I would like to introduce my friend and colleague, Verynice African Kirumu.
Verynice, who goes by Nice, is one of AfricAid’s new Kisa Mentors in the Kilmanjaro Region. Presently she mentors 178 Kisa Scholars from five high schools in the region. The second born in a family of five, Nice is married and lives with her husband in Moshi. She most definitely lives up to her name: she is a kind and charming person, who is also a nice friend and well-respected Mentor.
While Nice joined AfricAid just in January this year, she had a connection with AfricAid well before her official start. She used to volunteer as speaker at many of AfricAid’s events, such as Health Symposiums, Career Day and End of Year One Presentations. As a Program Coordinator for Femme International, she shared her knowledge about reproductive health (with a special emphasis on menstrual hygiene) with our Kisa girls.
I decided that Verynice would make a perfect case study for people to learn about the typical day of an AfricAid Mentor.
How do you start your day and what are you thinking about?
I always start my day with morning prayers together with my husband, then I prepare breakfast, and fix the house before going to work. I am thinking about how I will accomplish my plan for the day, and I am also wondering if I will get to the office at the right time. Do I have time to walk or should I take a boda boda (motorbike transport)?
I usually pack my lunch to bring to the office, but sometimes the other staff and I eat the hot meal that is available in the courtyard of the “Kili Hub,” which is where our office is located. It is much like the Posner Center in Denver – a building full of NGOs doing good work around Tanzania.
What are the activities you do in the office?
There are activities that I do every day and some activities I do most days, but in general they include reading and replying to emails; participating in office meetings; discussing lessons with my fellow Mentors that I will deliver in the afternoon Kisa classes; preparing notes; writing blogs and reports; and in the afternoon, visiting schools in which I mentor.
I am also taking a big role in organizing the Fall, 2018 Career Day and I work with a small team on this.
How do you travel to class and how do you get there?
The distances differ from school to school. Four of my five schools are outside Moshi. For the schools that are located far from the office, like Mkuu Secondary School, it takes two hours to get there. Most of my other schools in which I mentor take about an hour to travel to. But when I go to Majengo Secondary School right here in Moshi it takes only ten minutes. Sante, our driver, drives a group of us in the office van, and then drops people on the way at different schools. If schools are close, we take local taxis.
What is your favorite moment in class?
My favorite moment in class is to do different activities with the girls like playing games that go along with the lessons of the day that will make the students more engaged and active.
Everyone has a story to tell. I like sharing stories with the girls and in this way I hear many experiences that I didn’t know before. I am now familiar with many issues these young girls face, and I am able to brainstorm more solutions and help my students in a practical way.
What time do you get home and how do you get home?
I normally get home at 6pm, but sometimes as late as 7.30pm or 8pm when I come from the most distant schools. Sante drops us off at our homes if it is late.
Verynice has full working days but she always has time to be warm and friendly around the office and her positive attitude contributes to a warm office atmosphere. Like all our Mentors at AfricAid, her daily efforts help AfricAid to reach its vision for a better outcome for Tanzanian young women.