Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Caroline Luka
It’s been almost two months since I got deployed to my site, and if you asked me a year ago where I was going to be at this time I would probably have mentioned something completely different. I never saw myself as someone who would be living in a rural community facilitating development work and acting as a catalyst of change. Being here with these amazing people has taught me a lot and it is helping me grow as a person. I have finally broken out of my shell and I am ready to fly.
As 2018 is starting so many things are running through my mind. What kind of projects are we going to implement? What already existing projects do we need to improve on to ensure sustainability? What does the community want instead of what I want for them? So many questions that require answers, but first things first.
The youth of my community and I came together and devised a plan that will help in solving the task at hand. We used the innovators compass to help us narrow down our project plans, but also broaden our thinking so as to come up with several ideas that will help to eliminate the problems within our community. There is a drastic number of school dropouts and a lot of child marriages in our community and the youth here are taking it as their responsibility to come up with a strategy to help create change around these issues.
That was when we decided to come up with the first ever youth club. This club aims at reducing the number of early child marriages as well as school dropouts in our community. First we decided to separate the girls from the boys into two different sub-groups of the club to create safe spaces amongst gender, as well as because we all know the needs of the two parties differ. After the group meets separately we come back together and discuss what each group talked about. We obviously cannot just do all work and no play so our club also really focuses on the maintenance of the group. In doing this we take the opportunity to interact, socialize, play sports, and do various other extra-curricular activities so as to boost morale and also learn different skills from one another that will help us live positive lives.
I am super excited about starting the New Year off right with this amazing youth group. I personally want to learn a few things from them. Like maybe I’ll learn to knit and then be able to knit myself a gorgeous scarf!
It’s going to be a great year. I can feel it.