Getting in Touch with Inequality and Making a Change in Malawi
I am writing this article based on my experiences in one of the poorest country in the world – Malawi.
Did I choose the country? Not really, but probably Malawi chose me even before I got the opportunity to take a stand and be active in a developing country on the Africa continent.
If I needed to choose just three words to describe this beautiful and for many people unknown country I would take these words – hope, inequality and development.
Of course I would love to also say warm and good-willed people, amazing landscapes, tea and coffee plantations, talk about Lake Malawi and so on.
I lived in the rural area and my goal was to get in touch with The Poor and fight together shoulder to shoulder to make some positive changes.
So the message in this short article is that each of us can take a stand, can make small but positive and effective impacts in making a difference in development, in the areas where it is most needed (developing countries, areas after natural disasters etc).
Coming back to my chosen words I will start with hope. What is hope? It is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen; a feeling of trust. Witnessing a countless number of eyes filled with hope, faith and happiness was my main force to act.
But hope and trust need to be from two sides: from the people who need help and the people who are hoping to help.
The second word I mentioned is inequality. Probably I have never in my life seen such a big gap between poverty and wealth. People who have almost nothing where starvation is a daily struggle and poor access to education is a daily fact are surrounded by people who driving the newest cars, living with food waste, and using other locals as though slavery still exists and so on.
The last word I chose was development and like everything in the life the word has plusses and minuses, but in this case I would love to talk about the responsible positive aspect.
I would include in this concept of development, activities that constitute a new stage in changing a situation for the better, improving many conditions that bring better possibilities for the wealthiest life conditions. This could be health, nutrition, education, agriculture, transportation, sanitation and water.
I am happy to share my experiences and activities about how I got in touch with inequality and how I made a small change, but anyway a change in some of rural areas in Malawi.
Firstly I need to say that to do all this alone is not possible. If you want to do great things it is necessary to collaborate and work hand in hand with the local people, communities of people who have the same interests and ideas as development instructors or anybody else willing to help. I believe that good education can be a key to solve many problems around the globe, so during my 8 months in Malawi I was focusing on the education field together with others.
The Government in Malawi does not recognize the pre-school system, but knowing the importance of pre-schools for child development, many NGOs and communities are working with this issue. Building schools, painting, making talks, taking care about food and creating gardens, installing water tanks so pre-schools can sustain themselves, organizing teacher training days… all these were our activities.
I was also happy I could take a role at the Teacher Training College and show different methods of learning and teaching. By making fundraising many people from other countries became more involved and got to know the issues Malawi is struggling with.
To sum up I would say that sometimes we don’t know how to help, but there are many people who are willing to help you in the fight against inequality. We are all different so it means that we all can show different ways of fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poor. After we take the first step we make opportunities.