04-12-2017 by Leni Frau
When the first approach of life with Africa is a plunge into the everyday life of its people, in sharing and cultural exchange, it can only remain inside.
It will almost always be the basis of a deep bond with this reality so different from that in which we were born and grew up, but so full of hope and positivity, despite the ancestral poverty, problems and contradictions.
This is what is read in the expression of Carolina Guercio, 29 year-old from Turin, who decided to spend a month as a volunteer on the farm of the Italian NGO Karibuni in Langobaya, in the hinterland of Malindi.
The goodness of Karibuni projects is always given ample space on the portal, especially for the ability to increase the population of the Kenyan coast, helping them to help themselves.
But the aspect that closes the circle is represented by the moment of growth that a mzungu can experience living in contact with the reality of Langobaya.
I'm living an extraordinary experience - confirms Carolina, who works in Italy as a buyer in a food company of Asti - from the initial period of adaptation and from the practical aspect of "giving a hand" I have passed to the pure sharing and daily confrontation, realizing that while we bring our experience and our "know-how" to the Kenyans, from them we can learn a lot: simplicity, philosophy of life, their positivity and spontaneous ability to be happy. An experience like this may seem a small thing, but it can certainly change the prospects of our world and improve us.
Carolina lives in the house of Karibuni volunteers, in close contact with the farm's activities and staff. It wakes up at dawn, participates in the natural evolution of the day between production, distribution, programs, inevitable emergencies and novelties.
One wonderful thing that has happened to me since I'm here - the girl says - is that every morning I get up with the joy of starting the day and I see my predisposition reflected in the smile of the people I meet. A feeling completely opposite to that of many Italian mornings, where there is always something that puts you anxiety and the mood of people almost never helps you to cancel them.
Carolina is a prepared and sensitive girl, in Italy she has already had approaches with volunteering, helping an association that deals with disability, but in Langobaya farm there is not only solidarity.
The most important aspect of this project is to bring the local community to self-support - explains Carolina - from working in the fields all the related activities are created, through a network that largely deals with "food programs" for schools in the area, and sells 20 percent of agricultural products on the market, including in hotels and restaurants in Malindi, to pay the farm's expenses and employees. But the best thing is to see people who come to work here and at the end of the day prefer to be paid in the fruits of their hard work, rather than with money.
The experience at the Karibuni farm is also a return to the origin, starting an ethical process that, besides being the only way to consciously improve the Kenyan conditions, brings us Westerners back to the importance of evaluating the primary needs and starting from the serenity given by the simple and the most important things: water, food, dignity of work and true relationships with people. If Africa can be all this, it is really a wonderful place.
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