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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