Gabriella Zagordo and Alyssa Miskov-Wilhelm paint tree on wallGabriella Zagordo and Alyssa Miskov-Wilhelm create some artwork to brighten a school in Tanzania.

Future teachers gain classroom experience in Tanzania

Thirty teacher candidates participating in the Global Community Engagement Program spent three weeks teaching and doing humanitarian and development work in the east African country of Tanzania as part of the Vulnerability, Marginalization, and Education service-learning course in the Faculty of Education.

Led by UWindsor vice-president, people, equity and inclusion Clinton Beckford and assisted by Black student support co-ordinator Kaitlyn Ellsworth and Fatima Fakih, a PhD student and sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education, the students collected hundreds of supplies to bring to Tanzania with them. They filled more than 45 hockey bags with over 2,000 lbs of school supplies, sports equipment, and feminine hygiene products, which were distributed to schools and communities in the Kilimanjaro and Singida regions of Tanzania.

Once in Tanzania, the teacher candidates worked in groups to facilitate a Girls’ Leadership and Empowerment Program to 150 female high school students and 15 female teachers from 12 schools in the Singida municipality. The teacher candidates put together workshops that covered such topics as mental health and well-being, healthy relationships, gender-based and intimate partner violence, menstruation, oral hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases, goal setting, and leadership.

Hailey Noble, a fourth-year student of concurrent history and education, participated in the trip in 2023 and decided to join again this year.

“My heart is so full after this trip to Tanzania,” she said. “I will never forget the friends and memories made there. The week-long Girls Empowerment and Leadership Program was my favourite part. Being able to connect with young women and girls, as well as their teachers, meant so much to me.”

Another community project for the teacher candidates involved adults and children with albinism. The students held an event where they distributed skin and eye care protection products, hats, and food to more than 50 individuals with albinism who met with a doctor and community development workers as well.

Like Noble, third-year forensic science major Hayley Rogers participated for the second time.

“It’s hard to put into words what these three weeks have meant to me’” said Rogers. “I have grown in the way I see others and the world. I am so lucky to have experienced this.”

At least six of the participating students are enrolling in the Master of Education program at the University of Windsor and a couple of others at universities closer to their homes.

One of the students hoping to enroll at Windsor is Emma Thwaites, who plans to pursue studies under Dr. Beckford’s supervision. She told Beckford: “I want to do my master’s degree, I want to do a thesis, and I want to do something about Tanzania.”

Students received scholarships from the University of Windsor’s iWIL Go Global program to participate in this opportunity. iWIL Go Global is a Global Skills Opportunity project that is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and administered jointly by Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

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