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Week 6 : Hamba Bamba Funda's Early Childhood Development Pilot Project

The journey in the car was filled with anticipation this week, how did the women feel after last week’s session without their babies.

Upon arrival we learnt that a funeral was taking place in the community that day so understandably some of the mothers were missing therefore a decision was made to have one session, each group was evenly represented.

"what did it feel like after last week’s session, especially being without your children” enquires Monja

“had a great day, even afterwards”

“went home and played with my baby”

“I had a very relaxed day”

were typical responses.

“this week we are going to start a new theme which is Attention” explains Monja, “what comes to mind” she asks

“focusing on what we are doing” was the unanimous reply.

The mothers now paired up with Monja partnering a lady. Facing each other Monja explains “we are going to try an experiment. take your partners hand and start to touch, squeeze or stroke it, how does it feel” after a while she instructs “now concentrate on your hand and how it feels” continuing the experiment she asks “now pay attention only to that hand and investigate how you are touching it, observe the quality of your touch” moving forward Monja now asks “pay attention to how it feels for you and then notice how it feels touching each other”.

“does it feel different when you are paying attention to just yourself compared to when you are noticing the fact you are touching someone else” mentions Monja “your touch may become softer” she concludes.

Everyone swapped so that they could feel the sensation of being touched and when asked how it felt when the attention was brought for both parties noticing each other

“it became softer and warmer, more sensitive”

were typical replies

“how often do we pay attention to what we are doing especially when we dressing our baby whilst talking on the phone” asks Monja “connect and pay attention to your children when you are with them, this will help them develop” she concludes.

A session of tapping, squeezing and transitioning followed. It was evident that some of the mothers from the 2nd group needed some more attention to their technique therefore Monja obliged and gave them more detailed demonstrations. They were urged to practice at home.

To conclude the session singing and stomping of the feet calmed the babies down.

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