When I left Silana Village in May after completing a two week Education Program, my experience was amazing enough to know I’d be back again before the end of my six month trip. Only two months later and I’m back in my favourite village on a nine-week scholarship with GVI.
Returning to Silana was even more incredible than I thought it would be. The villagers, who had become a big family to me over those short two weeks, welcomed me back into their homes and their community with such excitement and gratitude; constantly thanking me for returning to their school and families. To hear that they were eagerly awaiting my return reminded me of why Silana is so special to me. The locals care about every person who comes into their village and go above and beyond all measures to ensure they become and feel a valued member of Silana.
|Tash running an after-school art & crafts club
It’s exciting to see the villages progress in terms of becoming a sustainable and self-sufficient community. Since my departure, Community Project Leader Kendra, has been working closely with the villagers in order to develop waste management awareness. After numerous community meetings and presentations focusing on issues such as litter, composting food and packaging items, and new ways to re-use old materials, the community are now using tin collecting bins and composting bins, have begun up-cycling collection projects, an up-cycling income generation initiative for the women’s group, and a GVI community vegetable garden.
My role as a scholar as opposed to a volunteer in the GVI Education program has allowed me to spend time assisting volunteers with lesson planning and classroom management, along with floating between classrooms, preparing resources, and helping out in whatever way I can. Although I also help with administrative tasks, I really love that I still have the opportunity to spend time with the students through taking small and whole class lessons, and one on one reading sessions.
It’s amazing to be back here in Silana Village, it’s everything that I remembered it to be, and I’m really looking forward to being even more involved in Navunisea District School and the village community. Silana is most certainly a place I feel comfortable and loved, and my home away from home.
Tash Chow – Community Scholar Dawasamu