My Journey with “My Village” Project
By: Hilda Thinga, ‘My Village’ Champion, Kilifi, Kenya
“…it felt natural for me to volunteer with Zizi Afrique Foundation for the ‘My Village’ project.”
I’m used to volunteering for community activities. I’ve done this through different NGOs and community-based organizations in Kilifi. That’s why it felt natural for me to volunteer with Zizi Afrique Foundation for the ‘My Village’ project. My passion for development and my love for children were all I needed to get involved in the project. My initial task as a champion for ‘My Village’ was to introduce the project to local leaders and parents in my community. They embraced the initiative and assured me of their support in making the learning camps a success.
Parents suggested a location for the learning sessions. One of the parents who attended our meeting offered a space within her compound. She made the effort to clean the area, ensuring it was comfortable for the children to sit and learn. The parents also provided mats for the children to sit on and a chair for the facilitator. During the meeting, they agreed to let their children attend the sessions and even promised to provide writing materials to aid their children’s learning. Additionally, a parent offered a room for shelter during rainy days, as the learning sessions were conducted outdoors under a shed.
As the learning sessions began, I noticed many children arriving early, showing their readiness to learn without any persuasion from their parents. Even children who weren’t enrolled in the learning camps expressed interest in joining. Their enthusiasm was evident even though they had achieved the minimum proficiency in our reading assessments to be admitted to the camps.