Christina’s Volunteering Story – January 2018

After a short stop in Nairobi I arrived safely after a 7h bus ride in Kimilili.

On Monday, I was able to start with visiting the high school, childrens homes, ECD and the special needs school. It is unbelievable to see, what was built within last years – thanks to the wonderful girls! At the same time, I´ve also realized, what still needs to be done.

You found challenges on every corner, from missing chairs, school material, toys etc – to the conditions of existing toilets, needed class rooms or education opportunities after school.

My “Main Tasks” were:

– To find out (how, where, which…) how many toilets we could build on the school compound – big big thank you to the amazing swiss sponsor!

– To find out several education opportunities for school leavers

 

I started with a visit at the CBSM office to discuss first steps. I visited the technology institute in Kimilili and got required information. As we were still with no power (at the end whole 10 days) I started to write down all opportunities per student – and I wrote and wrote and wrote 😉

At the same time I started first discussions with the architect for instructions on how to build the toilets.

In the second week I went from one school to another, from children’s home to ECD and so forth. I created lists of required needs to see how I can help right away or what do we have to discuss with the Management. I wrote loooong lists of needs and started right away with first own donations as a volunteer. I created pages for painting, made copies at the copy shop, repaired broken clothe, bought small toys and we painted the kindergarten.

 

My biggest question in the beginning was always „Why can´t they do these things on their own? Something like copies, painting, easy repairs etc.?” – Easy to answer: “There is no money at all.”

Kenya is a really poor country, especially the countryside – and far away from western standards. The people here are already happy if they can pay their daily needs e.g. living, food and school fees. Mostly we speak here about living without bed, rice as daily main meal (no breakfast) and the hope, to get money for school fees – somewhere, somehow…

School4life pays the school fees for all students, which are not able to pay due to private reasons (e.g. orphans). Schoo4life wants to provide everybody a well-educated future.

The special needs school is one of the only (if not even the one and only) special needs school for disabled kids within this part of Kenya. The teachers work with their full heart all day to make children’s life a bit easier and nicer.

For me, it became a labor of heart to help these disabled kids. I went to town to get at least small things…shoes, socks and school uniforms – some of the parents couldn´t pay for this.

The biggest thank you I’ve ever got in my life was the big smile of the children… Even it broke my heart at the same time.

I am very thankful for this experience and will come back! Now I know that every activity, donation and money is in right position and will be delivered right away to the children to 100%.