Well sorry to be the bearer of hard news, its hard work. Imagine leaving the comfort of your home and travelling to Africa for four weeks. Leaving in huts where you don’t have clean water, no power supply and most of all you have to be extra careful with the food you eat, exposing yourself to malaria and other health issues.
Have you ever been kept awake all night by the buzzing sounds of anopheles mosquito’s? Have you tried to take a shower from a bucket of water that’s filled with mosquito lava, having to use your hands to separate the lava, before pouring the water on yourself? Imagine waking up in the middle of the night needing to use the toilet, having to walk with a candle to the bush toilet, fearing the animals sharing it with you. Imagine, not having access to coffee, tea bags and butter for four weeks. Imagine not drinking cold water, or having to keep your water cold in a pot of water left overnight.
This is the life of a volunteer to rural African communities, but we love it. There are millions of people living in these harsh conditions everyday of their lives. Our job is to integrate into these communities. By integrating we are able to gain the trust of the communities. Rural African communities are built on cultural and strong religious beliefs. For this reason it will be very unfair not to understand how they live in the communities to understand them before trying to tell them how to live.
Cancel Cancer Africa’s (CCA) trips to rural Africa to sensitise people on cancer is a very tough task. There are so many barriers of entry and day after day we continue to push the limits. The first impression many Africans see when you propose such mission is
· “This is not my portion, as God will protect me”
· “Its from evil spirits”
· “What is in it for me?”
· “How much money am I going to make from this project?”
· “This is just a scam”
Too many Africans are organising programs and setting up non-profits to exploit people and funders, making genuine organisations frustrated. We believe that in time CCA will overcome this barrier.
CCA travel to Busia County, Kenya in September, located on the border of Uganda and Kenya. We are excited because we know the challenges ahead of us and love what we do. With volunteers from England we believe that our trip will encourage others from developed countries to join our future trips.
Voluntary work can only be fun and a holiday if you love what you do. If you are expecting it to look like what you see on TV then you have to think again, its worse. But we love it. The lives we are going to impact and the knowledge we are going to share makes it worth it.
From the bottom of our heart we are so proud of the volunteers Lynne, Jacqui, Amber, Sylvester, Deidre, Alison and Deborah who are working so hard for this trip and travelling to make it a success. Thanks also to the governor of Busia for hosting us.
To make a donation towards our trips or join our future trips please drop us a mail firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cancelcancerafrica.org.