Alisha Mirza, Inspirational ICS Volunteer, reports back from Tanzania

On Monday 13 May we were delighted to welcome Alisha Mirza back to the Club to report on her trip with ICS International Citizen Service www.volunteerics.org to Kamachumu in Tanzania.

To see Alisha’s presentation, which includes lots of wonderful photographs of her experiences, please download by clicking here Alisha Mirza Volunteer Tanzania SI presentation

Alisha Mirza, 23 and a marine biology graduate from Welwyn Garden City is going to start her training as a midwife at KCL from this September. The ICS work with VSO to send volunteers from the UK to work on overseas projects. Last September we were able to send Alisha off with £92 towards the £800 she had to raise to part-fund the 10 week trip to work on “Rise Income for School” which is part of the mission for a “world without poverty”. While Alisha was there, she stayed with a local host family in the rural area where she was working. Alisha said “I learnt a lot from my host family including many local traditions, family and house dynamics and many skills such as how to hand wash my clothes and bedding (sheets are really tricky!), cook on a traditional charcoal fire and of course Swahili.”  

Each week Alisha and the other volunteers worked with 7 primary and 2 secondary schools running 3 x 3 hour sessions with standard 3 helping to improve both maths and reading skills, 1 x 40 minute session with standard 5 and standard 6 addressing issues such as gender equality, communication and children’s rights and responsibilities and 1 x peer support/ career guidance sessions with secondary school students in form 1 and 3.

Throughout the placement the volunteers communicated with teachers to help produce visual aids that could be used to aid teachers in their classrooms. They also created murals both inside the classroom and on the outside walls. To ensure sustainability of these resources they made sure to use locally available resources. It was also essential to ensure they were producing things that the teachers wanted and felt would be useful to them.

OUTCOMES OF THE PROJECT

  • Achieved 3 community action days total attendance 634
  • Ran 160 primary school sessions including standard 3, 5 and 6
  • 48 secondary school sessions for form 3 and 1
  • Created 114 teaching aids and murals
  • Ran 30 livelihood sessions involving 66 farmers
  • Worked cross culturally and in a dynamic and unfamiliar environment
  • Learnt about Tanzanian and East African culture
  • Facilitated the planning and implementation of sessions and events
  • Strongly improved many essential skills for personal development

 

ACTION AT HOME – as part of the ICS programme Alisha has already undertaken the list below, and we know she will continute to be a lifelong active citizen (just like Soroptimists are!)

  • Given talks about her experience
  • Researched and signed petitions including the VSO/ICS open letter, petitions looking to improve education, protection of the environment and equality for those with disability
  • Organised 2 litter picks with a group of friends around Welwyn Garden City

There is more detail with photos in Alisha’s presentation Alisha Mirza Volunteer Tanzania SI presentation – however hearing Alisha tell us about it first hand was a real privilege – she is such an inspiration!

Please also see the news item from when she came to us last September www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2018/10sep18