Meet Chimwemwe, Sparkle’s official mascot.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes, even a village may not be enough to keep a child engaged in their activities. Children can be very complex and often at times easily lose interest in activities that they do not find entertaining. At Sparkle, one of our key areas in the children’s lives is Education. This is not always a smooth ride considering some of our little Sparkles have learning difficulties, physical disabilities and short attention spans. We do not want to leave any child behind no matter what their vulnerabilities may be.

The idea of having a Sparkle mascot came into fruition because we wanted to give the children something that they can relate to. We were lucky enough to have Leona Collins donate her time and skills to us, to bring this idea to life by creating the illustration of our mascot. And this is how Chimwemwe was born.

Chimwemwe means Happiness, which was the name chosen for the mascot by the children themselves, and fits perfectly for our new friend, as that is exactly what we want to spread at Sparkle every day. Children respond well to characters that they find entertaining and can relate to. At the moment we are working on using Chimwemwe to deliver some educational facts to the children and other supportive information to improve their skills and development.

“A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down?” Nurse Lena certainly wouldn’t agree with that. Luckily, that statement wasn’t made to be taken literally. It is about making hard situations a little bearable by adding a pleasant factor to it. Another focus area for us is the children’s health. While the thought of going to the nurse’s office may terrify a child, we hope that Chimwemwe will be our spoon full of sugar to make the experience fun and engaging. Our on-site Nurse, Lena, will be enlisting the help of our new mascot to give the children tips on how they can improve and keep up with their health as well as making sure Chimwemwe rewards them for being brave little patients.

By engaging a mascot, the children can improve their social skills, communication skills, their confidence, creativity and overall performance. We hope that in the future, Chimwemwe will step out of the digital world and become a tangible mascot/puppet for us all to enjoy.

-Ellie Field