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Home Away From Home

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Silvester Kunkeyani

Change is inevitable, but also is the only thing that liberates people. Two months have now elapsed since I was deployed to my site in Nkhata Bay District, and my journey as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer continues to take its full shape. Wow! Who knew I would lose myself only to discover myself in a strange place, far from home, far from family, and away from my comfort zone? Life is nothing but a journey indeed!! It’s a path that we must all be willing to travel. When we do this we can discover our true identity and what lies in our destination. I have made new friendships and become a part of new families since I’ve come to Nkhata Bay. Below is a photo of my new friends from the nearby primary school. These students have become great friends and are always greeting me whenever we meet.

To make my work simple and ensure community participation I have formed committees within my community to look into different issues including water and sanitation agriculture education, and health. These committees have been entrusted with the responsibilities of looking into these mentioned areas, identifying some shortfalls in them, narrowing the problems into smaller units using the innovators compass, and coming up with solutions to such challenges using locally available resources. Where there is a need for further assistance through funding, the committees have come up with quotations for procurement of materials that are needed for such projects so that we can then come up with proposals to seek assistance from our implementing partners. So far we have identified four key projects that we are going to be working on with our current implementing partners, and we are continuing to work hard to find more partners to help us with these projects. The photo below is one of the committees I work with, made of members from the Parents and Teacher Association, the Mother’s Group and the School Management Group that looks into different affairs at the school.

With cholera cases being reported in some parts of Nkhata Bay, we have decided that next week we are going to organize a cholera campaign in collaboration with the local Health Centre and Timaitha Youth club. On this day we will teach the community members what cholera is, what causes it, its signs and symptoms and its preventable measures. We expect members who attend to greatly benefit from this campaign and better their lives so that they continue being healthy and productive citizens. Below is a great photo of Timaitha Youth Club whom I have been working with on several projects including a campaign against gender based violence, starting a garden for the youth club, and setting up of an organization that seeks to empower them.

As 2018 begins I am more than optimistic of the smiles we will put on people’s faces, resulting from the projects that we intend to undertake. Until next time, dear readers, stay blessed.

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