Grace Cheatley: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

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Grace Cheatley: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

I feel so extremely lucky and honoured to have been a part of #theRENEWexperience this year for more reasons than one. To have had the opportunity to work along side the amazing people in this family at Mukumira Secondary School in Arusha, helping to facilitate personal development workshops has been both challenging yet extremely rewarding.
The students who we worked with were filled with so much happiness, spirit and an eagerness to make a difference in their lives which has undoubtedly inspired us all. Seeing the change in their perspectives and the smiles on their faces during the workshops was truly enlightening and I couldn't be happier being a part of such a life changing month.

In every day life, we are not queried or asked to think about what truly makes us happy, or what we truly value in the world. Life gets in the way and the importance of recognising yourself as someone who is worthy of joy, love and happiness is slowly pushed aside. This experience has given us all the opportunity to slow down, and to show up as the person that we have always known that we are. 
I have truly had one of the best months of my life thanks to the legends in this family ❤️

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Mimi Boydell: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

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Mimi Boydell: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

THE RENEW EXPERIENCE

"You can't pour from an empty cup."

I believe this quote encapsulates this personal development experience for me. 
I love helping people and being kind and thoughtful is in my nature but in the past I have been this way at times to the detriment of my own happiness.
Through RENEW I have realised that if I live by my values and am true to myself, I can find a balance and feel more at peace by placing my own happiness on the same level that I do others. This will allow me to have more power and capacity to help others, be kind and be thoughtful.

The RENEW experience has taught me so much. I look forward to sharing this knowledge with my family, friends and colleagues to create a ripple effect with the amazing tools we have been taught. I know that I still have so much to learn from my experiences here and they will benefit me not only now but in the future as well!!

The relaxed and supportive environment combined with the emotional transformation that we all experienced lead to really special and unique lifelong bonds with the other members of the RENEW family and a much deeper connection with our own values.

Those bonds became even stronger as we co-facilitated a workshop at Makumira Secondary School. The children were so amazing, each one so eager to learn. It was an honour to be a part of the team and to encourage and assist the kids through each activity, seeing their confidence and self belief grow with each day!

I have thoroughly enjoyed each aspect of the RENEW experience! My heart is so full of joy and gratitude. AdamUswege and the whole RENEW family are so incredible - I can't thank them enough for their endless love and support!

I am really sad that our time in Tanzania has come to an end but I believe this experience is far from over, I look forward to continually challenging myself in the future in order to learn and grow.

Love you all loads and miss you already!!

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Darren Philip: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

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Darren Philip: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

BEing part of this program has allowed me to look at myself on a deeper level within to SEE who I really AM. To be able to see the little boy inside me and acknowledge the greatness he is, to allow me to show up in the world as my TRUE self, my Authentic self, with an openness and an honest heart.

It has connected me with my purpose of wanting to create great change in the world with this life I have been gifted.

While you, my beautiful family are watching this video, take a moment to really SEE the smiles, the HEARTS of these beautiful souls and the change, the Hope they now have to BE who they want to be and the change these kids want to create in the world and the love that has been discovered. The love for themselves.

The RENEW program is a game changer to move forward into a new paradigm of living that this world needs to give us peace and harmony for the next generations to continue living and loving.

The 2018 program is OPEN. If you really want to really find YOU and to make a huge global impact apply NOW! It will change your life forever and create the ripple effect for us to all become ONE.

Much love ❤️

#theRENEWexperience

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Athina Rozos: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

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Athina Rozos: What #theRENEWexperience meant to me

The RENEW Experience

I came into this knowing very little about what I had signed up for. I planned to go to Tanzania to Give.. instead I Gained. I Gained far more than my heart could carry, my heart is overflowing with love, I feel extremely blessed. I am and I will be forever and ever grateful for this experience...

Landing in beautiful Tanzania I had no real expectations. I knew I was going to help kids reach their full potential, erase self limiting beliefs, understand their values without any real idea of how.

