Of course, you learn so much about yourself, you learn how to handle situations which are somehow difficult because of cultural differences and finally you learn so much about a totally different culture which is really important for your own development. I think I can appreciate my life more after my experience here.
Eva-Sophia from Germany
volunteered at Cannan Orphanage
I introduced a new way the children can understand basic math, by playing a speed game on the blackboard. The head teacher loved the idea and will use it for the next class. The relationships that I established are incredibly valuable to me; I know that this is something that will continue and hopefully be long-term. I learned SO much. A huge take away is interaction, how to interact with others on a local level even if you look different, speak different or are stereotyped.
Sherehan from USA
volunteered at KCEP
My objectives were to participate in a normal Kenyan day life and support the people in their work with the children. I hoped to build up a relationship with the children, give them love, attention and support. Besides I aimed to be a useful and accepted part of this project community. I think I achieved most of these objectives. I even feel like a real part of the project family. In any case! You get the chance to learn much about yourself, about handle situations which are somehow difficult because of cultural differences and finally you learn so much about a totally different culture which is really important for your own development. I think I can appreciate my life more after my experience here and I hope to stay in contact with all my new friends and family members here in Kenya. I really hope to get the opportunity to come back soon.
Anja from Germany
volunteered at Cannan
My objective as I joined this project was to Share my Physiotherapy skills and increase kids’ rehab. I was able to achieve this especially the rehab. In the last week I could see kids body more flexible and they could control the body. I was also able to increase the treatment with my neurologic rehab knowledge. Share with the therapist the best we can do it with each kids. The challenge to be a volunteer it’s an experience you can even describe, it’s about feel and the feeling it’s always good, no matter how difficult is.
Fernanda from Brazil
volunteered at Compassionate Hands
I achieve all my objective objectives and I hope the teachers will apply the ideas I gave and the kids will remember things that I taught. I am pretty sure that I have put some ideas or something in their education or even in their live that would not have been possible without the presence of volunteers like me. So, for that I can say that I have achieved my objectives. I liked to live in the rural area, I have really enjoyed Kenyan food.
Jonathan from Canada
volunteered at KCEP
“I got so much from it because I was there for a longer time. I want to go back. It became my home.”
“I enjoyed every day, and I was desperate to stay longer.”
“It may have only been a month, but the relationships formed, and the impact on my life will last forever. I don’t think that I have ever felt so alive. I only wish I had more time. But I know I’ll be back.”
“I had never ever in my life felt so satisfied and happy with myself than I feel now after volunteering with orphans.”
“Volunteering with VACK was everything I could have ever asked for, and more. Upon arrival in Nairobi, I was greeted by staff and immediately felt welcome and part of the team. As an education volunteer teaching English and computer literacy, I was given full ownership of my classes, was provided with materials to help me along the way, and could also count on the mentorship and guidance of the project staff. I was working on this project with two other volunteers, and the three of us felt fully supported and in control of our tasks.”
I came to this place with the intention of helping and mature. I bumped into situations that I was forced to grow, rethink my ideals and realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me in the slightest. Time passes fast and my time here is over. I’m going with a tremendous satisfaction and wanting to get back in the future. There will always be a special place in my heart for this place. The place where I was taught that for the more difficult it may be the situation put a smile on what you’re doing it changes everything.
I am so, so, so blessed and I have so much to give even as I learn. That people in developing regions simply need access and opportunities to knowledge and information to be empowered. Anyone living in developed countries needs to experience walking in the shoes of those who did not receive the same privileges, to shed any sense of entitlement. Donating money online would never have allowed me to truly empathize with all the people I’ve met in my time here, and I’m grateful for all they’ve taught me.
Of course it was interesting to see the normal everyday life in Africa for the first time, so all the rather uncomfortable parts in terms of hygiene or other foreign standards were not that important. It was also not bad to live nearly exactly as a member of the community, meaning that there are no special treatments for foreigners, apart from being greeted more often and friendly.