By: Owen, Olivia and Rivers, Voluntourists Kenya
We arrived in Kenya feeling excited, and we got a warm welcome from the staff and kids. After unpacking, we gifted the kids with the footballs we carried here. It was such a pleasant thing to see: the genuine smiles on their faces, showing their shyness and happiness. We found that these gifts were exactly what they wanted and it was quite nice to see that we were actually making a contribution to this place.
But, the living conditions were rather tough for us to adjust to: there is no hot water available for bathing, and the food here is pretty simple – merely vegetables, though we have meat every once in while. Kids here desire candy and chocolate, but it is tough for them to get sweets. The children always stare at me and then ask ” could you please give me some candies?”
The kids are really nice here and we immediately became friends. They invited us to go to the river to see the waterfall and to swim. We thought they would be shy and not outgoing at first, and so it was surprising for us to receive such generous invitations from them the first time we met. On the way there, the girls held our hands and asked questions. One of them mentioned that she has always wanted to go to the University of Nottingham, but found it impossible due to the admission fees and difficult exams. Some students are really hardworking: they keep studying even during our center’s movie night. We tried our best to accompany them and solve their homework problems. We are trying to show them how to have a good attitude towards studying but we can’t help with the admission fees. Money shouldn’t be the obstacle of a girl’s dream to get access to higher education, and that’s why they need extra help there.
We also spent a wonderful night together. We sang and played the ukulele together. Kids here are interested in instruments and they love the ukulele I brought. However, it is a pity that they have no opportunities to play instruments and to know more about the world. Most of them have no phones and they have such poor knowledge about computers that they don’t even know how to send a email, so we are planning to have computer classes for them next week. Hopefully we can help a little.
Once we asked one of the kids what do you want to be when you grow up. He answered, to build a center like this. It touched our hearts to hear an answer like this. Caring should be passed on, and we’d like to be part of the chain.
At the end of the first week, we all felt touched. The kids are so talented and they deserve so much more. We really hope we can do the best we can to make them aware that there are people caring for them.