Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Assiatu Pongolani
Being a CorpsAfrica Volunteer is one of the most interesting things. I get to know and learn all sorts of things in life, and community, and I develop/explore new skills and knowledge while at the same time sharing what I have. Responding to fortnightly questions, monthly project tracker on time, attending a community meeting and a village bank/ loan group meeting, and being visited by the CorpsAfrica Country Director are some of the activities that I will tell you about that took place in the last month here in Kadewere village.
Responding to fortnightly questions is part of the mandatory area of being a CorpsAfrica Volunteer. This tracks every Volunteer on how she/he is doing in the community in terms of integrating into the community and personal changes, how many partners one is working with and if any progress of project implementation is being made and if any community, CorpsAfrica, other influential people or organization support is needed for any project. Not so far from the fortnightly questions, monthly project tracker helps to map the way forward of the project implementation because above all, a Volunteer has to implement any project being either funded or not but as far as it is making an impact on community members lives, that is a project and it could be services, infrastructures, trainings and anything one can think of.
Attending community meetings is an ongoing activities as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer. It could be both organized by others and I get invited, or I can organize a community meeting as a volunteer. Last month, I attended a community meeting organised by the Group Village Headman Kadewere. She called for a meeting with all four villages Makoloma, Chilungulo, Kathebwe and Kadewere that are under her ruling but only Village Development Committees (VDC) and Health Committees in every village were in attendance. The chief wanted to share the information that she took from the Area Development Committee. But among all, the VDC and health committees were given a task of visiting each and every household in their respective villages to find out if their toilet is covered with a lid and if there is soap and water outside the toilet to hand wash kupewa kudyerana manyi ( to avoid eating each others feces) hence preventing diarrhea. She continued to say, that information should be reported to the chief in a time limit given and if the village will follow that, in conjunction of the three organizations ADRA Malawi, Plan Malawi and Mulanje Mission Hospital will provide that village with a borehole as their gift and at the end an action plan was given to the committees to do the work.
I also attended a village bank/loan group meeting this month. It was very interesting to me. The idea was to just have an insight of what and how the activities are done and also to interact with another group of people in the community in order to continue to strengthen my integration. After everyone has put his/her money to share, some interested people can borrow the money as a loan and they are given a specific time to return the money with a small interest on top of it that at the end of the bank will share among themselves because everyone is encouraged to borrow the money.
Being visited by the CorpsAfrica Country Director Mr. Adam Gaskins at site was an awesome thing. He got to see what activities am doing here in Kadewere after reading a blog every month. I also felt good with his visit as it was his first time.
Lastly, a lot is still going and as usual I will keep updating you in whatever activity I am doing in Kadewere and keep following me so that you should learn a lot and I hope that this will make someone interested in serving as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer one day. Mpaka mwezi Wa mawa pamene ndizabweretse zina ndingoti tsalani bwino and keep reading!!!! Sikomo kedyinji!!! (Until the next month when I will bring more stories and please keeping reading!!!! Thank you so much!!!)