So there we go, my last day on Mafia Island.
I came expecting it to be hard. Maybe dangerous. But it was one of the safest places I’ve ever been. Everyone was so, so welcoming, you hear “Karibu!” – welcome – wherever you go. 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, 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 here and if they are doing the Mafia Island project next year I’d put that at the top of your list.
Teaching can sometimes put you in a rut, with the same thing day after day. But coming to a place like this really blasts you out of your comfort zone and really makes you see what is important. 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. 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. 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.