Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Shyrene Kossam
My passion for helping others started way back when I was a kid. I have always dreamed of having an orphanage, which required not only the heart of helping but also money. I grew up thinking I would never live up to my dream. Then my journey began. On the 15th of February, 2018 I joined CorpsAfrica. I quickly realized that it is not always about money when it comes to living our dreams, but instead becoming a servant of the local people who have the dream to become somebody. Being part of the community is the key. Listen to them and help them find their knowledge with whatever talent they have. This is what I mean when I say “Living My Dream.”
Dedza District has now become my second home. I’m now the 9th born of Mr. and Mrs. Kwenda, my host family. They gave me my own house in the compound which I’m proud to call my new house. Mr. Kwenda is a very hard working man who depends on agriculture as the main source of income to take care of his family. Staying close to a river he practices irrigation farming. He grows rice, which requires a lot of water, and maize all throughout the year. Every morning and evening I’m having roasted maize, which is my favorite, all because of his hard work. He also owns two cows, goats, pigs, chickens, and ducks. Mr. and Mrs. Kwenda treat me as their own, and I’m happy to be part of this amazing family. After being in this community for two weeks, I’ve recognized that my success is based on building trust and confidence with my host family. This is what defines my life.
In the village, riding a bike is a must. There are long distances you have to travel, without coming across any vehicle, so a bicycle is the only option you have. During my childhood I never had a chance to learn how to ride a bicycle, but now cycling is my hobby. I’m able to travel very long distances much easier, and reach everyone without any difficulties. I had actually given up on cycling, until I became friends with Elton, Maggie and Alick. These are now my best friends and I spend most of my time with them. Elton a 12 year old boy in standard 3 (grade 3), Maggie is a 15 year old girl in standard 4 (grade 4), and Alick is a 10 year old boy in standard 3 (grade 3). After school I help these friends with their homework, and in the evening they have been teaching me how to ride a bike.
Hanging out with these kids has made me realize that we are each other’s strengths. We can’t do life in this world alone. We need other people, just like they need us, so everyone is important during our journey. Never leave anyone behind.