Almost a month has passed since four volunteers arrived at this primary school to work on developing learning content, technical support, mapmaking, English lessons and other community projects. There have been plenty of surprises and developments. One of the biggest surprises is the increasing number of students at the school, from about 50 to almost 90 now. Meals are now provided all five days of the week. Last year they were only offered three times per week. Teachers seem to come and go, and paying them seems to be low on the list of priorities unfortunately. On the other hand, there is some enthusiasm and trust developing, which is exciting. An accountant was hired and she is keeping records for the first time. Some books have been given to the teachers to enjoy, chalk boards have been attached to walls, a few new benches arrived this week and parent meetings have taken place twice.
Several classes have enjoyed creating post card responses for cards made by a Canadian school. Here is a sample Pen Pal photo.
And so today is the final day for most of these talented volunteers. One will remain while others attend a conference in San Francisco.
Here you see Tony with Nathalie, the grade 5/6 teacher. Nathalie seems to be quite the success story too! Tony will be heading to S.F. and then on to Rwanda.
Another surprise has to do with a contest taking place at the San Francisco conference. They are holding a poster competition, and the school is making this submission, a poster to encourage skilled volunteer involvement. (The PDF poster is larger, see other contestants here) Wish us luck!
It is a bittersweet time seeing effective volunteers depart, but we hope some of them can be enticed back soon!
UN GRAND MERCI à George, Tony et Adam!