Holland Hall Students Visit CampusJune 28, 2017 4:47 pm
Editor’s Note: June and July are always extremely busy months on our campus in Kitongo. This is the time of year when several groups of volunteers come to visit, meet the girls, students, and staff, and help out in various ways around campus! Here is a brief highlight of activities that the group from Holland Hall School in Tulsa, OK participated in while they were visiting.
Community Service Project
Holland Hall student volunteers teamed up with members of the JBFC Girls’ Government to implement a recycling program at Bibi Mimi’s Girls’ Home and the Joseph and Mary Primary and Secondary Schools. The mission of this new program is to regulate trash collection around some of the busiest areas of the JBFC campus, with the goal of eventually expanding the program to the local village of Kitongo.
After spending the first couple of days getting to know one another and brainstorming ideas, the girls labeled bins, created flyers, and delivered the bins to the proper locations on campus. The volunteers and Girls’ Government girls then used their knowledge of both English and Swahili to write and translate a letter to the government about this new program.
Children of Africa Day
June 16th is Children of Africa Day, the day when we celebrate all the birthdays of the Tanzanian children on our campus. The day is always one giant party, complete with activities and games, food, singing, dancing, and a water fight. This year, Holland Hall students planned a celebration centered around the girls’ favorite movie, Frozen. The dining hall was decorated with cut out snowflakes and the girls painted pictures of snowmen and reindeer.
The day began with JBFC girls and Holland Hall volunteers preparing food for the day’s feast! The JBFC residential girls and guests were treated to pork, chicken, hot dogs, rice, kale, tomato sauce, plantains, mashed potatoes, pineapple, watermelon, soda, lemon cake and pineapple cake!
Thanks to volunteers Sydney and Darcy and their mother, Mary Kay, each JBFC girl received three pairs of homemade earrings! The volunteers also brought beads and string for the girls to make their own bracelets and necklaces, which the girls loved! Each girl also received a gift bag containing stickers, candy, pens, temporary tattoos, small toys, and glow sticks from the Holland Hall volunteers. The girls also received new kangas from the JBFC staff, which they proudly wore the next day! The day ended with a water balloon fight, which has become a JBFC tradition on Children of Africa Day!
“I loved getting to know the girls and spend time with them. I learned a lot about how kids are just kids and no matter where in the world they live, they all just want someone to care for them,” said Erin, one of the Holland Hall volunteers.
Each group of volunteers that visits JBFC participates in a volunteer rotation where they experience the hard work that the JBFC staff puts in daily to keep the campus running smoothly. The Holland Hall volunteers worked on the farm with Edward, JBFC’s farm manager, helping to spread fertile soil, till the ground, and thread passion plants onto vines. The also spent time working in the kitchen at Bibi Mimi’s Girls’ Home, cutting kale, sorting rice, and chopping onions.
As with all our groups of volunteers, the Holland Hall students also participated in our Reading Buddies program, participated in Swahili lessons taught by some of the older JBFC residential girls, and enjoyed dinner in the village with a local family. They were also able to eat lunch with some of the JBFC employees and learn more about the organization from a different perspective.
“This trip reinforced relationships with the Tanzanian staff,” said Nancy, the teacher chaperone. “It was very interesting to share lunch with JBFC employees; it made the overall experience more personal.”
Special thanks to our Social Media intern, Kristen, for helping put this blog together!
This post was written by Mainsprings