In August, I will be venturing to Kenya to undertake a 12 week volunteering program through IVHQ. Although I am very excited about the trip, I do need help with raising funds so that I can make a difference when I arrive. I am planning to split my time amongst 3 different projects, spending one month on each. I hope to work within the orphanages, with HIV positive women, and with special needs children.
While there are many expenses in flying to Africa and volunteering for several months, I am hoping to raise funds specifically to invest in local projects. Many volunteers find their impact is more profound if they use locally raised money to invest in the projects being run within the local Kenyan community, such as to buy a motorbike families can rent out for income. This also allows volunteers to make a difference, even after their volunteering trip is over.
Here is further information on the projects that I hope to work on during my time in Kenya:
Due to the high incidences of poverty and illness, there is always a high need for volunteer assistance to provide support to both abandoned and orphaned children. Orphanages in Kenya can host up to 300 children, and volunteers are required to care for these children who are up to 16 years of age. These volunteers assist with not only daily tasks, such as showering and cooking, but to provide emotional support, much needed affection, and act as a positive role model.
2. HIV POSITIVE WOMEN'S EDUCATION PROGRAM
There are ongoing initiatives in place in Kenya to support those affected by HIV/AIDs, focusing primarily women. These initiatives have enabled many affected women to continue to function on a day-to-day basis, despite their illness. Support centres, staffed mainly by volunteers, serve a primary role in allowing these women to continue to function within the community. These centres empower women through reskilling them with income generating projects to help them to provide for their family and children. Volunteers can also assist with counselling, skill training or providing education regarding health and disease transmission.
3. SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
In Kenya, there exists an expectation that children will contribute while at home, and fend for themselves as adults. This is particularly difficult for the increasing numbers of children born with physical and mental disabilities, who often require support throughout their lives. Disability awareness is not common, and many difficulties surrounding caring for these children are hidden. Volunteers assist with daily physiotherapy and rehabilitation of the children, as well as running disability education sessions, and providing emotional support to the families.
I really hope to make a difference in each of these projects, and look forward to developing an ongoing initiative. I understand everyone is in varying levels of financial stability, so ANY money you feel you are able to contribute will be well used in the Kenyan community! I also have a verification letter available from the volunteering company, if anyone feels the need to view this before donation.
Words cannot thank you enough for your help!
- Bianca Wilson
- Fundraiser Box
- Kendall Hill-Smith
- Jesselind Avery