Former pupil volunteers in Malawi

Volunteering in MalawiOn 11th September, we were delighted to welcome back 2018 Leaver, Serena, who gave a talk in Chapel about her experiences as a volunteer teacher in Malawi, South East Africa, in 2018.

With the generous help of the Calne Foundation Trust Enrichment Scholarship*, Serena and her friend Daisy completed a six-week volunteer project with ‘Naturally Africa Volunteers.’ Serena explained how they worked in both a Primary School and a Nursery School, where the classrooms often had no desks or chairs. They also helped in the Resource Centre, teaching arts and crafts and playing sport with the children; the children particularly enjoyed learning how to play rounders, which they had never played before. Serena stressed how rewarding it was to be able to teach the children new life skills and how happy the pupils were to have them there. While she taught English, Maths and PE, Daisy taught the children Music.

While Serena admitted that, in such an impoverished country, they naturally did witness some things which were distressing, the wonderful things they experienced and the rapport they built with the children would be something to remember for life. Being a teaching volunteer also made her more confident and made her think on her feet and use her initiative.

Serena concluded the talk by saying that she would definitely recommend volunteering – it was an incredibly humbling experience and she had learnt a lot from the children, including the importance of appreciating everything and not taking things for granted. Serena thanked the Calne Foundation Trust for enabling her to have had this ‘magical experience.’

* The Calne Foundation Trust awards Enrichment Scholarships to girls in the Sixth Form at St Mary's Calne for academic or gap year purposes. Applicants need to present their proposed project to a panel which will include Trustees from the Calne Foundation Trust and awards may be made up to £1,500, dependent on the project and at the discretion of the panel.  If you are a Sixth Former at St Mary's Calne and are interested in an Enrichment Scholarship, you can find out more by clicking here