Ed 2015 Newbs

With a new class of PCV’s in country comes a new members to the committee. We allowed them to blab about themselves below.

Amanda Reusch:

Hey wonderful people! I’m Amanda, one of the new members on USAWA.  I’m so excited to begin doing some really cool gender work and support you when you do gender projects (which is basically every project).  Karibu maswali anytime!

Here’s a little about me.  In the states, I’m from Buffalo, New York (Go Bills!), but here in TZ, I live in northern Njombe by Makambako (Karibu! I love guests).  I teach chemistry and biology.  In college, I studied women’s studies so I love talking about gender all the time (seriously talk to me about it).

Right now at site, I’m thinking a lot about small actions we can do as volunteers to start improving gender relations.  In feminist theory, there’s this mantra that says, “the personal is political” (so true. so true.), so based off of that idea, I’m trying to learn about building my relationships with my students in a gender conscious manner.  When you keep gender in your mind, it changes the whole way you see the classroom, the school and your village and it changes the way you act when you’re learning about other people.

Here on USAWA, I’m taking on planning the upcoming LEAD conference (woo!!!).  I’m also still trying to figure out exactly what role I’m going to play, but I’ve become really interested in helping PCVs learn how to create safe spaces for talking about gender and diversity (because who doesn’t want to talk about it????!!!???).  That could be within the Peace Corps community, with students or committee groups, or with friends (Tanzania or other worldly people).  I’m still working on what this means in practice, but I’d love to talk to you about it.  So karibu anytime with questions, comments, or concerns (or if you just want to say hi)! I can’t wait to talk gender with you!

Steph Kim:

Hey all! I’m Steph and I am an Education volunteer teaching English officially but teaching baking and cheesy American dances to my students unofficially. In the states, I’m from New York, New York but currently, I’m living in Iringa region. Most of the time I’m teaching or riding my bike through town, but you can also catch me trying a new recipe with my charcoal stove or playing/chatting with my students around campus. Karibu!

I’ve always had a passion for gender empowerment. Is it because I’m a female myself or because I believe that a child has every right to speak their voice and achieve their dreams? I believe it is a little bit of both! So, by being part of the USAWA committee, I hope to use this platform to exchange ideas, implement new and old projects, and be a support for other volunteers.

Before coming to Tanzania, I was a firm believer that gender equality needed to solely target women. While I still believe this, my perspective has expanded to recognize the harmony and power of change that can be accessed by educating both men and women. Therefore, through this committee, I will focus on finding creative ways to involve young men into gender empowerment projects. I hope to encourage young men to maximize the privilege they have as men to be a strong ally for gender equality. I love to discuss these topics, brainstorm ideas, and find ways to make change happen so karibuni anytime!

Angelo Addesso:

Hello! I’m an Education volunteer living in Kiomboi, Singida teaching Mathematics to over 250 Form 1 and Form 2 students. I am a Jersey boy. I LOVE playing soccer, eating rice and chicken, reading in my hammock, and watching movies (not shows).

Back home in the States, I have two sisters and a mother who have been given a life of opportunity. They have been able to pursue any dreams that they want with ample support from the people they love. Unfortunately, that is not the life that many Tanzanian females have been living. This bothers me. A lot. It is the thing I am most passionate about in this country, and is why I wanted to be a part of the USAWA committee.

As a male, I believe it is extremely essential that I am an advocate for gender empowerment, and that I attempt to bring these issues into conversations with male host country nationals and make them realize that they can be advocates for empowerment, as well.

I am hoping to focus on using PC Skillz as an outlet to show that girls can be involved in sports and games with the boys, while also implementing Maua Mazuri and Mazingira Mazuri at my school. Always down to talk/debate gender topics. Karibu!

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