Review Blog

Jul 19 2012

We are one village by Nikki Lovell

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Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781742378367.
Highly recommended. We Are One Village follows the journey of ex-Adelaide school girl Nikki Lovell who, at the age of 18, went to work as a volunteer aid worker in the small Ugandan Village of Namwendwa.
Nikki, unaware of the extent of poverty and disease in Namwendwa and its neighbouring villages, witnesses and is subjected to some very confronting situations. AIDS, unclean water, lack of basic necessities and a monotonous daily diet of tasteless porridge are the harsh everyday realities that these people face.
Throughout the book, Nikki's cheerful presence impacts the villagers significantly, making her a popular figure amongst the younger children. She and her colleagues assist in teaching the villagers the basics of good health and hygiene practices, as well as building up a school library stocked with books from Australian donors.
Written as a personal diary, we as readers, are given an insight into her thoughts, feelings and the labours that need to be undertaken by her and the villagers on a daily basis.
Not only do we see her struggle between her Australian upbringing and her new spiritual home, but we also see her coming to terms with a relationship breakup, missing home and the choices she is forced to make regarding her dreams and passions.
I highly recommend this book because despite its sometimes bleak subject matter, nearly every page still manages to provoke a smile. Each carefully written chapter is symbolic of her perseverance, optimism and her desire to make a difference. It is a real eye opener for those of us who take for granted our privileged and safe life, and also to how much of a difference one person can make in so many people's lives.
Nikki is commended for her past and continuing work (she has created her own aid organisation called One Village ) and remains an inspiration to all.
This book is captivating and a true reflection on Nikki's love and care for others.
Courtnie Caldinez (Student)

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