On June 15th, our students stepped away from exams and desk work and applied their knowledge directly to solving a community problem. Over 30 students from several grades completed the first of three community service actions with their teachers. The kids were briefed by teachers, identified key talking points, and then went out into busy areas of the neighborhood in order to pick up trash and engage in conversations with curious community members.
The students demonstrated mastery of the waste management material and confidence in talking with adults around town. A chance meeting with a local sanitation workers led to learning more about how waste is handled. Many observers wanted to know more or know what they could do to change how they handled waste. They also asked about Centre Salisa and how they could learn there as well.
Reactions from students and community members alike were positive. A young man said, "Congo ezali ko change (Congo is changing)." The students hope that their work can help community members to know about the dangers of waste an the importance of school. Student Marcelline said, "There was a lot of waste. Many have seen our work and said they will no longer throw."
Student Kipulu had a similar reaction from observers. "A Mother asked me why you pick up the waste, I told her that this is to protect our area if not there will be diseases. She promised to tell her friends too." The kids' work is contributing to not only a healthier Mpasa, but a more informed one, too. Moreover, students reported that they wish to continue picking up waste on a weekly basis.
In addition to collecting waste, students will also prepare for CSA #2 in the coming weeks. CSA #2 consists of home visits that will allow students and teachers to continue to spread the message of waste management and to reach children outside of the school system.