Hannah's week on the Community Program
I honestly didn’t think community would be so much fun. After two incredible months of forest and marine conservation I am ashamed to say I wasn’t particularly looking forward to community, but oh how wrong I was. We started the week with teacher training, where we hand a lot of fun practicing teaching lessons. I learnt a wealth of valuable information from why the sky is blue to how to get ready for a night out. We then started real lesson planning, and I was surprised by how easily it came to me. I planned an hour long English lesson for Standard 7 on punctuation, explaining the different between “Let’s eat, Madam Jordan” and “Let’s eat Madam Jordan”. In the afternoon we observed some lessons and I was impressed by how the GVI staff managed to engage a group of children from varying ages and levels with such ease and authority. In fact, the simplicity and well thought out lesson plan taught me a thing or two.
After such a rewarding day I doubted that it could get much better, but at 3:15 we headed back to the school for open library. Everyday the library is opened for an hour to allowed children to come and read for pleasure in their spare time. Voluntarily learning in out-of-school hours is something that British children would find abhorrent, but in Mkwiro it is evident that these children do not have the same attitude. It was wonderful teaching children who wanted to be there, who wanted to learn. Stumbling on worlds over and over again, but so eager to get it right. I sat down and read with a boy from Mkwiro Primary school and every time his eyes fell upon a word he didn’t understand, instead of stumbling over it, he would look up at me expectantly and ask “Madam?”
Overall, community has been an absolute joy – from marking exercise books to running around in circles with the kindergarten class. I am glad I got the opportunity to experience it and when I have free time I would be more than happy to join the community team to give them a helping hand. I now understand why this is such an important part of the GVI program in Kenya and why people never want to leave.
Hannah Bailey – Conservation Intern
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