As we learnt in physics, two positive electrical charges repel each other and that is kind of how it started out like in the first week of our placement. This was evidenced by the gap that existed when it came to sitting style in the office and minibus. National volunteers were separating themselves from the UK volunteers.
Not only that, but also chatting in an open manner was a challenge that indicated the weak bond, which was there in the beginning. I think one main reason for the disagreements was a lack of tolerance to each other’s culture, which resulted into cultural dynamics since people did not know the importance of multiculturalism as far as development is concerned.
Since little-by-little makes a bundle, things kept getting better in the second week. All fears started to vanish as everyone was open and free to talk and express themselves in their culture, which helped to diversify the knowledge to both UK and national volunteers. This measure was in both participation and contribution to the team’s activities. Humility, understanding, tolerance and appreciation of one’s culture, which developed between members from both sides, played a huge role in bringing us closer.
The third week was a week of achievements for the team. This is because the UK and national volunteers are now united by a bond so strong, which seems to be everlasting. This has brought in togetherness as the team works like people from the same family, an assurance that the planned activities will be achieved. The proverb, which says birds of the same feathers flock together, has been proven right in this experience.
There is a big guarantee that at the end of our placement the team will paint a good picture as far as coordination is concerned.
Written by ICS volunteer Langson Kamwela