Katie, from the USA, joined us on our Teaching and Community Development Project in Livingstone (Victoria Falls), Zambia back in 2015 and again for 7 weeks in 2016, meaning she was able to not only make a huge impact on project, but was a role model for new volunteers. In particular, Katie had a huge impact on the local Maths Club and here's how:
"When I left Zambia last summer I knew that I wanted to come back as soon as possible, and luckily I was able to make it happen. I’m so glad to be back in Livingstone, it feels like being home again. Only some of the people have stayed the same, but it still feels like nothing has changed. I have been here for 6 weeks so far and time has flown by.
This year I am a volunteer on the teaching project working at Linda Community School with the grade 6 class. My class has 65 students and I finally learned all of their names after 4 weeks. I have been lucky that African Impact also runs a Maths Club in the afternoons with the grade 6 kids, so I am able to see my kids almost 5 hours a day, 4 days a week, but that still isn’t enough time!
Over the past six weeks it is so great to see the progress each of my students is making. I teach Maths every morning, but it is hard to work with each student individually. I can identify students who are struggling, but I cannot give them the attention they need to succeed. It’s scary to know that that is how easily students can slip through the cracks and fall behind. In a class that size it is impossible for any teacher to really serve each students needs. That is why I am so thankful for Maths Club in the afternoon...
With the help of all the other volunteers I am able to pull my struggling students out of class and work with them in small groups. Sometimes it involves going back to the basics, but it gives these students the chance to catch up and ask questions they might be embarrassed to ask in class. I also love that now I am able to pull my really intelligent students out of the class as well. A few of my students, Jonathon, Promise, Onesimo, Lameck, Inonge, Maria, and Judith are all very bright and good at Maths. For their Maths Club I like to separate them from the rest of the group and give them more challenging problems that I can’t assign to the entire class. I’m sure these students will be doing Calculus before I know it. I love seeing what they are able to do and I can tell they all have bright futures ahead of them.
For the rest of my students the goal is to give them more practice doing Maths. The class is only about 20 during Maths Club and that is much better than 65, so they are always able to receive one-on-one help as needed. We have been working on long division for almost 2 weeks, but you can never have enough practice. Even I had to relearn long division before teaching it to them!
I will be so sad to leave them at the end of this week. I told my class last Friday that it was my last week and they all begged me not to go back to America. A few even said they will come to visit me in America one day. I know I will be back to Zambia in the future, and I can only hope I will get to see my kids again!"
Volunteers in Livingstone, Zambia can join a number of community projects, including: