Our eight PATRIZIA SE volunteers have returned home safely after their assignment in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé – some though still have to recover. In 12 days at 30 degrees, high humidity and lots of new experiences, they built a playground for the PATRIZIA School Yaoundé with their own hands.
Others will follow
The playground is ready – with many free-play elements, swings, slides, climbing frame and space to bake sand cakes in the Cameroonian sun. The facility will provide over 350 preschool children each year with a safe space for developing social and motor skills. The Cameroonian school system does not include these elements in its curriculum and leaves little time for creativity and dreaming. Frontal teaching is still the common teaching method. The PATRIZIA Foundation has set itself the goal of providing high-quality education worldwide that is more than reading and writing – and this playground is a big step in the right direction and a plea for a child-centred approach to school education. Other schools in the area will follow our example.
More than physical work
But it’s not only about the kids – the PATRIZIA volunteers from the NextGen community had their own moment to grow, develop and stray (very) far from their individual (and European) comfort zone.
It has certainly been a challenge that the eight have faced. There were many obstacles – not only the temperatures and the physical work, but also the lack of infrastructure on the construction site and in the city itself.
It is a cultural experience that penetrates deeply into our western image of perception: not to be one with the environment, but always to be perceived as European and standing out.
Adapt working methods to local customs, such as understanding the flexibility of punctuality.
To experience the average Cameroonian life by working closely with the school’s volunteers, teachers, parents, alumni and seeing the privileges we have been brought up with.
These experiences and many more will accompany the volunteers in their private and professional lives and hopefully give them the tools to successfully work for the common good.
Big plans for our PATRIZIA school in Yaoundé
Stay tuned for a new sporting challenge: the Step-Up Challenge in June 2023 will replace the Cycling Challenge and we hope many of you will team up and participate as we open up the challenge to different activities under the motto ‘Step Up for Education’.
We like to thank all our supporters!
Let us speak to your commitment!
Would you like to carry out a similar volunteering action with your company? Get in touch today! I will be happy to advise you!
Sandra von Waldenfels
Donor Relations & Services Business Development
T: +49 821 50910-157