maintaining relationships with their peers in Zanzibar as penpals
Cultural exchange through sharing of experiences
Language exchange (Welsh and Swahili)
This project is ongoing, and we hope to involve more schools both in Wales and in Zanzibar, fostering good relationships such as this.