Building a playground and building libraries stocked with wonderful books and led by selfless librarians are only the beginnings of our journey together.
After the initial six months teething period when we settle into a rhythm and find ways of working together, the real, hard work starts. While the children and other library members are the beneficiaries of our projects, the volunteers are the backbone of JBAC.
We invest in their continuous (although for some it is the very first go at, rather than continuation of development) personal development through training, engagement and decision-making and we cherish and celebrate their achievements. We use any negative experience as a learning tool representing opportunities to do better the next time.
We also provide a sounding board for their own ideas and if the communities choose us as their representatives we act on their behalf.
We see how one little library impacts and energises communities and we see them change almost in front of our eyes.
We like to think that we use the same approach with our UK volunteers; we listen to them and engage them in our decision-making.
Children are, of course, our main focus. And we do our best to ensure they become equipped with skills that will be later invested in their own community’s growth.