Volunteer experience by Amelia
I went to Africa completely alone, knowing no one, having no idea what the next 4 months were going to hold for me. I was introduced to Lifted Strong and there, the Mamas became my family and my friends. I felt taken care of, and heard. Every morning when I walked in to work I went down the line from Mama to Mama receiving a big hug from each woman, and the English greetings we had been practicing like “how are you today” and “I am good, thank you”.
These amazing women asked me questions and truly wanted to hear what I had to say. They asked me about my family, about my school, and all about America. They braided my hair and gave me the food they cooked. In the span of a few weeks we went from strangers to family. Not only are the women at Lifted Strong fantastic humans, Lifted Strong as an organization in general is so special. The founders, Joyce and Eva, created LISCO after seeing a true need in the community. They put more time, effort and care into it than they can spare, and are two of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.
They integrated me into the work they do seamlessly and were so gracious in helping me when I would mess up my Swahili or be late to work because my bus broke down. At Lifted Strong I taught business, English, math, cooking, beading, and other valuable skills. However, from the strength, joy, and love of the Mamas, I learned more than I could have ever taught them. This organization has left me with lasting lessons that I feel so grateful for. I learned that when we work together we can achieve so much more than if we work alone. I learned that it is through community we build each other up and heal together. Lifted Strong is an utterly amazing organization that I hope to work with for the rest of my life.