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Twenty-Eight Years Later

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Dorothy Mapira

I was a year and some months old when the people of my CorpsAfrica community started working on a health clinic project. I was living in a different area far from theirs. Neither my parents nor I would think or know what these people had embarked upon. It was their dream to see their place develop and have a structure raised to help women and children in the community.

The people struggled as they walked long distances to access health services for their children under five years old. They later started conducting the services under a tree. It wasn’t a conducive environment for them. During rainy seasons they had no place to conduct clinic business. In 1992 they raised a structure to be used as an under-five clinic, their hopes for a better community had started. But soon, all their hopes shattered when the roof was blown off and there was no one to help fix it. They have been seeking for help ever since, but no help was to be found.

Politicians gave them false hopes, organizations came and went, some individuals did the same. They were tired of crying for help, years passed and they got used to the problem though inside them was a heart buried with pain. They’ve seen other nearby communities have what they long for but could not have. They thought they were doomed.

Twenty-eight years later, I arrived in their village as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer. Having introduced myself and the work I would be doing in their community, they rejoiced knowing that their outcry might finally be heard. Through the many meetings we’ve been having they decided that their first project would be the under-five clinic. I empathized with them after hearing the struggles they faced, the rivers they cross, the distances they walk, the miscarriages, the deaths of children that have happened during my stay. We sat down as a community and tried to look for help, I facilitated the work and we did all we could.

Rescue came their way; the funds were raised through CorpsAfrica, and we embarked on implementing a health clinic project. The hope returned; faces were filled with smiles again. They worked so hard and tirelessly to contribute to the project. Within a short time, the clinic building was raised.

As I write, I am sitting in the corner one of one of the rooms appreciating the work being done. It will soon be functional; the dreams and cries of 28 years have been answered. Many thanks to all of the CorpsAfrica donors for addressing my community’s needs.