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Joseph Piekos - Camp Malawi - Blog #1

Posted by Joseph Piekos on 26 April 2016 | 0 Comments

My name is Joseph Piekos and I'm 15 years old. The day Camps International visited my school, I was certain that they would announce something amazing. My suspicions were confirmed when they hosted an assembly later that morning, armed with unparalleled enthusiasm and an enticing PowerPoint. It was at this point that the two representatives introduced Camp Malawi to the congregation of teenagers sat in front of them. Now, to someone who hadn't been graced with a Camps International assembly, Camp Malawi may just seem like a glorified holiday that happens to be to the poorest country in the world. However I have learned that the time that people spend in the African country of Malawi as part of this particular expedition is so much more.

The prospect of travelling to a country with the lowest income per person in the world of only £157.26 (this fact shocked me the most, as I'd never really accepted how different a whole country can be to our own) excited and intrigued me because it was only a few weeks before that I had been thinking about doing some sort of charity work when I was older. This meant that the prospect of travelling to the beautiful country of Malawi much earlier in my life, to help improve the lives of those less fortunate than many of us made me even more ecstatic than I could've imagined. Therefore I soon signed myself up and began to learn even more about what I would hopefully be doing in Malawi. Almost all of the four weeks that I would spend there would consist of participating in projects that will benefit the local communities, including clean water projects; assisting wildlife conservation and even helping to construct a new school. The huge array of these schemes and tasks make me realise how much of a privilege it would be to be a part of the work in Malawi, and I can be sure that helping to improve people's lives will add something unique to my own character.

As much as I'd love to preach more about the great cause that Camp Malawi is, I would also not be able to stop using words like "hopefully". For me, this does not only relate to my excitement surrounding the trip, but also quite heavily to the cost of the trip. Despite my fascination and eagerness during that first assembly, I also felt slightly apprehensive after I heard that the venture would cost just shy of £4,000. When you hear about having to fundraise a substantial total of almost the cost of 10 iPhone 6's, you can think about it two ways: It's way too much money and I have no idea how to raise it, or raising that much is simply another challenge that will teach you even more skills than just going to Malawi with someone having paid the sum for you. Although that last sentence did sound much better in my head, I hope it got my thoughts across to some extent. This is because they were both genuinely the two things that went through my head when I heard about the need to accumulate £4,000. 

I was, at first, completely stuck for any ideas at all for fundraising, but also knew that when I thought of some they would definitely be able to teach something about management and lots of other important skills. At this moment in time I still have over a year left until the expedition happens and I can't say completely honestly that my fundraising is in full flow. However I can say that it's heading in the right direction, and with some perseverance I will be able to get the £4,000 needed. I'm able to confidently say this because of the fact that I have spoken to a handful of companies and people, who have all made their support of my trip clear to me. To me, this is a massive reassurance because now I know that I have a starting point for my fundraising, and a great example of this is the organisation: Orbital Training and Consulting. They are an innovative company who offer bespoke learning and people development solutions globally, and I hope I will be able to work with them so I can develop my leadership and project management skills.  They will also be one of the companies supporting me financially.  I will certainly be talking about them a lot more in the future.

I had hoped to keep this general introduction brief and succinct, so I'm going to bring it to conclusion by saying that I hope you've enjoyed reading about my (reasonably informative I hope) trip to Malawi in 2017. I will also gladly answer any questions you may have. Any support is greatly appreciated and I can be contacted through e-mail at, and any donations can be made through my GoFundMe page at: .