The beauty of what Adam and Uswege do is that they gently coax the butterfly out of the cocoon. They didn't fill me with affirmations that real life could then replace with negativity, they extracted my truth, the soul of who I am. They did this with me in such a powerful way that my very being woke up, they shook up everything I was so accustomed to telling myself and the language I used to do it, they helped me find the treasure that is inside me, the light switch, the power, the strength, the beauty that was always there! 
And when they ask "how does your heart feel?" I tell them with all sincerity that it feels full, it feels happy, it feels loved!

Amazing things happen when you go through an experience like this with a group of people who are so trusting and open, there is so much beauty in baring your soul. It takes real commitment, honesty and journeys into very difficult places. Recognising and acknowledging the past so that you can built a new strong foundation for what you really are and what you want to be.

That it is essential to:
Fill up your cup first
Put on own your oxygen mask on first. 
Realise you deserve the love you keep giving the world.
Understand that when there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

The more love you have in your heart, the more love you have to give...

I could never have imagined what the RENEW family together were able to create in our week of workshops at Makumira Secondary School. 
How rewarding it was to show up fully, to hold space for these beautiful souls and to watch them flourish, discover their own inner strength, beauty, and allow them to create deep bonds with who they are and who they want to be.
Gifting them with what I was gifted and receiving more in return.

I loved every minute spent with my RENEW family in the last few weeks, including two of the most magical humans Adam and Uswege, their purity, energy and commitment to all that is good in the world is so inspiring to me. I have so much admiration for them and all the RENEW family.

I will forever be an advocate for what these two beautiful souls have created! From the bottom of my heart Thank You RENEW x

-I am Here to Unite and Change the World!-

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Why I Needed Personal Development as a Kid

RENEW Co-founder and Executive Director, Adam Rubin

RENEW Co-founder and Executive Director, Adam Rubin

From the time I was born I was different. Born two months premature, I spent the first part of my life in the hospital in an incubator, and it would be weeks before I could go home into the arms of my mother.

Most of my early years were spent in rehab, strengthening a body that didn’t have time to fully develop. I was small and weak. I would live most of life with that image of myself, reinforced by hurtful words from kids around me and what I thought I was supposed to look like as a teenage boy.

When I was just a child, I was diagnosed with ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I ran around out of control, and I had an impossible time focusing in school. Like so many other kids with ADD, I was prescribed Ritalin. Every single day I would be pulled out lunch and recess with my friends, and I would be called into the nurses office at school to take my pill. Every single day. It felt like the normalcy of childhood was being taken away from me and I was being reminded again and again that I was different.

It made me feel like something was wrong with me. Like I needed to be fixed. Like I wasn’t enough.

I would carry this feeling with me through all of my childhood. It was never enough and I was never enough.

I would get good grades at school, and I would compare myself to other kids and be hard on myself. I would grow up up constantly comparing myself to my sister, wishing I could just be smarter or better. I was never happy with where I was at, and through all of it I felt this pain in my heart. A pain that I could never understand.

Growing up as a highly empathic child feels confusing and impossible. In constant pain when those around you are suffering, especially those that you love deeply. It felt like no matter what I did it was never enough. I could never fix it. You can feel their pain as if it’s your own, and you feel confused because you don’t know why. You find yourself crying, and as a boy you’re just told you're being too sensitive.

I felt different. I felt like something was wrong with me. Like I wasn’t enough.

And this is the part I really want you to get. ALL of this with the most loving parents in the world. Because even though my parents loved me with everything they had, I never learned how to love myself.

I could still see the little kid who looked and acted different. Who needed to be fixed. Who felt over-sensitive and in pain from those who were around him. Who never felt like he was emotionally ready to handle what life was giving him.

This is how fragile the mind and heart of a child is. This is how painful childhood can be, no matter how much love we give our children or how hard we try to protect them from the pain.

Last year, at a personal development conference, I was asked to write down my limiting beliefs I had about myself. Without thinking, I wrote down “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve love.”

I sat in serious pain as I stared at those words. The realization sank in. I have been giving and serving my whole life because I thought I didn’t deserve to receive. I didn’t deserve love. I didn’t deserve money. So every time those things came into my life, I would reject them or give them away, or find a way to sabotage them. Because the pain in our childhood creates the beliefs that we live our entire lives by.

