During the Summer of 2011, four members of Borderless World Volunteers travelled to Eshibanze, Kenya to volunteer with Tumaini Community Development Centre under AVIF. Tumaini’s mission is “to be a transparent learning organization that uses cultural and gender sensitive strategies to mobilize, encourage and enable the community; Encouraging appropriate health-seeking behaviors and promoting a socially and economically sound community through education and training in income generating activities.” The volunteers were involved at the Tumaini Community Development Centre, a community based organization (CBO) formed and sponsored by Canadian citizen Amanda Flanagan. Volunteers participated in the two projects that fell under its jurisdiction: Tumaini Academy and the Tumaini Green Revolution Community Garden.
Volunteers spent their time at the Tumaini Academy p articipating in teaching where needed. As Kenyan classrooms are to follow a strict curriculum and exam schedules, volunteers found it more usesful to get involved in other ways, including holding teacher seminars to improve teaching methods, establishing a Parent-Teacher Association, and creating a budget system for school expenses. A health and hygiene program was also set up, through which the students are now required to brush their teeth upon arriving at school, wash their hands before meals and after using the latrine, and also to drink plenty of clean water throughout the school day. All supplies for this program were donated through an ongoing sponsorship with Khetia’s, a local supermarket.
Tumaini Green Revolution Community Garden was just in the beginning stages upon the arrival of Borderless World Volunteers. Volunteers spent at least two days a week helping to organize management and participating where possible, including weeding and other manual labor in the garden. A two-day organic gardening seminar presented by a representative from Ace Africa, a local NGO. This seminar was open to all the local community members, and was the kick-start of the community garden club. Following this seminar, the club set up its managerial system, deciding who held what position (secretary, treasurer, etc.), when meetings would be, and how the harvest and labor would be divided. The community garden club hopes to grow large enough to be able to provide food for the orphans and vulnerable children at Tumaini Academy.
In addition to Tumaini Academy and Tumaini Green Revolution Community Garden, volunteers spent time with the CBO to help develop plans for future growth and development. This included brainstorming ideas for an income generating project (a brick making business), and the possible development of HIV/Aids support groups in the area. Volunteers were also involved several sponsorship projects, in which time was spent on managing incoming funds and the budgeting of needed supplies and materials for several children in the neighbourhood. There have not been many volunteers at Tumaini succeeding BWV’s presence, but the projects are still continuing to thrive.
BWV Volunteer Maria's Blog during her International Development Trip to Kenya: