I also have learned over time that most places have different needs and require distinct kinds of support, care, and comfort. During my first stint in Gambia as a UN volunteer realized that I had to take a different approach to my work by assisting local people in one of the world’s poorest countries by providing direct support to help people live a little better. At the time I committed to a small group of people, providing at that time, financial and other support to lift themselves from their quagmire of poverty.
I didn’t ever perceive I could change the world but discovered I could contribute to some people enough to change their world over time. My commitment was established during this first venture into Gambia, such was I affected by the “lack” that I witnessed.
Another volunteer opportunity appeared for me in Gambia in 2013, providing me chance to continue and expand the miniscule contributions to help a few with education, food, and medical care even at that early stage. This time I was determined to do more. Once there, I started receiving requests for support from adults and children alike, thus my base of people needing help grew during the almost two years I was there. I had managed most of the support myself with my little saving and pension, but my assignment ended in Early 2015.
After two years supporting people once again from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Many of you have been part of my work, supporting me financially, morally, and spiritually, all of which has been very much appreciated, indeed it has helped me survive. But my commitment, determination, and the effort required has taken its toll on my health and my resources.
Covid torpedoed any consulting work and has made fund raising difficult at home for some supporting me and has increased dramatically the needs of local people here who have had little or no government support since it appeared.
My efforts over time and a dose of Covid affected my health obliging me to return and seek some resolution for an illness affecting my feet and legs and, to seek sustenance for my soul, physical healing, and to reflect, and explore more, even, better ways to do what I do without my working nonstop, as I have for five years.
My mission is continuing from here providing food, school fees and health care when required providing personal and moral support to many. With the benefit of social media people can receive help, and I can have the rest and medical attention I need to regain my strength. I miss the children, and I am sure they will miss me.
I continue to share stories and seek your advice and support. I am so surprised how so many in world haven’t yet discovered that life is all about, caring, compassion, and supporting each other, so that we all survive; not only as individual beings’ but as humans. Our gift is our humanness; our challenge is to unfold it for the benefit of all. We are also observing this lesson in our world today being demonstrated by all of those supporting, caring, and providing accommodation and safety for Ukrainians being displaced – it is truly life’s real magic at work.
One thing is for sure, my heart has been touched and my being expanded by the warmth and love that I have experienced, especially from the little children who, each in their own way, has warmed my soul and lightened my burden by demonstrating love as pure and pristine as it can be: an incredibly special gift in my life.
Written by William (Bill) Pardy
June 8th,, 2008