On August 22th of 2020, I decided to join Africa Dream so one day I could go to Africa as a volunteer. I was not sure if to join now or to wait (for the pandemic to pass , but I sent an e-mail just in case.
They answered me extremely fast and invited me to a meeting where I met Rodrigo Mercado (Executive Director) and his partner Diego Rivera. And just like that, I decided to join the Foundation.
The crew that I found was amazing, full of energy. Many volunteers never had seen each other in person, but in the online meetings, they talked as if they were best friends.
The culture of the Foundation is to help each other, carry out projects, make short classes about interest topics, celebrate birthdays and obviously to make “online parties”, which is what has kept a good performance during these complicated times.
The online voluntary work is a big challenge, it requires commitment and working with a team from all ages and from different parts of Chile, with the purpose to take the dreams of the Foundation forward. It has been a great experience, with an environment with such motivation and positivity that is a real pleasure to be here.
The dream to go to Africa is very present in the team, and we are overly excited to go when the pandemic finishes. Meanwhile, we invite everyone to be part of this great team and to not use Covid as an excuse to postpone our goals.
The perception of time is faster, every day we are more involved in the system, where most of the day and week is worked. The demand overcomes the limits, people are less tolerant and less untrusting.
After a decade of working as a nurse, working in the hospital area, the last 6 years in the critical patient unit has been a daily high demand, which has allowed me to develop professionally, taking care and helping those who are in need. Facing these two motives, it comes a moment to stop and decide to change the direction of my life, to keep helping but now from a different lane. I feel that is the moment to deliver or give back everything that life has given me, to people who need more from us, which makes me decide to go to Africa.
Besides, I have the fortune to share this dream with my boyfriend Javier, a volunteer of Africa Dream, who also enjoys, in a selfless way, to help those in need. I hope to give the best of me, the desire to serve, teach and learn from other African communities, it strongly moves me, to establish new bonds from firsthand to know these ethnics groups.
15 years ago, when Africa Dream was created, we lived in a frenetic Chile, pursuing progress and development. Those were years when society seemed less united and less aware of the connection that exists between humas beings. Joined by the idea of purpose and convinced that solidarity is an intention with no boundaries, we created this dream-adventure of a foundation that could send volunteers to Africa.
Its purpose never was to deliver assistance, that is not the way I see relationships, but the construction of bridges, the mutual understanding where the volunteers will deliver a “traditional” knowledge of education, health and agriculture, to receive and learn the teaching of life. That is what the real Africa gives, an Africa that suffers and lives, where villages still receive the immigrant with songs, and the sound of the drums filters in gets in without invitation to accompany the dream.
Africa Dream started in a localized way, in Sichili, Zambia. But it expanded its progression to other localities and countries. Nowadays, it seeks to create sustainable solutions in the long term, and more than that, to deliver a transformative experience to its volunteers. With the purpose that any action which they undertake in their return to Chile, somehow, is tinge with the learning that they will never forget because it is installed forever in their minds.
In a difficult year for everyone, as the one that is about to finish, I feel that there are many lessons that we must learn as human beings. First, we are all needed. A virus that started so far away and reached us in matters of weeks, to remind us that everyone depends on others; what you do affects me, and what I do, affects others. That inspired this Foundation, and we must not forget we are all needed, we are all united and connected.
Marcelo Mosso G.
Co-Founder Africa Dream