Blessed to be in Mission, Part 2
In part two of this three-part Global Justice Volunteer series, Larissa Ngoma shares the joys of her 10-week assignment with Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. in the Philippines.
Larissa Ngoma, a 2014 Global Justice Volunteer (GJV), is indeed aware that she has been blessed to be in mission. She returned home from her 10-week mission assignment with Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) in the Philippines with a heart full of joy, and knowing that her life has been impacted forever.
At first, Ngoma wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, yet she trusted the Lord to guide her every step of the way.
“Upon arrival, I was impressed by the humility, helpfulness and kindness of the Foundation’s staff members,” said Ngoma. “I was also impressed by the teamwork and the spirit of community. Everyone apparently enjoyed his or her work. My first impressions did not change but instead grew daily.”
At KKFI, Ngoma worked with the Alternative Learning System (ALS) for the out-of-school youth living inside the Manila North Cemetery (MNC) and the Tondo District of the City of Manila. “There, the living and the dead shared a home,” Ngoma remembers. “It was the shock of my life to see people calling a cemetery their home.”
It was in this cemetery that Ngoma began to understand poverty, love, and justice in a new way. She said, “Caring for people who are considered ‘ghosts’ in the larger society is a sign of the true love preached by our Lord Jesus-Christ. Poverty has become a vicious circle in today’s world; children born in poor families will automatically remain poor because they inherit the poverty and pass it to the next generation. Education is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty and change people’s lives,” continued Ngoma.
Ngoma enjoyed working with the children as a teacher with the ALS program. She believes that she was blessed with an education to share her knowledge. Although it was her job to teach the students, she was also learned from the children.
“I have learned a lot from the KKFI youth. They are always optimistic,” said Ngoma. “They always remind me that patience is not how long you wait but your attitude while waiting. They have the right attitude and are on their way to a better life. KKFI works towards community development and empowerment though education…it is a life-changing organization,” continued Ngoma.
KKFI has not only inspired their community in the Philippines, they have also inspired Ngoma’s journey to fighting for justice. Ngoma is thankful for her experience, and to the staff and community who welcomed her so warmly. She plans to continue working to see a more equal and just world for all.
Ngoma concluded, “This visit has really impacted my life and made me realize that injustice is real in the world. To strive for a just world, there is a need to first acknowledge that injustice exists. Inequality is growing as globalization speeds up; with some people getting richer more quickly, and others getting poorer at a faster pace.”
Generation Transformation offers service opportunities for young adults ages 18-30. Click here to learn about the three different mission service tracks: Global Mission Fellows, Global Justice Volunteers and Individual Volunteers.