Kanduwa Sande is a policeman at the Machinga Police Station in Malawi. The 42-year-old also has a love for sports. So, he has worked for the last 10 years to create a sports center with areas like a track, netball court and climbing walls for children.
Sande says the aim is to help develop sports and reduce crimes such as rape and sexual assault in his community.
“One of our responsibilities as police officers is also to reduce crime — to prevent people from doing crime," he said. "So, when one is idle, surely that person will indulge him or herself in other bad behaviors like committing crimes.”
Sande has been doing his volunteer work since 2011. He uses savings from his monthly wages and works at the sports center during his free time.
“I don’t spend my lunch hour [break], one hour and 30 minutes, eating only," Sande said. "No. I also work for maybe 50 minutes. Every day of my lunch hour is sacrificed for voluntary work.”
Over the years, Sande ignored comments from people who did not understand the reasons behind all of his work. Some called him crazy. He asked his wife to also ignore them.
Sande said, “Because I knew people would say so many things to my wife: ‘Are you allowing this one to do this job? Are you married to this person, this mad person?’ So I said, ‘Don’t tell me anything you hear from other people that will derail me from doing this.”
In 2017, his volunteer work earned him an innovation award for sports. He was sent on a month-long visit to China, where he learned how best to continue working on the sports center. Soon after, he bought and began using machinery to speed up the project.
Government sports officials and community leaders sometimes visit the center to express thankfulness for the work he is doing.
Sande said the sports center is now nearly complete and expected to officially open to the public at the end of December.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Lameck Masina reported on this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in This Story
idle – adj. not working or in use
indulge – v. to give in to the desires of
commit – v. to do something that is illegal or harmful
crazy – adj. not mentally sound
derail – v. to make progress or success difficult for
innovation – n. a new idea, method, or device