“The more we dedicate ourselves to the other, the more we want to do it” – Prince Kalolo.
By: Suelen Targon – journalist volunteer FWB
Amidst so many events in the world, there are still those who care about their fellow man, dedicating themselves to a life of love and Ubuntu, as is the story of the 28-year-old Prince Kalolo, coordinator of the Fraternity Without Borders (FWB) Madagascar Action project.
The leader Ubuntu Prince arrived in Malawi/Africa as a refugee, he was welcomed by the FWB, and has been in this fraternal family for already two years. He currently works in the administration of one of the most challenging projects: Madagascar Action. At the site, he helps in the pedagogical coordination. “Being part of the FWB means a lot to me; being surrounded by this circle of love gives me strength to get up and act. This is what gave me my identity as a human being. They have believed me since the beginning.” says Prince.
Want to know more? Check out the interview below:
FWB – What does the word Ubuntu mean?
Prince: It is a philosophy that preaches love, brotherhood, equality, and unity. It is an African ethic that means “I am what I am because we all are. Those who have Ubuntu are those who understand that we need one other for everything.
FWB- How long have you been doing volunteer work and why did you decide to do it?
Prince: I have been a volunteer for five years. The more you dedicate yourself to the others, the more you want to do it. I feel comfortable and happy when I am seservinthe others. I do this kind of work because it allows me to serve people from the heart, to share energy, and to always be ready for others. Not only that, but also to allow God to use me as an instrument to reach out to those in need. It is also the only way to be close to and understand pains and sufferings of others in order to learn.
FWB- Tell us about the feeling of being part of Fraternity without Borders.
Prince: I feel surrounded by the family of brothers and sisters, father and mother with love, understanding, joy and peace. I feel very blessed to be part of the family of fraternity. Love is good for me and so is being around good people.
FWB – How long have you been in the Madagascar Action project and what was your first learning experience in the area?
Prince: Two years ago. I even remember the date, it was May 22, 2019. Now, talking about my learning, arriving in Ambovombe/Madagascar, I could already feel the Ubuntu philosophy when I heard a father say “Your illness is my illness, your pain is my pain.” This touched me very much. This father said that he would not eat until his neighbor had something to eat as well. When we are in our community and we see the other brother asking for something to eat, the neighbor shares the food with everyone. That is what we call Ubuntu.
FWB- What is the south of the island of Madagascar like? Or better saying: what is Ambovombe like?
Prince: You know hunger, thirst? That aching of the heart and soul? That is experienced around here on a daily basis. It is very sad to have to say this nowadays, but only those who know this reality know how much this place is forgotten. The poverty here is extreme, there are dozens of families without anything to eat, without any basic access conditions that every human being should have, such as water. I have seen many families feeding themselves with the fruit of the cactus and manioc flour, which is dehydrated on the roofs and mixed with water (when there is water). In addition, it is worth mentioning that here water is worth gold: sold at very high prices. When residents manage to buy water, they use it for cooking. Baths take place only when it rains. There is no soap or shampoo, nothing.
FWB – And how does the Madagascar Action project work in this area?
Prince: The project in Madagascar works in the following areas: health, education, social actions, love (lots of love), and daily care. Thanks to the sponsors of the cause, we are able to serve more than a thousand children and their families every month. Not only that, but we also provide health facilities for vulnerable families and other people around the southern part of Madagascar. We also help in family planning education, giving help to pregnant women. We also have a clinic within our reception center that has already won the hearts of all the residents in the region.
FWB – How many children are received at the welcome center today?
Prince: We have an average of 2,500 children who participate in the project every day.
FWB – How is the project going with this pandemic?
Prince: Unfortunately, the situation has become worse. Everything has increased, especially hunger. It is very difficult, no rain, sandstorm every day, people can’t grow crops, malnutrition has increased, there is immigration of people from other villages to our reception center after refugee, the number of children in all the centers is increasing, but the project is struggling a lot to cope with the situations. We really need help.
FWB- What are the ways of helping?
Prince: There are several different ways, but today the monthly contribution of sponsorship will help a lot. Because it is through this act of love that we are able to bring sustainability and allow a new child to be welcomed by the FWB. The situation is critical, but only human love is capable of ending all this inequality and bringing hope.
Sponsor the Madagascar Action project and help us to reach other hearts and strengthen our support network for those who need help and fraternity the most.