A team of four volunteers; Idil, Zainab and Shannon, with community volunteer Emeka, are in charge of organising Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces (INS) activities in the Bonugo area of Kwali. Bonugo is a rural community headed by a local ruler referred to as the Chief of Bonugo. Members of Bonugo community engage in farming activities and rearing of live stocks, mainly pigs and goats. The community is usually quiet on market days as most of the inhabitants dedicate such days to trading activities that take place in the market. Even INS activities are affected by market day as fewer children are present during sessions.
At the start of the cycle, the turnout at the INS was high. This number dropped as the weeks went by but the volunteers did not give up and decided to rally around the community to talk to both parents and children about the INS at Bonugo School. Many thanks go to the highly supportive CCSV, Emeka, who over the weeks, especially at the start of the cycle helped the children learn to get to know and trust the new facilitators. The volunteers are always enthusiastic as the children are prompt and often turn up ready to learn something new and exciting.
The INS sessions over the weeks have focussed on religion, art, justice, geography, entrepreneurship, human anatomy, orphans and disabilities, food and nutrition, sports to name a few. Each session at Bonugo always has a large variety of ages and is a very mixed group. The under 7’s mostly take part in energizers and always surprise the facilitators with their knowledge and commitment to learning. Some sessions the under 7’s have taken part in include spelling, counting and learning the alphabet. The children were not the only ones learning new things, the facilitators were able to improve their planning skills as well as learn to manage a group of children.
It was a heart touching moment when the facilitators and the children said their goodbyes. The volunteers have loved teaching the children and will no doubt miss the smiles and laughter. In an emotional moment, the children and facilitators let out one final cry of the chant that kept the team going – “Bonugo, we no dey carry last”!