They’ve been through quite a lot already, emotionally and are now starting to see and understand real life as opposed to the tourist scenes. There is an unfortunate mindset that illness and poverty bring; despair, loss of hope and ability to help themselves. Edwards work in the area is trying to help these people to help themselves again.
I just spoke to Deb for a while and she told me about meeting a widow in the community who was really frail, suffering from HIV. The widow owned a large plot of land but couldn’t do anything with it, yet there were perfectly healthy youngsters who could plant seeds and farm the land for her. The volunteers asked why this couldn’t be done?
They also asked why an office couldn’t be built for the organisation and they said it had to be bricks and a proper roof and they needed money for that, and skills. The volunteers asked “why not build a traditional mud hut, in a day, using the skills you already have” .. when the community could only answer that it had to be brick, the volunteers challenged them to build a mud hut office while they were there. We’ll see what happens.
Everyone is being affected positively by this experience and questions are being raised and debates taking place. Low impact but making change nevertheless.
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