2010-08-25 Winter camp at ACC Malawi
An article by ACC (Malawi) volunteer Hsu Zi-Ming
July 2010, winter in Malawi, and the learners have just started a month-long holiday. ACC usually makes arrangement for them to visit their home villages during this time, but this year we decided to only do so in December hence all learners stayed at the centre. A month without schooling can be long and boring but luckily we at ACC came up with plans to keep the learners busy. From book club to outdoor activities, we were determined to bring them an unforgettable holiday!
We had a great start because all learners gathered with excitement on the first day of the holiday camp. I remember that the first session was a competition whereby children were asked general knowledge quiz by the ACC volunteers. The first 20 learners to have correctly answered all ten questions win prizes. Even learners as young as 3 years old played along with us - it was just amazing! But managing 240 kids at once can be problematic as we started to see kids queuing up to receive their questions. It looked very much like what we experience at the World Expo where there was a queue for everything! But of course, our queues were more fun and exciting!
Too much contemplation was not a good idea though, as I soon realized that I was surrounded by learners too! At first it was difficult to decide who to choose first, but I managed to deal with all of them efficiently. Basically I asked easier questions for the younger learners so that they could answer them quickly and move on to the next volunteer. For the older ones, they had to perform more difficult tasks such as reading a Chinese poem. I was concerned that I might have made my questions too hard, but guess what the learners were very focused with great determinations to nail all my questions!
The rush continued for a while, then came a little girl named Wan Rai who suffered a minor injury on her arm before the holiday started. Despite the injury, she also participated in the competition with a high spirit and it really touched my heart!
Only the first 20 learners, who answered all questions correctly, received a prize for their efforts but I can confidently say that all learners walked out of the competition with pride and joy!