But what if somebody would have come into my life when I was still a child and told me that I’m not different? That there’s nothing wrong with me. That I was perfect, just the way I was. That I didn’t need to hurt anymore. That I was good enough. That I deserved it all.

It would have changed my entire life.

That’s exactly why we created RENEW.

I’m not standing by as our children continue to hurt their way through this pain, when we can be giving them the tools to overcome it. When we can show them how beautiful and unique they really are. When we can help them truly learn to love themselves, and start treating themselves like the love and perfection they are.

I’m asking all of you to join me, and do whatever you can to help us reach our goal and bring RENEW to more kids.

Donate: http://renew.causevox.com/

Join as a fundraiser.
Join the RENEW family.
Connect us to people who can support this vision.

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RENEW in Australia!

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RENEW in Australia!

On Sunday December 4th, we spoke to more than 400 conscious leaders at The New Way Live in Sydney, sharing our vision for RENEW.

With hands in prayer, I led the room through an emotional visualization where they pictured a child they love, standing in front of them crying.

"They're crying because somebody told them they're not good enough to go after their dream, and they believed it. They're crying because something happened in their life, and they've been blaming themselves for it. They're crying because no matter how hard they try, they just can't find a way to love themselves. They're crying because life feels so painful and confusing sometimes...and nobody ever taught them how to handle this type of pain."

"And as you sit there with all of their pain in your heart, you feel tears well up in your eyes. Because as you sit and stare at that child, you see yourself in their eyes. You can see all the pain and confusion you went through as a child, and you remember how impossible it felt. You can hear all the voices that told you you're not smart enough, not pretty enough, not good enough. Not enough. With nobody there to teach you how to love yourself. With nobody there to help you discover yourself. With nobody there to help you see how beautiful you really are."

As I held this space for everybody in the room, I could feel myself speaking to their inner child. I looked out and I could see their tears. I breathed deeply and I could feel their hearts.

And in that moment, I realized we are all still the inner child within us. The child who never received the love they deserved. The child who just needed somebody to believe in them. The child who felt hurt and confused, and carried that pain into adulthood...

But what if we healed that child while they're still young? Before the pain turned into blocks...before the self-doubt turned into limiting beliefs that frame their lives?

Imagine how different your life would have looked if you had personal development when you were still a child.

Our children ARE the new way. Let's create a world where all of them learn to love themselves and live their dreams from an early age. Because they deserve that, just like you did.


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On Monday, December 12th we held a RENEW workshop at Springfield Lakes Community Center in Brisbane, Australia.💗❤️💗

When we showed up to the workshop on Monday, it would have been easy to feel disappointed..

We had 10 kids registered for the workshop, but we walked in to only find 3 of them. Not a problem..we did a camp in Arizona this summer with 4 kids and it was one of our most powerful programs ever. So we dug into day one, and it was beautiful.

Then we got there on day 2 and we're greeted by only two of the girls. The third girl couldn't make it and had dropped out of the 3 day program. We felt disappointed, because we feel a deep desire to serve each and every kid and we already how powerful this program can be for them from the minute they sit down with us. But we pushed forward with these beautiful two little girls, and it was one of my favorite days ever in a RENEW workshop. Manaia's parents spent the morning with us, and shared such a beautiful heartfelt moment with their little girl, one that required emotional and physical space where they came together with so much love. I was so taken aback by it, and as I said to Manaia's dad afterwards, "this is so beautiful and I have a feeling that this space was meant to be small. For you to experience this together, as a family. Everything happens for a reason."

As the day moved forward, Janelle and Manaia were so open and honest as Amy dove into self-love. They really let themselves be vulnerable as we talked about what we love about ourselves, but also what we don't love. We talked about the pain of bullying in schools and problems at home, and my heart was truly floored as these girls, 10 and 12 years old, completely opened up to us on just the second day. After tears and long hugs goodbye, we couldn't wait for our third day with these two beautiful souls.

