Projects in Mzuri Kaja Village
MZURI KAJA VOLUNTEER HOUSE
The project here is for the adventurous volunteer. Makunduchi is a small village with 5 schools. It is an hour drive in a taxi from Stone town, and roughly 2 hours drive by public transport (dala dala). It is a quaint and beautiful village with a vibrant atmosphere created sheerly by the number of children it homes. In Makunduchi you will get to try the local food, create very close relationships with both the children and the staff at the school, and be able to come away feeling that you have truly experienced life in the heart of East Africa.
The school that AIT supports is called Kusini Primary and Secondary School that has in total 705 students. Kusini Primary and Secondary School requires Maths, English and science teachers and a nurse for weekly health checkups for the students.
The volunteers get to stay in a small house that can home 8 people at the moment. There is running water and electricity. Breakfast is included and will be prepared for you but you will to provide lunch and dinner for yourself.
Makunduchi is a small village very much in the bush of Zanzibar. If you want to ensure you have a ‘real African experience’ Makunduchi is recommended for you. There are 2 larger villages 10km away from Makunduchi (Kizimkazi and Jambiani) that are easily accessible due to the frequent local bus service, where you can find nice hotels & resorts, restaurants, and daily excursions such as Dolphin viewing.
KUSINI (Primary & Secondary)
Kusini School is a primary and secondary school, which is situated in the area of Makunduchi in the south of Zanzibar. It is in the village of Mzuri Kaja which has a population of approximately 4000; with the main focus of work in agriculture or fishing. The school has existed for a great deal of time, having been established in 1942 and is supported by a project named the Mzuri Kaja Development Society who try to help both the schools and surrounding village. With approximately 840 students ranging between the ages of 6 to 15 years, Kusini School is fairly substantial in size. There are 11 classes altogether, with approximately 40-50 students in each one and a total 29 teachers throughout the school. The school is about 10 minutes walk away from the volunteer accommodation.
Kiswahili, maths, science, English, social studies and sports are all taught to the students of all ages. Volunteers are needed mainly to teach English and also science at Kusini, but are always welcome to assist in any of the other subjects or activities. It’s often a good idea to become creative when planning lessons, as this is something that tends to lack in most education in both Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. Corporal punishment is generally in place as what’s considered to be an effective discipline system. We do not ask volunteers to adopt this method only to respect it. You will usually find your own method that works and may try to introduce it to the other teaching staff.
Kusini School is open for 7 hours, starting from the early morning up to early afternoon; Monday to Friday. Holidays: The school closes in the months of June and December.
Kusini Primary and Secondary School has a number of spacious classrooms with wall length chalkboards which helps create a comfortable teaching environment for the volunteers. Any stationary is always appreciated as they merely have the basics. However, we’ve found that it is sharpeners and erasers that are needed most. Pens and pencils can always be bought locally. Any extra stationary or work resources you may wish to bring in order to enthuse the children about their education and develop any creative outlets will always be appreciated. Arts and Crafts is always a great way to get the pupils to learn a topic more intently. At Kusini, science is an important subject and any science apparatus that can be provided will be highly appreciated. O Level reference books are also requested.
This is a rather large project and would be able to take up to 15-20 volunteers. The maximum time required for volunteers to attend is one year.
There are currently no fixed afternoon projects in Mzuri Kaja so it is up to the volunteers to start a project of their liking. Typically, the kids are always eager to play some games such as football (even a tournament could be organised), or you could help teenagers with advanced English classes.
There are very few resources in the village so it is easier if come prepared with ideas of what you would like to do and adequate materials. Of course the team leaders will help you implement these projects.