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.


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!


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!

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.

Creativity, Service

CAS Project Beginnings!

After a lot of brainstorming and changing my mind about five times, I have concluded that my CAS project will be a compost initiative at IST. I have chosen this as a CAS project for several reasons

  • It provides an outlet for both creativity and service as per the CAS curriculum
  • It has the potential to be sustained for many years to follow at IST
  • It is an incredibly simple yet effective opportunity for change
  • It is a cause dear to me!

My proposal can be found in this link however is yet to be completely finished. Before I submit it to Ms. Milne, I plan on meeting with Mr. Patrick next week to finalize a plan for the actual bins. While I am not very savvy when it comes to construction and design, I have noted the following as being important notes to consider:

  • How many could we realistically make to place around school?
  • How will we compost animal products – or will we even venture into that? (pests are a problem)
  • What are our materials available?
  • How long should this take?

After this meeting, I plan on discussing the matter with Mr. Smith and probably an IST service group relating to the environment for extra support. After all of these discussions, I will be ready to construct the bins and place them around school.


Reflecting on TGO Career Fair

As I mentioned in my proposal, the learning outcomes I anticipated were as followed the second, third and fourth. Below, I reflect on this experience through these lenses.

2. Undertake new challenges
Although this was not my first time in a leadership position, there was something that made this task distinct from my role in MUN or Cancer Initiative. The first aspect of this was the complete and utter responsibility which I will go deeper into in the following learning outcome. The second was the language barrier as there were some girls who did not speak English as fluently and I was worried that they were not completely understanding and therefore benefitting from the advice and formatting tips. What was interesting about this however is that I found myself benefitting even more strongly from the advice that I was sharing as I had to focus on communicating effectively regardless of barriers through diction and pronunciation.

3. Plan and initiate activities
While at first I was ecstatic to be taking part in this event, as the deadline approached I realize it was the first time that I was planning an activity like this completely alone. The only information that I really had to work with was that the workshop would be 20 minutes long following the theme of public speaking. To my surprise, I had great feedback from the girls and while it was not as interactive a 20 minutes as I’d like, I suppose the responses from those involved is really what mattered!

4. Work collaboratively with others
I think that perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of this event and my participation was the opportunity to collaborate with people who I would not normally have the chance to. What pleased me the most was the way in which at the end of each session girls would take my notes and transform them into own speeches. As they discussed issues like environmental awareness and women’s rights I realized that despite coming from different places and leading very different lives to my own, we have incredible amounts in common in terms of our interests and passions.


Initial thoughts on Cancer Initiative

Last Tuesday marks the first session of Cancer Initiative this year. As seen below, used this meeting to sketch out some plans for this semester as well as to work as a group to meet some of the new requirements for trip approvals. This reflection will simply address challenges that I see for this semester, some goals, and general proposed ideas.

– Limited numbers of students:
Unfortunately, we are working this semester with only 2 students. Although we have sent many messages asking for students to be placed into our group, I don’t think that we are going to receive many students. This simply means that we are going to need to focus work between the three of us and larger projects might be an issue in terms of logistics.
– New systems put in place for trip-oriented CAS groups:
This seems to have been our greatest issue so far. The amount of paperwork is definitely slowing down our ability to travel to Muhimbili however, hopefully, this will all be sorted out as soon as possible in order to work smoothly for the rest of the year.

– Create a stronger partnership with Muhimbili for next year:
I think that as a leader I simply want to ensure that this service group stays active even after I have left IST. For me, this means that I would like my legacy to include a stronger partnership between IST and the hospital so that we end up truly making a difference and using our resources and time wisely to benefit both parties.
– Receive more recognition at IST so that membership is no longer an issue:
For the past year or so, membership has been a consistent problem. I hope that through the proposed projects for this semester, students at IST will recognize Cancer Initiative as a more interesting and fun service group to consider.

Proposed Projects (see picture below):
Because we do not have many members this year, we have proposed to following two projects which would include involvement and collaboration with our service groups at IST to form larger projects.
– Mural at Tumaini la Maisha house
The first idea is being proposed to a number of art service groups at school and will seek to paint a long-term mural at the Tumaini la Maisha house made by the kids alongside artists brought in from IST. The idea here is some art that is made by the kids living there to comfort as opposed to the already lively art that they currently have. This will be proposed to the Muhimbili group as soon as there are willing students at IST.
– Storybook
The second project has been proposed by Alqaim and is the idea of a storybook featuring the stories of the kids staying at the Tumaini la Maisha house. There will be art and interviews in this book and hopefully some will be sold to raise funds for cervical cancer or other endeavours at Muhimbili.