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  • Volunteer Stories

The Tales of Sparking Fires of Inspiration

We never know what might emerge from an unexpected opportunity. All I did was grab it with both hands, and that marked the start of a beautiful transformation in my life. My volunteering journey was not a part of any grand plan, but sometimes, the most extraordinary experiences blossom from the least expected moments.

Little did I know that this adventure into volunteer service would become one of the most enriching and joyful chapters of my life. my sunshine shone then. What a surprise!!! Dear readers, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of contentment that the world can hardly expose. Welcome to a tale of joy and fulfillment born from the most uncertain of times.

The commencement

From my childhood, I knew I was meant for this but didn’t know how it would come, and then I realized that the door to contributing to the growth of my beautiful country was opening before me. It was a new step toward fulfilling my role as a young person eager to make a difference. However, the person I knew then was filled with doubt and uncertainty, lacking confidence in myself.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that I didn’t want to take this path, not at all! My biggest fear was how? Which way should I go to make a meaningful impact? I was dying of afraid. 

 Praised be to CorpsAfrica/Rwanda, their encouragement has been instrumental in shaping me, which opened doors for me and illuminated my path. They entrusted me with significant responsibilities and provided me with an enriching month-and-a-half of Pre-Service Training. During this time, they equipped us with the tools to lead and the armor to protect us, teaching us how to stand strong and be the real catalysts for community-led development through empowerment.

While stepping away from a life of luxury was a challenge, we understood that just as a diamond shines after being polished, we too would flourish through our experiences. The journey was transformative, And yet I was sure that I was thriving to turn into the best version of myself.

CorpsAfrica instilled in me the spirit of leadership and empowered me to guide and uplift our communities. They taught me that humility, humbleness, resilience, patience, and discipline at the forefront are the cornerstone of every successful endeavor and that the most profound way to find ourselves is to lose ourselves in the service of others.

“…Go girl and make your country proud…” That’s the saying from our beloved Country Director expressing her heartfelt message to us during the PST closing ceremony/Swear-In, which was the day before our site deployment. I proudly stepped out of my comfort zone, embracing the journey ahead. My mission was not only to be a catalyst for a mindset change in Rulindo, Muduha site but also to embark on a path of personal development. The most rewarding aspect was knowing I would contribute to my country’s growth, and this gave me the confidence and power to tackle the challenges head-on, the encouragement propelled me forward. Although I knew my capabilities might be tested, I was eager to give it a try and contribute my best. My desire to succeed fueled my actions, proving that a passionate heart often leads to victory.

If I were to expose the community in color or something it would be white as stainless and purity. I walked into the community with a mix of trepidation and anticipation. I wasn’t sure of where to start, and my mind was clouded with doubts. Will I be able to contribute meaningfully? Will I make a difference? I just stepped in.

The warm smiles and open arms welcomed and greeted me and made me feel at home. That a sense of belonging was immediate. The diverse group of community members I was there to serve created an atmosphere of unity, love, and compassion that was truly heartwarming. I felt like being part of a big, supportive family, surrounded by beautiful, welcoming people. my fears began to fade. That’s how a little beautiful change maker Dalida proudly became a new village girl dweller of Muduha Village.

That’s the new host family I was blessed to have, from then on. through day-to-day storytelling, we came to know each other.

It’s true Time flies, … Are you curious to know where the once fearful lady stands today? I bet you are! Or would you like to learn more about the impactful work we’re doing in the community?”

Don’t worry I’m here to tell…

I’m thrilled to share that our efforts are focused on eradicating poverty in all corners, fighting malnutrition, and reintegrating students back into school by creating a community of literate people, we also work to implement community projects that residents choose and support, and I will repeat we implement the project of community’s choice not of volunteer’s choice. The far we are, our progress so far is promising and full of hope.

Through teamwork and a spirit of collaboration, we’ve achieved remarkable things using the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and Human-Centered Design (HCD) approach. These principles have allowed me to empower the community and make sustainable changes for a brighter future.

Bless your eyes by taking a look at the activities achieved so far with the community at the forefront…

I owe much of my journey to the wisdom and guidance of my dad, He fed me the love of my motherland from childhood and that if you are sure that the whole circle is intended for your country’s development, that is what matters the most, just enter, that is how I left my teaching career and go first for volunteerism intended to contribute my energy while I’m still young. It’s not just about what I’ve given to the community; it’s also about the profound lessons they’ve imparted to me. I have got you the tone of hope that the true wealth of knowledge and inspiration lies not in what I’ve given to the community but in the profound lessons they’ve imparted to me. If you’re curious to discover this journey for yourself, I’m here to share more.

Here comes The closing part but the one I like the most 

What I loved most about this journey was that it allowed me not only to be a catalyst for community mindset change but also to grow personally through a wealth of experiences, like exploring living in a brand new area, meeting new beautiful village people, getting a new home and family, gaining connections, share ideas with my fellow peer’s volunteers as well as the staff…. Not only has this journey molded me into the woman I dreamed of for so long, but I’m living proof that you should never underestimate yourself coz We live and grow when we learn.

I’m proud to be part of a global movement striving to make the world a better place. I feel even luckier to be among women shaping the future of community health.  I’m confident that what I did you can too, just ask me how!!! 

#ThisisCorpsAfrica, the circle where #LocalsHelpLocals

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