Monday, February 22, 2016

The Next Camp Sky-- 2016!

Last year I participated in Peace Corps Malawi's Camp Sky 2015 as a Teacher-Counselor. I taught Biology lessons, facilitated science labs, and helped out with fun evening activities like an egg drop and a talent show. It was a wonderful week, and I left feeling really optimistic and enthusiastic about Peace Corps and the future of Malawi.

Here is pic of me with my Co-Counselor Devyn and our team, the Bald Eagles

It was so much fun that I decided to apply as a Camp Coordinator for the next Camp Sky, and I got it! So since last summer I have been acting as the Teacher-Camper Coordinator for Camp Sky 2016. It's been a lot of work, and it's going to be even busier next month, but it is worth it!

The goal of this year's Camp Sky is to empower Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs), which are the poorest secondary schools in Malawi. They receive the least funding, have very few learning materials like lab supplies or books, and the teachers are often overworked and under-qualified. While these schools lack money and materials, they do have one important resource-- motivated, hardworking teachers and students. So this year at Camp Sky we are inviting 50 Form 3 students (equivalent to 11th grade) and 8 PCVs plus 8 Malawian teachers to spend a week at Kamuzu Academy in central Malawi so we can teach them the skills they need to improve their schools.

We will have sessions on student-friendly teaching and professional development for the teachers, and classes on leadership, critical and creative thinking, study skills and English proficiency for the students.

After camp, the attendees will become the trainers when they return to their schools. The teachers will lead workshops for the other teachers at their school when they return, according to a manual that we will provide them.  And the students will start study clubs to share what they have learned with the other students at their school.

It's going to be a great week, and we are really excited! I just sent out invitations for all the Teacher-Counselors, Junior Counselors and student campers this weekend. We are finalizing sessions and working on travel logistics at the moment.

There is one more thing we need though-- donations! Camp Sky is completely funded by donations. We are seeking contributions from local businesses here in Malawi, but last year the bulk of our funding came from the generous donations of friends and family members of PCVs. We are trying to raise $10,000. That money will go towards paying for the venue, food, transportation, and supplies like flip chart paper, chalk, markers, certificates and printing the manuals.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help support Camp Sky, please visit this link:

And feel so free to share this link and this blog post with anyone else you think might want to contribute. All donations are welcome, big or small. Zikomo kwambiri!

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