2010-02-24 ACC Malawi, here I come!
An article by ACC (Malawi) volunteer Seng-Hua Yang
From what I remember, Africa is a place that is only known to me on a text book. I would never thought that one day I will step foot on this unfamiliar continent. But somehow I am writing this article to you all in the heart of Africa – Malawi.
I was first inspired to work as a volunteer for a charity organization about 8 years ago when a friend of mine went to Malawi and worked as a professional doctor for 5 years. It was her who informed me about Venerable Hui Li, the Buddhist monk who vowed his lives in serving and helping Africa. Although I do not have any particular religious belief, I was touched by his visionary work in proactively helping those in need in Africa. To me, being able to do something at will is a blessing and so I quitted my job and literally shouted “Malawi here I come!”
Many of my friends questioned my decision to work on this “dark” continent, but after being here for 3 weeks I can confidently tell them that Africa is not a “dark” continent, but rather it is a place with shining stories and unique culture. Although malaria is a major issue in Africa, Malawi is considered to be a safe zone. AIDS remains a problem nonetheless but fortunately there are organizations like ACC who aim to resolve social issues through education and loving care. When I see the orphans at ACC filled with hope and happiness, I can’t stop helping myself to treat them like my own children.
In July 2009 when I was still living in Taiwan, I had the opportunity to meet the ACC’s orphans when they were there for their “Tour of Appreciation”. It helped me tremendously in blending with them when I arrived here in Malawi. So far it has been a great learning experience and they constantly surprised me in many different ways! From playing with anything that nature offers to their professional martial art skills, their patience and diligence really touched me in a way no one ever did. This kind of spiritual upliftment also contributed to my physical well-being. Some of my sicknesses have miraculously healed itself in the process too - what an unexpected blessing!
All in all, my stay in Malawi has been awesome so far. I also made some new friends who kept me away from boredom and loneliness. Our workloads are heavy at times but all of them are very meaningful and we understand that our contribution is important. In the coming year I am confident that I shall continue to learn more from the orphans and experience true love and happiness!
“Be happy and don’t forget to keep smiling!”