Students enjoy new experiences thanks to volunteers


At the Oloosinon Primary School, over 700 children in grades K-8 come from far and wide to attend school. Some travel over 2 hours each way, each day, just for the chance to learn.

Large classes are normal at the school like these 55 students in grade 2. Some classrooms are filled with 60, 80 or 100 children.

Students study math, science and even English like other students around the world. However, some of the other subjects like music and art, and even some of the fun recess games we are familiar with, are missing from the school day for them.

Sticks for counting and an English lesson sheet are some of the tools to help children learn at the Oloosinon Primary School.

Volunteers come from all over to provide different enrichment programs for these children. Some, like Joyce Malin, a retired art teacher, focus on art projects, like origami projects and fingerprint animals, as well as recess.

These older students had just as much fun with fingerprint animals as the younger ones.

Health messages, nature stories and of course outdoor games are a big hit with the children, too. They get excited about everything, from jump rope and crazy balloons to soccer and Frisbee.

At times it’s hard to tell who is having more fun playing games, the children or the volunteers.

Overcoming new challenges

Sometimes the school children get to try something totally different. Puzzles provide a critical thinking challenge through an activity they have never tried before.

Students are figuring out how to match colors and patterns on puzzle pieces.

Because teaching experience is not necessary to volunteer in the school, anyone can help out. People can welcome students, hand out supplies, help with an activity they are learning or just play and have fun with them.

Playing with groups of children is one of the highlights for many volunteers.

Joyce has been on many trips. Her advice to anyone considering a trip through Africa Mission Services is simple: “Step out of your comfort zone and do it! Be His hands. You will never regret it.”

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