Name: Kondwani Manda
Pestalozzi Scholar: 2009-2011
An extremely rewarding Gap Year experience.
Kondwani is a great example of a Pestalozzi graduate embracing every opportunity and exploring the variety of different alternatives other than going directly onto university education.
After graduating from Pestalozzi in 2011, Kondwani decided to spend a year gaining valuable work experience and putting to practice his Pestalozzi head and heart principles. He found a six month work placement in Zambia at the international NGO called Restless Development, a global youth led development agency which aims at improving people’s lives through capacity building and civic education.
Kondwani explains his job role, the challenges he met and the most rewarding aspects:
I was a civic educator and community based volunteer in the remotest parts of northern rural Zambia. Part of my job involved monitoring the construction of a community recourse centre (CRC). The CRC will help poor people have access to materials that helps them build and develop their livelihoods.
My placement was different from any place I’ve ever known; sometimes I forgot that I was in Zambia, because life there was a whole new experience. It was very interesting out there, but the placement was not so easy, as with anything in life, I was presented with many challenges in the job and domestically. I had to do my laundry in the river which was infested with man eating crocodiles... I have to admit I started to miss the washing machine at Pestalozzi!
One of my highlights was when the British High Commissioner to Zambia invited us for dinner to congratulate us for a job well done. He presented us with certificates of accomplishment. I think that has been the pinnacle of my (young) career.
The challenges that I face cannot compare to the joy and satisfaction I received from being helpful to humanity; essentially, I loved my job.
Kondwani gained valuable skills and experience during his gap year which will certainly enable him further employment opportunities in the future. Since Kondwani completed his thoroughly rewarding gap year he has embarked on an undergraduate degree in Engineering at Wesleyan University, Ohio, United States of America.