Volunteering in Malawi
Monika Raaz was a volunteer for FACE on the education campus in Malawi. She describes her impressions and experiences from the three-month project in this article:
Malawi – “The Warm Heart of Africa”. This is how the south-eastern African country is called. It was exactly this warm-heartedness that I experienced during my three-month stay as a volunteer at FACE.
Together with my sister and two other volunteers, we lived on the FACE educational campus, which is located in a village called Zalewa. In our daily routine, we assisted in teaching sessions, ran the school library, and organized various recreational activities such as sports or creative activities.
My most valuable experiences were the personal contacts with the students: getting to know them, having conversations with them and exchanging experiences. I was particularly impressed by the personal encounters: accompanying them on their way home and getting to know their families, laughing together, chatting, singing, dancing, but also comforting them.
The warmth among so much poverty was breathtaking. Every day I was happy to look at the smiling faces of the children and young people, to feel the warmth of their hearts and their loving nature. Being very close to them touched and shaped me the most. I am so grateful for this openness. It was the only way I could get to know and understand their culture.
Through my time in Malawi, I have learned to appreciate the high standard of living that exists in Europe in a new way. I look forward to the day with a grateful heart, as I have become aware that basic needs such as food and water supply, electricity, a free school education as well as good medical care are a high and not self-evident good.
FACE changes lives in Malawi – but Face also changed my life! It was a blessed enrichment that I will never forget. That’s why it’s close to my heart to encourage people around me to help make a difference: to use this opportunity to give young people a hope for their future – to help them reach their full potential.