Volunteer for SAMI projects
We have ongoing projects such as the Digital Communities Initiative and Maths Club Initiative to improve the infrastructure of maths education. Please email us if you are interested in volunteering abroad or at home on any of our ongoing projects.
Volunteer at maths camps
SAMI provides a unique and exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in our core programme and volunteer at maths camps held across Africa. Dates and venues for 2018 are:
- Kenya: 13th – 25th of August hosted at Manor House, Kitale (provisional).
- Ethiopia: June 24th – July 8th 2018 hosted at Bahir Dar University.
- Tanzania: June/July 2018 tbc
- Ghana: 29th July – 11th August 2018 hosted at AIMS Ghana.
There will be at least one experienced volunteer at each camp. Further, we aim to have at least one international teacher at each camp, either a current teacher or a retired teacher. We aim to also have three student international volunteers participate in each of the AMI camps, with the volunteers being a mixture of undergrads and postgrads/researchers. We would be happy to hear from people in other walks of life who feel they have something to contribute, and we would consider recommending high school students for this experience.
We will start recruiting international volunteers on the 1st March 2018, considering applications on a rolling basis until the start of the camps. You can mention a preference for a camp in your application, but you don’t have to. Decisions on applications will be made by the SAMI Trustees, who then recommend suitable candidates to the local organisers of the respective camps. FAQs can be found below. If you would like to know more please write to email@example.com. We’re happy to give you more information by email and would be happy to meet you in person. After you have discussed the camps with SAMI volunteers and have decided you would like to apply, please fill in this online application form. We will get back to you asap.
It's my first time attending a camp, what should I expect?
Ahead of the camp you will be put in touch with members of the International and Local camp teams, as well as your fellow volunteers who will be able to provide lots of help and advice for getting ready to head out. Once you arrive at the camp there will be a preparation week where you will join teams to prepare exciting activities to help students engage with mathematical ideas. Teams are made up of a mix of local volunteers, international volunteers, mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike, and the choice of activity themes will be jointly decided early in the week (if you already have some ideas then great!).
The activity sessions are run in teams (with more volunteers on-hand to provide support), and it is hoped that by the end of the week you will feel confident to take the lead for one or more of these sessions when the students arrive. The camp week itself is very busy, which is why we try to get lots of the planning done in advance. When you are not running activities in your team you will likely be lending your support to other sessions or daily challenges (the fun never stops!). The final activity after dinner is usually card games, after which students and volunteers go back to their respective accomodation to reflect on the day and take a well-earned rest, ready for the next day to begin!
Can I come for only part of a camp?
What about travel arrangements?
What’s the food like?
What’s the accommodation like?
International volunteers are generally hosted in local guest houses in walking distance from the university campus, in student residence halls on the campus, or by local lecturers close to campus.
The accommodation varies from country to country and can change at the last minute. You should expect simple, but clean and comfortable accommodation that is in a safe area. Electricity may go on and off and hot water for showers can’t be guaranteed.
What about vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis?
You should check that your vaccinations are up to date before travelling to Africa, and there may be certain additional vaccinations you need for specific countries. It is also likely that you will need to take malaria prophylaxis.
You should visit your GP or a travel clinic (e.g. Trailfinders) orImperial College Health Centre if you are an Imperial College student, 6-8 weeks before your departure. They will provide you with up to date information about vaccinations required for the area you are travelling to and any other relevant health information. During the maths camps, you will not be working with animals, and you will be based in urban areas, never more than 2 hours away from a hospital.
http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk gives up to date information on health considerations
What about insurance?
You should take out comprehensive travel insurance for your trip.
Do I need a visa?
It is best to get a visa in advance for each country. Please allow at least six weeks prior to travel to arrange this. The local organisers will provide an invitation letter once you know you are coming to a camp. Please follow these links for up to date information on each country: Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia ,Tanzania.
Can I come earlier or stay longer to visit the country?
Yes, of course. Travel arrangements are up to you. The local organisers are more than happy to give you travel tips, ideas about exciting places to visit and advice on what to keep in mind. If you want to travel the country and you have never been there before, it is generally a good idea to plan your travels for after the camp as you will have a better idea what to visit, and you will have met many friendly enthusiastic local volunteers that can give you insider tips on where to go and what to see.
What kind of people is SAMI looking for?
Do I need to have teaching experience?
How old are the students?
What is being taught and what is the structure of a typical day at the maths camp?
How much will it cost me?
Which camp should I apply for?
How can I fund my travels?
- Sir Tejinder Virdee Africa Project Grant Scheme: If you are a member of the Institute of Physics (IOP), you can apply to this new grant scheme which aims to support STEM development in Africa. All Imperial College Physics students are automatically members. You can become a member for free if you are an undergraduate in any Physics related field, or for £21 if you are a postgraduate.
- IC Trust (General Fund): If you are an Imperial College student, you can apply to the student-led project funding of the IC Trust which is for any project that has a voluntary/charitable aim.
- European Mathematical Society Travel Grant: Aimed at fostering the development of mathematics in economically less-favoured regions. Decisions will be taken at two deadlines every year (April and October).