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The Ota Initiative Blog

Preparing Our Group Leaders

Three of Ota's group leaders plan out a dual-language story in English and Swahili that they will write and then read to students during the upcoming December program.

Today is an exciting day – it’s the first day of our seventh program! Our team has been working hard these last few weeks to prepare for this day, and we are all so happy to see the program starting. First, we would like to thank everyone who made contributions during our fundraising campaign. We once again raised enough money to provide our students with a wonderful program, hot breakfast every morning, and school supplies for them to use during the school year. Many of the funds raised came through an African foods cook-off we hosted two weeks ago. From West African peanut sauce to East African coconut beans, partiers enjoyed delicious food from across the continent in the name of a good cause. A special thank you goes to Chelsea M., our fundraiser hostess and long-time volunteer, for putting together such a wonderful evening. With our funding secured, we turned to preparing our team. Several of our long-time group leaders entered university this fall, and while we are sad to not have them with us this program, we are thrilled to watch them take this important educational step. Our head teacher Pontian was able to recruit two local secondary students to fill our open group leader spots, and he reports that our new team members are full of enthusiasm and ready to work with Ota. Our new and old group leaders alike gathered last week for a three-day seminar led by Pontian to prepare them for the program.The group leaders participated in teambuilding exercises, explored how to be good leaders, and learned about the syllabus they will be helping to teach. Our on-site team emerged from the workshop ready to lead the program, and I cannot wait to share stories of the work they will do with our students in the weeks to come!

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