If you answered yes to these questions, read on. It is possible for you to make a difference. Many of us have been inspired by the example set by Mother Teresa of Kolkata, who saw a need then answered God’s call to serve the poor. Her first steps were greeted with the skepticism of many, but that didn’t stop her. Others have been inspired by Edmund Hillary’s fine contribution to schools and clinics in Nepal. He was not an educationalist nor a medic, but was the epitome of an energetic kiwi who saw the need to make things happen.
If you are interested in volunteering with The Limapela Foundation, we would like to motivate and guide you in the best possible way for your involvement. For more information, please contact us.
The African continent is largely stricken by poverty, and is therefore underdeveloped. However, in stark contrast to this, today we see a growing middle class, and an increasing number of very affluent people, particularly in urban areas. This contrast can be disturbing to the newcomer who is used to the order and balance of the developed world.
Expatriates can spend years in Africa and still find certain aspects of African culture puzzling. For many it is frustrating to work so hard for little obvious result. Some withdraw and become cynical, going through the motions, but integrating little with the people they have come to serve. Others soldier on, driven by the western work ethic that is part of their world view, refusing to stop in case things fall apart. Still others seem to be able to take the frustrations in their stride, putting aside their own achievement-driven mind-set. These are the ones who find it easier to stop and listen, taking time to understand why things are the way they are.
Limapela is committed to community development, particularly in the areas of education, business and agriculture. Regardless of their previous experience, western volunteers are likely to contribute well in all of these fields.
The major focus of Limapela is education, so volunteers with teaching experience, or other experience with children and young people, will have much to offer in Zambia. Outside the classrooms we are concentrating on infrastructure improvements that will allow us to be more effective in our educational objectives. These include building and refurbishment, connection of utilities (electric power and water) and the establishment of agricultural activities. If you have practical experience in any of these, you may find yourself very busy indeed. It is our aim to train and teach Zambians themselves in various practical skills. Standards of workmanship in Africa are often lower than ours, so exercising patience is always important.
Zambian schools run on a three-term year, and the start of the academic year is in January. So a satisfactory commitment for a volunteer working in school would be short-term up to three months, preferably coinciding with the opening and closing dates of the term. A longer commitment requires an employment permit, which needs to be applied for in advance by Limapela Development, so the preparation time will be longer. Volunteers who are not involved in education need not be locked into the southern hemisphere three-term academic year.
The Foundation’s finances are limited; so all volunteers are expected to raise funds for all their requirements — airfares, immigration permits, food, local transport and other living expenses.