It’s so lovely to take time out in our busy lives to reflect, and on the first day of the Business Chicks Leadership and Immersion program to Malawi with The Hunger Project, we got to do just that.
To start our day, we reflected on all those things in our lives that we were so grateful for which was very special. Families featured strongly, along with hot running water and electricity and the gift of being born in a country like Australia. Now at the conclusion of our fundraising journey and before we head out to visit our Village Partners, we visited what we’re most proud of and the leadership lessons we’ve learned so far.
It’s so great to just stop and think about everything we’ve achieved to be here. Often when congratulations are offered or people praise us for the work we’ve done, we’re quick to wave them aside and move on… but it has been an epic journey to raise $10,000 for a cause that means something to us and step outside of our usual operating space and into where the magic happens.
Many realised how we’re capable of so much more than we thought possible, others thrived on the importance of collaboration and some shared that Fear was their greatest teacher. Also, it’s ok to prioritise ourselves and that receiving help can be empowering. So many learnings! My notebook is bursting already!
We learned how to be more present to take in comprehensively what we’re about to encounter in the villages, and that in being uncomfortable or challenged means we’re ready for growth.
A lesson learnt in Uganda last year was highlighted – that we need to “stop being so transactional and start being transformational” – definitely words from the wise. (Thank you Joel!)
Next was taking on the true understanding of chronic persistent hunger and how the symptoms we’ll see are merely the visual from deep rooted social and mental structures.
“It’s hard to create a vision when you don’t even believe that you’re worthy of having one.” We identified and confronted our own fears for the coming days and weeks and those we’d face on our return home.
It was then time to learn how The Hunger Project tackles the huge issues of poverty and hunger with 5 seemingly basic steps:
- Change in Mindset
- Good Leadership
Sounds so simple right? Yet the mindset training alone takes up to two years! It also makes us challenge what holds us back? What are beliefs we have that keep us back from achieving all that we want? Some deep diving to be done here!
The fabulous country director of The Hunger Project Malawi, Rolands Koatcha then spent a couple of hours explaining his own background in the villages, personally facing poverty and hunger with his eight siblings and how education has transformed his life, and of his passion and purpose in changing the lives of his fellow Malawian brothers.
All in all, a very long, epic day full of sharing, love, laughter and tears and preparation for us to head out into the field tomorrow to see one centre firsthand already at the stage of self-reliance and meet the people whose lives are being changed every day.