My journey at ORAP which is ending on the 16th of December 2016, began on the 15th of April 2016. As just a 21-year-old curious little girl accompanied with confusion mixed with anticipation, looking back now I am amazed at how much I have gained by being temporarily a part of this organisation.
As a student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree, I had vague ideas on what development is practically about which was soon to change. It was through the ORAP Philosophy of self-sufficiency that I personally understood that development, including my own personal development, did not require handouts or aid for it to be a reality, but rather emanated from being self-dependent and willing to work hard and explore my possibilities. I was even fortunate enough to witness how negative handouts can be for the communities that ORAP operates in together with other NGOs. Most of the beneficiaries of such aid had developed a very powerful dependency syndrome on aid which stifled any room for development to an extent that most of such people had completely stopped making efforts to develop their lives with the belief that aid was going to come to them anyways.
This will help me professionally when I become a Development Practitioner in the near future because I would understand the dangers of freely doing things for poverty stricken people as compared to empowering them to do development initiatives on their own, which is a concept I would not have effectively grasped outside of ORAP. Apart from the above, I experienced personal growth through numerous workshops that promoted self introspection and forced me to think outside the comfort zone. Additionally, I understand that I owed it to myself to work towards my happiness, my success in life and accomplishment of my goals. To add on to that, I had a great mentor who encouraged me to improve in my tasks and for that I am equally grateful. Although, there are fears on the uncertainty of acquiring a job in our current state of economy in Zimbabwe, I feel empowered to face it positively and manoeuvre my way around it, also having steadfast faith that all things are eventually going to work out for my good through Christ.
DELSHA RUFARO LYDIA