Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” For us this saying came to life when we decided to give our time and volunteer as JALI PROJECT class facilitators. Most would expect a change in the lives we impacted, but for us the change was in us.
We were privileged enough to find out about the project through the AIESEC in UDSM exchange program. From the brief description they put in their portal, we fell in love with the cause. This provided an opportunity for us to not only make a difference in the community but to also change and impact someone’s life.
The training and induction provided gave us an in-depth understanding and analysis of what the project entails and what we’d be teaching the students. The structure of the program gave us the freedom as class facilitators to create our own lesson plan. It gives you the freedom to teach as you and be comfortable.
We would teach every Thursday for two hours at Makumbusho Secondary School, every week we would tackle different topics. Each provided for us a new experience and a new challenge since we would have to challenge ourselves to be better than the previous week and deliver more effectively. We started out as mere class facilitators and we left as change agents, because we made a difference in the students’ lives, one way or the other we taught them something new and gave them a new outlook at life.
The best experience we had was the Women’s Day event at Manzese Secondary School. We got to meet amazing young girls with big dreams. We could see the fire in their eyes to excel and this also ignited a spark in us to live beyond ourselves and make a difference with the little we have.
Like every good thing, we also faced our own challenges. The main challenge being language barrier. Many would expect since we’re Kenyans that possibly cannot be an issue but funny enough it was. The two countries do speak Kiswahili but it’s not the same. Tanzanians speak in fluent, ‘sanifu’ Kiswahili while Kenyans use more of ‘sheng’ a mix of both English and Kiswahili words. The students are also more comfortable using Kiswahili as they understand it better compared to English and this challenged us to perfect our shaky Kiswahili.
Unfortunately, every good thing must come to an end and our time at TAI also came to an end. Sadly we had to leave and come back to Kenya but given the chance we would go back and do the whole experience all over again because not only did we make a difference but we formed life-long connections with the souls we crossed. For us it was a once in a life time experience that we would never trade for anything else. Truly, “We rise by lifting others- Robert Ingersoll”.