There are many misconceptions of mission/volunteer/humanitarian work whatever you want to call, the work that I do. I just want to clear the air before I head off on this amazing journey for the second time.
First, let’s conquer the things I am not. I do not think I can save the world. I do not think I can save Africa. I do not think I can save Malawi. I do not think I can save Rumphi (the village in Malawi I will be in). This is not a self-fulfillment trip. I am not going over with the western mindset of “this is what these people need.” I am not going over to Malawi throwing money at the people saying, “This will help you.” Why are you going all the way over to Africa to help somebody? I am not going over there to die. I am not going over there to take jobs away from the local people. I am not going over to do more harm than good. This trip is not the first, nor the last trip of its kind.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “Jill, I never thought you were doing any of those things.” Well, these are questions/statements I am faced with almost every day since I decided to go to South Africa a year ago. For those that do not know, I am going to Malawi (a landlocked country in the southeastern part of Africa near, South Africa) with my non-profit, Something Amazing, for 3 months. This is my second trip, however, this is Something Amazing’s first group trip that will have two people accompanying me throughout this journey.
My big vision for Something Amazing is to make lasting programs that anyone can continue:
- Send more students to school/college on scholarship
- Create a breakfast program for the students to no longer be hungry for school.
- See what the access to health care entails- with the goal to educate and create a volunteer program.
Now, let’s focus on the things I personally will be doing while over in Malawi. I want to get to know the people, by name. I want to learn what it is like to live below the poverty line. I want to shine a light to the joys and happiness that even at the lowest times people have. I want to learn the needs of the people from the people and officials. I want to learn to play soccer from the school kids. I want to love on each child like he/she is my own. I want to teach the kids how to play UNO. I want to shine a light on a little unknown corner of the world. If I come back and I have impacted one person, one child then I completed everything I went over there to complete.
Also I want to thank everyone who has sent encouraging messages and have personally called me a superhero. It means a lot and helps me dearly when I am struggling to get ready for this trip. Last year my cheering section was a handful of people. This year I have a full stadium, and I am ready to take you on this journey with me.
T-minus 1 day until I leave.
Until next time,