5 Positive Life Lessons from Volunteering in Kenya
Simon from the United Kingdom went to participate on a construction volunteer project in Kenya and the whole experience was eye opening. It affected him in so many ways he didn't even think was possible. Check out his experience below...
1. People Can Do Amazing Things
People are important. People make a place. People are life. No matter where you are in the world there are good people doing inspirational things. I met a lot of them working to help communities in Kenya, some locals and others who have travelled from all over the world to help impact local communities for the better.
2. Paticipating Benefits Others & Yourself
I am glad we had the opportunity to be part of the construction volunteer program because this really will benefit the community once complete and this also met my own personal goal for going on a gap year to Africa.
3. Volunteering Builds Friendships
I learnt that the construction work was really a minor part of what the project achieved, which was a greater understanding and friendship between people of many nationalities. People in Kenya were so warm and friendly to me whilst there were other participants from the UK, Europe and worldwide helping. It is hard to think of an experience apart from a tour of Kenya where you can meet such a diverse range of people.
This is how other people have found the experience:
"We have finished our first community phase at Makonegni and have now headed up to the Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary. We are really enjoying the first few weeks and have been kept busy plastering and decorating the classrooms and also making good progress on the hydroponic vegetable patch. We had a really interesting community week seeing how the people of Makongeni lived and we were able to interact with the local people cooking local food etc." - Monique Baronet
"In June 2012, I decided to embark on a trip that would be very meaningful on a personal level. I wanted an experience which would have a positive outcome for local people so I left home in Aberdeen to to complete a 5-6 week volunteer expedition in Kenya with First Aid Africa. They are a non-profit organisation that has set up a number of volunteer projects in Africa to teach first aid, currently in Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya. Next year, the charity is hoping to expand and offer volunteering programs in Uganda. I had a fantastic time, and I will continue to campaign and teach about the issues I learnt about for the rest of my life." - Janine, UK
4. Eye Opening Experience
The experience of volunteering in Africa would be difficult or almost impossible to recreate in any other type of setting. I have learnt an entirely new respect for the daily life of members of the community at Ebusiralo. I have had my eyes really opened to an aspect of Kenya that you could not possibly gain from just going on holiday to the country. Understanding how hard the community works to support itself as a group makes me really want to keep in touch and return to see future projects.
5. Don't Take Simple Things for Granted
This sounds terribly like a cliché but I have learnt a new respect for how precious water is and understand much better now how fortunate we are in the UK simply by luck of birth. I wish I had been confident enough to do something like this years ago and really it’s only because Concordia International Volunteers exists and supports it’s volunteers in the way that you do that I felt able to commit to this because it’s huge when you do it for the first time.
If you have enjoyed reading Simons experience then view our volunteer programs in Kenya.