Encouraging and Providing Lifelong Learning and Opportunities for Adventure
through Quality and Innovative Program Leadership
After teaching for four years, I took a sabbatical from work to learn more about education in other countries through IFYE. The organization paired my background in education with the IFYE program in Botswana. For six months, I lived with youth development leaders and went with them to work in the local schools. This amazing opportunity allowed me to learn by doing and experience the culture of my host country. The knowledge I gained continues to impact how I teach, even years later.
The IFYE adventure builds your leadership skills in innovative ways. While in a small village in Botswana, I sat around a courtyard surrounded by adobe style huts with grass roofs. My host family and I were eating our dinner when cries of alarm were screamed across the village. In the distance, I could see the roof of a hut in another family’s compound was burning! The entire village ran with buckets and passed water to put out the fire. The cause of the fire was from cooking. In that village, most families still were cooking meals over open fire.
Several years before, I had learned to build mud ovens that use less wood, confine the fire, and cook using a lot of radiant heat. IFYE provided the opportunity to build my public speaking and communication skills. I organized a meeting with some of the village elders and communicated the benefits and safety from fire for the village. With their approval, I was able to set up small instructional seminars to teach families to make their own mud oven. Within two weeks, we had about a dozen mud ovens in the village. The program has shaped who I am and who I strive to be.
Kyle O. von Kamp
2002 IFYE Representative from Ohio to Botswana