Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Silvester Kunkeyani
How time flies!! So it’s been a year already since I came to serve as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer in Mkwachi village in the northern part of Malawi. When I first came into my community I did not know what to expect. In fact, I was a little scared. The one year of service with CorpsAfrica has been the most rewarding journey of my life with many lessons learned.
In order to build a more resilient community whose young generation is more responsible and makes rational choices about their lives, we focused on training about 500 youth in Grassroot Soccer intervention programs through camps that address HIV/AIDS education by empowering the youth with vital and correct information about the deadly virus and help to reduce further spread of the virus in their communities. While living in my community, I observed that the local women worked so hard in setting up small-scale businesses but unfortunately these businesses were not making enough progress. To tackle this challenge, I facilitated a workshop with my community’s village loans and savings group to teach them how to manage, run and execute business plans and how to track business performance using key business performance indicators. Through these sessions my community boasts of increased business knowledge and monetary returns.
I also worked with my community to write a proposal to CorpsAfrica with an aim of rehabilitating an old borehole at the village’s Health Centre in order to reduce water woes at the local Health Centre and the villages surrounding the Health Centre. The proposal was successfully accepted and approved. The project once implemented will see over 16,000 community members benefitting.
We worked with the local primary school in identifying some challenges the local school was facing. Together with the school management committee and the Parents and Teacher Association, I facilitated the writing of a project grant to WorldConnect US with an aim of rehabilitating and expanding the headteacher house for the local primary school that was too small and in dilapidated state. The grant also sought assistance to have 80 desks made for the school that will see about 160 students having a comfortable place to sit. The grant was successfully approved and when funding comes through, the school will wear a new face with the rehabilitation and expansion of the head teacher’s house and the provision of the 80 desks. This project is named Mkwachi Primary School Growth and Development Project and is being funded by WorldConnect US.
The one year of service with CorpsAfrica/Malawi has been a journey of great rewards and total transformation. I am going back home as a person who made a change at Mkwachi village in Nkhatabay and the people of Mkwachi will never forget me just as I will never forget them.