Shanté Stephens swapped London for Rwanda when she volunteered completed International Citizen Service with the Tearfund Foundation to help vulnerable community groups in the country’s capital, Kigali.
22 year old Shanté, of Horton Road, spent some of her week working at a school for orphaned street children, where she coordinated activities and games and taught lessons in English, cultural studies and personal hygiene.
She said, “As a keen dramatist, I used role plays and other dramatic devices in my teaching. This increased the confidence of the children and gave them the opportunity to express themselves in different ways.”
Shanté also taught English and ICT to a local HIV women’s group called Muhumurize, who meet regularly to maintain a community support system and help each other learn new craft-making skills.
Shanté was supported on the placement by the Jack Petchey Foundation, through the Individual Grants for Volunteering Fund. Before departing for Africa, she fundraised for the A.E.E. by hosting a car boot sale and bag packing in Tesco’s.
Shanté, who earned a first-class law degree at City University last year, has high aspirations for the future, and recognises that her experiences in Rwanda have shaped her outlook on life.
“I have gained confidence in the ability to teach others, and learned the true value of working together to create a better collective future. It’s a humbling experience to work in Rwanda and it has made me realise how lucky we are in the Western world. The experience has also strengthened my faith in God, and expanded my knowledge of all the wonderful things He has created.
I hope to complete a Master’s programme next year, while I also aim to continue volunteering and helping other people. I am an optimistic, determined and opportunistic individual, so whenever I see an opportunity, I will take it!”
You can read more about Shanté’s Rwandan experience via her blog at www.shantesscenechange.weebly.com
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