And as we walked in on the third and final day, there was no Janelle. It turned out that her parents work schedule made it impossible for them to drop her off, and so it was just us and Manaia.

We sat and discussed what a workshop looks like for just one student. Usually we have 30-40 students in a room. Never before have we run a program for just one person.

But again, the discussion with Manaia's dad came back to me and the voice came into my head again:

"Everything happens for a reason"

So we set the intention, and decided to pour everything we have into that little girl. To make sure she feels respected, supported, cared for, appreciated, LOVED. We gave her our attention and our hearts, ALL OF IT. And as the day ended, it was all validated with this beautiful smile on her face. The self-doubt was gone. The negative thinking subsiding. Talking openly about her feelings. Declaring "in order to live in my greatness, I will stop blaming myself. I will be kind to myself. I will be a friend to myself."

And with that, a little girl can breathe a little bit easier. Can treat herself with a little bit more ease, more grace. A little bit more love. And that's why we do what we do. To create that space and watch them flourish.

Because at the end of the day, it's not about the numbers. It's about the individual lives you change and transform. It's about that one smile. That one day where she gave herself another chance. That one moment where she decided to appreciate ALL of herself. It's about that ONE dream you just breathed life into.

Because whether it's 1 or 100...you POUR your ENTIRE heart into them...and you watch them spread their wings and change a 100 more. There is a ripple effect that none of us can predict, but all of us will feel.

That is the power of loving fully. One heart at a time.

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Rudy's Workshop Reflection

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Rudy's Workshop Reflection

Joining the RENEW team was one of the wiser choices I have made to further my professional career as a photographer, philanthropist, and youth mentor. As a volunteer in America I always loved mentorship opportunities in after school programs, helping youths develop the strength and courage they need to succeed in school and even in sports. But after training and volunteering with RENEW at Akeri Secondary School, in Tanzania, I can truly say my purpose in becoming a personal growth mentor and role model has grown to a whole new level.

Seeing the transformation in the students each day was enough evidence for me that the benefits of our mentorship program was real and needed. At first, I was dishearten to recognize these shy souls knew nothings about their abilities to change their futures and their capabilities to create a better future for themselves and the world around them. However, after a few days of inspirational guidance and lessons on how to look internally for the answers these students became self-empowered, self-loving, resilient innovators ready to tackle any obstacles standing in the way of their futures and their goals.

Let me try to paint this picture into words. Imagine you live in a world where no one has asked you what you want to be or what you want do when you grow up? Nobody has asked you what you think about your community? Nobody has asked you how you feel about yourself, or even if you feel happy or sad today? Unfortunately, not all educators have the opportunity to  their students these questions because we live in a global society that focuses on our kids becoming text book thinkers rather than self-loving community thinkers. Our philosophy [the RENEW Philosophy] is to train our next generation of leaders to have the ability of internal evaluation about themselves and their communities, so that they can create the most positive impact on the future of their lives as well as the world that surrounds them. 

Most of the students have just a slight understanding of their purposes and existence. They go to school, they do their homework, they talk and play with their friends, they go home to their families, and then they go to sleep; just to wake up and do it all over again. It is like a continuous cycle of rinse and repeat. When our society focuses on cramming knowledge into students heads simply for academic grade point averages, we lose the real meanings of life; what makes us motivated, what keeps us inspired, what allows us to be happy within our own skin. I personally do not want to live in a world where our next generation is forced to do the things they despise just because it makes them enough money to survive. I want to live in a world where the people that surround each other love and honor their integrity, honesty, and loyalty to themselves, their families, and their community. 

This may be the beginning pages in the newest chapter of my life, but having the experience to see the transformations within each student's eyes was probably the most inspirational and enlightening opportunity I have ever taken part of. Being apart of the RENEW team has not only increased my expectations as a youth activist, but it has given me the privilege of elevating a new generation of energetic and proactive leaders in the Tanzanian community. I am seriously so proud of each and every one of these students for taking the right steps towards creating a better future in their lives. Akeri Secondary School now has a predominate and bright future upon them with a new force of innovative leaders ready to take action in the world one project at a time. 

