On 17 May 2016, Practicum participants learned about the importance of volunteering and caring for those around them through an interactive presentation and practical participation in two projects. The practical work included creating get-well-soon cards for cancer patients and cleaning up the streets around the United Nations House in Windhoek, Namibia.
The UNIC Windhoek team started the day by defining what volunteerism is, why it is important and offered a few different ways that the practicum participants could volunteer in their own communities. Through videos as well as testimony by the UNIC Windhoek team, the students learned that it is important to serve our fellow human beings and lend a supportive hand wherever possible. The students also learned about the importance of developing a connection with the people they serve and sharing what they learn while volunteering in order to motivate other people to bring about change as well.
The students were excited to share their own ideas of ways to get involved in their communities and to begin bringing about change. After the presentation, the students began to take action themselves by creating get-well-soon cards for young cancer patients, with the intention of bringing a smile to the little heroes’ faces who bravely fight their illnesses every day.
Later in the afternoon, the practicum participants followed the slogan ‘Make every day Earth Day’ by putting on gloves, taking garbage bags and cleaning the streets near the United Nations House. Within only 30 minutes, the practicum students collected a significant amount of trash and realized that many people take our Earth for granted, a shocking realization for some of the students.
The students finished off the day by completing peer and mentor evaluations. The evaluations assessed self-confidence, self-direction, communication skills, social and cross-cultural skills and critical/creative thinking ability. These evaluations will be used in a full assessment report that will be given to the students at the end of the programme, with the intention of showing the students in which areas they are strongest and which areas they should focus on improvement.