Emeka Light Okorie
MY EXPERIENCE AS A MISSION AFRICA VOLUNTEER Life’s most urgent question is; “What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr.
I had always looked for diverse ways of answering this question and decided to take a bold step when I heard about Mission Africa through a friend of mine. I went through Mission Africa website and one of the best things that caught my attention was the slogan ‘Changing lives, one village at a time’.
I registered with Mission Africa in 2015 and since then have participated in the yearly medical outreaches or Mission trips as called by the Executive Director. Volunteering services with Mission Africa has been a mixture of humanitarianism and adventure to me in particular.
During medical outreaches, it’s so exciting travelling to remote villages and riverine areas and spending nights there, exploring diverse customs and traditions in the company of the ‘Chukus’ (Executive Directors Family) who would always channel their resources and comforts to ensure a seamless trip. On the contrary it had always landed me in the reflective ocean of the true meaning of life having realized pains the villagers pass through traveling very long distances in pathetic situations in order to access free medical care from the Mission Africa outreach ground in the community as there is a few or no clinics in the community and environs. I had always tried to fight this sudden emotional switch but will get back at my feet with the words of Mother Theresa which says;” The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it”.
During outreaches, I have worked in different units but majorly have assisted and led in registration of clients. This aspect is like the first one-on-one contact of the people with the medical team. This has really offered me the opportunity to have a feel of what they are passing through and I’m always caught in the web of empathy for the people in this priceless service which I seize every opportunity to give them my time. eventually, it is always an amazing season of joy for me seeing these people drenched in happy mode and satisfaction after the day’s outreach. At several occasions, some of them couldn’t hold back their joyfulness as they would always pray for blessings on Mission Africa and their usual question for the team- ‘When again is Mission Africa coming to this village?’.
In all, I have learned that selfless service, cheerfulness and time management is critical during medical outreaches. By Emeka Light Okorie