Our first day of work

August 15, 2011 | Sarah, PSY, Shared World, Zambia

Today we went to Bwafwano for our first day of work. We were greeted by Isaac, the Program Director, Mr. Kataso and Eddie. Bwafwano is located in Chazanga and walking to work gives us a chance to explore more of the compound. There are so many different smells in the morning which include, burning garbage, sewage, and other smells that remain unidentified.

When you arrive at the gates of Bwafwano, it is difficult to believe that they provide care to so many children in Chazanga. Our first meeting with Isaac was incredibly motivating. He is one of the most inspiring men I have ever had the opportunity to meet. He is so dedicated to the improvement of the community and the people living there. Looking at the forces they are dealing with and confronting on a daily basis, the task of development and partnership seems completely overwhelming. How did they do it? How did this centre even come into being? I can’t believe the dedication. Bwafwano works mainly on a volunteer basis, and I am in disbelief that people in the community who struggle to feed their own families are lending their time to Bwafwano. Of course there are many problems with this set up.

The first day we are already on track with our project. We brain stormed some great ideas! Emilie found a great article that focuses on community development projects in Lusaka. Amazing! All in all a wonderful day. Very excited to get started on this project. Very nervous about the role we can play.

We also had the chance to go out into the community to meet some of the families housing OVCs. This was especially unsettling. Meeting real people, whose realities are not something I can even imagine for myself, where it is so difficult to relate to anything they have had to face. Coming in and trying to even have some understanding is almost insulting. I don’t know what it means to go hungry, to not have parents.

The mood of the group was a little down today. The first day of work is challenging. We all felt a little emotional. I think that tomorrow will be a better day.

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