Week 7 - Theo's Post
What exciting, amazing, challenging and encouraging weeks, I can’t believe that we have spent seven weeks in KABEZA –KIGALI as an ICS Kigali team. Here, we have AEE as our partner and participate in their community based development projects - mainly we focus on education, health, hygiene and sanitation and integrating into the life and work of local communities. From that we work with two catch up schools (Kanombe and Gahanga), Self-Help Groups and Farming cooperatives.
Below are the highlights of week seven - it was a week of many activities:
Monday started with the meeting with AEE-Kigali staff to highlight what we have done in week six, after that it was a team meeting to plan an agenda for the week. In the afternoon, we were teaching English and I.T to the AEE-Kigali staff. I often work with Innocent the Accountant of AEE-Kigali to help him with accounting stuff.
Tuesday, we went to work with Kimihurura Farming cooperative, where we were preparing the vegetable gardens by hoeing and removing the old green vegetables to prepare for the new farming season, where they want to grow a crop of beans. I enjoy contributing to these activities, helping the members to grow the vegetables which are needed for them to get an income from those vegetables. Some of them are HIV positive, so this income is extra useful - they can consume these vegetables also.
Wednesday, it was also a field work day, where we worked with the Gikomero banana plantation cooperative. We worked together with the cooperative members to grow new banana crops; the cooperative took the decision to plant the modern banana crops which are more productive than traditional banana crops. It was hard work but it was good to work together with the Gikomero community as we were making a lot of conversation. They were surprised how ‘’muzungu’’ or someone from Europe can be a hard worker, to the extent to use hoes, digging and related stuff. Even if it was a volunteering activity, for me it was like a workshop to learn how they grow modern banana plantation as I am from the Eastern province where it is grown most in the whole country.
Thursday morning, we took time to prepare the lessons for Gahanga catch up school, where we went to teach different courses in afternoon. Here Sadie and I taught Religion, and the children enjoyed learning the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale.
Friday, we didn’t go outside to the field, we stayed at the guest house. The activities were to teach English and I.T lessons for the AEE-Kigali staff and to gather the information which is needed to update the AEE- Kigali Website and blog. For me, as accounting is my professional study, I was occupied with the arrangement of the audit report from 2000 to 2012 of the AEE Headquaters.
If I say different countries means that there are many things between these countries which are different like culture, historical background, political, economic, geographical features and many more. So, after I got to know that I was selected to participate in the ICS placement of January-March 2014, I had a commitment and willingness to work as national volunteer and also to work together with the U.K volunteers to fight against poverty in my lovely nation.
You can’t believe someone who was born and raised in Rwamagana District in Eastern Province, who didn’t even jump the borders of Rwanda to the neighbouring countries like Uganda; Tanzania; Burundi and D.R.C, is now the one who speaks English everyday with English native speakers, the one who works together, and sharing different experiences with my U.K team mates. After different volunteering activities with the communities we have night devotions, games night, movies and a lot of jokes. It is so exciting and is great for me and my team mates.
So, I met with the people who are flexible, social and friendly. The people who can read your emotions by asking “are you ok?”. The people who want to know someone’s opinions by asking “what do you think?”. I met with the people who are more polite and recognise everything by saying “thanks” or “sorry.” So, out of my mum and my two brothers who are my flesh and blood and my lovely family, I got a second family which is Kigali team Jan-March 2014, so, here there is my declaration “ I will never forget my team mates ‘’.
Murakoze cyane (thank you very much).