Written by CorpsAfrica/Senegal Volunteer Mr. Mama Diop
My last night before I joined the group of Volunteers was filled with many questions: How would the group of people I’d meet be? Will they share the same motivations as me? What would the training that we will undergo be like?
But the first night I spent in Thies in the training center was enough to lighten up my concerned questions. The first meeting before the beginning of the training allowed me to discover that I would form a CORPS with intelligent, ambitious, and friendly people concerned by the underdevelopment of our continent, Africa.
Thus, I could feel my determination and my commitment fostered by the fact of finding new friends who all understood what they should do for their country instead of asking what their country should do for them.
It was also great for me to see people from Morocco, after one year of service to their populations, decide to capitalize on their experiences in our country.
With this beloved group, I have spent a month full of exchanges, experiences, knowledge, and joy.
I keep thinking about all the different people who presented during our training and were very willing to share with us their knowledge and experiences.
Moreover, we were taught tools by two very likable persons, Aziz and Amath, which allowed us to “Design Think” during two immersion exercises in two villages. This training allowed us to integrate with villagers for a short period, to adapt to their ways of living to identify with their real problems. As a result, at the end of our training, the happiness and the acknowledgments from the local populations revealed their satisfaction with our attempt to improve their living conditions.
Indeed, these exercises permitted me to discover many things:
- Firstly, I am now persuaded that no one can develop a territory without discovering its potential and weaknesses.
- Secondly, I am convinced that no territory can be developed without the involvement of local actors.
- Finally, the development is “bottom-up” but not “top-down”.
These above-mentioned statements I discovered in these villages fed my ambitions to spend a whole year with another community and to at least improve their living conditions.
Fortunately, my will to complete this mission keeps on rising as I am very lucky to be brought into a welcoming and open community that is very willing to work with me.
With this community, I have a new family, I have started to adopt a new life and I’ll do many interesting things.
Until next time!