I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.

Wangari Maathai

In the last section, you looked at Chidi’s potential volunteers, their motivations for volunteering, and the challenges and opportunities they might bring to the cooking club. When Chidi did the same exercise, these were her thoughts:


  • Amira wants to have fun! She’s 22. She wants to share her passion for cooking, just as Chidi does.
  • She wants to become a school teacher, so she is looking for experience working with schoolgirls – although she may not have much experience, she is keen to gain it, and would welcome being delegated any activities that Chidi wants to give her!
  • We know that she is planning to go on to further studies, so she may not be able to commit long-term.


  • Margaret is lonely at home and enjoys Chidi’s company. She is happy to help Chidi as she is her friend and has lots of free time. 
  • She is hoping that she may learn to cook better from these activities. 
  • She cannot lead cooking activities as she isn’t a good cook. 
  • She may not be happy to come if Chidi isn’t there, and when her husband isn’t travelling she may want to spend time with him instead: she may not be able to commit to coming every week. 
  • What are Margaret’s other skills and talents? Could she help with taking photographs for the club’s funder, organising publicity, or being in charge of health and safety?


  • Like Chidi, Ani deeply wants local girls to have a good education and a better future.
  • She is retired and has time on her hands – she is looking for something to commit to and use her skills and time well. 
  • She has many skills, and could certainly lead any activities given to her.
  • Ani may struggle to change from a disciplined teaching method to one where the girls can learn by doing. As she is keen for her age and experience to be recognised, the best way to address this may be by asking her to plan sessions with this in mind. 
  • As Ani is older than Chidi, Chidi will need to be respectful to her, but Ani needs to recognise that Chidi is the project’s leader.

Reflection Questions

  1. Pick two or three of your volunteers, ideally from different age groups or backgrounds.
  2. What do you know about them?
  3. Why do you think they want to volunteer? What do they want to achieve through volunteering?
  4. With her talents, connections and motivation in mind, how best can she help you? What challenges might she bring?
  5. How can you better support her, keep her motivated and ensure she can use her talents for the best benefit of the project?

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