We received this week’s blog, via WhatsApp, from Beth Robertson, one of the three volunteers from Newcastle University who arrived at Arise School on 22nd June for a two month stay. Beth’s impressions and sentiments are echoed by her fellow volunteers, Tamsin and Emily.
“This week we began our volunteering experience through ACE at Arise Community School. After hearing the most lovely stories about the people at the school from Ron and Sue, it was wonderful to finally be able to meet everyone.
First of all Frank has been incredible to us giving us all the information we needed and offering to help us whenever we have needed. All of the teachers have also welcomed us with incredible warmth and have welcomed us to the Arise family with open arms. The children whilst at school seem to be completely content and full of happiness. They love to sing and learn and are extremely well behaved but yet still full of their individual characters.
The landscape around us is beautiful – fields full of big sunflowers –
and we can see, on a clear day, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro from our front door step.
We have been busy every day helping where needed in the classrooms, in the kitchen, at the Kisimani Club and in the dormitory. Martha and Julie who are the teachers at the school that we live with have been the most wonderful hosts. We eat the most delicious local dishes and are having Swahili lessons each evening.
I have never been happier and hope the day I have to leave never comes! The work that is happening at the school is truly amazing – it is somewhere the children can feel safe whilst they play and learn. It reaches out to those in the community who have been left in the most difficult circumstances and brings together the local community. I couldn’t have wished to be part of a better cause and I am so excited for what is to come in the next couple of months!”