Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Chancy Simba
“He who brings sunlight into the lives of others cannot keep it for himself.” – African proverb.
Most of the young people who have volunteered with CorpsAfrica are probably in agreement with the words of this proverb. By giving their time, commitment, talents, and their whole heart to the local community, Volunteers have learned a lot and have discovered their own potential and abilities.
It was hard to tell for the first few months how one could benefit from being a volunteer. Nine months down the line Volunteers can now tell how they have benefited, especially from the relationships they’ve made with their community members. For example, Volunteer James says, “Before volunteering, I didn’t have the reason to believe that both me and my community could benefit from one other, but now I know it’s possible”.
It is not only James who did not know how volunteering could benefit both his community and himself; a lot of the Volunteers didn’t realize this.
Volunteer Shyreen said, “Volunteering has helped me discover some things that I’m good at as well as develop new skills that I have learnt from the rural community I’m living in. Giving my time and energy to my community has given me a sense of satisfaction and empowerment knowing that I’m making a difference in other people’s lives. This service will also offer me an incredible networking relationship, through my partner organization – The Hunger Project. I’m developing long lasting personal and professional relationships that will empower my life and give it a purpose.”
Some of the Volunteers believe volunteering can bring a sense of empowerment to the individual dedicating their time to volunteer. This sense of empowerment can look like personal growth or knowledge that Volunteers gain while making a difference in their communities. At the beginning of their service, the majority of Volunteers did not have any idea how they would interact around their host community or how they would benefit in terms of personal growth.
“Before I became a Volunteer, I used to doubt my abilities and my potential, but through the challenges I’ve faced during these past nine months, I must say I have really spread my wings. I’ve grown as a person and I now believe in myself more. So yeah, volunteering has empowered me. I’ve been more independent and self-reliant. I don’t regret becoming a CorpsAfrica Volunteer at all,” says Volunteer Caroline.
There is no doubt that a lot of Volunteers have so many positive things to say about their CorpsAfrica experience. These young people have gained a deeper understanding of both their communities and themselves. In my community I can say I have learned that people may sometimes need guidance with dignity rather than total dependency on others. I encourage you to become a volunteer, bring change, and make a difference for Malawi. The community is waiting for people like you!