3 Countries Living the Dream Under African Skies

How the “Waka Waka” or “can-do” mindset is inspiring people in the continent’s developing nations ahead of Good Deeds Day 2020!

Feb 27, 2020

(Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock.com)

Happily, we’re now getting a lot more accustomed to hearing about how people in the developed world are giving back. But news on the growing community of volunteers in the developing world is rare, and so especially inspiring. This is why Hannah Wojno, directing Good Deeds Day globally, loves to share uplifting news about how community-minded people in Africa are motivating others to make our world a better place. People who are transforming the giving back landscape continent-wide. As the hundreds of participants at the recent second African-wide Good Deeds Day Conference can testify, this Waka Waka (can-do!) mindset is happening on the ground in countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Uganda, to name just a few.

We’re doing a deeper dive on what’s happening in three African countries, Liberia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, to share the love for Good Deeds Day 2020 on March 29. Be inspired!

Liberia is going the extra mile

Ben Gaius is leading African Upliftment, the local organization that’s steering Liberian efforts for Good Deeds Day.

He explained to Goodnet that over the years, doing good has involved the provision of free medical care, food, educational materials, clothing, and even kids’ parties to assorted local communities like Congo Town, situated around five miles south-east of the capital, Monrovia.

For Gaius, the multitude of good that people do for Good Deeds Day spills over beyond the day itself, because locals are forever going the extra mile with their projects! For this year, a week-long doing good fest is planned, with activities that include a Good Deeds Award, a “Health Walk”, a street-cleaning drive, four-team charity soccer games, and free medical checkups, clothing, food, and haircuts across the country.

Gaius is living his motto: “I believe you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!”

(Courtesy of Good Deeds Day)

Rwanda is empowering local volunteers

Executive Director at Rwanda Volunteer Network, Archimede Sekamana, is proud of the amazing growth of Good Deeds Day in his country – from 10 projects in 2019, to 172 planned for 2020, involving close to 10,000 volunteers.

Sekamana spoke to Goodnet about planning activities inspired by previous global Good Deeds Day efforts. These are empowering volunteer organizations to help solve local issues on and around Good Deeds Day this year, with many actions boosting the realization of sustainability goals. Activities are reaching out to youth, women, people living with disabilities, and historically marginalized communities in rural and urban areas.

These activities will culminate in a national celebration on March 29. As Sekamana puts it: “For the climax of the Good Deeds Day Campaign, we’re organizing a National Celebration of Global Good Deeds Day on March 29, 2020 in Nyabihu District, in the Western Province of Rwanda near our National Volcanoes Park – home to the mountain gorillas.”

The day will kick off when local volunteers and those from other provinces join forces to help vulnerable communities with sanitation and hygiene, and donations to local citizens. This will be followed by a fun “Cycling for Good Deeds Day” race for young people, which will see “Cyclists and spectators spreading joy, love and compassion to others as they pass by, providing small gifts, donations and friendly conversation.” Entertainment, talks, refreshments and brainstorming on forward planning will also round off the day.

But Good Deeds Day is now a country-wide occasion. As Sekamana points out: “Good Deeds Day will be celebrated in all 30 districts of Rwanda by 131 organizations who registered to do various acts of kindness.”

(Courtesy of Good Deeds Day)

Zimbabwe is extending a hand to townships

Sakubva township is a high-density suburb of the city of Mutare, in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. This vibrant city-turned-slum contains nearly a quarter of the population of Mutare, despite totaling an area of less than four square miles. It is also where Lucia Nkomo, Founder of the non-profit Rebuild Sakubva, was born, and where she started working with young people and seniors.

Collaborating with Good Deeds Day since 2017, this work has extended to mobilizing doctors to provide free consultations, city cleanup efforts, and the sharing of books with young girls working as market vendors through a mobile library project.

Energized by the first Good Deeds Day Regional Forum in South Africa, Lucia and fellow Zimbabwean, Oswald Chishanga, used WhatsApp to begin recruiting a larger network of caring volunteers whose values align with Good Deeds Day principles. Their efforts have now reached 16 city groups and three university chapters. Local mayors are also backing these projects, which have extended beyond Mutare to three more cities.

For 2020, caring efforts will embrace support for those affected by the Idai cyclone, many of whom lost family members, and their homes. They will be provided with food hampers and vital emotional support.

In 2019, Close to four million volunteers took part in 23,000 projects in 108 countries on the 14th year of this worldwide event that is Good Deeds Day. Every event was fueled by people who are part of a growing global community of citizens moved to better our world. We hope you’re inspired by these heartwarming efforts to go and plan your best ever fest of good turns, big or small, something you do with friends, on your own, or you can join an existing communal project for Good Deeds Day 2020

(Courtesy of Good Deeds Day)

DAPHNE KASRIEL ALEXANDER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.