Alice Peers - Care & Community in Kenya
I spent time away this summer volunteering in local orphanages and schools in Nakuru, Kenya. It was the best trip I’ve ever been on and provided me with a different view of life and an experience which I will never forget. I chose to do the Care and Community project which lasted two weeks.
Throughout my stay in Kenya three other female volunteers and I lived with a lady called Marium. The three other girls were my friends from school in England (we came to Kenya together to volunteer). Marium was so friendly and welcoming. I felt at home in her house and her domestic, Lynette cooked us breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
My room was large and had two single beds, a large wardrobe and an en suite! Having such a nice room made me feel comfortable and, as I was so worried about what my host family’s house would be like, it was such a relief.
The food we ate was so good. Again, this was a concern of mine, however after the first day I started to look forward to the meals as they were so delicious! We often ate a traditional dish called chapati, which was like a round naan bread with a beef stew and rice. We also ate Kenya’s staple food ugali, spaghetti bolognese, chips and mince meat dishes. Marium always made sure we had fruit for pudding. I was never hungry and I think I actually put on weight during my stay!
My Care & Community placement
Our placement involved working at three different locations. In the morning of each day, we went to a place called Sure 24, which is basically a large orphanage with a school next door. At Sure 24, we helped to build a pit latrine for the boy’s dormitory and this involved a lot of hard work!
In the afternoons, we visited other centres including: Kardesh Children’s Orphanage, the Sure 24 school and Hope Children’s Centre. The Kardesh Children’s Centre was a really lovely place; there are about ten children there, all under the age of 5. We played with the children and helped the carers do chores, such as laundry. At the Sure 24 school, the children were older and again we played with them and also had the opportunity to go into a class to teach them.
Hope Children’s Centre was the last centre we visited and this was a tough experience as it was based in the slums. The children there loved seeing us and we brought bubbles and footballs along, which they really appreciated. I found the days very enjoyable, but also hard work!
As well as a lot of hard work, Projects Abroad took us out to see local attractions and scenery. We went to Menegai Crater, Thompson Falls, Lake Baringo and the Nakuru National Park.
At Lake Baringo, we went on a boat trip and saw crocodiles and loads of birds and wildlife. Seeing the crocodiles was a brilliant experience, but a bit scary as they came very close to our boat! In the middle of the lake there is an island and we stopped off here to have a walk around and see the lake from a different view. It was so beautiful and our tour guide told us about a man who lived here. After the tour was finished we went back to the main land and had lunch in a local restaurant.
The next day we went on a safari to the National Park. On the way we stopped at a snake park and saw all the snakes, which were found locally. Some of my friends in the group held a snake, however I was too scared! On the safari we saw many animals, such as: hippo, zebra, baboons, wildebeest, antelope and rhino. For lunch we stopped at a waterfall and ate lunch just next to it – this really was a great day.
I would recommend this trip and project to absolutely anyone that wants to go away and volunteer. I had such a brilliant time and I will never forget any of the people I met on my trip, or the experiences I had and none of this would have happened without the help and assistance of Projects Abroad or my host family – so thank you!
This volunteer story may include references to working in or with orphanages. Find out more about Projects Abroad's current approach to volunteering in orphanages and our focus on community-based care for children.