|My Kenya Xperience as a volunteer in Jombas!
In the period March-June 2011 I have been a volunteer in Jombas Children’s Home. This has been my fourth experience as a volunteer in Kenya.
Five days a week I spent some hours in the home. One night a week I slept in the home to experience how everything is going on in the evening.
Jombas is a small children’s home at the beginning of it’s life-cycle. During my stay there were sixteen children in the age of 3-10 years old. Every day fourteen other children from Kijiwetanga village joined them to have classes. For me school has been a nice experience.
What did I do? My daily tasks at school consisted of:
- Teaching the youngest children the basis principals of maths (counting), the alphabet and their first words in English.
- Focus on children who needed some extra support (teaching in small groups)
- Supporting the Kenyan teachers during the regular classes.
There were three classes in the home. I have built two classrooms outside in the garden. I bought some paint in Malindi and brought some blackboard paint with me from Holland. After a lot of hours painting, carpeting and working with cement, there finally were two classrooms ready. Besides building the classrooms, I played a lot with the youngest children and gave them some extra attention and love. Together we made a lot of drawings/colourings and played with bubbles and balloons! Great fun! Every week I went to the beach with the children and some staff members. It has been a tough job to get twenty people in two tuktuk’s. A tuktuk is a very small vehicle for transport, normally suitable for four people. It has been a great experience to see all children and staff members happy and smiling. This made all efforts definitely worth doing.
I have found some donors in Holland who helped me in a financial way. Other people donated toys and clothes. Because of those people every child had some nice new clothes. They were so happy with the new stuff! It has also been nice to advise the teachers and the working staff of Jombas. It was good to see positive changes. Another experience I really liked was helping with cooking, to learn making ugali, chapati and other African dishes. During the cooking I had some time to learn Swahili!
My general recommendation to everyone who thinks about doing voluntary work in Kenya: just do it! It will be a unique experience for yourself and the local people and will really broaden your horizon and way of thinking about the values of life.