Tamim Barnawi joined us in Kenya from Saudi Arabia in December 2016 where he volunteered at the Shade Center and School. Tamim worked alongside of the teachers in the classroom assisting with various subjects and activities. One of the challenges of the local education system is teacher to student ratio. Sometimes, the ratio is manageable and sometimes it is overwhelming depending upon where you are. Something to keep in mind is that the availability of schools is not plentiful in some areas which contributes to the high ratio of students to a teacher. Students then crowd the classrooms of their nearest community or government school.
We asked Tamim what he thought of his time in Kenya and this is what he shared….
“I loved the music, dancing and smiles of the kids. Meeting other volunteers from around the world was a valuable experience too! I definitely found joy in being around others who were passionate about change in the community.”
Considering that Tamim is only four hours away from Kenya by plane, he came back to continue his work in December 2017. While so many of us have to travel 12 plus hours in a plane (some of us reaching 18 hours in the air), Tamim can fly out early morning and be in Nairobi before lunch time the same day. Sounds so good, doesn’t it? He wasted no time though!
His December 2017 project was building a chicken house for the children’s center that would benefit them in several ways. This chicken house would allow them to raise the chickens in a safe structure to provide them a source of food whether it be eggs or the chickens once they stop laying. This project would also allow the center to sell the eggs and chickens as they reproduce to provide a steady source of income to assist them with meeting their other daily needs. This sustainable project was extremely important to the children’s center and we are so proud of Tamim’s work.
This wasn’t all though! Education is very important to Tamim. He just graduated with his degree from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom (UK). Knowing how important education is, Tamim started a computer class where he brought the laptops that were donated to him along with funds to hire a skilled computer teacher at the center. The students are learning how to use a computer/lap top and improving their skills week to week. When we asked Tamim what was next he said…….
“I will keep coming back to serve in the community every opportunity I get for I found a connection to Kenya and the people. They made me feel home.”
If you come to Kenya to volunteer, be sure to stop on by and visit the chicken house and computer class! They will be glad to see you and Tamim would appreciate the visit as well! Have questions for Tamim about how he built the chicken house? Just ask! He checks in to Facebook every now again from Saudi or the UK!