Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Mildred Chirwa
For someone who has never spent a week in a village, I really consider my village experience with CorpsAfrica as an achievement. I believe I can do anything and can adapt to any environment, and that is more empowering for me. I learned to speak a language and follow customs that I never thought I could.
Making friends, brothers, and sisters was also one of the enriching experiences in my village. I learned to be more patient with people and I have developed more empathy towards strangers. You might think you don’t know someone but understanding their lives by and by will help you know that you know everyone, I mean you can relate with everyone. Our struggles might be different, but the common thing is that we all have our struggles, that’s the starting base.
I have grown personally and professionally but, I so much like that I have matured emotionally too through my Volunteer service. From learning how to fetch water, cook some special meals, gardening and storing farm produce, I have learned to appreciate the diversity that Malawi enjoys. Through it all, how I would wish that every change in Malawian communities was approached with empathy and patience. At least for sure we agree that we cannot use parameters that work elsewhere to measure success somewhere else. I have learned that progress in community development in rural areas of Malawi should be assessed based on their own efforts and not based on the expectations of outsiders.