Our ambassador Rachèl went to Malawi for the first Kick Off.  Read her story here:

In my life I’ve seen some beautiful but heavy places in the world like Haïti or Kenya. I always go through many fases when visiting countries like these. First I’m overwhelmed by the beauty, happy to be there and work with people, then I see all of the need and desperation which makes me want to cry and hug people 24/7. After that I go into rage about our privileged situation in Western civilisation, always being cynical about changing the world. And lastly I come to a full circle and realise I’m only in control of myself and that there IS a lot I CAN do. What made me see this more clearly was Join for Joy when I went on a trip with them to help do the kickoff training in Lilongwe, Malawi. The longevity and intelligence behind their program is very motivating. It’s not about throwing your money at the poor and helpless but efficiently and effectively working on change.

 

And not just change the way we know it in Europe, but change enhancing and empowering the local and African culture. Seeing Malawian teachers play simple games like tag with their students while implementing the necessary information about local issues like Malaria brought a tear to my eye. So simple. Yet so important. The collaboration with local partners is the cherry on top. Because of this formation the team works so, so well. It’s a constant inspiring flow of people wanting to make a change where change is needed. When there are obstacles there’s an open dialogue between the teachers, trainers and partners and the solutions are found together. It seems like nowadays with a lot of organisations, NGO’s and charity’s we’re easily discouraged and let down the more we get to know about them. But when it comes to Join for Joy, the more I know, the more excited and hopeful I get. When I gave a little workshop about how to present yourself in class I was overwhelmed by the connection I felt with the teachers.

As a singer I surprisingly felt so many things in common with these teachers. You want to spread the love and be confident in front of your class. You want to give a little bit of yourself and hopefully share a moment together. I genuinely felt that these people were listening closely to learn how to be a steady teacher to these kids who are growing up in such an unstable environment. I could feel them getting excited to take their new tools back to school and when we told them they were getting some (very simple) sports attributes to use with their students, the place went mad! I’m really amazed by the love Join 4 Joy brings in these countries and the sophistication behind their project. They truly bring the joy to join!

Rachèl Louise