cas project, Creativity, Service

Twiga Compost Initiative: Building Stage

Today marked the first day of what I thought would essentially be the most difficult part of the process. Fortunately, however, it’s been a breeze! Receiving a great deal of help from our Jenga TAT group, we’ve begun to physically build the compost bin in the garden behind the Science building (some photos can be found below).

I think that this is perhaps the area of my CAS Project where I’ve really learnt the most for a number of reasons. While I am comfortable speaking to people and coordinating events, I find building things to be incredibly difficult and I think that I initially underestimated the significance of this part of the project and subsequently overestimated the difficulty of the task. Having perceived the construction to be a minor component of the project, I allowed it to be delayed which ultimately led to my anxiety more recently, which has now been put to rest! Based on all of this, I believe that the most significant lesson of this project was time management and meeting problems head on.

Overall, what needs to be done next is simply finishing off the project and communicating with the administration what my plans are. This has already begun through speaking to Mr. Smith and Mr. Allen however, with another brief meeting, I am sure that IST will be on its way to completely revolutionizing the way in which we tackle waste.

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Service

Cancer Initiative Conclusions

Yesterday marked my penultimate session in Cancer Initiative, a group I have been working with for the past three years. Ironically, it seemed like yesterday was really the start of true and sustainable IST involvement at the Ujasiri House as well. We had the first meeting in a very long time with a member from Tumaini La Maisha which to me felt like a great introduction for Alqaim, the incoming leader, and a nice way for me to exit.

Reflecting, I am pleased to say that I have contributed the following to Cancer Initiative:

  • Rebooting the weekly visits to Ujasiri House and maintaining planning sessions during school
  • Holding the clothing drive
  • Appreciation

However, I think that there a few of issues that need to be tackled such as:

  • Communication with Tumaini La Maisha
  • Schoolwide involvement and participation
  • Implementation of projects (it seems that we have not done very many projects lately)

Yesterday, in particular, I think that two of these issues were addressed and prepared for improvement. I held a meeting with Beatrice Millinga, the Grant and Social Programme Coordinator, and we discussed possible projects for us to be involved with. My notes are as follows:

  • Scholarships
    • Each scholarship would be for around 600,000tsh and go towards paying for school supplies for students considering attending governtment secondary schools
    • After a conversation today, I thought about perhaps donating old textbooks (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, perhaps Group 3 as well) that are no longer in use because of the changing (especially DP) syllabus
    • A good area to provide donations because it is not supported directly by Tumaini La Maisha
  • Funding for medicine
    • One dose is around 250,000tsh which is mostly funded by Tumaini La Maisha so this is another area where donations could be provided
  • Ujasiri House development
    • Gardening
    • Mural
    • Perhaps this would be a good area to connect with groups such as Jenga or any arts-related TAT groups
  • Arts and crafts activities
    • Bringing in skills to the children
    • Selling handicrafts at the Arts Out Loud Festival — I am going to contact Ms. Patel to set up a stall where the kids can sell the products that they’ve sewn and whatnot
  • IT
    • The kids do not have funding or access to laptops
    • They are in need of maybe a new DVD player for entertainment
    • We are contacting the IT department for this to see if there is anything that the school doesn’t use anymore but is still operational
  • Welcome Pack
    • The welcome packs for the students include thermoteter, mug, container, toiletries, kanga, hand sanitizer, toys
    • We could organize donation drives for toys and clothing in good repair

Given that this will be my last post before I leave Cancer Initiative, I am posting a few photos of the experience, particularly from the previous session which was fantastic!

 

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Action, Kickboxing

Initial Reactions to Kickboxing!

This week marks my second kickboxing session of the year. What an experience! This has probably been one of the most challenging aspects of my CAS experience as a whole that it seems interesting to be facing it so close to exams and TOK finals and whatnot.

Given that I am still fresh to the activity, I will be taking this time to kind of explain or reflect on my initial reactions in regards to my three learning outcomes.

