Stories and impressions of a volunteer.

#6 on the run

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Trying to find the right words for this post made me aware that this will be one of my last contributions to this blog. I did really appreciate my last week, although I could not get rid of this feeling, this unavoidable feeling that time is running. It sounds foolish and sort of beats its purpose. I should enjoy every single moment I have left here, without thinking about going back to Germany soon-ish. So said Venna at least. Ok, so let’s move on. Here is a short collection of some of the moments I got to experience last week.

During the last week, the holiday program continued with another beads-making session as well as an acting workshop by Venna in the afternoon. Venna introduced story-telling and their potential of bringing characters into life. We shared a whole lot of laughs, in particular when some of the kids acted like mama mboga, drunk-heads or zombies.

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While Evette and Happiness were designing tie-dye t-shirts as part of the costume making class, I was responsible for another computer trivia. Using Google, Wikipedia and further internet resources, the kids found out more about what e-mailing means, how it works and what to be aware of. What are its advantages as well as disadvantages? I was really proud seeing all their efforts, their curiosities and not to forget their great team work. It was especially the drive of Hussein (14 yrs) and Pauline (13 yrs) that was more than impressive.

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On Wednesday, I stood in for Happiness and her English lesson. To be honest, I was a tiny bit nervous beforehand, as I got to know my task rather last minute. Though, in the end I was super thankful for teaching the kids. Back when the kids were still in school, I was advising and guiding them in doing their homework assignments. I remember one day quite well, when Phaustine (Venna’s nephew who is currently working with us at Wale) and I were super frustrated about the grammar the kids were taught in school. Eventually, I had the time to talk about basic sentence structure, learning with them about nouns, verbs and adjectives. I believe that some of the kids actually understood what I was trying to explain to them. I was happy for the bit of an impact I have had. Even if it is just a small impact, it counts, it means something.

On Thursday, I continued with my life skills class. This week, I talked about self-esteem and confidence-building. In the beginning, we watched some stories from which the kids learnt what confidence is, what people with confidence feel like and what people without confidence feel like. What was most important to me is that they would understand that sometimes people fail. It is more than normal to make mistakes. Everyone fails once and then. And no one, or at least very few people, are talented in everything. No one is perfect. Our own little weaknesses should not have  big say when it comes to our confidence. Rather, we should see the potential in them, learnnig from our mistakes. We should accept our weak spots or even embrace the things we are not good at. After all, it makes sense to improve our weaknesses rather than just taking attention to our strengths. Although I feel like giving a motivational speech right now, it is more than true. And it is especially true when it comes to youth that are still growing up, that still need to figure out what is right and wrong or what they are good at or otherwise not. Comparing each other continues to be a thing anyways. That’s one of the many reasons we all need confidence. And why in fact everyone should just do their thing. Being confident with themselves. At the same time, that means that each of us can encourage or on the other side discourage the people surrounding us. Kindness matters. To communicate those things in a more interactive and playful way, the workshop included practices on giving each other compliments as well as some more active games. After all, I hope that I encouraged a few kids.

On Friday, Venna and I organised a photography class, this time focusing on photo editing. Theoretically, we discussed the rules of composition: basically when a photo is well taken and when it is badly taken. In groups, the youth got the task to edit the photos which we have taken during the last girls talk. Our task was to play with the photo’s contrast and brightness as well as it’s sharpness. Afterwards, everyone practiced both modern and traditional dances for the upcoming performance at The Junction Mall next Thursday.

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On Saturday, the center had an open program, as all the weekdays during the current holidays are already busy enough. During the day, the youth were either drawing and painting, making beads, playing with Lego, reading books or dancing.

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In the evening, we had a little second hand clothes session, when Happiness was so kind to give away some of her old stuff. Meanwhile, Happiness, Evette and Shuvian helped me to remove my braids. A time consuming thing to do. I really got used to my new hair style and do miss it already. Probably I will ask Evette’s mum to braid my hair once more before I will be leaving to Germany and Sweden.

What made my week much more joyful was that both of Venna’s nephews, were visiting us. We played hide and seek all the time, played “Who stole the cookie?!”, practiced some magic tricks and made Burritos together. I never met so humorous and kind little people before. They really made my day. I enjoyed their company in all aspects and miss them already. Other than that, Louis, our French flatmate was about to leave and we arranged a last dinner together. Meanwhile, Venna got Malaria and was still as energetic than always. I don’t know what else to write down. I am happy for all the moments I shared with the youth at the center. As well as with Venna, Evette and Happiness. I am already super emotional and nostalgic that I have only one week left. Unfortunately. But I will enjoy every moment for sure.

 

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