A very spontaneous decision….
I’m Josh..and I’m going to Africa on the 16th April, to volunteer my services…Hopefully I can help a little and not end up being the one in need of aid!
Echoes of melodramatic tension created by the ones we trust, blurted out through the ever so rapidly developing technology we indulge in day by day. Anger and war, sadness and struggles alongside the sublime nature of the western world’s blasé attitude towards what we call life. So frivolous in consuming our planet around us through an economically bias system, yet completely aware of how ultimately UN-resourceful and inevitably UN-sustainable this practice has to be. I am to be one of these poor souls trapped in such a temporary phase of our existence, though probably much more fortunate than many of those who have been, who are or who will be. Those who suffer the most.
Change of these cruel burdens that fall on such lives will be through many forms of action. Freedom, justice and well-being will be achieved; whether it be physically, economically or spiritually. I have realised what it takes to acknowledge these needs, and it is not easy. It is overwhelming, our lives are hard enough without having to worry about anyone else. However, my life is flexible, I don’t have the same commitments and duties as others… and I have gained a better understanding of our world over the years. So here is the time for me to attempt to make a dent…or a scratch at least!
Maybe you’ve thought about it doing it before – I have many times, but never followed through. This site might give you some good insight into the life of a volunteer, then you can come out and join me!
Next stop…Domasi, Malawi..AFRICAAA
About the Volunteer program and its background (The Volunteer organisation’s website – www.originalvolunteers.co.uk):
Tikondwe operates from Domasi Traditional Authority Malemia in Zomba. The organisational goal is to promote the welfare and empowerment of its various members. Tikondwe has taken on a number of initiatives whose central aim has been to initiate growth and self-dependence among its local communities. We work to teach the men and women in the rural areas to collectively manage their resources and govern their groups, and help build confidence in our youths. We are deeply committed to improving the lives of poor children and orphans through basic education.
Education is central to all and especially to youths in the fight against poverty. However, their access to education in Domasi is low. This is because of several reasons. Among the reasons is poverty itself. The poverty level in Domasi is at an extremely high level. Children are not allowed to attend school in some cases because parents want/need their children to be engaged in household routines and farming duties that generate income for the family.
Tikondwe has offered its services to hundreds of youths across Zomba. Due to the help and support of foreign volunteers our class sizes have more than doubled since the starting of the schools. Through education Tikondwe is pursuing a mission to ensure that youths are tapped on various economic empowering activities that enable them to be independent and in the future become as asset to Malawi.
We choose to focus particularly on children, because we know that youth’s empowerment is an essential resource for social change and a prerequisite in the broader fight against global poverty.
Joshua Mbozole, the founder of Tikondwe Youth Organisation, a fifth born son to a family of seven. He grew up in a rural village in Domasi Malawi. Living with his large family in basic housing conditions, those being without electricity or indoor plumbing, as is the case in most Malawian villages. Although he was poor he made the choice to pursue education in hopes of having a better life for himself and his family.
He completed his primary education at Domasi Government Primary School to standard eight (grade 8). He was selected to Nsondole Day Secondary School, however unfortunately he couldn’t manage to attend due to lack of funds to pay for the school fees. Joshua instead went to live with his older sister in Kasungu, a district in the central Malawi. He moved so he could attend Secondary School with the funding support from his sister. The money raised from the sale of some of her household items was just enough to take Joshua to form two (second year of high school) and obtain a Junior Certificate of Education. After this certification he then faced another financial hurdle for the coming year of school. Unable to find the funds again, his older sisters husband applied for a loan to pay the school fees for him but it was only enough for two years whom they all hoped that Joshua would do well to complete.
Indeed Joshua lived up to his sister and brother-in-laws expectations. Joshua did quite well in secondary school, not only did he achieve the best results at the school but at the age of 17 he was also the only student at MAST Private Secondary School selected into the University of Malawi. Everyone thought that by being selected into University, the Government would sponsor his school fees as it did to most of the students, but unfortunately that was not the case with Joshua. The same year he was selected the government introduced a new system whereby all students who wished to be sponsored by the government had to apply for a sponsorship program to the University Management. Joshua was one of the students whose application was denied because at that time there was a greater number of students applying for funding which the government could not afford to sponsor all of them. This denial meant that he had to pay all University expenses including fees by himself, which for him, was financially impossible.
Joshua was heartbroken and felt as though his dream of university education had ended, but he didn’t want to give up hope. He was determined to pursue higher education opportunities, however government university was no longer an option so Joshua looked into the private section which he found was even more expensive. Due to the high expenses of the private education Joshua made the decision to take a step backwards and look at applying to two year government universities (Malawian colleges). He decided to start a small business with the computer that his sister had received as a gift. With the little knowledge he had in computers he opened a café in the District of Kasungu. For seven months the business was prospering and he was earning money which was enough to pay for an accounting course at a two year government university (technical college) for a year though the course comprised of two years. He did not attend any classes the second year but did manage to get a Diploma in Financial Accounting after writing the exams as he was studying from home.
Joshua’s struggle to find funding for his education had planted the idea to try and help other students pay for school fees and further their educations. He wanted to devise a trust fund, which, with donated funds would be able to support government school fees to the needy students from his area.
He then decided to take his vision of the trust fund a step further and made the plan to construct a school whereby all orphans and needy children could receive basis education and basic necessities like food and accommodation so that they would be able to have full concentration on education. Joshua wanted to ensure that future students were not denied the right to education due to poverty and make sure that the future generations in his local areas do not have to go through the financial struggles that he and others have gone through.
In 2000 he had the complete vision and so then took it to the local community. The community found it hard to understand Joshua’s vision and what he was trying to achieve for the local youths. He was starting the project with no funds and to the locals in the villages most of them weren’t concerned with educations because the majority of them didn’t have basic educations themselves. Now after over 11 years of hard work in the villages, through Joshua’s dedications, and now the incoming of foreign volunteers and support, the local communities are seeing the benefit. The local people now believe in Joshua’s vision and understand how important education is to helping put an end to poverty.
Joshua now lives in Blantyre Malawi with his wife and son. His mother, father, and most of his brothers and sisters still live in Domasi in the rural village which he grew up in. Joshua lives and works in Blantyre to afford to maintain Tikondwe Youth Organisation and fund the educations of not only his younger brothers and sisters, but also other youths in his local community. Joshua’s dream is for Tikondwe to be self funded so that one day he will be able to move back to the village and work directly with the local communities again.