The EPAfrica Summer starts here!

Earlier this week 35 excited Project Workers and 3 Project Researchers, along with members of the Summer Team, were ready to board their flights out to East Africa. After almost a year of fundraising, training and growing anticipation, EPAfrica’s ‘class of 2014’ were about to embark on a 10-week adventure that will transform not only their own lives, but the lives of young people living in the rural outskirts of Western Kenya and Uganda. How is it I’m so sure of this? I was sat on that very same flight two years ago, unaware of just how unforgettable and truly life-changing the journey was going to be.

Over the next 10 weeks we will be hearing from our volunteers in Kenya and Uganda, finding out about the kind of work our Project Workers and Summer Team do whilst in East Africa. What you may not be so aware of is the tremendous amount of work that goes into making each summer happen – recruiting our volunteers, training them throughout the year, helping with fundraising, communicating with our partner schools in East Africa, organising all of the logistics of the summer, and so much more. The flights may have left on Monday, but many Project Workers began their journey back in November 2013.

Between then and now they’ve had to do an incredible amount of work. The most daunting aspect of this was probably fundraising around £2200. There’s been bucket shaking in onesies, numerous bake-sales, hours of grant applications and even the odd live gig organised.  These Project Workers already worked incredibly hard and put themselves through stressful, and at times, embarrassing, situations, in order to reach their goal, and there’s no doubting that they’ve learnt a lot along the way.

The learning hasn’t been limited to ‘how to organise a great pub quiz,’ however. Before our Project Workers embark upon their 10-week development project they receive training on every aspect of what they’ll be doing. Beginning with fundraising support, they go on to learn about international development as a whole, and how EPAfrica fits into that broad sphere, about cultural awareness, health and first aid, as well as our Programmes of Delivery (PoDs, if you will) – the nitty gritty of how we go about improving the quality of education in a holistic, innovative and most importantly, sustainable way.

All year round, EPAfrica and the fantastic volunteers who make this organisation possible, have been working towards this summer. The hours of standing around in St. Pancras dressed as a dinosaur, the late nights spent frantically reformatting PowerPoint slides, the too-early-for-a-Saturday pre-training coffees and post-training catch-ups with friends have all led to EPAfrica’s summer project 2014.

We hope you’re as excited as we are.  Check back here over the summer to see how it goes.