Monthly Archives: July 2019

The most important capital

Nicolás Fuenzalida Plaza
Africa Dream Foundation

Only a few days ago, during the Ministerial Conference of Agriculture between the African and the European Union, it was declared that the population in Africa would rise from 1.200 million inhabitants up to 2.400 million inhabitants in 2050. For many people it seems to be counterintuitive to think that a region with the poverty and inequity problems that Sub-Saharan Africa has can allow itself to double its population in only a few decades.

And, without a doubt, this data does not cease to be important for all organizations that work in cooperation projects for the development of the Black Continent, even in the knowledge that in spite of all our efforts, the challenges and problems that we face in the eradication of poverty could increase twofold.

However, the convictions that inspire us do not chance; facing all the challenges that have come up during our work in Africa, the answer to our foundation has bloomed, it has always have and it will continue to have the same objective: the human capital.

There is vast amount of humanitarian cooperation models: while some foundations opt to channel the help through subsidiary help programs, others triangulate interesting structures of cooperation between government and private organizations. By contrast, in Africa Dream Foundation, we have always centered our programs in the development of sustainable projects, implemented by professional volunteers that focus their work in the creation of ties with the community for the installation of capacities, the cultivation of a collaboration culture and to put our history for the benefit of others; our talent and what we are.

This, beyond focusing our labor and mission as a foundation, urges us to remember how delicate and fundamental our operation on site is. People are, first and foremost, very complex beings and they cannot simply be viewed as another piece of the machinery of a specific organization. By focusing our efforts in the human capital can only inspire us to constantly renovate our calling to deliver a good professional service, nurtured from the knowledge of good and bad practices from cooperation programs, motivated by our deepest convictions and aiming to be the best version of ourselves as a humanitarian organization.

Who knows where we will be by 2050, but we are confident that the social service that we offer today will always be driven by this constant desire to be better and by professionalism; to be able to see the results of our work, where everything makes true sense: in the happy faces from those who we wish to accompany. That is our most important capital.


First Volunteer Work in La Bandera

Jorge Molina
Volunteer Coordinator in Chile

One of the Africa Dream’ motivations, beside sending volunteers to the African continent, is to perform, what we call, a “mirror voluntary work”, meaning, to replicate activities that we develop just as much in Africa as in Chile. With this, we are trying that volunteers create an awareness, ideas and energy for their journey, so they can share their experiences and give feedback to the next generation of volunteers.

In this opportunity, as a first volunteer act of the year, our team in Santiago joined the kindergarten JUNJI Crecer con Amor, in the San Ramon region, close to La Bandera settlement. In that place we proposed to develop a series of activities which objective was to include the just as much the kindergarten as the community, so the volunteer work wouldn’t be just a material assistance. Among them, a workshop aimed at teaching how to make an herbarium, the construction of compost pen and the teaching about the benefits of herbal medicine.

In May, as a first activity, we started the construction of five vertical vegetable patches. We used pallets with the idea of promote recycling or reuse; and to obtain variety, we use — different kind of seeds – such as, lettuce, onions, cabbage etc. – and the most important ingredient: motivation.

The activity started on a Saturday morning. When we got there, we were very well received by the principal and her team, with a meeting that allowed us to chat and get to know each other before we got to work. Most of the team didn’t know the kindergarten, so we did a tour on the establishment to decide and clarify some assembly details. Between the excitement and the nerves, the only thing that we knew was we needed to build the vegetable patches and the that will be three teams, but, how will we do it?

The challenge was to make those, who had never done anything like this before, to understand how to do the job and to reach a satisfactory result. In this occasions, it is necessary of course, to be open minded, and to listen and have initiative. At the end, all of that was there. The conversation between the teams and the parents who were assisting was very natural. There were laughs and jokes through the entire day. There was so much motivation that day, that the misses of the kindergarten brought their own plants to put them in the yard.

At the end of the day, the vegetable patches were ready and with a huge satisfaction on how we finished this activity, there was only one thing to do, order and put away everything. Did we end up tired? I can assure that more than one went to have a nap, a deserved rest…

A few days after the activity, I can make several conclusions; to assess with a critical look and make observations. However, the most important thing is to learn what we did, saw and listened at the kindergarten. This vertical vegetable patches can be the beginning of a signature to Africa Dream. In time, we can keep continuing the development of the constructions, esthetic or even to update with a new design. The important thing is that day we gave the first step of creating something that can be replicated in others schools and/or kindergartens, to provide a new solution and a new knowledge to the children and who knows, maybe in the future, to move this idea to the African continent.

Gabriel´s first month in Kenia

Gabriel Melo
Volunteer in Kenia

Africa… it is difficult to talk about it. Being almost in my fourth month in this beautiful continent, it is inevitable wanting to share my experience.

The first days, I define them as innocence time, where I find myself with a totally new and attractive world, they had fulfilled my soul. With frequency, I was moved, with only be in the presence of needed people, but despite of being in such conditions, they always returned a smile, the kind that not even one hundred selfies can get it.

Then, the time to get to work with my job in the organic farm started, which the name is “The 3000 Friends Farm”. The post-visit motivation was there, on the Samburu Lands, where all the missions are carried out and where the people, who the program is for lives, and with all the convictions rooted in me. The first period I dedicated myself to learn, trying to participate in all the daily chores involving the land. I learned about the animals, how to treat and deal with them. Also, I realized how hard is the manual work with the land, so much that I had learned to appreciate with admiration to the people who give their life to this noble profession.

On the other hand, on weekends, I had destined my free time to get familiar with the surrounding areas of big Nairobi, which has been very advantageous to meet new people and to be enrich with opinions and new ways to see the world. In the same way, and as long as the time was passing by, with the Chilean community in the country, we created bonds and moments to gather and remember our beloved homeland from the other side of the world.

Regarding to the realities that I have seen in these months, I can say that they have been diverse. On one hand, I had met the living conditions of the villages in the Samburu land, where is in the down town-north of the country: traditionalist people and very attach to their customs, people that had learned to laugh utmost even when they had the minimum. On the other hand, the big metropolis of Nairobi, comparable with our capital, where the social contrasts are surprising and the problems with the institutions are obvious, it often makes me think about what is ethically correct in a modern society.

However, despite of the culture shock, I wouldn’t change this experience for nothing. As long as the time pass by, Africa is showing me its beauty in the little details of everyday, giving me, in different moments, the opportunity to overcome myself and break my own schemes and boundaries, which is definitely helping me to grow as a person.

Likewise, the farm work has been a tremendous challenge. At least today, I’m calm knowing that we did everything we could, putting our hearts and energy to carry out this project, because we believe in the people that works with us, just like the growing of the Samburu people, who are our north, in every morning when we start the day.

Finally, I would like to thank Africa Dream Foundation, for the opportunity of being here and its constant concern for its volunteers on the field, as well, the Yamural Missioner Institute for accepting and including me as member of their community.

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Santiago, Chile
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