Written by CorpsAfrica/Rwanda Volunteer Ms. Anitha Impumbya
“If you can’t fly then run if you can’t run then walk if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward,” Said Martin Luther King.
Living in someone’s life, feeling how they feel, facilitating, and empowering people in different ways of life were my dreams and were achieved when I became a CorpsAfrica Volunteer. Being proud of yourself requires sacrifice and it is what I did so as to leave my dream. Frankly speaking, I’m so proud to be one of the CorpsAfrica Volunteers in my country. Now I’m serving in the Southern part of my country in Gisagara District, Nyanza Sector in Agahehe, and Akasemabondi Villages. My community has more valuable resources that have helped them to achieve more performance for the only five months that I spent there with my community, sincerely read my story.
When I reached my site, the community welcomed me well and I felt like a lovely daughter in their families. I took time to do door to door in my community so as to familiarize myself with my new community as well as build a concrete relationship. Visiting each community member the question was repeatedly the same. Everyone gently asked me whether we can set weekly meetings with others so that I can share the discussions. I said yes! And I tried to facilitate them how to be more resilient and discover their inner potentials which led them to discover their assets and gifts and how they can be explored to change their lives for the better. That was my first achievement and was hoping for more to come.
Weekly meetings and community works had been more and more impactful, the community has completely changed and started to develop ideas that are necessary to use for changing their life mainly based on the result found during the community mapping exercise which helped them to identify available assets they have in their villages that they will use to apply the social and economic change in their communities.
My community meets every week and they save the money, the saving schemes has become more profitable and changed their daily life because the community solidarity initiative has come out from their own saving scheme where every family in the community buy rabbits or kitchens for their self-development from the money they weekly lend.
My community used to face the challenge of malnutrition issues due to none could afford to eat a balanced diet made of vegetables. Working with the community to make kitchen gardens, currently, I am proud of 140 community members that have kitchen gardens in their homes that help them to afford green and fresh vegetables. Which is helping to significantly reduce malnutrition cases.
I also took part in mobilizing students in my community to go back to school by carrying out different campaigns for a mass of school dropouts that have gone back to school. I was, am, and will be working with my community to make long-lasting impacts.
For ensuring the sustainability of those activities I inspired my community members with a sense of ownership and self-reliance, with the support of CorpsAfrica, local leaders and youth volunteers have trained on the HCD and ABCD CorpsAfrica approach, and We have numerous junior CorpsAfrica whom we work together and they are there to inspire the next generations of community members.
Concluding, I am very happy that the Community believes that coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success!