GLEN Lagos Nigérie 2010

* * * * * * * * * * * * povídání a fotky z tříměsíční GLEN stáže v Lagosu * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * stories and pictures from a three-month internship in Lagos * * * * * * * *

Stáž / Internship

Full Workload

“And what is it actually that you are going to be doing in Nigeria?“ my friends and family had asked me many times before I left. “I don't really know,” was all I could say, “I guess I will be helping in the organization with whatever they need at the moment.” Of course I knew the main ideas of the project, but I couldn't imagine what the reality would be like.

Today, two weeks of working at Search and Groom are over and the idea of what it would be like is much clearer. Our first task was to prepare a week long summer camp program for children between eight and fifteen years old. We expect over one hundred children that the local volunteers will help us to take care of. On Monday, the first camp starts here in Ikeja, in the following weeks, we will be using the same program in community centers in other parts of Lagos.

It was a bit of stress in the beginning. We had quite a huge task ahead of us and just two weeks for preparations of camp for children we know nothing about. I thought we could never manage. We spent day after day in the office searching for inspiration on the internet when there was electricity and brainstorming with pen and piece of paper when there was no electricity at all. And day after day, we were getting a clearer image of what is our camp going to be like and new cool ideas kept flowing.

The motto of our camp is “One for all and all for one!” It might be a bit of a cliché, but it shows best the idea that we want to get across. We want to show the children that each of them is unique and has some skills and abilities. And if he or she puts these together with the knowledge and abilities of others, together they might achieve great goals. “Only together we can change the world and make it a better place for everyone,” is a more sophisticated way of telling what we want to teach. For our mascot, we chose an ant, animal that symbolizes ability to work hard and shows that even a small creature can manage great tasks. Not by accident the figure resembles the Czech ant character from children's stories – Ferda.

We prepared various games, crafts that use trash as material, we will practice football, compete in Olympic Games, shoot short movies, learn from each other and have lots of fun. Even if fun is the only thing that the children get from our camp, we have reached our goal. Ideally, all of the participants learn much more – children, us and the volunteers.

Our idea is quite clear, but we expect that the reality can be quite different. Like today's introduction meeting with the volunteers. We wanted to introduce our program to them and explain what we will expect from them. It was planned for ten o'clock and it was eleven when almost everyone finally got there. It's called African time and means there is enough time for everything. Therefore we count with some extra time for everything and are curious to see how it all works out. Will keep you updated!

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