Another evening, Dan, Newton and I took a walk along the streets near Newton’s house. There weren’t any street lights so the road was quite dark. As we walked, I noticed so many other people walking along the street in the evening, chatting and laughing. The atmosphere was of a bustling community. No one was walking to a store or to work, they were all, like us, going to visit neighbours.
I’ve never felt a community like this before. Everyone was connected and linked to each other. They all worked together, cooked together, ate together, laughed together, struggled together; they simply lived together. The strong relationships within the community blew me away. Here, at home, the evenings are very different. Walking down the street that my home is on in Cambridge, I don’t feel nearly the same atmosphere or connection. It feels like so many people are shut in, disconnected and alone. I think the Popcorn House has helped to create a sense of community in the neighbourhood, but I am grateful for the experience that I had in Malawi and I am eager to use what I have learned from that country in the programs here at home.
There are many things that we can bring to Malawi to improve the current situation, but there is also a lot that we need to learn from the Malawians. There are many hardships that people all over the world have to face, and nobody should face them alone. FVM works in two areas – Taulo, Malawi and Cambridge, Canada. I think the greatest strength of FVM is its unique ability to exchange ideas and resources between these two areas.