School Support Volunteer

Volunteer opportunity: Provide support for rural schools in Cameroon. You will be assigned a teacher to assist during the school day, and will work with teachers and the school principal to develop and support meaningful after-school activities. You will assist the teacher by providing remedial help to individual students, offering special classes in your area of interest or expertise, and helping with lesson plans, homework assignments and grading. After-school activities could involve providing extra reading help in French or English; working with the school garden club on one of our demonstration gardens; teaching computer skills; organizing sports activities; or assisting children with arts and crafts, or play activities.

Location: Municipalities in the Bamenda area of the North West Region of Cameroon.

Requirements: You must be fluent in either English or French, enjoy working with children, and capable of creative independent activity in unfamiliar and sometimes difficult circumstances. Experience teaching is useful but not required.

Duration and hours: You can design your own schedule, working from 20 to 60 hours a week for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of 6 months during the school year.

Cost: We help arrange accommodations but you must pay your own way. Room, board, transport, and incidentals run $15 – $20/day.

When:  Start date January 5, 2016, end June 5, 2016; visits for as short as one month can be accommodated.

Fees:  $50 covers airport pick up and initial orientation.

How to apply:  Email an explanation of your background, experience, and interests to Attach a copy of your CV/resume, if available.

More information about this opportunity:

Context: Cultural exchange with other countries is a very important means of deepening understanding of Cameroon and promoting international friendship and goodwill. With interdependence among nations on the increase, it has become more and more important to promote mutual understanding of such social premises as language, custom, and cultural traditions and to strengthen heart-to-heart contacts through cultural exchange. Accordingly, the Government has made the expansion and strengthening of various cultural exchange activities through civil society organizations and other institutions a major part of its diplomatic efforts.

Most countries of the world have recognized the importance of cultural exchange and have been making active efforts through their Governments and non-governmental organizations to expand such exchanges. Yet while the Government obviously needs to respect the primary role of non-government-oriented activities in promoting cultural exchange, the Government should also provide a basis supplementing these non-governmental exchanges and facilitating their smooth implementation, since some activities will inevitably require such massive funding or highly technical knowledge as to make it impossible to undertake them unassisted.

CAMAAY aims is to promote cultural exchange, undertakes various forms of activities such as personnel exchanges (dispatching Cameroonian scholars, artists, professionals, sports instructors, and other individuals to foreign countries and inviting foreign, scholars, artists, and others to Cameroon), exhibitions of Cameroon art works, Cameroon stage and musical performances, promotion of Cameroon studies, and cooperation and assistance for the diffusion of English and French language education.

Background: As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, we are challenged more than ever before to expand our knowledge and attitudes in order to successfully participate in the emerging global community.

CAMAAY is an educational organization dedicated to providing enriched learning experiences that promote intercultural awareness, tolerance and communication. By providing immersive learning experiences in new environments combined with regular reflection and coaching opportunities, CAMAAY helps participants build solid foundations for the future—whether in their academic careers, entry into the workforce or simply as responsible and tolerant members of the larger community.

The programs offered by CAMAAY are focused on increasing intercultural competence: the ability to engage effectively and appropriately within different cultural settings, whether encountered locally or in an international setting. Using experiential and structured learning methods, both participants and host communities have the chance to broaden their perspectives and learn from each other, developing their communication skills in the process. The result effect is solid preparation to live, work and lead in a diverse global society.

Aims and Objectives: CAMAAY aims to help promote global education and cultural exchanges, fostering peace and understanding, through building relationship between people of different nations and culture. We seek to raise awareness of social issues and foster cultural understanding and appreciation through different programs.

We tackle the most pressing needs of people at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment, sport, culture and youth development.

Teaching Support: Cameroonian schools are often understaffed and poorly resourced, but participants can help to improve this situation while gaining work experience teaching at primary and secondary schools. No formal teaching qualification is required. You can teach subjects such as English, French, or any other foreign language; the sciences; computers; physical education; health, or any subject or course of your choice. Interns will be assisting teachers with lesson planning and implementation through a school readiness approach, providing one-on-one attention and educational opportunities when possible, and assisting teachers with the daily school routine, offering lessons, conducting experiments, and assessing and evaluating students.

