A CHANCE FOR PERSONAL GROWTH- LIAM GALLAGHER
After four months at the Christian Brothers’ school in Arusha, I spent the final month of my time in East Africa at the Ruben Centre, working mainly in the Primary School. I was working with several teachers to help implement an IT program in the school – an organisation called Don Bosco had donated 150 tablets, along with laptops and routers designed to be used in classrooms with little in the way of IT infrastructure. I couldn’t believe how willing the teachers were to spend time on learning how to use an entirely new computer system and how keen the students were to use the tablets!
Along the way, I also got the chance to spend a bit of time with the Production Unit, going to the Nairobi International Show and helping with the Ruben Centre’s BRILLIANT stall there. There was a moment of wonder there briefly, as I was exhorting would-be customers to check out what was inside. “Where is this made?” I was asked. “Hmmm…” I began… “EVERYTHING is made by our students at Ruben!” came the assertion from inside. I couldn’t believe it…the quality of everything inside was FAR beyond anything I’d seen at any vocational training Centre in New Zealand!
I think the most significant lesson I learnt was that the people living and working in Mukuru are generally highly capable, more motivated than most – and far more willing to learn! – and through initiatives such as the HUGE number offered by the Ruben Centre are given the opportunity to succeed. What the Ruben Centre offers volunteers is the chance for personal growth, and the chance to laugh – you’ll be amazed at how much humour can be found, even when the struggle is REALLY real.
If you get the chance, spend some time at the Ruben Centre in Nairobi. You’ll never forget what you get the chance to do, and the amazing people that you’ll meet.