Africa Day 10: Saying Goodbye, How Education Changes Lives & You Next?

So there we go, my last day on Mafia Island.

I came expecting it to be hard. ย Maybe dangerous. But it was one of the safest places I’ve ever been. ย Everyone was so, so welcoming, you hear “Karibu!” – welcome –ย whereverย you go. ย The teachers had so much passion and the organisers & volunteers were amazing.

I’ve no doubt that they are going to do fantastic things for the kids in the coming weeks.

Of course we’re testing it all, seeing exactly how much the kids improve compared to a control group, and fingers crossed if it all works out, and with a little extra support, ย we can spread this programme to more of East Africa.

After spending the time here I can 100% recommend the World Teach programme who are running the volunteer part of what we are doing hereย and if they are doing the Mafia Island project next year I’d put that at the top of your list.

Cold Showers

Teaching can sometimes put you in a rut, with the same thing day after day. ย But coming to a place like this really blasts you out of your comfort zone and really makes you see what is important. ย  Cold water bucket showers, non stop bugs and sand that gets everywhere is the downside, but meeting amazing people, seeing more smiles in a day than you’d ever see back home all while helping kids get on in life and fulfill their dreams is something we should all do. ย Plus of course the programme is run by Harvard University so it all forms part of your career.

And just in case you are wondering who the real winners are, here’s what one of the teachers Simon has to say about how education has changed his village:

You can’t say better than that can you.

For me it has given me a boost to get more materials done and to put more effort into the development side of things and get out into the field more. ย  Right now I’m just about to board a plane for Qatar, 2 days in the UK, 7 days in Japan and then checking out schools in New Zealand, where I’ll probably be as you’re reading this.

Thanks for all your support. It is you that makes it possible for me to help these communities in these ways, and thank you so much for telling your friends about Genki English, for reading through all the posts and making all the comments.

Asante sana,

Be genki,

Richard

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

8 Responses to “Africa Day 10: Saying Goodbye, How Education Changes Lives & You Next?”

  1. Gumby

    I have been quiet on the forum lately, but I still keep on with your blogs and posts. Thanks Richard for all that you do and a message to Simon.

    Now other teachers will start to believe, “They can do it!” thanks to your message and your example. What an inspiration you are!!!!

  2. Julia

    Hi Richard!

    More and more I wish to see you here in Russia!

    Changes is not what only the countries with no electricity need. Changes needs everyone who thinks he knows everything about any subject and there’s no need to know more.

    Thank you SO MUCH for your attitude to life and for teaching it to us.

    Wishing you health and wealth!

    Bleib lebhaft!

  3. Emma

    Thanks for often updating your blog. I love following you ( virtually ) all over the world!
    Looks like Africa gave you a great boost and is a reminder of true values, what means the most.
    I am glad that teachers from far-away Mafia island had the chance to get to know your Genki methods. I am sure students will love it, and the love of studies and love of teaching will spread…

  4. Oksana

    It was great to follow you on your “adventure” in Africa. Thanks for sharing, Richard. You’re a great inspiration for me!

    Best wishes and warm thanks from Ukraine ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Jaynie

    You can do it!
    Simon is so right.Education does make changes.
    What a cool guy,seems like you met some lovely people in Africa.
    Thanks.

  6. Jessica Dovey

    Life moves exponentially–Simon knows! If we can affect the attitude of even one student, it might take a while, but the effect blossoms to the other students. I really believe this, and also think it’s a good reason to only focus on the positive. If you are giving all of your attention to the “bad” in your classes, then the bar is set, and it’s low. We’ve got to teach as if every class is full of little geniuses, just waiting to be unleashed upon the world.

  7. Ana MFont

    Thabks again for all your work and everything you do, it’s amazing!!! Thanks for the weekly mails and all the tools you give to make learning mire enrichable and funny; thank you

  8. Kitty Au

    Hi Richard,
    What you are doing is indeed amazing – not only teaching a language, but also inspiring people and making a difference in their life. Just want you to know that you are very much appreciated!
    Ever since I found your website and begin to read your daily mails, which are such generous sharing of your creative teaching ideas, I am becoming more confident with my teaching Chinese as a second language. My classes are changing – kids more engaged, lively and happy.
    I feel like there is a friend out there walking with me along the way of teaching a foreign language.
    Thank you sooo much, dear friend!
    Wonder if you would ever come to Hong Kong, aha >.<

    Kitty

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