Interview of Sidwell Friends School Student Gabriel Singer
Interviewer: Please describe what your community service project entailed.
Gabe: My community service project took place in Zambia over the course of 18 days. It involved working at three schools, starting a garden, and building bicycles. We worked with the organizations Playpumps, and World Bicycle Relief. At Chikumbuso, the school where we worked first, we mostly played games and did arts and crafts type things with the kids, leaving all of our supplies behind for the kids. At Malambo school in Monze, a rural village south of Lusaka, we focused on academically-based activities. We made a generous financial donation to help the school repair its facilities, money which all of the participants on the trip had raised themselves. For the garden projects we worked with the Playpump to provide a playground toy which can pump enough water for an entire village to plant the seeds of a garden which will help the Chongwe community become more self-sustainable. Here we contributed enough money for all of the garden tools that the community will need to keep the garden in shape. Lastly, every member of the trip was able to purchase the parts of a bicycle, through World Bicycle Relief, parts which would become 32 sturdy bicycles to help HIV/AIDS caregivers transport medical supplies to homesick patients, as well as transport patients to the hospital if need be.
Interviewer: What was most rewarding for you?
Gabe: The most rewarding thing for me was being able to experience the total warmth and acceptance of another people, even when we come from such different backgrounds.
Interviewer: What was the most challenging aspect of your community service?
Gabe: The most challenging part of my community service project was leaving it all behind.
Interviewer: What lessons did you learn as a result of your community service?
Gabe: I have learned that you can never define whether someone is poor or not. Those that have very little in the way of food, land, and opportunities can live very richly.