I admit I was quite nervous to begin the community part of my Kenyan experience. I have experience in primary education but a room full of 40 kenyan kids was still pretty intimidating. However, when I assisted in the first lesson on Monday, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the children to be friendly, polite and pretty darn cute!!. It feels great to be helping their education in such a direct way. Sometimes the kids can be a bit cheeky but I know I was no angel in school. Besides, it makes you like them that little bit more if they have a good sense of humour!!
It has been a struggle to get some of the concepts across properly but it is very satisfying when a child gets that ‘A-Ha!’ moment!!
Teaching in Mkwiro has made me realize that kids are the same everywhere. They skill have the ability to make you laugh (or scream) at the drop of a hat.
Meeting and bonding with the local kids has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences so far. It has inspired me to pursue further TEFL training and hopefully teach English in the future.
I’m not sure what I expected the children to be like when I came to Mkwiro. I guess I thought all of the children living here would be so excited to see me, and the rest of the volunteers. And actually, most of them are, especially the younger ones, who are constantly shouting ‘Jambo Jambo’ just to get your attention. The smile on their faces after you wave, or smile their direction is genuinely priceless. Although it takes the older kids a little longer to warm to you, which when you think about it is understandable.
Of course 15 and 16 year old girls and boys are going to test your patience when they know that you are only helping temporarily. Once they have seen your face and recognize your teaching techniques and respect your boundaries, their attitude rapidly changes.
By my second week the children were eager to learn in the lessons and all of them are so desperate for praise. Allowing them to write the answer on the chalkboard or even just writing ‘very good’ in their exercise books means the world to them. You can almost see them begin to believe in themselves just that little bit more.
GVI – Conservation Intern