Being a volunteer at the NGO has opened my eyes and heart in many different ways. I highly recommend this experience to anyone that is passionate about international cooperation, renewable energies, reforestation, sustainability and working in the field.
I have been 9 weeks in Lobitos, living and working in the NGO house. My role was to support one of the ongoing projects on renewable energies: a backup system along with a wind turbine installation in the medical post of Lobitos. My objective was first to size and order the backup system (consisting of batteries and inverter) in order to cover the urgent issue of having blackouts that threat the safety of some vaccines being conserved in refrigerators. Regardless of the challenges found along the way (many of them related to the complexities of working in the field), we could achieve this objective and the backup system was purchased while I was there and will be installed soon after my departure.
This means that during my time there I could see first hand the results of my work and I left Lobitos knowing that the positive impact of the project will be experienced soon by the inhabitants, what fills me with great pride and satisfaction. The project I have been contributing to addresses a real need of the community and being able to directly approach the people involved face to face, understand their problems and be part of the solution, was incredibly fulfilling.
Not only have I been collaborating with this interesting project, but to many others like reforestation and impact research through social surveys. I loved the fact that the work at EcoSwell was really dynamic, each day was different and full of new life-lessons to learn. The environment is really welcoming and professional at the same time, what encourages everyone to give their best while creating beautiful connexions with the people in the house and outside. Besides, Lobitos is a town where you can find local people, people from the capital and international volunteers and travellers with whom exchange really interesting conversations. This makes the experience still more enriching and diverse.
Finally, I would like to highlight the fact that living in similar conditions to the people you are trying to help (Lobitos community in this case) is essential and eyeopening for western people like me. Many prejudices will fall. Regarding sustainability, living in the NGO house in an integrated way with the environment you’re surrounded by (using the dry toilet, generating compost, reusing water…) is amazing and incredibly increases your self-awareness of the carbon footprint you as a human being have in the world.
Once back home, I just feel so grateful and with my heart full of experiences, learning and beautiful people. Thank you to everyone that made this possible!