Saturday March 7, 2009. Under the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains, we began the workshop talking about itineraries, insurance, money issues, and a brief photo orientation of being an intern in Taru. Aly Vislocky, an intern from 2008, reported on her experience researching and studying our Scholarship Program and the educational barriers to adolescent girls’ education and setting up the small kids library. She talked about the challenges and joys of living in Taru village. Read her research report here. She was followed by Joan Dixon, the faculty advisor for the International Development Minor and international internships at BYU. Through her many first-hand international experiences and her academic background, she led a discussion on using the Participant Learning Activities model and Literacy for Social Change model to bring local accountability into the equation of more effective internship practices.
After a healthy lunch, Rinda lead a discussion on the history of Africa from slavery to colonization and the complex challenges the good, honest, hardworking people face: corrupt governments, malaria, AIDS/HIV, and weak infrastructure. Rylan Hayes and Taylor Jones then shared the story of selling African soap door-to-door for an hour one evening with friends in a fundraising effort. They also summarized what they learned at the Literacy for Social Change workshop last November at BYU. Brennan Williams shared his life-changing motivations for going back a 3rd time to the village. Aliska Kilgore continued with her positive fundraising efforts and work after 3 trips to the village. Lauren Gibbs, Oct’08 intern, talked about her business internship with the Women’s Soap Group and her efforts to assist these illiterate women to grow their business. You can read her report to future business interns here. She also taught at Bahakwenu Primary School and experienced challenges we should learn from. Her teaching experience is summarized here.