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MY AFRICAN ADVENTURE - United Kingdom

Iwona Macalka 1I have loved Africa since I was a little girl and have managed to visit the continent in my adulthood which has only increased my love for its peoples and cultures. When I found out that the 2018 World Union of Catholic
Women’s Organisation General Assembly (WUCWO) was going to be hosted in Dakar, I was thrilled. There was also another exciting development to attending this event which was the small charitable educational organisation I had both founded and run – “Pencils for All” was going to become a new associate member!

I enjoyed every minute of the experience, which included attending meetings, taking part in discussions, offering prayers, listening to talks, participating in singing, dancing and cultural/tourist events. I made new friends and learned fresh ideas. I never even imagined connecting with so many other women representing different countries and cultures and yet that was possible through the deep feeling of sisterhood and unity.
It turned out that no matter what part of the world we had come from, issues such as family, safe living, healthy planet, equality, human rights, holiness…..were and are universal. I left the Assembly positively encouraged and full of enthusiasm to continue sharing and providing however I was able to.
I stayed for another week in Dakar volunteering with the Franciscans. This gave me the perfect opportunity to experience Dakar with the local people. I felt very privileged to be welcomed into the community with such ease. The experience taught me that we are stronger together. We share the same faith and love, which encourages us to do things for others without limitations. I am now planning another trip to South Sudan, where I have not visited previously and will spend a longer length of time there to carry out some voluntary work in a Primary School.
This project will help deliver better quality free education for the most vulnerable members of the community. It will also enable me to experience once again a simple and wonderful life as well as appreciating those things I might otherwise take for granted.

 

Iwona Macalka

Pencils for all, United Kingdom

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