Volunteering

I love volunteering. In the past, I have volunteered for many different organisations. In my opinion, volunteering is a great opportunity to learn new skills.

Most recently, I’ve been working for Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). They run courses to enhance self-esteem, coping with difficult situations and coping with hot emotions such as anger and frustration. The courses are very interactive and uplifting. I am particularly impressed by the skill level of their volunteer facilitators.

My colleague at the Education Centre

My colleague at the Education Centre

In 2006, my former colleague Nicky and I went to Bujagali Falls, Uganda, to help build up Soft Power’s Amagezi Education Centre. Together with local Ugandan teachers, we carried out workshops on how to make teaching fun and interactive. I am deliberately saying “together” and “workshops”, because we were originally supposed to “teach” them how to use our learner-centred techniques. However, our Ugandan colleagues soon started putting their own creative and inspiring ideas into practice. They were so open, inspired and keen to experiment that I have to admit that I learnt as much from them as they learnt from me!

I was also very impressed by the work of Hannah Small, a woman who made her dreams come true. Hannah, the founder of Soft Power Education, and her team set themselves a goal to renovate and refurbish 20 Government Primary Schools within five years… today, five years later, this goal has been exceeded by a long way. Soft Power Education has worked at 34 schools! Over 370 classrooms have been built/renovated or painted and over 33,000 children have benefited from this programme.

 

Training in an improvised classroom

You might ask yourself how Hannah and her team managed to build/refurbish 370 classrooms in five years? By harnessing the power of many tourists passing through the area! Soft Power Educations offers them the opportunity to help with the school refurbishment programme for just one day. Over 1000 people volunteer in this way each year. Many of these volunteers feel so inspired by their day that they come back to do more.

Hannah started with a dream and managed to build something extraordinary. The Amagezi Education Centre was one of Hannah’s dreams. She remembered that she learnt much more from first-hand learning experiences – such as excursions – than from listening to dull lectures. In the Amagezi Education Centre, Ugandan children have the opportunity to see the parasite that causes malaria through a microscope, for example. This is a very important learning experience in an area where many people believe that malaria comes from eating mangos in the rainy season. 1400 children from different schools in the area experience this unique learning environment and its hands-on learning techniques and later on spread their knowledge in their own schools and homes.

The village centre after the rain

 

I believe that this is a cause that is worthwhile supporting. You can find more information about Soft Power Education on their website www.softpowereducation.com.

Our Teachers

Our Teachers

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