Written by CorpsAfrica/Rwanda Volunteer Mr. Olive Duhoredushima
Recognizing that I’m volunteering and doing an exceptional job is critical. I had always felt indebted to give back to my country; fortunately, CorpsAfrica was the right place to respond to my calling since I was deployed in a new community far from home. I had never been as far away from home as I was this time, so my heart was beating so hard. Frankly, I was eager and enthusiastic to serve, but my thoughts were wondering how things would go with the new community. It didn’t take long for me to realize how wonderful my community was; love and hospitality were the guiding lights; my community was quite remote from the main road; however, the lovely sight of nature, full of beautiful mountains above all the beautiful people and charming smiles, warmly welcomed me.
And it has been close to me during my integration, and I admire it. Because of the long distance, we had taken to reach there at midnight, my host family warmly welcomed me on the first day I arrived in the Nyamagabe district. They were essential in assisting me in integrating with the community, and I was very proud to be called a daughter by my host mum! The whole family showed me love and care, and I was touched then.
I started doing door-to-door visits throughout my first two weeks in my host community. I attended various activities, including weddings and celebrations, which built my trust in the host community.
When I arrived at the site, I found that the people would be doing various activities that would benefit them. But there was one thing they liked, and now they would use it a lot. I facilitated them in the Asset-Based Community Development and Human-Centered Design approach, where the development is centered on the community’s involvement. The most remarkable thing about my story is being a part of the community and working together to lead their development. My life was influenced by this volunteering experience, which forced me to move on with my ideals from conception to completion. Indeed, being a part of a community is the best experience ever.
My stay in this beloved community always creates for me a unique and inspiring story to share, and my very transformative journey is going on. It is an absolute dream that I walk in, and it is another opportunity to connect with this new family of mine.
For over four months, you can see the people enjoying their community-led development, which gives them hope that more change will pour in, thus achieving sustainable development. I am fond of Maya Angelou’s quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I feel delighted and proud that this is my time, moment, and year to contribute to my country.