Volunteering in Kenya!

Ever since I was little, I have believed that helping others is one of the greatest acts one can do, and gives you the best and indescribable feeling within. Growing up, I could not fathom the idea that people live in complete poverty. My passion is to simply help in anyway and broaden people's knowledge. I want to challenge myself, and open my mind and heart to others. Learning new things is also a big motivation of mine, I love new knowledge! 

I have always dreamt about traveling and volunteering all over the world. Now that I am older, I have been searching left and right for the right opportunity and time to fulfill my hopes and dreams. I finally came across IVHQ's website (http://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-kenya.html), did a lot of research and I believe that my time to volunteer is in the near future. I applied to the 4-week teaching program in Kenya for the month of July. I submitted my application with my fingers crossed and positivity in mind. Few days after the application process I had received my acceptance letter. Joy, excitement and nervousness washed through my body like a wave in the ocean. I have been given the chance of a lifetime to pursue a life goal.

Teaching volunteers can work in both rural and urban areas of Kenya in community, government and orphanage schools. The presence of volunteers in these schools is beneficial in broadening the minds and horizons of the children and exposing them to fluent English speakers. Volunteers assist local teachers with daily classes in Math, English, Science, Social Studies (Geography and History), Art and Physical Education classes. Along with being an assistant teacher during the weekdays, on the weekends I plan to go on outreaches to nearby villages to partake in feeding street kids living with no family or home, caring for baby elephants in an elephant orphanage, and simply visiting orphanages to help around the homes and nurture the children.

          All the things I wish to gain from this trip abroad are not tangible. I want to know that I put a beautiful smile on someone's face. I'd love to spread laughter and hope. I wish to experience new cultures and appreciate the diversity we have in this world. I want to impact lives with positivity, love, and compassion; things that they may have never felt. I want to show, teach and learn new things. I hope to grow as an individual while helping others grow as well. I hope to broaden people's knowledge; because I value and believe that knowledge is one of the best things in this world. I wish to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. I believe that helping is a chain reaction. Love and kindness are contagious, and I wish to spread the wonderful feeling to all.

Considering Kenya is 9,600 miles from San Francisco, CA you can imagine that airfare is costly. Thankfully, the program I am volunteering through, IVHQ, has made it possible for many people to volunteer by keeping homestay and other fees as low as possible. I am attending school full-time, working part-time and saving as much as any other teen could. Even after totaling up the costs of my dream, I had no doubt in my mind that I would find a way to make it reality. With the help of donations from family, and friends I will be able to experience the things I dream about. Donations will be used towards airfare, IVHQ's fees (which include homestay for 4 weeks, orientation, meals and program supervision), vaccinations, and a visa. 

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