Written by CorpsAfrica/Kenya Volunteer Ms. Charity Gichohi
In a mere month, I’ve embarked on a remarkable journey that has woven itself into the very fabric of my existence. Life has a way of leading us to unexpected places, where we encounter people who, in time, transform into our family and friends. My first month as a CorpsAfrica volunteer has been quite adventurous. Navigating through a new community can be both exciting and nerve-racking. My experience so far has taught me that to feel at home in my community, I need to find a balance between the two feelings.
My community is a testament to the true beauty of diversity. Situated in Laikipia East constituency, Umande is blessed with people from different parts of Kenya, all with a vision to improve their lives. This diversity is our collective strength, uniting us in ways that surpass imagination. The richness of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds converge to form a powerful force that propels us forward.
The community-led approach is a new model within my community. However, the people are determined to believe in themselves and the power they hold. Despite coming from a different part of Kenya, my first month as a volunteer has taught me how similar I am to my community members. We share a common vision to see the community grow, a heart to support each other, and a willingness to learn from one another.
In a month, volunteering has taught me that everyone’s ideas matter. I look at the indigenous knowledge my community members have and get constantly reminded that every input matters. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This sentiment encapsulates the essence of our collective endeavor in my area of service. With our unique skills and perspectives, the community and I play a crucial role in the larger narrative of change. My area of service, with its challenges and aspirations, is a canvas, and together, we wield the brushes of progress and hope to create a masterpiece that radiates brilliance and resilience.
As I tread this path of service and inspiration, I am reminded of the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” It resonates deeply with my mission, where every action, no matter how small, contributes to the positive transformation of our community. Together, we are not just participants in change; we are architects of a legacy that generations will look back on with gratitude and admiration. As I tour the path of volunteering, I hold on to the love and faith my heart has for our African communities and believe that the moves we make are impactful.