Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Ruth Chamangwana
Beyoncé’s song, “I Was Here,” would get any person emotional, especially if they have spent a year trying to make a difference in people’s lives. I have had the privilege to work as a volunteer and I can’t stop myself from playing this song.
On November 15, 2017, I found myself traveling to Chipoka, Salima. I was scared and excited at the same time. I was going into a community far away from my family members and I decided to live in a community where everyone was a stranger, fortunately, not for a long time. The strangers became family and going to Chipoka was the best decision I made last year.
Fast forward and we are in September 2018. How time flies! A couple of months ago I thought I would be so happy to leave my community but now, I don’t want to leave. I have made beautiful and long-lasting relationships with my community members and the experience has been nothing but fulfilling. During my service, I have talked to a lot of people who have offered guidance, support and advice. My family has always been my anchor and during my service, they did not disappoint. My fellow Volunteers have been nothing but amazing. Sharing our successes and failures made me strong and vigilant.
Ireen Kanjala and Carol Luka (God bless them), have been my sisters and best friends. I wouldn’t have successfully completed my service without them. CorpsAfrica staff have been so amazing. Shout out to Sara, Tusa, Katlyn and Limbani! The baddest team ever! Dingase and Arthur, I thank you.
I volunteered because I wanted to make a difference, make people see their own abilities and utilize them. I am sure I have let down my community in one way or another, but they didn’t let me down. Every day was a learning experience and 2017 Ruth is definitely not 2018 Ruth. I am proud of my growth and where I am because of this experience. I hope that I have left footprints in people’s lives and that they will always strive to make the best out of any situation they are in.
Lastly, to God be the glory. He put me in Chipoka at the right place, right time and I am excited to see the plans He has for me and my CorpsAfrica family. I was here, in Chipoka, Salima.