Give a helping hand to Nairobi's people
Hope Mission Centre, run by Gilbert Okenye, seeks to serve the local community in a number of ways. Gilbert's wife teaches a number of orphans in a small private primary school, whilst Gilbert liaises with local groups providing opportunities for volunteers to assist in the various activities on offer. For example:
1) Volunteers with secondary school teaching experience will find a welcome at the local High School, Eutycus Education Centre, where teaching or assisting the staff in teaching Maths, English, Science, Social Studies, Art or Physical Education to 14 to 16 year old pupils is a possibility. Exams are held at the end of each three month term, so this placement will need to be between two and three months to coincide with the school terms January - March, May - July and September - November.
2) Sports for 3 - 10 year olds can be pursued on a local playing field as an after school activity or during the school holidays throughout the day. Keen sports volunteers will need to provide some basic equipment as the project has no funds for this.
3) Volunteers interested in helping local business people can team up with qualified professionals from other NGOs. Marketing, business administration, finance, hospitality, PR, tourism and assisting local entrepreneurs develop their business plans are some of the possibilities in this area. Two local groups welcoming volunteers are Dagorreti Empowerment youth group and Mercy women's group.
Gilbert also seeks to provide poor local children with a daily meal, so there are plenty of opportunities to assist with cooking and housekeeping, and playing with the children!
Gilbert outlines your introduction to the placement like this:
"On Arrival Day, we will
1) Give you a warm welcome upon arrival.
2) Then we will take you to your home-stay family .
3) Introduce you to the home-stay family members.
4) Then we will leave you to rest after your long flight. Keep in mind that the program orientation starts the next day.
Day 2 orientation Day
This orientation is very important and it is mandatory for ensuring a safe and pleasant stay.
1) Introduction to Work Program
- You will be introduced to the expectations of the institution and the host project.
2) Introduction to Your Environment
- We will show you how to take bus from home to some important places (such as workplace, town center, the supermarket, the ATM, etc.
- (Usually it costs around US$0.5 or $1 for a one way bus ticket in town.)
3) Introduction to Kenya
- Travel Opportunities
Working with local Kenyans in this project will give volunteers a real insight into the daily struggles of families in this part of the world. They will really appreciate your time with them, and you will have an experience that will shape your thinking and maybe your life. Gilbert expresses it in this way:
"It is exciting to live with a local family. This way, you can easily learn the local way of life, meet local people, and feel more like a part of Kenya rather than just a tourist. We strongly encourage you to try the local flavors and experience the local culture and traditions as much as possible. Keep in mind that it is important to be open-minded and to be flexible. You shouldn’t expect that you would eat the same food or have the same lifestyle as you do at home. Actually, one of the most important things you will learn abroad is how their way of living is just as correct as yours."