It's the final full day in Africa for our National Citizen Service graduates and volunteers, and Vicki Burton returns with another update for us.
Jambo, our last day at Jubilee Academy had finally arrived. It’s strange to think our journey is almost at an end.
We were really keen to get everything finished today so that the school was in a better state than when we arrived. The first job was to add an extra coat of blue paint to the classroom and get the water from the floor. The girls got to work with the paint while some of the Jubilee students helped to clear the floor. Meanwhile, Angie and Yasmin painted the toilet doors blue.
After completing the second coat of blue paint in the classroom, we set to work on leaving our mark on the school. We decided on a quote to paint on the back wall so we first drew it out in pen, before Taylor, Louis and I painted over it with some guidance from Paige on the writing style. The quote we went with was; “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
We then decided to add a further quote above the blackboard; “You’re amazing just the way you are.” Taylor and Ellie wrote it out and the classroom was completed.
Susannah then asked us to paint the second toilet block in white and the doors in blue. Luke, Paige, Ellie H, Ellie L and Taylor set to work in the midday sun. Once it was completed, Angie and Yasmin painted signs for boys, girls and staff on the toilets, along with a football of course!
We spent some more time playing games with the children and giving out some more donations of clothes, socks and shoes. Once the children had the special chapatti lunch we provided, we were asked to be seated for the entertainment. We knew it would be a sad occasion but none of us were quite prepared for what the children were about to do. There were songs, dances, a rap about us, a dance routine that Yazmin had done with the children and a beautiful farewell song from one of the teachers and some children. There wasn’t a dry eye among us and many of the children had begun to cry and it was moving to see the impact we had on them.
We then sang to the children something we thought would be fitting; Bruno Mars - Amazing (Just The Way You Are). The school then presented us with a certificate for each of us as we received a round of applause from the children. We had a full school picture and began to say our goodbyes to the staff and students. One of the most emotional things was seeing the 13/14 year old boys crying; we were told that not many of the volunteers interact as well with the older boys but because of our mutual pattern for football, we formed some really strong bonds. It was so special to see the relationships between the Jubilee students and our own; each having more of an impact on the other than either could have ever imagined.
We finally left the school and even the street children waved us off. We had a short time to relax and try to wash the paint off us before our celebration meal.
At 7:30pm we headed down for our meal, dressed up as nicely as we could for what we’d brought! The dining room had been set up with a dance floor and a DJ began setting up his equipment. Speeches from Leah, Fred, Susannah, Edith and myself, as well as teachers from the other African Adventures group, set off the evening. We then played some party games and were treated to a break dancing show from four incredible, local performers. We then had chance to learn the moves and dance the night away!
Then we went off to bed for our last sleep in Kenya!