Arriving in Beira

SERVE long term volunteer in Cork  Urs Queng writes from Beira, Mozambique. Urs says, “I was drawn to Mozambique due to the nature of the physical work involved.”

More than ten months ago I arrived in Cork, Ireland and started my work with SERVE. My first focus was to see all the new things in Cork and to learn everything about the work there and to settle in.

After just a few weeks SERVE asked me to take part in the volunteer programme the following summer. Lots of previous German volunteers have taken part in the SERVE programme.

It was not very clear if I would have this opportunity because there had not been a volunteer programme for the previous three years due to COVID-19. I had just arrived in Ireland so I wasn’t sure about my decision, but it was soon clear that travelling to the Global South with SERVE would be part of my year volunteering.

The 25th of February was the first SERVE Training Day. This was where I met the rest of the volunteers who would be joining me in Mozambique.

After a few days we just washed everything so it was alright.

But why did I choose Mozambique?
I wanted to go to Africa because I was previously in Rwanda in 2019. This was a very special and enlightening experience. It was clear to me that Mozambique or Zambia were the two options for me. I was drawn to Mozambique due to the nature of the physical work involved.

But back to the training days – this was the start of my journey on the SERVE volunteer programme. We participated in a lot of workshops, preparing us well for our month in Mozambique.

13 days ago we started our journey and flew to Mozambique. It was a very long journey but everything went well, except our bags didn’t arrive in Mozambique with our flight. Because of this the first week was a bit different than everybody expected. We had to wait for our bags at least a week and a few of us for longer than that.

But it wasn’t a big issue because we had all brought spare clothes in our backpacks, and we also bought some new clothes. After a few days we just washed everything so it was alright. After seeing the difficulties that many here experience, I quickly realised that having our baggage wasn’t really that important and that we shouldn’t be sorry about it.

When I observed what the people here had compared to how much we have, I realised that we should be more grateful for what we have.

The first few days were a bit different from what I expected but also full of new experiences and opportunities. We explored Young Africa campus in Beira and Dondo and started our work.

For me it is also a special experience, because with the beginning of my month in Mozambique came the end of my year in Ireland. But I have really enjoyed the first two weeks and I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here and to do my best to help where I can.

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