Returning to Mombasa for a Second Time

By 5 years ago
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Returning to Mombasa for a Second Time
Having previously volunteered with GVI and returning three years later, has put me in the unique position of being able to see the progress the projects have made. When I first started in 2010 at Olives the project was new and things were just starting out. It was a fantastic experience, chaotic and fun. I was not sure what to expect when I returned three weeks ago. How would the school have progressed? How would the pupils I taught have progressed? I had many questions before going into school and I was quite nervous, but as soon as I got there I realised there was no need to be. All the pupils and staff were just as welcoming and friendly as I remembered. Very soon I felt at home again and I am now thoroughly enjoying teaching a very enthusiastic Standard 3 class. It definitely is a refreshing change from teaching London teenagers.
Volunteer Alexandra teaching Std 3 at Olives
 However, the most rewarding aspect of returning to the project is being able to see first-hand the development of the school. The school now teaches all the way up to Standard 8 and the pupils are working towards their K.C.P.E (Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education). Last year 60% of Olives Standard 8 pupils went to High School. This is a massive contrast to three years ago, where they were not yet even working towards exams. Additionally, all pupils now have a uniform, there are many more resources, and there is much more structure to the school day.
Volunteer Alexandra with students from Std 3
 What I find most interesting, is seeing that all the volunteers who have worked previously at Olives have made a difference. A lot of the feedback and new ideas from volunteers have been put into practise and have made a massive impact. For example, there are now one to one reading sessions with pupils, there are group reading sessions and volunteers can come and focus on teaching only Creative Arts and P.E. This has not only dramatically improved literacy, but has also taught the pupils new skills which they otherwise would never have had the opportunity to develop.
Group reading lesson
Returning for a second time was definitely a good decision.
By Alexandra Piecho – Staff member