By Daniela Morales, Poverty Activist October team 2020
That's right ... it's amazing how in five words (An African Night at CICD) you can summarise in a simple way what a whole week of dedication and teamwork organising an event at school was. But, how did the idea of organising an event emerge, who organised it, how was it to manage and organise it? In this short text I will explain a little more about the life and activities that we develop as students (DI’s, as we say) at our school.
When you start your training period or preparation for your volunteering, you will have theoretical and practical classes, as well as you will have to carry out other activities such as organising small events with the members of your team and you will be able to share them with the rest of the people in the school. Without going any further, last Friday (10/30/2020) the members of the ''12 Month Team'' we had the opportunity to organise an event that had ''Africa'' as its inspiration theme, so for a week we had to plan everything about this event. Obviously we had the help of our teacher, so don't worry, you will always have someone else’s help to guide you.
An exciting challenge for our team
For a week we studied various topics about Africa, so after class, we spent a little time organizing our event. We had to discuss different things such as the main theme of our event, how we were going to develop the idea, how we were going to distribute the tasks and many other things. It is true that in the beginning we had a bit of trouble deciding, but in the end we managed to handle the situation and we reached common ground and we came up with very good ideas.
To begin with, we called that night ''Africa through our five senses'', since we were going to live a different experience with the help of our senses. The evening consisted of a dinner with music from different African countries in the background, that together with the the smells of the food transported us to Africa without moving ourselves from the school’s dining hall chairs.
After that, we moved to one of the classes to share with our colleagues a little of the knowledge and data that had marked us the most during the week through a small gallery that we created with great enthusiasm. We chose the topics that caught our attention, and we printed very original photos and organised them in an area surrounded by capulanas (Mozambiquan textile prints) on the walls. The gallery moment was very entertaining and instructive, but very casual at the same time.
I've never had to organise an event before and despite being a small scale event, you feel a bit of pressure, but at the same time you enjoy every moment of the night. Creating a menu, cooking dishes that I had never cooked with my teammates, organising the gallery and the dining room and making the whole night eye-catching was one of the most beautiful and unforgettable experiences I have had with them so far. It helped us to be more united, to know each other, to know how we react to moments when we have to make decisions or even improvise. These are aspects that we have to bear in mind so that the dynamics of our team are positive.
Training to be a leader
You will wonder why we carry out activities of this type. Well, small events like this can help to unify the members of your team, to improve or discover certain skills that perhaps you did not know you had. You become a leader and you have the ability and freedom to make decisions. These are some of the things that will be of great help to you when you go to your volunteer destination. It will make you grow in many aspects, but the best thing is that it will help you grow personally and it will give you a lot of satisfaction when you share it with people around you.
I don't know when we will have tha chance to organise another event like this, but I can't wait to do it again and see what new ideas we will have in my team and how we will manage to carry them out.
I hope it would be just as fun and interesting as it was in our African Night at CICD.