In the latter half of 2014, Eimear Cregg made the decision to volunteer overseas during the summer of 2015. Eimear's research brought her to the offices of Nurture Africa and subsequently Eimear applied for and was accepted to the Nurture Africa Volunteer Programme. Eimear's experience was captured in "InTouch" (the Irish National Teachers' Organisation Union magazine) and is summuarised below.
"In July 2015 with an equal mixture of excitement and nerves I boarded a flight to Uganda to spend three weeks as a volunteer teacher with Nurture Africa.
I was very anxious – I would be teaching over 100 children, in a hot classroom without the fallback of resources, but I was excited to experience working and living in a completely different environment.
I was placed in St. Joseph's Primary School in Nansana. There were 130 children in my class Primary 2 (1st Class) in a tiny classroom. I was very lucky to have Ciara McQuillan from Monaghan as my Teaching Partner.
Over the course of the next three weeks we worked together teaching - Literacy, Numeracy, PE, Art and Music. Prepared lesson plans were discarded immediately. In Uganda, the children rote learn, lessons were very rigid. It was difficult at first to engage them in our active lessons. However we persevered and we had such fun with the children. They really enjoyed learning the song ‘Galway Girl,' and acting out ‘The Children of Lir!'
Nurture Africa were great to travel with. We were very well supported and everything was well organised. In the afternoons, we did activities such as reading outreach, facilitating basic first aid workshops and visiting families who are being supported by Nurture Africa's HIV programme. These visits were challenging but showed the reality of life for these families.
I gained an enormous amount personally and as a Teacher. I would have no hesitation in recommending Nurture Africa to other teachers."