Community Service Actions Take Child Leaders from Classroom to the Streets

The next step in the waste management curriculum sends Centre Salisa students into the streets. Our highest priority is enabling students to lead change in their communities. When a student becomes a child leader, there are increased benefits to the community and increased self-esteem and learning reinforcement for the children. There is also an awareness built around Giving Back to Africa’s presence in the community and the importance of schooling and topics such as clean water and waste management.

The Noyau, the team of teachers developing the curriculum with Giving Back to Africa, meet regularly to plan and evaluate programming

Community service actions, or CSAs, encourage child leadership by giving kids space to apply classroom learning to the real world. The students identified three CSAs for the summer months that will seek to solve problems related to waste in their neighborhood.

First, students revisited the market area to gather waste. By publicly picking up litter, the children raised questions and conversation with community members.  The oddity of the clean up gave kids a chance to talk directly about waste.

Community members were eager to learn more about Centre Salisa and about waste management. The kids' actions inspired community members to make changes in their own lives about how they handle waste. Many students said that they wished to return to pick up waste often. Student Kipulu said, "Several people congratulated us and asked us to return again to pick up the waste and advise people."

Students prepared to answer questions and start up conversation after reflecting on the most important points they learned during the waste management curriculum. Students and the Noyau, our teacher team, met to determine these important talking points together. Talking points gave students more confidence when speaking with community members and allowed them to pull out points of waste management lessons that were most meaningful to them. Look out for a blog post later this week with more details about CSA #1.

Next up: home visits. After this first CSA in the market, students and teachers will reflect on the outcomes and prepare for step two, the home visits. They will decide what they find most important to talk about and then visit homes in the community to share the information they’ve learned about waste. This will also allow for staff to be able to reach children in the community who are pre-school aged or out of school. The home visits will be able to provide concrete proof of the value of an education, and again, it will strengthen the self-confidence of the students in being able to take a stake in their community and in talking with adults and community leaders.

Students Make Community Walks

In addition, the home visits will provide students with an opportunity to invite parents and children outside of the school system to a mini fete de presentation in late July/early August. The mini fete is CSA #3 and will further emphasize the effects of an education and of proper waste treatment.  Students will be able to take their learning leadership to new heights!

Supporting child leaders is our goal. The students work tirelessly and are truly shining, in classroom and out. Through the CSAs, the students hope to continue making positive impacts in own their lives and the lives of others. They also hope to open up conversation, in all parts of the globe, about education, child leaders, DR Congo, and more.

The students at Centre Salisa prove what a difference communication can make as they step into the neighborhood and into their roles as community leaders.