Africa University students change the world daily
ON THE GROUND: The Rev. N. Neelley Hicks reports from Zimbabwe, where she is visiting Project Tariro, an HIV/AIDS ministry.
How do you go about changing the world? Commit to what you can do, with the skills and the resources you have. This is what’s happening at Africa University, where the students are about changing the world in many ways, every single day.
Eric Mulanda is president of the Student Representative Council at Africa University, and he is eager to tell about the 14 clubs that the campus sponsors. These clubs, while of a social nature, focus on making the world a better place.
The volunteer activities include connecting with the local mission work at Fairfield Children's Orphanage, helping congregations to build new church facilities, planting trees, teaching HIV/AIDS prevention, and so much more. Clubs must raise their own funds for projects, which they do with soaring optimism and creativity.
When students learned of a local family in need of a decent home, they raised enough money to secure land and construct one. These students dream big, and live into those dreams. From conceiving of a tree planting project to enhance their campus entrance, to sharing their own “biscuits” and candies with children at an orphanage, these students find a way – even when there seems to be no way.
Christian Zigbuo, secretary of two clubs – AU's Volunteers in Mission, and Volunteer Givers Club – says that it is because strangers have given to him that he now wants to give to strangers. Christian, from Liberia, was working at the Ganta Mission when he was asked to further his education in technology. “The agreement is that after I complete studies at AU, I will return to Ganta and work at the mission.”
Christian has said that the mission uses manual medical recording methods and that he would like to develop a database system to help them become more effective in their work. He wants to increase the infrastructure of the communications there so that visitors will have access to the Internet, and thus able to share what they are doing with the world.
On May 14-15, 2011, when The United Methodist Church leads a Change the World worldwide event, these students will be studying for exams. But that won’t stop them.
“We will be registering our clubs for Change the World activities for earlier in May. We want to have all of our clubs participate,” said Eric.
Rather than withdrawing from helping others because of their own hardships, these students have learned the best lesson of all: the human family is at its best when we overcome obstacles to reach out in love. That way, the world is changed and love really does win.
Pictured: Christian Zigbu
Related links:Originally Posted: Apr 29, 2011