1. Increased awareness of your strengths and areas for growth
Initially, what I’ve become aware of are the two levels of strengths/areas for growth that are involved in kickboxing, or at least my personal fitness experience. The first is physical fitness while the other is a sort of mental strength and capacity for fitness.
In terms of the actual kickboxing, I have identified kicking and kneeing as two areas which I hope to focus on in the following sessions. I think that I have relatively strong punches and that my positioning for punches is quite good for a beginner but what I am really struggling with is leg work. I hurt my leg the other day which is going to teach me to persevere.
As I mentioned, I think that one of my biggest problems with fitness is kind of underestimating myself and not feeling that I am prepared. This is something that I will definitely need to focus on and what I appreciate about these trainings is that we are a small group to encourage and support each other.

2. Undertaking new challenges 
As I have mentioned many times, this is my first time ever kickboxing! As I reflect, however, I am also realizing that this will be my first time engaging in a non-team activity or a small-sized training-focused activity. While I participated in competitive swimming when I was younger which required a great deal of training, the larger size of the group was much less intimidating as I did not feel I needed to focus on myself so much as I was not being focused on per say. With kickboxing, a new challenge that I am facing aside from the hard work itself is being in an environment as personal as this. I think that this will be a great experience in this sense because in university I doubt that I will be engaging in volleyball or any team sports so I will need to conduct a similar exercise regimen to ensure my fitness stays a priority.

3. Develop new skills
I think that what I’ve mentioned previously regarding “undertaking new challenges” resonates strongly with the idea of “developing new skills” for a number of reasons. Each of the challenges mentioned in some way requires new skills to be developed which I should hope to achieve.
On a superficial level, I will be developing kickboxing skills such as punching, kicking, kneeing, and increased cardiovascular endurance. On the other hand however, I am improving my skills when it comes to fitness and exercise in terms of understanding my body and how much exercise it can handle and how to approach this exercise. This skill is perhaps the most valuable as it will teach me what my body requires in terms of food and water and even energy levels for a good and efficient training program.
On another note, it was very interesting when the instructor mentioned what we were doing in a practical setting last week because that had not even occurred to me. I suppose another great benefit of this activity could be the development of self-defense skills!

To finish things off, I’ve attached a lovely photo below of me drenched in sweat after a great kickboxing session – complete with the fierce facial expression!

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cas project, Creativity, Service

Compost Beginnings!!!!!

SO today, I essentially began the implementation phase of the Twiga Compost Initiative. So far, I have

  • Put up posters
  • Located a bin
  • Communicated with the canteen and local staff
  • Located potential areas for the larger compost
  • Generated slight community awareness

What I learned from all this work today is the incredible amounts of work that this initiative will require in terms of contacting and agreeing with the school! Given this information, I need to now do the following

  • Meet with Mr. Smith regarding a possible location for the larger compost bin
  • Build the larger compost bin with Mr. Patrick
  • Buy the following supplies: buckets, green spray paint

The second point here is what I see as being the most challenging given that I  am not very strong. This will therefore require me to advertise this as a potential creativity/action activity for students to take part in over one weekend. I will do this ASAP through the daily bulletin as soon as I have determined a location.

Please find my incredible posters on ManageBac as I am incredibly proud of them!

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Creativity, MUN

DARMUN Preparations!

Today, we had our first leadership meeting regarding DarMUN VII. Within this meeting we outlined each of our individual roles and responsibilities regarding DarMUN. This is one of IST’s largest and most successful events of the year and the fact that it is becoming an international conference with the inclusion of Aga Khan Mombasa means that there is a great deal to be done! My responsibilities and my plans towards each is as follows:

1. Country/Commission Allocations
I have already begun this task and have finished the majority of IST delegates’ country allocations. I think that this is probably the easiest of my tasks as I simply need to revise past country allocations and determine what commission/country would be appropriate for each delegate. I believe that this is where my involvement as a leader during our usual sessions truly makes a difference because I have personal knowledge regarding the skill and confidence of each delegate whom I have worked with. 

2. DarMUN Participant Handbook
This should be a relatively simple task as it is once more a case of revising and making the appropriate changes. The one area that I am unsure regarding is probably either technology or the use of the theme. I personally disagree a bit with the direction DarMUN’s theme currently however hopefully I will be able to showcase it well to incoming delegates.

3. Approval Panel and Printing
I am most keen for this position as I feel most involved with MUN! Approval Panel means that I will simply be checking the format of resolutions, approving them (hopefully), and printing the appropriate number of copies. It seems bizarre to be interested in such an activity but I feel that it will allow me to be more included in debate than my fellow leaders.

