New Skills and Experiences
The three week holiday break in April at the local primary schools and surrounding secondary schools meant students were able to do some different activities with our volunteers. Last month help2kids resumed our English Course program at the pre-school in the afternoons so the secondary students and other youths and adults in the community can partake in English lessons. With two different classes, one for beginners and one for intermediate, we strive to meet the needs of the varying skill levels in the village. The holiday break meant more secondary students were able to attend. In the beginners class our volunteers have been focusing on basic sentence structure, learning to identify nouns, verbs, and adjectives in sentences. We mix it up by doing a little bit of reading out loud at the end of each class to work on speaking and reading skills. Our intermediate class has seen a plethora of lessons as we try to accommodate what the secondary students are learning in school with people who are already working or are currently looking for jobs. From writing a curriculum vitae to writing a speech to writing summaries on different books we have read in class, we work on higher level sentence composition and vocabulary. Our book of the month was Finding Nemo. Since fishing is such a big part of our community, this book was somewhat relatable even if it is set in Australia! The pictures kept everyone interested and the text provided opportunities to introduce new vocabulary like the word “adventure.” Additionally, our intermediate class students love to simply talk with our volunteers. Speaking English is a very employable skill here and we like to practice having conversations on a variety of topics to enhance vocabulary and ideas. From talking about the upcoming elections in Malawi to the pros and cons of using fertilizer in the fields, our intermediate attendees are improving their ability to express ideas and opinions in English.
Students at Kazembe Primary School also had the opportunity to work on a different language during the holiday break, the lingo of computers! Every morning during the break the top 20 learners in Standard 7 had the opportunity to attend computer classes run by some of our volunteers. For some of the kids, it was their first time seeing a computer. Watching their faces light up by simply turning the computer on was a joyful experience. The kids started with learning basic computer vocabulary words like screen, mouse, and keyboard and slowly progressed to learning more complicated actions. From moving icons on the desktop, to creating folders, to typing in Word and playing inPaint it is amazing how much they learned and retained in just a span of three weeks. The last day the kids were able to just play on the computers. Some listened to the sample music and watched the sample videos over and over. Others played in Paint or practiced typing in Word. But what was really rewarding, was watching the last group of students go through everything they had learned during the three weeks without even being asked to. Only after they completed this did they start exploring the computer. It was gratifying to see the work the volunteers had put in come to fruition and to have the students be confident in and show off the new skills they had learned.
We wrapped up the holiday break by taking the top students from Standards 4 to 8 on a trip to Kuti Wildlife Reserve as a reward for their hard work last term. The students andhelp2kids volunteers saw giraffes, kudu, zebra, and one very large ostrich as we drove around the reserve in a bus with a personal guide answering questions and telling us a little about the activities at Kuti. It was a very nice day and a great way to start off the third and final term of this school year.
It is not too late to help provide the students at Kazembe with school supplies for their final term! To donate please go tohttps://www.help2kids.org/orphanage/donation.html and remember to make a note in your donation saying “school supplies Kazembe.” Thank you for all of your support!
help2kids Malawi Assistant Project Manager