I am Natsai Donnah Mhosva, from Zimbabwe. I am in Kenya for the next 9 months as part of the Fredskorpset (FK) Norway exchange program attached to the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET). Fredskorpset (better known as FK) means the Peace Corps in Norwegian. The FK programme facilitates young people from different parts of the world to meet and work together to strengthen understanding between the global North and the global South as well as to increase expertise in international matters. This is done through partnerships namely the North – South partnership between Norwegian companies, enterprises and organisations with enterprises in the South – that is countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and the South- South partnership which has components as stated above but is between countries in the South.
I am part of the South- South partnership, the Africa cycle, which sees partnerships between Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, South Africa, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda and Madagascar, with its uniqueness being that there is shared common ground within these countries. The Exchange programme facilitates the exchange of personnel within participating organizations with an aim to transfer expertise/skills and promote networking for a period of thirteen months.
The programme is supported by FK Norway, a Norwegian governmental body with a widespread network of partners (organizations, companies, and institutions) and participants, mostly young people aged 18 to 35 years. It is in essence a process of making the world a smaller and better place. In the period 2013 to 2014, FEMNET is partnering with Zimbabwean-based Public Affairs and Parliamentary Support Trust (PAPST) and Ugandan-based DRASPAC in the Fredskorpset (FK) Exchange programme in a project dubbed “Good governance and communication”.
Coming to Kenya was a scary decision, as nothing can fully prepare one for the world of the unknown. So many questions of ‘what ifs’ and the mind nagging idea that there is no better place than home became a constant part of me. “Fortune favors the brave”, my elder brother said this Latin proverb to me as we talked about the preparation of joining the FK program. His was a response to my uncertainty of getting to leave the comfort zone of my home country into new territory. This has been my daily mantra, and it has definitely given me much needed courage. The process however, is proving to be life changing in more possible ways than I could ever imagine.
So here I am, loving many aspects of Kenya and the life in it, from the matatu rides to the beautiful landscapes surrounding me, more than sure that I am in the process of making a difference.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear- James Neil Holingworth