Volunteering with family and friends

By 4 years ago
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Volunteering the family and friends
As I write this our family is nearing the end of an all too brief two week experience with GVI at Nyota school in Mombasa, Kenya. We came with another family from Canada and between us have four girls spanning the ages of 13 through 17.
 A major part of the motivation for our participation in the project was to expose our kids – and, frankly, ourselves as well – to how others, who are a good deal less privileged than ourselves, live their daily lives.

Volunteers Scott and Lauren teaching Std 6

Volunteers Scott and Lauren teaching Std 6

We understood and expected that this would involve going outside of our comfort zones. At the same time, as parents we had to feel confident that our teenage children would be safe and that that the experience would be appropriate for them. 
So naturally we had a number of questions for GVI staff before making a commitment to the project. This was an important dialogue to have from both sides. The fact that we are here speaks for itself: our many questions in advance of “signing on” were answered and we were made to feel both welcome and secure on site with a thorough orientation. 
Volunteer Lynda enjoying PE lesson with Std 2
I think both GVI staff and parents agree that having volunteer teenagers co-teaching at the school has been a success all around, surpassing expectations in fact. In the classroom and on the playground, each of the girls has connected strongly with students at all levels.
Volunteers Graeme and Scott conducting a group reading lesson
 We have watched with some pride and not a little amazement at times as they have designed lesson plans, taken on leadership roles during physical education classes, and on their own tailored their one on one reading sessions to the student’s English literacy level.
We hope that our families have made a small contribution to the life of this vital project. Our eyes have certainly been opened by the experience. We have felt safe throughout. There is no doubt in our minds that we – and especially our children – are much richer for the experience. Perhaps the seeds are sewn for our teenagers to become engaged in this kind of important work as adults. We are grateful to GVI for the experience and would unreservedly recommend the project to other families. 
By Graeme Magor- Volunteer