When he joined Creative Centre For Community Mobilisation (CRECCOM)’s Primary School Support Project in 2006 in Dowa District, Potiphar Kamkupa had little life skills needed to get things right in life.
Then he just had a Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) as a qualification. By village standards, he was considered educated. Yet, Kamkupa felt a huge hollow inside him. It was a yearning for more knowledge—knowledge in anything that could help him fix minute life’s puzzles.
But, the man from Sambani Village in Traditional Authority Dzoole in Dowa did not wait for long because CRECCOM announced that it wanted young women and men with MSCE to train as Mobilisation Corps (MCM) of Malawi volunteers. He did not dilly-dally but seize the opportunity.
Thus in 2006, he underwent a two-week training with other 14 MCMs at Mponela in Dowa. It was training that opened a door of opportunity to garner the life skills he would later need in life.
When he was posted to Kanyangara Cluster in the same year he was eager to serve the community and to learn from them. “There are deep lessons in serving others; the reaction you get; the ups and downs you surmount to succeed, all teach you something. To me, I learned about resilience to every setback I’d faced.”
Interestingly for Kamkupa, he was allocated four schools—Kanyangara, Miwale, Maoni and Mtandawagalu. These, he managed without failing. With colleagues, he established reading camps and youth clubs in villages to engage boys and girls in extracurricular activities.
Through his involvement with schools, community leaders and children, Kamkupa learned to be a leader. This skill has helped him even up to date.
“In church, I volunteer any work. At a community level, I participate in any work. I do not refuse any work because CRECCOM taught us to serve others,” he explains.
Yet, Kamkupa was transferred to Chinkoka Cluster where he was given four schools again, namely Chinkoka, Bowe, Kachipande and Msambaudza.
When the project phased out in 2008, he returned home where he runs different businesses. While with CRECCOM, he learned about financial records and budgeting. These, he says, are life skills that he learned with CRECCOM.