Frequently Asked Questions

What does Kijiji mean?

Kijiji is a Swahili word that means “village.”

What is Kijiji?

Kijiji is a program created exclusively for JMU students to help them become citizens in the world, using their influence for positive change.

Why did you call the program Kijiji?

The name came from a group of students, faculty and administrators who participated in a brainstorming and discussion session about the program before it was called anything. We decided on this Swahili word to express the strengths found in the diversity of our campus community. We also wanted it to represent the JMU community of students committed to realizing their full potential and capacity for influencing the world for good.

How is Kijiji different from MYMOM (Make Your Mark on Madison)?

Let’s start with Kijiji. It’s a three-year program that meets once a week during both the fall and spring semesters. Each week there will be some type of fun learning experience to help students become more familiar with who they are, what their passions are, and how they can be a citizen of influence. There is emphasis on being a leader of one – yourself – as well as on learning effective interpersonal skills for building teams and getting others involved. Students will also learn and apply core leadership skills and experience opportunities to solve real-world problems both on the JMU campus and in the surrounding communities. Now, let’s talk about MYMOM. The purpose of the MYMOM program is to gain insight into your own personal values, leadership styles, facilitation techniques, and decision-making through a semester long leadership program (fall semester). MYMOM is designed to be a springboard into authentic involvement at JMU. For more information about MYMOM, visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

Who can participate in Kijiji?

There are four basic criteria to be able to participate in Kijiji.

  1. Be a second-semester freshman, or of a higher class standing.
  2. Have a passion for making a difference.
  3. Be somebody who is looking for the support and the challenge to get involved in the community in a project of your own design and making.
  4. Apply online during our Application Periods held late fall semester and late spring semester.
The Kijiji program is designed to be a three-year program, but students from all levels are welcome to participate. CLICK HERE for more information about application availability, dates, etc.

I heard that only freshman can apply to be in Kijiji. Is that true?

No. Any student who will be a second-semester freshman, or of a higher class standing, can apply during the Application Period. You might have heard that only freshman can apply because a lot of advertising efforts have been directed at the freshman so they can begin participating in the program during their sophomore year. That’s because they will be able to take full advantage of all three years of the Kijiji program. But, upper class students are invited to apply, as well. For more information about the Application Period, you can CLICK HERE.

When does Kijiji meet?

Kijiji meets every Monday evening, 6:30 – 8 pm. Attendance at the weekly meetings is required to participate.

How do I join Kijiji?

Kijiji is not a student organization, so joining is more a process of applying and being accepted. The application is only available online twice a year. Just CLICK HERE to get more information and find out when we accept applications.

Is there an interview process to participate in Kijiji?

No. The only thing you need to do to participate is submit your application and be accepted into the program. Students who are accepted into the program will be required to meet personally with the Director to confirm their interest in participating.

How do I know if I’ve been accepted into Kijiji?

You’ll be notified by email before the end of the semester in which you applied. After receiving your notice of acceptance, you will be required to meet personally with the Director of the program to confirm your interest in participating.

I’ve already got a lot of experience, is there any way I can be involved in helping run Kijiji?

Yes! We welcome students who are interested in becoming involved and helping us run the program. Kijiji is a student-driven program and your input help is welcome. Students can apply and be a part of the paid staff or they can just volunteer and help out as a member of the Kijiji Team in a number of different ways. Email the Program Director, Michael McCleve at kijiji@jmu.edu for more information.

What will we do at the weekly meetings?

You’ll be given the opportunity to participate in some of the nation’s best leadership learning experiences. You’ll become part of a group of 10-12 students who start the program at the same time as you. A Kijiji Staff Leader (KSL) student will facilitate a lot of your week-to-week activities. There will be highly interactive, engaging small group activities, as well as events that involve everyone in the program at the same time. You will participate in conversations, discussions, and maybe even debates all designed to facilitate your personal development and expand your capabilities to become a citizen of influence. Some weeks there will be discussions with your KSL and other students in your group. Other weeks there might be a guest speaker, a service project, or just working on your own Change Action Project. Speaking of Change Action Projects, you'll want to know that this is the biggest thing you do. You'll be actively involved in designing and creating a Change Action Project. This will be a multi-semester long experience giving you the chance to work with other students who are interested in the same issues or problems as you. Together you'll decide the scope, length, and all other aspects of the project. You'll get involved with people in your chosen community, brainstorm new ideas, improve on existing programs, or develop something entirely different that's never been done before. Examples of Change Action Projects started by other students in Kijiji include:

  • An after-school mentoring program for JMU students to work with middle school kids to help them deal with bullying and self-image;
  • A project focused on figuring out ways JMU Dining Services can better utilize the waste food that is created every day; and
  • Another project where JMU students are working with city officials and apartment owners to improve the recycling program in the student apartment complexes.
Of course, you'll create your own project to make a difference in a community of your own choice and in your own way.

Is Kijiji a class?

No, it is not a class. It is an extra-curricular activity that will help you become more effective at making a positive difference in the world. Some students have participated for only a year or so, while others have stayed with the program for all three years. You'll get out of it what you put into, there's no doubt about that.

Will Kijiji be available for academic credit?

Not at this time. There is not academic credit available for participation in Kijiji. There may be opportunities for earning academic credit in the future.

What’s a Change Action Project?

Change Action Projects (CAPs) are the biggest thing you do in Kijiji. From the very first semester you get involved you'll be actively involved in designing and creating your own Change Action Project (CAP). A CAP is more than just giving a few hours of service somewhere. Much more. A CAP is all about you and your Kijiji group deciding what specific challenge, problem, or issue you are interested in working on. The goal is to make a positive impact and change a community. The community can be defined as any population you want. It could be a residence hall community, or the JMU community. It might be reaching out to a grade school or group of high school students. The community your Kijiji group decides to work with might be military personnel stationed overseas, homeless single women, or orphans in a third world country. No one else will choose or define the community you work with. You and the students in your Kijiji group will do that for yourselves. The CAP is a multi-semester long experience giving you the chance to work with other students who are interested in the same issues or problems as you. But, just how big the project is, or how long it lasts, or what exactly you will be doing is entirely up to you. Our job in Kijiji is to help guide you in your decision making, not make the decisions for you. Your Kijiji Staff Leader (KSL) will probably ask a lot of questions to get you to think about your project in more detail, or in different ways. It's possible that your KSL will make a suggestion or two, too. But, that's as far as it goes. Decisions will be all yours. Your CAP will also require you to get involved with people in your chosen community who are also impacted or concerned about the issue you're working on. You'll work with them to brainstorm new ideas, improve on existing programs, or develop something entirely different that's never been done before. There really is no limit to what you can do. Here are a few examples of Change Action Projects started by other students in Kijiji so far:

  • An after-school mentoring program for JMU students to work with middle school kids to help them deal with bullying and self-image;
  • A project focused on figuring out ways JMU Dining Services can better utilize the waste food that is created every day; and
  • Another project where JMU students are working with city officials and apartment owners to improve the recycling program in the student apartment complexes.
Of course, you'll create your own project to make a difference in a community of your own choice and in your own way.