4. Video
Much to my dismay, I seemed to have dragged myself into this responsibility accidentally. I am not a very good videographer and will therefore be contracting Moustafa or another student for this video. The general goal is for the video to attract potential MUNers by showing them what we really work towards in the end.

5. “Enticing Grades 6-11”
This is another activity which I am quite excited for as it seems quite fun. I will be working with my fellow DSG, Meera, to attract students to MUN/DarMUN through the daily bulletin, Facebook posts, the video, etc. This will require a great deal of creativity, good communication, and overall fun brainstorming.

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Action, Kickboxing

Proposal: KickBoxing

Experience type: Action

Duration: February 2017 – April 2017

Supervisors: Ms. Pindera

Tuesdays, 6:00-7:00pm, my home

This month, I will be undertaking a brand new challenge – kick-boxing! Given that I have not had any regular and scheduled exercise slot since the volleyball season, this will be an incredible addition to my schedule and very challenging for my fitness. I have identified this as an action CAS experience because of the physical exercise involved and the lack of creative/service output on my behalf. Each week, I will participate in a kickboxing class in my home as a means to provide for fitness to my weekly routine. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to not only develop my physical health but my character as well as it provides the following learning outcome:

Learning Outcome 1: Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
I believe that reflection is central to action-based CAS activities as fitness and sports allow us to address goals on a more superficial and obvious level. In the case kickboxing, because I am a beginner there will be many things that I will not be able to do and I hope that in the next week I will identify those skills so that I am able to track my growth through working towards them. Similarly, I hope to identify and further develop personal strengths.

Learning Outcome 2: Undertaking new challenges
As mentioned previously, kickboxing is brand new to me. This presents it as a new and unfamiliar challenge which is significantly emphasized upon by my level of fitness currently. Through this process, I hope to be more interested in undertaking new challenges in terms of exercise and fitness because I fear that I am too focused on only volleyball which could potentially harm me when it comes to my fitness and health in university.

Learning Outcome 5: Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities 
As I mentioned previously, reflection is an integral part of this process. Given the challenges that this activity presents, it will be important to persevere as I have already dedicated myself to an hour. Perhaps with perseverance and dedication, I will find myself extending the time spent on this activity however, it is important for my mental/physical health to at least maintain the schedule which I have set aside.

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cas project, Creativity, Service, Uncategorized

Twiga Compost Initiative I.i

In order to properly complete my CAS project, I found that I would work best if I was meeting a sort of timeline. This way, I know which work should be done in what order and am therefore able to focus on particular tasks. The project has been divided into the following stages:

I. Preparation
– Discussing ideas with Mr. Patrick and working on designs 
– Communicating with the administration in order to gain permission and support
– Designing a final idea for the trial 
II. Advertising
While this stage is strongly connected to the previous, I feel that because this is a particular challenge for me and should therefore be its own stage.
– Putting together posters to be shown around school
– Promoting the idea with students through discussions
– Advertising the survey/trial on the bulletin while using graphics and fun facts
III. Trial and Reflection
– Two compost bins placed at campus in strategic locations (canteen, grade 6 area, courtyard)
– After five days, the bins will be checked for the amount collected
– Surveys will be collected either by one sent out or by random conversations with students
– Reflection on trial and what should be improved
IV. Implementation
– Similar to above but with changes made
V. Conclusion and Further Reflection
– Basically a point to judge the project’s success at IST and whether it is worth moving forward and pursuing elsewhere

I think that this stage exemplifies the creative aspect of the CAS rather than what others might consider the more the relevant, service. This is quite interesting because I too initially thought that this project would focus more on service but it is not the case.

The reason that I have put the part about Mr. Patrick in bold is because this is the part of the project that I worked on today and through doing so, basically covered the design. During this meeting, we discussed various ideas and came to the conclusion that a pilot program would be the best way to judge the success and demand for the project. I followed through this conversation by discussing the idea with Ms. Siemens and was basically given permission and directed me to Mr. Lazaro to get a bin. My next step is to first start with advertising and creating a poster for the bins and then to contact Mr. Lazaro.

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