Neil started teaching at Kazembe Primary School in the rural village of Lifuwu, Malawi in September of 2014 with an organization called help2kids. For the past four months, he has had the opportunity to teach English to the students of Standard 8 and help prepare them for their secondary school entrance examinations.

In his time in Lifuwu, Neil has not only helped improve the standard of education at Kazembe, but also for adults in the community. In a class with a curriculum that he helped teach and design, he provided beginner English lessons to a handful of women in the village. Furthermore, in his time abroad Neil rejuvenated a chess club at the local medical clinic, led the “help2kids” kickball team to victory, and helped a family in the community plant their rice field. He developed strong relationships with both the community and with his fellow volunteers to make a lasting memory in Kazembe.

Neil expresses that Hamilton has impacted his interest in East Africa greatly. He majored in World Politics with a concentration in East Africa, studied Swahili, and also studied abroad his junior year at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. While abroad, he additionally taught English at the Veterinary Primary School twice a week for class sizes over 100 students. Moreover, Neil describes Professor Orvis as his biggest mentor at Hamilton. “He provided me with the valuable knowledge of how to talk and write about African nations, communities, and people. He also helped instill in me a capacity for critically thinking about issues related to African politics and demonstrated how events are interconnected.”

Throughout his travels Neil says, “I often reflect on my experiences and return to memories of the snowy Hill, affable friends, and dedicated mentors, all memories that shaped me into the person I am today.”

Neil is currently continuing his work with the help2kids organization in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and will stay there until April of 2015.

Link to article on help2kids.org: http://www.help2kids.org/waisenhaus/blog-malawi/blog-post/2015/01/26/it-takes-a-village.html

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