Volunteering in Malawi: A Lifetime Experience
Malawi — Uniterra
I’m already going through my last 24 hours in Lilongwe and I must say that I’m sad to leave Malawi. Malawi, you’ve been extraordinary to me and you kept reminding me of my motherland: Cambodia. Malawians people are welcoming and warmth which connects a lot with Cambodia (and Canada of course!) Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, you’ve got something that other countries should take example of: the warmth of its people. I know now why you`re called the Warm Heart of Africa – it’s because it’s true! Malawi, you have shown and prove me that my next trip should be Cambodia and I will make this happen.
Putting aside my next travel plan, I can’t believe how fast the 3 weeks went by. I’m also glad to have partner with COWLHA, an amazing organisation and team! My experience in the fields was short, but I’m glad to have met with the community and have brought a change in their life, even if it was small and for a short period of 2 days. I learnt a lot about their struggle and reality and I’m amazed how at the end of the day, even with their life challenges, they still manage to smile, sing, and dance. Thank you so much for your warm welcome Mitundu!
This morning, I had the triparty meeting for the end of my mandate between WUSC Malawi, COWLHA and I. The meeting went well and we discuss about my mandate and recommendations on how to improve and accommodate the next Leave 4 Change volunteer. I personally thought at first (and mentioned it at the meeting) that I could’ve see through its end by implementing the COWLHA Complaints Mechanism process and train the team, but this was far too unrealistic (explainable with power outage, no internet connection, January being busy with reports and fund request, and pending fund request, etc.) On the other hand, I was quite happy with how I handled everything and could find a turn-around: I came up with a recommendations report only and went through the report with Harry. I’m glad to leave some sort of a legacy and as Harry told me, Mtisunge will continue my work and keep in touch with me for any questions – So… this is only an aurevoir; I have accept to continue the communication between me and COWLHA even back home; we never know, I might come back to Malawi!
Thank you COWLHA, thank you WUSC Malawi, thank you all volunteers that I’ve met in Malawi: all of you have made this experience an amazing one that I would definitely remember for my entire life. I can’t thank you enough and the best way for me to do it, it’s to thank you in French and in Cambodian: Merci beaucoup et à la prochaine! អរគុណច្រើន! (arkoun chraen which literally means Thanks a lot!)
One last picture with Harry Madukani from COWLHA, myself, and Noria Unyolo from WUSC Malawi.