After turning down my Master's, I was offered casual employment as a counselor with the Kensington Clinic, which I was very thrilled about. Since then, I have been applying for part-time jobs to supplement my income.
After not hearing back from any of the places I'd applied to, I was sitting in my room on Monday when I came across the video I posted below and thought to myself, "why am I applying for jobs that I have no interest in?" So, I applied to volunteer abroad, as this has always been a dream of mine. That Tuesday, I got an email saying I was accepted and I paid all of my fees. I will be arriving in Nairobi, Kenya on October 15, 2013 where I will embark on the journey of a lifetime and volunteer for two months. One month will be spent volunteering with a women's education program and the other will be spent doing HIV/AIDS outreach. I have included a description of the work I will I will be doing below.
For those of you who know me, I am very passionate about women's issues and this volunteer opportunity is a once in a lifetime experience for me. If you would like to join me in my effort to empower the women of Nairobi, I will be accepting donations to help fund my travel expenses. All donations will go towards covering the costs associated with my volunteer project, including flights, registration fees, program fees, vaccinations, visa fees, and living expenses.
Asante Sana, thank you very much! In the words of Jack Johnson, "don't let your dreams be dreams".
WOMEN'S EDUCATION PROGRAM: Due to ongoing initiatives to support those affected by HIV/AIDs, many women living with HIV/AIDs are still able to continue and function on a day-to-day basis, but need support to be able to do so. IVHQ and our local partner work closely with centers which support these women and their families, providing counseling, guidance and sometimes childcare. The primary aim of these centers is to empower the women through income-generating projects, education and skill-training. At many of the centers, women are able to learn sewing, tailoring, candle-making and jewelry-making through subsidized courses, and the women also have access to finance and small business management courses, enabling them to start their own craft-making or tailoring business to generate an income and provide for their children and families. Volunteers can assist in any area including counseling, skill-training and campaign/education development.
HIV/AIDS WORK: HIV and AIDS continue to be a major issue within Kenya; however, over the past decade there have been significant developments regarding the response to HIV/AIDS, with many projects initiated to provide free ARVs (Antiretroviral Drugs or Therapies) to those living with HIV and AIDS. This has seen a shift in the mentality of Kenyans, where the emphasis has developed from providing emergency care and relief, to focusing more on empowerment and "living positively".
The HIV/AIDS Work project mainly involves outreach campaigns aimed at the poorer slums and rural communities in Kenya. Volunteers work alongside a clinic/center staff member, and while each outreach may have its specific purpose, the general aim is to highlight the importance of HIV/AIDS education and awareness among all ages. Volunteers will also be involved in giving classes on hygiene and how to prevent AIDS transmission.
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