Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Gap Year, So Far

Japhet Phiri
I have begun my gap year with a lot of interesting activities. For example, our community service project, which is providing free basic education to children in our community, and offering tuitions to our fellow Kucetekela Foundation students. I have also started a full time job at an internet cafe. As my first full time job I have already learned a great deal about time management, responsibility and professionalism. This job has also either taught me or helped me improve on many skills such as the following:

1. Typing
2. Printing
3. Binding
4. Laminating
5. Faxing
6. Scanning
7. Making cards, invitations and passport-size photos
8. Photocopying
9. Helping troubleshoot computer problems
10. Creating e-mail addresses
11. Burning music, files, video and pictures
12. Formatting and scanning memory cards and flash drives
13. Putting information onto flash drives and recovering lost information
14. Formatting a computer
15. Installing software
16. How to make receipts
17. Handling money has taught importance of honesty and responsibility

This is to mention just a few examples of what I'm learning from this job. These skills will be useful for future jobs and education. I just want to say thank you very much to KF for helping me receive my education and teaching me to have a heart for helping other people. I wish more Blessings and achievements for Kucetekela Foundation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Literacy Project

Abram Chima
There is a compound called Kalikiliki in Lusaka with a high population of youth. Many children do not go to school not because they do not want to, but because they lack finances.

It all started in 2008 when I was in Grade 10. I decided to set up a tutoring project of my own where people do not pay so that many would be able to utilize the service. I taught only on holidays because I was boarding at a private school. First, I would go door to door to recruit as many children as possible and explain my intentions to their parents. I decided to use the outdoor area at my house as the location to teach them. Japhet and Jeffrey then decided to join and this was the starting line.

Students from the Hotchkiss School visited the project while it was in session and I appreciate them for donating books for the students to use as this increased the teaching standard.

After graduating, the challenges that we face when starting the projected appeared once again. Specifically, it was rainy season and we could no longer teach outdoors. We decided to petition Kucetekela Foundation for help and they decided to help us rent a tuition house and purchase books, pens and pencils for the students to use.

Presently, I managed to recruit a huge number of students (approximately sixty five). To accommodate these numbers Sonia and I decided to run double sessions; she would teach a group at the tuition house while I taught another from my home. So far this has allowed us to reach the maximum number of children. We hope to also recruit more volunteers so we can break the students into smaller learning groups. Women in the community have also asked that we run a session they could attend because they would also like to become literate.

All this has been possible because of Mrs. Nkowane, Mark, Mr. Mukena, Mr. Mwila and the President Mr. Oliver Barry. I am looking forward to see this project expand to reach more of my community and eventually more of Zambia.