Written by CorpsAfrica/Rwanda Volunteer Ms. Olive Duhoredushima
As I ventured into the picturesque Mbazi Sector, my heart raced with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Leaving my familiar home behind, I embarked on a journey that would challenge me in ways I could never have anticipated. My name is Olive Duhoredushima, and I was about to become a CorpsAfrica Volunteer—a catalyst for change in this beautiful southern corner of Rwanda.
From the moment I arrived, I was enveloped by the warmth and kindness of the community. They welcomed me with open arms, sharing their stories, hopes, and dreams. Their resilience and unwavering spirit inspired me, igniting a fire within me to make a difference.
In the beginning, I faced countless obstacles. The community mindset barrier, the unfamiliar terrain, and the sheer magnitude of the task ahead weighed on my shoulders. But deep down, I knew that the incredible potential of these community members was waiting to be unlocked. With each passing day, I grew more determined to empower them and provide them with the tools to transform their own lives.
One by one, I connected with the people, forming bonds that would shape our journey together. Through shared experiences and open conversations, I saw their strength and unwavering spirit. And so, we set out on a mission to create lasting change, hand in hand.
Together, we formed community groups—women, men, and the vibrant youth—who were eager to break free from the shackles of limitations. We envisioned a future where possibilities knew no bounds. Through the shared passion and dedication of these groups, we set in motion a cascade of transformation.
In the depths of Mbazi Sector, a once-silent cell now reverberates with life. We built a local market—a bustling hub where over 500 community members found solace, traded goods, and formed connections that would endure. It became a vibrant tapestry of dreams and aspirations, where hope danced on every corner.
But it wasn’t just about the market. We faced adversity head-on. Together, we restored a damaged water source, a lifeline that had been severed by time and neglect. The jubilation on the faces of those who now had access to clean water was immeasurable. It was a reminder that even the smallest acts of kindness could create ripples of change.
We toiled under the scorching sun, planting seedlings that would bloom into a greener tomorrow. Over 25,000 coffee plants, nurtured with care, held the promise of a bountiful harvest, providing not just sustenance but also the means to build a brighter future. And amidst it all, we planted 50 seedlings of tree tomatoes, a testament to our commitment to rejuvenating the land and fostering sustainable practices.
My time in the Mbazi Sector taught me that change starts from within. It taught me the power of compassion, determination, and unwavering belief in the potential of each individual. As I bid farewell, I knew that the legacy we had built together would endure, a testament to the strength of a community united in pursuit of a brighter future.
As I reflect on this life-changing experience, I am filled with gratitude—for the opportunity to serve, for the guidance and support of CorpsAfrica/Rwanda, and for the unwavering belief they instilled in me. CorpsAfrica, with its unwavering commitment to African-led development, has not only changed the lives of individuals but also sparked a movement that will shape the destiny of our continent.
May my tale inspire others to embark on their extraordinary journeys, lighting up the path towards a brighter, more empowered Africa.