Today has been a first full day in Muranga, leaving the rustic scenery and sparse nature of Laikipia behind, and although I’m still a relatively inexperienced volunteer, today felt like much more of a typical CWB day. Over 2000 kids coached, across five schools, and countless teachers getting involved.
At the first school we had our four stations set up, a station for each of the ABCT messages, with myth busting cards shown to the children in the wrap up for each station. From what I saw of it on my station this worked really well, and was a really effective way of directly linking gender equality messages into a HIV session. But it wasn’t until the second school where some typical CWB anomie occurred. The 300 children who showed up seriously stretched our resourcefulness in terms of both space and equipment. Although there were certainly challenging aspects to the session, I for one am certainly looking forward to many more sessions of that ilk.
Onto school number 3, still before lunchtime and bringing our total to over 1000, I was lucky enough to work with the school’s cricket team. Although putting the health and equality messaging front and centre is the obvious priority, there is something quite special about teaching a sport you love to children from such a different background who share the enthusiasm. There were points in the session, as usual, where a bat to the face starts to feel inevitable, little did I know that bat would be to my face, in front of 30 kids, from my Project Leader. On the road after that our next task was to find some lunch in a small roadside side. This was where the revelation of ‘Kenyan Defence Force’ buns came to our attention, so called because of their filling nature and at six pence a piece we weren’t going to miss out.
Full and slightly bloated after our carb heavy lunch came my favourite session of the day. Across two sessions of relays stations in an hour and a half over 900 more kids managed to hear the CWB message. With teachers turning up in CWB coaching shirts and the expected hysteria over Greg’s drone added in, this was already a serious contender for a CWB highlight. But the highlight for me was playing some cricket with children who we would describe as having severe learning difficulties, although their conditions weren’t described quite as tactfully by their teachers. Although their language skills were minimal to zero, we managed to create an enjoyable game with many smiles and high fives. Hopefully bringing these kids into the fold in a situation where they are very rarely involved sent a powerful message to both them and their peers.
The last session of the day took our tally over 2000 with some fatigued minds and bodies on the bus. Some games of rapid fire wrapped up the day and although some refinements can be made to our delivery, any day where our message is heard by over 2000 children has to be counted as a success. The main question for the team now, with extreme weather of our own hammering down outside and football on the TV, is whether to play the raincard.