My experience at Village Volunteers has forever changed me. More than five years later I continue to sponsor the education of an orphan I met during the program. Having the privilege to live with the locals game me an inside glimpse of the local culture, and it something that I never would have gotten if I've stuck to the tourist circuit or signed up with a volunteer program that was largely run by foreign aid programs rather than by the locals themselves.
Something I wish that I knew before I went was to bring lots of books, as evenings are quiet and the closest town is a matatu ride away.
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You get up early and go to bed early, and it's an adjustment if you're coming from a fast-paced city where you're used to going all the time. But that's part of the allure of volunteering in a remote area, where time seems to slow down and you have a greater change to reflect on your experiences.
I'll always remember the time I spent with Village Volunteers, and I hope to be able to volunteer with them again--but next time through their program in India. I am writing this review from a parent's perspective as our daughter travelled to Kenya alone with Village Volunteers at the age of I was most concerned about her safety and well being. Village Volunteers did an excellent job preparing her physically and emotionally for what ended up being an experience of a lifetime.
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From the time she arrived in Nairobi to traveling a great distance to her destination at Sister Freda's and then on to Masai Mara and back many weeks later to Nairobi she was treated wonderfully by the people involved in the Village Volunteer organization. I would recommend this organization to anyone young or old who dreams of becoming involved in an organization that whose goal it is to immerse people in a life changing atmosphere and experience. I first volunteered through Village Volunteers almost five years ago and had a wonderful experience in all three villages I volunteered in.
From the time I landed in the airport in Nairobi, I felt welcome and safe as Village Volunteers had provided me with numerous contacts in both Nairobi and the villages I was to visit. I also spent time teaching at various primary and secondary schools, learning about bio-intensive agriculture, helping at mobile medical clinics and many other projects. In addition to the volunteering aspect of the program, there are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to travel and see and learn even more about the beautiful countries they are in.
Volunteer coordinators helped us plan weekend trips and sometimes even accompanied us on them. For me, the highlight of my volunteer experience was spending time with my host families and becoming familiar with local cultures and customs. Volunteers are invited to partake in all family related activities including weddings, birthday celebrations and any community events that may take place while volunteers are there.
Many volunteers that I have met through Village Volunteers have had similar experiences and have also gone on to further their studies in international development as a result of the wonderful experience they had with Village Volunteers. Last summer I found Village Volunteers and they helped me prepare for my trip to Kenya. I couldn't have been more prepared for my trip and it was exactly how they had explained it to me. Whenever I had a question Village Volunteers responded back to me within 24 hours at the most, every time. They provided help and support for me as I was preparing for my trip as well as after I returned home.
I am returning back to Kenya, through Village Volunteers, to continue volunteering and working with the many wonderful people I met there. Loved loved loved traveling to Kenya. So much so that I have gone back three more times in three years! The people I met and lived with are no longer friends - they are my family - in the truest sense of the word. My first trip in through Village Volunteers was intended to be a chance for me to have a little adventure, do what I could to help while there and immerse myself in another culture.
I expected to resume my life as usual once I returned to the US. I had no idea how the experience and the people would affect my life forever. I have taken my husband back with me and my two teenage children have already been twice. I also now have a non-profit One Way Out owokenya. Prior to my trip to Kenya with Village Volunteers, I did not know much about African cultures and I had never lived anywhere outside of the northwest corner of the United States.
Three months is a relatively short period of time, in the scheme of life, but yet it is long enough to adapt to a new location and begin to feel as if it is home. Within the three months I spent in the small village of Kiminini, Kenya, I learned more than any book or website could tell me; the experience had an impact on my life that I will never forget. Even as I am writing this it does not fully grasp all that I learned and the true meaning of it, because a great deal of my learning came through the relationships and interactions that I had there.
