Helping On Holiday
Summer holiday is a time to take a break, relax from school or work, or visit friends and family. Some travel to the beach, go on cruises or sightsee historic landmarks, but the vast majority of tourists typically don’t volunteer in Africa.
Our help2kids Volunteers have taken a different route and chosen to come to Malawi. Some of the volunteers are on summer holiday during their university years while others have just graduated and are pausing before beginning a new career; a few are teachers on summer vacation and others have taken an extended break from their daily work and jobs. Regardless of differences in age, background or previous experiences volunteers share a common desire to visit Malawi for an alternative holiday experience. They are motivated to work in the community and school, aspire to help others and also immerse themselves and learn about a new culture.
This summer – actually winter in Malawi – has been a busy and exciting time for help2kids, the Friendly Gecko (the guest house where the volunteers stay) and all of the volunteers. Since the beginning of June, over 26 volunteers have passed through the village or are currently in Lifuwu now. This marks the most volunteers in the history of help2kids Malawi with a total of 14 volunteering at one time! With so many volunteers, many new and exciting projects are underway in the community.
Here is an overview with updates, and of course pictures, of this summer’s help2kids projects and what volunteers are doing in Lifuwu:
Tiyanjane Pre-School: Every morning during the school week help2kids volunteers go to the local preschool to assist with the Nursery and Day-Care classes. There, they support the local teachers with the daily topic; be it letters, vowels, numbers, colours, shapes or parts of the body. Volunteers also lead songs, games, nursery rhymes and organize other fun games and activities for the children. At the end of the school day, the kids enjoy a hot bowl of porridge (phala) before returning home. The volunteers love being with the children each day and make many new little friends.
Other exciting news with the Pre-School is the current construction of a new building designated as an additional Nursery classroom. Stay tuned for more updates and new photos in the coming months!
Local Volunteer English Class: This summer help2kidshas started an afternoon English class with the local volunteer teachers from the Day-Care. This class has been designed for help2kids Volunteers to work with the local teachers to improve their overall English ability and comprehension. They have also been working with the volunteers on classroom facilitation and effectively covering the daily topics. Since the classes started the local volunteer teachers have gained much confidence and greatly improved their communication skills along with developing a stronger relationship with the help2kids Volunteers.
Kazembe Primary School: Unfortunately help2kids’ summer season marks the end of the primary school’s academic year and their winter holiday. Although classes are not in session, help2kids volunteers have been preparing daily computer instruction for students in Standards 5-8 each morning. The learners are eager to explore the computer and basic programs. Many of the students are building on skills learnt previously with help2kids Volunteers.
Football: Recently a help2kids Volunteer has been assisting the local football organization and coaching its team. He absolutely loves working with the players each afternoon. This weekend he supported the team’s third football game against a local nearby village.
Afternoon English Classes: There are currently two English classes (Beginners and Intermediate) available for adults and secondary school students who are home in Lifuwu for the holiday. help2kids Volunteers teach in small groups to accommodate the various levels and abilities of the students. Those who regularly attend have progressed well are extremely proud of their accomplishments.
Afternoon Computer Classes: Similar to the English Classes, Computer Classes are now held for the community members with help2kids Volunteers. Just like the students from the primary school, they too are motivated and ambitious to use the computer. During the classes they create Word documents, design Power Points and explore Excel.
Kids Corner: Each and every day help2kids Volunteers hold activities in the afternoons at the primary school. The activities can range from drawing, reading story books, singing songs, playing with toys or even getting a new hair-do. Our volunteers enjoy this time as they get to know the children and make friends.
Although the Volunteers at help2kids have been extremely busy at the projects, they still have time to rest and relax. Weekends are the Volunteers’ free to time explore Malawi and surrounding south-east Africa. Many of the Volunteers safari in Zambia, visit Liwonde Park and other wildlife camps in Malawi, or enjoy the sunset and nightlife at Cape Maclear. The most popular amongst the Volunteers is walking to the nearby resorts in Senga Bay for the day or just simply sitting by the lake at the end of a long day.