As of October 1, 2019, I have been working for Village Impact for six years!
When I joined Village Impact, the mission was the same as it is today, but we have grown to expand the scope of our work. We were just constructing our second school (Springs High School) when I came on board, and six years later we are now building our thirteenth school!
Throughout this journey, I have learned lessons and had unique encounters and experiences that make this job a very satisfying and wonderful endeavor in my life.
Here are six lessons I’ve learned in my six years with Village Impact:
1. Working with People
Growing up I was an introverted, bookish kid. I was always more interested in learning how things work—I even started school to learn computer science. But later, I changed my course in college and instead completed a community development practitioner program.
Village Impact gave me the perfect opportunity to turn that education and training into a life.
I was thrust right into the crucial role of networking, and have realized that my favorite part of this job is actually building relationships with our communities, partners and other stakeholders.
Working with people used to be a terrifying ordeal that I avoided, but now it is something I look forward to.
2. The Unmatched Joy of Completing Projects
Throughout my years with Village Impact, I have seen various projects grow from their conception phase all the way through to completion—and been a part of every wonderful and overwhelming decision and action in between. There is nothing more joyous and greatly fulfilling than seeing a school spring up and kids learning in classrooms where none existed before.
The celebrations of joy when we launch a school are just the icing on the cake in comparison to the fulfillment I gain working throughout every phase of the project.
In my first year, I saw Kimgul Primary School rise up from a field of overgrown sisal plants into a thriving school! Ever since that first project, I eagerly look forward to continuing to build more schools and impacting more people. I get to be part of the frontier of all these developments!
3. Learning Photography
I always loved cameras and taking photographs. I started interacting with donors who had professional cameras and then working with our film and photography crews. I first used a proper camera that belonged to a donor and, once I had that taste, I bought my own personal proper camera. I even enjoy using it for work.
Village Impact has allowed me to properly learn the art and skill of photography.
Since then, I have been learning more about the art of photography, and I am presently adding video editing and production to my repository of skills so we can tell better share stories from the field.
4. Transformation and Capacity Building
In the last six years, I have had to do things I never thought I’d be good at—things way beyond my comfort zone—and I have excelled and conquered new areas. For instance, I’ve planned conferences, facilitated events and even helped build out our team and learn how to bring new colleagues on board when they were hired.
I never thought I had this strength, but through opportunities at Village Impact, I have learned to stretch myself and have gained invaluable experiences.
5. Amazing People and a Great Team
I can’t overstate how important this is in a person’s work-life because encounters with toxic coworkers can ruin even the best job and lead to misery and regrets in one’s life outside work.
Working at Village Impact has been such a joy, in no small part because of the people I work with.
From when I started working till now, everyone has been a pleasure to work with. We have built a team that cares for one another. I have the blessing of amazing bosses to direct and manage me, and my colleagues aren’t just workmates, we’re friends.
6. Making a Real Difference
Not many jobs can give you a sense of accomplishment that is so evident in my job.
I know what I do brings tangible change in people’s quality of life.
It’s this sense of making a difference through my work gets me going in the morning. It gives me the push when things get hard and when situations seem insurmountable. The knowledge that what we do together will improve a child’s life brings almost unparalleled satisfaction and it keeps me grounded and dedicated to accomplishing every task before me.
I have loved working with Village Impact for the last six years and am looking forward to many more years of doing the great work of improving access to education for the people in my country, Kenya, and perhaps even beyond…
Village Impact doesn’t just give me a job, it provides me with a soul-enriching and rewarding life!
-Sam, Field Rep