THAF Intern Stacey previously interned in St Lucia, Kwazulu-Natal, where she was able to gain valuable experience working in rural areas and fundraising to help those communities have a more sustainable future. Now interning at African Impact – Zanzibar, she hopes to transfer those skills over to her new challenge. Below she talks about her first two weeks volunteering and one project in particular made a big impression in that short amount of time.
I have to admit that I had not done as much research into Zanzibar and the projects there as I probably should have but my mind was so focused on The Happy Africa Foundation! I was so excited to get back into it all and start educating all of the volunteers about how The Happy Africa Foundation works alongside African Impact.
To get to know the projects inside and out, I spent my first two weeks as a volunteer and experienced everything that a volunteer would. The days here are split into three different sections, community project, nursery school and adult English. And as a primarily teaching based project it is very different to what I had done as a volunteer in St Lucia.
On my first day I headed off on my bicycle with the other volunteers to the land where the new Jambiani Educational Community Centre will be built. Dulla was there to meet us with the other builders and we got straight to work moving the large coral rocks from the roadside that the volunteers had made in the previous weeks. The heat even at 8am is incredible and after just over an hour of manual labour I came back and headed straight to the ocean for a cooling dip in the turquoise sea.
Nursery school is the second project of the day and I got to teach at Kikadeni which was really nice. I was teaching the senior class which are about 5-6 years old and are all very cute and well behaved. We were teaching them about wild animals before they would write down the names of the animals in their workbooks.
The last project of the day was for me the most inspiring and this was the adult English classes. Although there is a lot of preparation that has to go into the classes the rewards outweigh all of that time spent. There are five classes in total from beginners to advanced and after the students graduate from class 5 after sitting their exams they then get the opportunity to interview to be a part of the Jambiani Tourism Training Institute (JTTI) where they can do a diploma in Hotel Management and Hospitality. JTTI is now in the middle of an expansion, which is great for the students as they will gain a more varied work experience but this has meant that we no longer have a permanent building to hold our English classes, which is where community project comes into play.
The volunteers have been working very hard alongside local fundis (builders) and local volunteers to clear the land and build an access road to where the new Jambiani Educational Community Centre will be built. After visiting the land and seeing the excitement on Dulla, the local project manager’s face when he goes to site and sees the daily changes that take place, I know how much this community centre is going to mean to the whole of Jambiani. His passion along with the other African Impact staff is second to none with this project and that’s because it will affect so many people with their future studies.
For me this project is very exciting, having taught a week of adult English classes and going to the land on a daily basis this community centre will offer so much more than just the English classes. There will be a community fruit garden and we will have enough space to potentially offer a holiday club. With the classrooms we will be able to offer other short courses and will have a permanent home to enable all of our present and future students to be able to pursue their dreams.
If you would like donate to this Focal project you can do so via our website by choosing ‘Jambiani Educational Community Centre’.
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’ – Nelson Mandela