Things I have learned from Africa!
Before participating in this 24-months program, I already had a long-standing experience in a developing country. I have been in Mozambique for five years to work with a humanitarian association to help and fight with the poor. I love “Africa”. I've been to several countries just to travel.
After a few years of these brief contacts with this fascinating continent I decided to know it more deeply and to work shoulder to shoulder with the population. When I arrived in Mozambique and started following my job, I immediately came up with a doubt.
My doubt was: my culture and my habits are totally different from theirs, how can I keep them from losing their origins? The concrete support they need is to learn how to manage and organize themselves independently. Many times I came across different ways of acting that are unusual for me.
For example, at the beginning of my work, I ran a project for family garden cultivation, and some of the actions I undertook clashed with local habits. It was hard and sometimes frustrating, I thought maybe I was wrong.
But from this, I learned that first of all I have to observe, to know and understand the place where I work.
This work must be a close collaboration between the one who supports and who is supported. It is a "giving" and "receiving" reciprocation, about knowing different perspectives, this has to be a continuous discovery.
When we think of helping the poor, we always think that we are the ones giving, but in the end we find that we receive a lot.We live in a world of consumers where we have everything and we complain about everything because we want more.
Working in these countries, where people have little or nothing, changes your perspective: we understand that what really matters in our lives is to learn to live in a more simple and more authentic way.