• Why did you choose to volunteer with our organization?

I always wanted to travel and, as my studies attest, my first focus is on the political and social sphere so, when I found this project on the internet I really thought that it was a great occasion for me.
I’ve always been convinced that the men have lost sight of their priorities for utilitarian purposes that are destroying the environment and the very sense of humanity and that this reality can only change through personal and daily actions. At the moment I applied to this program, I thought that this school was a good chance to grow a better lifestyle.

What country did you go and what did you work within your project?

I went 8 months in Malawi working in a preschools’ project in DAPP Amalika TTC.

Why volunteers matter in the community we serve?

I think our work as DI in Malawi had a big impact on the communities for different reasons.
First, because we were volunteering in rural areas, where the people live in really poor conditions and where often nobody is giving any kind of support to the families; so all types of human cooperation are always well accepted.

Second, our and DAPP efforts during the years to develop the preschools have caught the attention of the government that, even if slowly, is starting to intervene in the sector.

Third because of the object itself of our project: the development of the Education. Building the preschools we help the communities to give the possibilities to their kids to start a good education path and to guarantee them a better future.

Your favorite volunteer event you attended

The inaugurations of the preschools we managed to build were my favorite moments. After all the efforts of a common work, we were celebrating the school’s opening in the communities spending the day with all the workers, the teachers, the committees and the kids, eating together and sharing, among dancing and singing, our satisfaction and happiness.

• The powerful moment you had while volunteering

It’s very difficult to choose one specific moment in such experience that was, in its entirety, one of most powerful of my life. Maybe what sums up better what I experienced is the last goodbye to Amalika, when hugging for the last time our project leader Richard I realized that this place has become my home.

What did you learn by volunteering?

I learned what does it mean to live without tap water walking every day kilometers to fill a bucket; how you feel when you eat every meal just zsima and beans; how is the life without the internet being completely isolated from what happened in the rest of the world. I learned the fear of having a disease and be without possibility to receive the appropriate cures; the slowness of the time when is raining per week and you can not move from your house. I learned the frustration to be a woman and to cannot have dreams other than being a wife and a mother. I learned how hard is to save 35000 kwacha (37 euros) to enroll in high school when you save everything just to ensure the next meal. I learned that there are realities where death is a constant part of everyday life and often concerns very young people. I learned what it means to have a language that is not the official one, the colonial one. I learned how the people feel to don’t have any support and to be felt alone in their fight against poverty while you, a simple volunteer, just because white, YOU receive everything you need, always.

Yes, I learned all of this. But that’s not all.

No, because what I learned more is what the people I met taught me: the love for their communities, how to really live together, the respect of the others, the friendliness, and availability, the curiosity for the world, the tenacity, the enthusiasm, the simplicity. I learn that only working together you can reach personal development.
And, overall, I learned how important is that we realize we are the privileged and that we have to use this privilege to fight against the injustices

How this experience has affected your life?

After this experience, I decided to join the association and to dedicate myself to this kind of projects.

Greta Lupieri
24 months program ‘Pedagogy and Fight with the Poor’- Team 2017
From Italy