A lot of people have been asking me recently why am I doing this? Why am I giving up my well paying(ish) job, packing up my lovely house (especially now it is completely finished) and going 4,100 miles to a small country that is half the size of Scotland!!! I do not have one answer to these very good questions at all. And the harder I think about it the less of a definitive answer I have. I suppose the short answer would be 'I don’t know'.
I don’t know why, at a concert 7 years ago, my heart was touched by 25 Ugandan children. I don’t know why there was only I, out of an audience of 500+, signed up for a volunteer information pack. And I don’t know why I have had the desire year in year out to go back there. A Year ago when I told my head teacher what I was thinking of doing he turned around and asked my why I wanted to go there when there were so many needy children in this country that I could help.
I know throughout my teaching time in the UK I have helped children, and I could name about 15 right now who would have otherwise followed a very different path had I not encouraged them down the music route. There is such an absolute NEED out there in the developing world, absolutely far greater than in the UK. My position was filled very quickly at my last school, with a large number of applicants. Right now there are currently about 6 volunteers signed up for Rwanda out of a total of 18 places. However, that is a very small drop in the ocean compared with how many schools there are in Rwanda. We get to help 18 high schools out of a total of 668 and that does not go anywhere near the 2416 primary schools in the country.
So I suppose the answer to the question "why" is "why not"!
Why should I not go out there? I am young, I have no dependants, I have the skills that they need and the desire to do it, so why not?
Volunteering goes right to the core of the human nature, it is the essence of mankind - to help someone less fortunate than yourself.