Farewell to another great team of volunteers

We would like to take this opportunity to thank another great team of volunteers.  We recently bid farewell to Johanna, Jackie and Martin, all of whom left their mark on the lives of the Shika children.

20 year old Martin Pahl, a student electrician from Germany, volunteered with Shika from November 2013 – March 2014.  Apart from learning to be an electrician, Martin also works on his parents farm in Germany and owns a small agency providing sound and lighting for events.

martin2Everybody at Shika fondly refers to Martin as “Fundi” (which means ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan’ in Kiswahili). Apart from his great skills as a student electrician, Martin also contributed with Math Games, Environment Club, Construction and Electric Club and Computer Club and built a desk for the Shika ASSP. The desk has enabled the children to write letters to sponsors in a comfortable environment and to engage in other craft activities. It has also been useful for volunteers to help with administration. At first Martin was mostly interested in teaching his electrical skills, but quickly discovered that he had so much more to offer and enjoyed helping the children manage the challenging issues they face in their daily lives through role playing and counselling.

Martin is fondly regarded by all the children and his kindness and craftsmanship will be missed.  Thank you Martin for bringing new skills and talents to our aspiring young minds.

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Martin’s parting words – “I think those who earn the most out of this experience are the volunteers themselves.”

From February 2014  to April 2014 we were supported by another volunteer, Johanna Tegelkamp. Johanna is 21 years old and from Münster, Germany. At home Johanna is studying to become a primary school teacher and decided to do her internship for her studies with Shika.

Johanna was involved in school lessons in the morning and the After School Programme in the afternoon. “My best Moment was when I first arrived at Unity school and immediately a lot of children came to say hello. I have enjoyed this every day.” Johanna explained.

johanna Johanna also lead the Life Skills, Girls Club and one-on-one activities. “I liked the cooperation games the most because I could get to know the children on their level and work with them personally as part of the group instead of as an authority figure like a teacher. While working with the children, I was really impressed how much joy the children bring. Many of them have really hard life stories, but they are still happy and loving.” Johanna said.

Johanna’s parting words – “Sometimes volunteers can learn as much from the children as they contribute to them. I know I cannot rescue the world with my short stay, but by spending time with the children I can do something for them and show them love.

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Last but by no means least we bid farewell to 24 year old Jackie Kirschbaum from Germany who volunteered with Shika for two months.  Jackie studies Cultural Science (Ba) and is completing her final year of studies.

jackie1She was required to do an internship abroad for her studies and after spending time in Africa in 2009, wanted to come back. When I heard about Shika I was really interested. Moreover I worked as a fundraiser for big NGO’s like Amnesty International, WWF, etc. and wanted to know how small NGO’s work.

Jackie didn’t hesitate to roll up her sleeves and get involved with whatever most needed help, a big thank you from the whole Shika team. Jackie contributed to a range of administrative and teaching tasks including:

  • reporting and planning of the Open House Day
  • authoring articles for Shika’s website updates including interviews with Sarah, Martin and Johanna
  • teaching english, life skills and guitar
  • providing individual support for one of our students
  • helping with research into grants
  • formulating evaluation ideas from the food questionnaires

The best moments where the times with the kids. And I was really proud when my boyfriend arrived and we made both an activity with good participation.” Jackie explained.

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