I have to smile a little as I write this, because I recall my friend Kondwani just after Pre-Service Training saying to me, “Chancy, just make yourself useful around there.” Well, when I first arrived at my site Mzimba I struggle to find ways to make myself useful around my community. Language was a problem. Now, 11 months done the lane I sit down and look back like, “How did I make myself useful?” I believe the most important thing of volunteering is being useful. There are a lot of stories worth sharing to how we Volunteers have been useful to our communities.
In my community I tried as possible as I could to make myself useful. Working with my site mate, a Peace Corps Volunteer Kevin, I found myself being more useful than I thought I would be. There are a lot of activities and project that we worked on but a few I can share.
“Making this project a success has been one of my biggest achievements. Not only have I given the children in my community a conducive environment to get education, but I have also eradicated the ‘we are helpless’ mindset the community had. It took efforts from the community members to make this a success. The vibrant participation in the project has given them a sense of ownership and responsibility. I know that their contribution will make this project sustainable,” says Carol.
I believe a lot of my fellow Volunteers have lots of stories to share of how useful they have been in their communities. We all have learned a thing or two. I am proud to say volunteering for a year with CorpsAfrica/Malawi is extremely worth it.