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Emma's Workshop Reflection

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Emma's Workshop Reflection

Day one of the workshop at the Akeri Secondary School, just outside of Arusha, Tanzania. We were all welcomed with open arms and the teachers were very excited about our arrival.  As we met the kids, they seemed a little shy at first, but they all seemed eager to be there with us. We had two hours with them after school, Mon-Fri and around 6 hours on Sat and Sun.

Uswege and a student reflecting on a lesson

Uswege and a student reflecting on a lesson

The first day was mostly introductions.  We opened with icebreakers, to get them more comfortable. Us, the volunteers were in charge of coming up with fun, energetic icebreakers for every day. Once we were all aquatinted and full of energy, Adam and Uswege started to get into what RENEW is all about.

Icebreaker, make the other laugh with only your face. These were the two lasting champions. so serious! 

Icebreaker, make the other laugh with only your face. These were the two lasting champions. so serious! 

Every day we started with a fun activity to star off the workshop with the kids, like Rock Paper Scissors, the trust fall, and others to get them having fun. Everyday the kids got more and more comfortable and confident. We shared personal stories with them that were relevant to the lessons,  which to them was impactful. That opened up their trust. The way the workshop is facilitated is great. RENEW shows them that we are all equal, that we are not there to teach, but to learn and grow together, from each other. It is not a teacher-student environment. It is a family-friend environment. We are all learning from one another, the students from us, and us from them.

Students laughing with one another. 

Students laughing with one another. 

The students are so bright. They pick up and absorb the lessons very well, helping them grow as their own unique individuals. They now have the motivation and drive to do better within themselves and their communities.

Write down what you love about your friend on their back. All the students walked around and wrote on each others back. Then they read the paper and felt pure love. 

Write down what you love about your friend on their back. All the students walked around and wrote on each others back. Then they read the paper and felt pure love. 

You start to feel attached to them as the week goes by, feeling their growth, their struggles and their aha! moments. Seeing how personal growth and development impacts them, having them face their struggles and seeing them triumph past them, seeing the life and light in their eyes as they grow into their own personal potential.

Spreading the love by sharing hugs all around, after a heart felt lesson. 

Spreading the love by sharing hugs all around, after a heart felt lesson. 

It is so rewarding to be in their presence, to be a part of their growth and of the beginning of their journey to self love, self discovery and their roles in leadership.  Knowing that I can play a role in their growth to inspire their lives and the lives of their communities is an honor. Those changes they can contribute will then spread beyond their communities and have a greater impact on the world around them.

A student bringing out her Jeaniius and sharing with the class. 

A student bringing out her Jeaniius and sharing with the class. 

As a volunteer, I loved being involved as we able to facilitate some lessons on some of the days. Being able to impact the kids on a personal level as well as being able to document and capture some of the precious and impactful moments during the workshop. Having them respond in a positive way to what you were able to contribute to the lesson is heartwarming.  Just knowing that you are impacting their lives in a powerful and positive way.

One of the students reflecting hard on one of the visualization lessons on the second day. 

One of the students reflecting hard on one of the visualization lessons on the second day. 

I am very blessed to have been a part of what RENEW is doing to help inspire change and growth in our youth around this beautiful planet we call home. And I know that I will be more than grateful to be a part of it again years to come.

Some of the bright souls wanted one last picture before we departed at the end of the workshop. 

Some of the bright souls wanted one last picture before we departed at the end of the workshop. 

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RENEW wins Jeaniius Grant at The New Way Live

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RENEW wins Jeaniius Grant at The New Way Live

SCOTTSDALE—On May 28, 2016, RENEW was gifted more than $50,000 at The New Way Live, an event hosted by Peta Kelly at the JW Mariott in Scottsdale. RENEW was the first ever recipient of the Jeaniius Grant, a $10k investment to an idea, initiative or cause initiating change.

Adam and Uswege presenting their 5 minute "Move That Matters" on stage at The New Way Live.

