Volunteering is an enrichment for our lives. It allowed us to leave our comfort zone and discover the world with completely new eyes. We gained experiences that no one can take away from us and met people that we will remember forever. Before we even left Kisumu, we started planning the next trip there.
In the summer of 2021, we spent a total of 4 weeks in Kisumu, the project region of Make Me Smile Kenya. These were very educational weeks where we had the opportunity to try many different activities to support the organization. For example, we helped out with agricultural projects and harvested corn, visited schools while handing out food and playing with the children, accompanied social workers on home visits, and did educational talks on reproductive health and hygiene with young women and men.
We were particularly impressed by the “Craft Centre,” where women are trained as tailors and then provided with equipment to start a small business. The work impressed us so much that we had shirts made as a memory so that we would always have a piece of Kenya with us in Austria.
During our activities, we were always accompanied by Paul, our volunteer coordinator. He always had an open ear for us and adapted the volunteer activities to our interests.
He was also very helpful in introducing us to the Kenyan culture outside of the NGO activities. For example, together with the Make Me Smile Kenya team, he organized a cooking afternoon with traditional Kenyan dishes and took us to live music evenings by a local artist.
Overall, we would not want to miss the experience or the people we met. Just a few days after our arrival, a social worker from the NGO said something that couldn’t describe our connection to Kenya and especially to Kisumu any better – “it’s a home away from home.”
If you would also like to get involved and do some voluntary work, you can do so by clicking on the Apply-button!