‘Tis was a great holiday season and a wonderful start of 2016, here at ITDP. For nearly 10 years, we have been fortunate enough to have the help of volunteers from The Well Community Church join us in the Ma Oh Jo community. This year was another success, and among many successful projects, many new relationships were built.
The Well has been dedicated to improving the Ma Oh Jo community and has worked with ITDP from the very beginning. Over the years, there has been a tremendous community transformation and it has had a huge impact on the lives of the villagers. It’s a great thing to see two cultures come together and be able to laugh at their differences, and accept that they are all there for a common goal.
This years team had 15 volunteers, 4 of which were returnees. The villagers are always delighted to see familiar faces and be acquainted with new ones, although they might be a little shy at first. With quite a large language barrier, hand gestures and facial expressions can go a long way to break the ice. And when all else fails, nothing beats a good laugh.
Following ITDP philosophy, these trips are about more than development projects, it’s also about sustaining the foundation of trust, faith and friendship. The firework and lantern celebrations, village market nights, church services, baptisms and student led recitals showed just that.
It is also about teamwork, as villagers and volunteers worked hand in hand on projects. In just two weeks time, The Well and villagers were able to collaborate on tasks such as brick making, bio gas systems, planting gardens, painting classrooms, nursing sessions, building a water tank, VBS, and baking lessons!
On behalf of ITDP and the Ma Oh Jo Community, we would like to thank every volunteer for giving their all, and for embarking on this trip half way around the world.
It is people like you, who are changing the world. Thank you.