Village Volunteers VV is a program that provides wholesome support prior to departure, while you are overseas, and once you return as well. In planning my trip I had close contact with VV staff. They happily answered all my questions, helped me prepare for the significant change in culture and life style, and ensured that all details of my trip were covered. While in Kenya I felt extremely safe and was always supported in activities, trips, or projects that I wanted to partake in. I was able to be a part of a multitude of wonderful programs and projects that VV has helped to establish that are truly improving the lives of women and children.
My experience in Kenya and what I learned about the people and culture is extremely meaningful to me because it is something that can never be replicated in exactly the same way. What I learned personally about myself, the friendships I made, realizations, and true understanding of diversity that I obtained, will always be a part of my life. I now have a better understanding of cultural competence, and I now have a passion for international development, especially in African countries. I had absolutely no negative experiences with Village Volunteers and I would without a doubt recommend this program to anyone wanting to go to Africa or Asia!
Kenya is a middle income country, which often comes to a shock to tourists who expect to see a wildly impoverished and unruly country. Following their Independence from British colonial rule, many Kenyans started seeking business ventures alongside the growing tourism, which is even more present today. From the incredible wildlife on land and underwater, you will have a lot of activities that show you the natural beauty of Kenya. Visit Site. Apply Now. Two female students at a nearby school where I gave talks women's empowerment.
They don't ever see 25 year old, independent, Single women in their community! View All Photos. Learn more about Village Volunteer programs in Kenya on their website! Childcare and Education Volunteering with African Impact. Medical and Healthcare Volunteering with African Impact. Is this a program I could come on with my 8 yr old daughter? Yes, based on my experiences on 3 trips to Kitale Kenya, I believe a conscientious mother with an 8 year old of reasonable temperament i.
The 8 year old will instantly have 's By Rev Jon on January 31, See all 3 answers. Leave a Review. Volunteer Impact 9. Showing 1 - 15 of In , he co-founded www. He is also passionate about sharing his technical knowledge with high school and college graduates by training them on cutting edge software development methodologies in partnership with other organizations at www. Bii K. Cosmas is a lecturer of film at Moi University. He is also film practitioner based in Eldoret. His scholarly and research interest is in African cinema and development of audiences for this cinema both locally and internationally.
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His works have also been nominated in various other festivals. He is the current director of Eldoret Film Festival. His interest in the growth of the local film industry has led him to research and follow the trends in development of alternative platforms for film production, distribution and exhibition upon which My Kenya My Story Mobile Film Festival is part. Benson supports startups growth, creates the environment for connectivity, designs and manages events, creates and curates content, supports business development, helps build iHub networks, offers training of startups, blogs, uses his photography to bolster social media content which he actively handles.
He works with communities of techies and entrepreneurs in building innovation and viable businesses and his career has seen him work in PR, HR, Management and Media through the iHubs News channel. He is big on people and his contribution to the community at large. Benson has a passion for making lives of hospitalized children better. Carole Gikandi is a creative storytelling Film Editor with over 20 years career experience in media and entertainment environments.
She is highly adept on most editing platforms and the post production processes and workflows. Carole possesses excellent time management and organizational skills and works exceptionally well within cross-functional teams.
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She has worked on major international projects including top series for MNET Africa Magic, feature length movies, documentaries, training content and factual productions. She is very patient and has a keen eye for detail. Many have gone on to set up their own businesses and are renowned filmmakers in the Kenyan Film industry.
The film screening event attracted over students drawn from various universities within Nairobi that offer film studies. Subira , tells the story of a young woman faced by societal prejudice but is determined to realize her dream. Following a successful screening, Ms Ravneet Sippy Chadha, the director of Subira , engaged students on the journey in producing the multiple-Kalasha award-winning feature film and key lessons learnt in the film production. My vision was to produce a world-release film. Currently, we are in talks with German distributors and Netflix to acquire it for Africa.
It is important that we develop the local film industry. There is also greater need for collaboration among the students in the universities that offer film studies since these are the filmmakers of tomorrow. For instance, Bollywood is years old and it has taken time.
Filmmakers in India travelled to various parts of the country in a bid to build audience for their films and that is what we wish to achieve with our film Subira.