Adam and Uswege presenting their 5 minute "Move That Matters" on stage at The New Way Live.

“They educate children around the world from USA to Africa on the most important thing we can ever teach kids – how to love themselves. When I announced them as the winner, the ensure room erupted and then the magic happened – the audience, one by one came up to the room and added on their own gift to the giant cheque, bringing the total to $51k. It was one of the most memorable moments of everyone's life, safe to say. The power of community is so damn beautiful,” says Kelly.

RENEW is an international organization that was founded in Tanzania by Adam Rubin and Uswege Mwakapango to provide young people with the social and emotional skills necessary to overcome limiting beliefs and start living in their greatness. “Students who experience the workshops discover their unique potential, step into their power and become the next generation of conscious leaders,” says Rubin. Since 2013, RENEW has trained more than 1,000 students in Tanzania. In April 2015, RENEW began their program in Arizona and since then they have hosted workshops for more than 100 students in the state.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity to help more children globally. This $10k award, and the heart-driven contributions from the audience members, speaks volumes of the need to bring personal growth and transformation into the classroom and to help kids start living their dreams at an early age. Thank you all so much for transforming the lives of children with us,” says Mwakapango.

The New Way Live is a 2-day millennial retreat hosted by Peta Kelly. According to her website, the event is a “two-day face-to-face team huddle for Millennials who want to show the world how good it’s REALLY meant to be.” The event featured top speakers in the personal development field such as Joel Brown, Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles.

 

For more information about RENEW, please visit www.renewchange.org, or contact Adam Rubin at (928) 925-0293.

 

For more information about Peta Kelly and The New Way Live, please visit http://petakelly.com/thenewwaylive.

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RENEW will lead projects around the world for Global Youth Service Day!

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RENEW will lead projects around the world for Global Youth Service Day!

In honor of Global Youth Service Day, RENEW will host a 3-day workshop in Sedona, Arizona with Verde Valley School from April 15th - 17th. Verde Valley School is an International Baccalaureate World School based in service and experiential education; hosting high school students from Rwanda, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Vietnam, China, El Salvador, Russia, and more. Like RENEW, Verde Valley School also fosters critical thinking and principled inquiry to empower students to become involved community members. This is an incredible milestone for RENEW, as it will be our first workshop hosted at a school in Arizona!

Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona.

Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona.

University students at TICD who participated in our workshop in January will be mobilizing their fellow students to participate in a cleaning project. Currently, student demonstrate a culture of dependence on employees of the Institute to clean for them, even when these cleaners are not available for that. This habit has been leaving their sensitive areas like washing rooms, toilets (and the environment surrounding the institute) very dirty and threatening to their personal hygiene. This project will challenge that expectation, and was inspired by their spirit of personal accountability and the fact that there is life after college. So, it is important if every student will start to learn how to take care of themselves by starting to take charge in cleaning activities in days which institute cleaners are not there to clean. These students planned to pass by all classrooms to motivate people to join the movement, but also use different posters to promote the project and send their message to the larger community. Aside from this, they are planning to invite different leaders within their communities and the media to take their message to scale.

Uswege discussing service-learning and community development with students at TICD. 

Uswege discussing service-learning and community development with students at TICD. 

High school students at Nzonda Haki Secondary School who participated in our workshop in March will be planting trees in order to protect their school from a continuing eroding valley which is threatening the safety of students within the school. These students will be mobilizing their fellow students to collect trees, plant and take care of them to make sure they grow, and act as erosion protector during rain season. Upendo Mwakyusa, one of the Nzonda Haki students who voted for this project, said: "School is one of my communities that I depend up on, and spend most of time at. Rescuing my school from a growing valley that is threatening the safety of all of us will not just save us, but also more students who will be joining this school after us. That is why I want our community service project to focus on fixing this valley.”

An eroding valley near Nzonda Haki Secondary School in Mbeya, Tanzania.

An eroding valley near Nzonda Haki Secondary School in Mbeya, Tanzania.

To learn more about Global Youth Service Day, check out: www.gysd.org

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