Extracurricular Support: After-school activities can be as vital for children as the classroom. Interns can choose among the following activities or design their own:

  • Sports programs: Sport and physical education are proven to have a dramatically positive effect not only on children, but on entire communities. Interns provide sports coaching and physical education assistance in under-resourced schools. We believe sports should be accessible to all individuals regardless of age or ability. Even those who do not attend school or will never play on a team should be able to participate. Interns provide a structured opportunity for fun and skills development while fostering friendships and a sense of teamwork. Interns organize sporting events and competitions and participate in events outside of Cameroon, using sport as a powerful instrument for promoting intercultural understanding, development, and peace. Activities can include helping to teach and coach physical education, constructing and maintaining playgrounds, organizing school and community sport and leisure activities, and setting up and managing sport clubs.
  • Reading Clubs: Interns can assist in running after-school reading clubs to support the development of literacy and reading skills, giving the students the extra support that they need. This includes teaching them the alphabet, phonics, spelling, pronunciation, and general reading and comprehension skills. Literacy in English or French is imperative to Cameroonian children as it allows them to understand all other academic subjects, which are tested in English or French.
  • Art Clubs: These afternoon sessions nurture students’ creativity. Interns can use their own initiative to plan out art clubs using suggested themes and creative ideas. Some great lesson plans have included anti-drug campaigns, Christmas/Easter crafts, masks, finger painting, and papier-mâché.
  • Play Time: Many Cameroonian children are forced to grow up quickly. They are expected to take on the household chores and older siblings are often obliged to look after the younger. Interns can run structured play times at pre-selected locations, taking along balls, jump ropes, colouring books and crayons, and spend the afternoon interacting and having fun with the children. This time allows children an opportunity just to be children—to play games, be carefree, and expend some of their boundless energy.
  • Garden Clubs: CAMAAY has established garden clubs in a dozen primary and elementary schools to teach sustainable agricultural techniques that enrich children’s nutrition and model the rewards of a career in farming. Interns can teach children about how to grow and use the various seeds they will be planting, and work with them on tending the garden.
  • IT: Computer technology holds an essential key to unlocking a prosperous future for Cameroonian youth. Interns are needed to teach students basic computer skills, and to identify and implement ways to use this technology to improve community life. Interns who can bring laptops with them to donate to the school where they will be working can double their impact.

Program Benefits : By helping individuals develop more effective communication skills and improve their understanding of the unfamiliar, CAMAAY gives its participants, host communities and connected audiences better insights into the perspectives of people from other cultures. The resulting empathy prepares participants to better cope with ambiguity and difference in future situations.

Participants contribute their time and energy to help people develop the foundation to become responsible global citizens. During this process, they also have the opportunity to take part in an intercultural learning experience. Through their work with participants and other stakeholders, participants can learn more about their own cultures, practice other languages, develop leadership skills and take part in community activities.

Career & Academic Choices

Research has shown that CAMAAYs alumni have more diversity in their professional and social networks. They are also significantly more likely than their peers to have careers that involve working extensively with other cultures, and almost 50% more likely to live and work abroad for an extended period. Additionally, they often study abroad again at the university and other higher level.

Language Skills

The ability to speak and use a foreign language provides countless advantages in the workforce as well as in everyday life. The type of immersive experience provided by CAMAAY exchange programs is one of the most effective ways to learn another language. Over 70% of CAMAAY participants achieved fluency in another language after the completion of months studying abroad and CAMAAY alumni are likely to have fluency in more foreign languages than their peers.

Intercultural Sensitivity

People who take part in CAMAAYs exchange programs show increased intercultural development and more global awareness. This is assessed using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), a scale that identifies varying worldviews through which people perceive cultural difference. CAMAAY participants had significant improvement in their developmental score, as a group moving nearly 2 points on the scale away from ethnocentric tendencies towards an ethno relative outlook that evaluates new people based on their values and perspectives.

Personal Development and Growth

CAMAAY volunteers experience dramatically lowered feelings of anxiety in new environments as a result of their time abroad. Not only do they feel more comfortable around people from other cultures, they are much less likely to view the world in terms of “them” and “us.”.

posted August 5, 2015



posted August 5, 2015 by

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