What would you think of if a friend invited you for a training and when you arrive you see fully grown people painting rocks? Normal is boring, so I would stay!
This is the sight our new volunteers were met with when they came for our SDG Rafiki Volunteer Training. For those who came to test the waters, they found a new family that was more than ready to welcome them and for the veterans it was yet another beautiful learning experience that brought with it new friends.
Sunday afternoons are meant to be enjoyed and that is exactly what the SDG Rafiki Volunteers did! The energetic group started streaming into the venue as early as 1:30 pm ready to learn. Led by our very capable Intern Shirley, they were taken through a stone painting activity which they indulged in heartily. SDG Rafiki has created such a warm environment for the volunteers that no volunteer felt out of place, not even our 13 year old volunteer who went ahead to show the other volunteers how to paint the stones. The joy of being able to indulge in an activity that would be considered childish by many was evident. Giggles filled the air as everyone tried outshining each other in painting.
By 3pm nearly all the thirty volunteers had arrived at the venue and seated ready to learn. The ice breaker psyched everyone for what was to come as one of our longest serving volunteer Beth helped to serve snacks and arrange the SDG T-shirts for sale on the display table. Our other volunteer, Mamadi offered to direct the new members to the venue and later on led in a really entertaining ice-breaker. SDG Rafiki is a large family filled with individuals who don’t tire of doing good.
Shawn Koonce, our founder led the volunteers through an educative session on the history, vision, values and goals of SDG Rafiki, the role an SDG Volunteer can play in improving their community and even went ahead to share with the volunteers our Christian beliefs which are the backbone of what we do. The concentration on the volunteers’ faces was evident proof of how they were internalizing everything. Questions and comments made the session fun and interactive.
I took the volunteers through a segment on ethical volunteering and Shirley finished off with a lively session about our social media pages and how the volunteers could get more involved. She finally shared what the stone painting was about. Isn’t it awesome that a group of amazing human beings can just agree to paint stones without questioning why they are being made to paint the stones? Well that is just how awesome SDG Rafiki Volunteers are! The excitement on realizing that they were going to write an inspirational message and hide the painted stone somewhere in the CBD once it dried for someone else to find was on another level.
The event ended on a high note with one of the volunteers sharing an SDG that the volunteers randomly did during our Vision Africa SDG relocation deed and Shawn Koonce rewarding the volunteers who took part in the relocation deed with a certificate of appreciation. The volunteers enjoyed taking photos showing off their certificates and welcoming the new members to the team as some helped tidy up the conference room for the next users. Everyone left more educated, excited and looking forward to the next training.
I foresee a great future for SDG Rafiki!
Post by Petra Nguono, Intern
Posts are by our staff team and guests. Please check the bottom of each post for details of the author.