How is the work of a volunteer in Africa
The Impact of the DI’s in Malawi
Chihiro and Leona were incorporated in the Bussing the continent program together with Chilangoma students and they travelled for 5 weeks, they visited Zambia, Zimbabwe. Tanzania, Mozambique and Botswana and they had good experience from the travel as narrated in their final report.
Shihiro and Leona were part and parcel in the bussing preparatory action and they had the task of teaching the travelling students how to use a kindle ensuring that students had valid passports.
Barbara and Kristian have rehabilitated several preschools around DNS Chilangoma and equipping the preschools with toys for the children to play with. The two DI’s also fundraised learning materials such as printed charts with the alphabet, numbers, months of the year; crayons; colouring books and assorted children’s books.
Through the continuous supervision visits to the preschools and the regular interaction with community members, the DI’s together with preschool teachers were able to mobilize the children’s parents and community at large to grow Artemisia and lemon grass around their homes and slash all tall grasses to avoid malaria in their homes. The DI’s organized information sessions in the communities where they presented the importance of having a small scale business and also showed the benefits of engaging in income generating activities. Community members were then encouraged to form groups and embark on income generating activities that do not require much investment such as vegetable production and making firewood saving stoves.
Tree planting actions were among the climate adaptive practices which the DI’s took a leading role in through mobilizing communities to establish tree nurseries in their communities and raise different tree varieties for planting
in their community and for sale to others.
Kai Fundraised educational materials like exercise books, novels, footballs, toys and pencils for Bawa, Biliwiza and Chisato preschools. She supervised literacy clubs in the four primary schools and gave support to the support group at Tobilane HIV/AIDS clinic
Establishment of the girls youth clubs in Bawa , Chasato and Mmbwiriwiza where they have been conducting lessons on topics such as sex and sexuality, life skills, understanding the female body, how girls should take care of their bodies and be clean, gender equality, consequences of succumbing to peer pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS. The female DI’s also inspired the girls through narrating their personal stories about how they overcame challenges and became what they are today.
Establishment of four women’s clubs in three villages where the women were attending adult literacy classes and learning how to establish vegetable gardens in their homes. The DI’s also conducted visits to the women’s households to support them and encourage them to increase their production
They gave courses about different topics to the students at Mzimba TTC and held debates about Global Warming and Climate Change. One DI offered entrepreneurial training to mother groups in the Mtuza area and the group now run their bakery business effectively.
The DI’s conducted environmental awareness campaigns in the communities which were followed by two tree planting actions which took place in places with bare land and in community members’ households. There were several actions in the communities where members were being taught how to construct firewood saving stoves. The increased awareness about environmental issues has helped communities reduce the number of trees cut down for firewood as they were also taught how to make briquettes.
Communities were taught how to make solar cookers using locally found material, the solar cookers enable families to save firewood. The number of preschools supported by DNS Mzimba has increased due to the establishment of one more preschool in the nearby community, the preschool children no longer walk long distances to get to the other three preschools also supported by the college.
The following are some achievements of the DI’s at the projects:
• Improving good hygiene systems and sanitation at the teacher training college and this has reduced occurance of diseases related to poor hygiene at the college
• Together with student teachers Momoa travelled to Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana by bus for two months from 1st March to 28th April 2016 and they both experienced a lot from the program
• Involved in giving courses and qualifying study tasks for student teachers
• Managed to bring children back to school who had left by organizing activities which attracts children to school.
• Built and renovated preschools and provided didactic materials for each pre
school. Most of the schools that were renovated were the ones that were blown do
wn by heavy rains last year
• Introduced a system of having week structures (Time table) in preschools. This has helped the pre-schools to have similar activities, this has also helped the DI’s and Supervisors to have a clear picture of what they are to observe as they are going around in preschools.
• Empowered preschool teachers and create dialogue between members of the community by giving them self confidence which they were lacking. Before the teachers had the mentality that the teacher training college in Chilangoma would solve any problem the preschool might encounter.
• Facilitated fundraising activities such as kitchen utensils like plates, cups, buckets, spoons etc. which has helped to solve the problem which most preschools faced of failing to feed kids due to lack/shortage of kitchen utensils.
• Conducted sports days with the youth around the college. It was an event with different sporting activities that promoted physical well being of the youth.
• Promoted better hygienic conditions in the schools as well as in the communities as hygiene is still another big issue here in Malawi.
• Created rain water harvesting, as the rainy season keeps getting shorter and shorter there is need of harvesting rain when it falls to be used in preschools for gardening. The DI bought a 1000 litre plastic tank to keep the harvested water at one of the preschools.
• Established youth clubs and teaching the youth different skills like knitting and other activities such as sport.