WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
In Kenya the is a variety of institutions, including children’s homes, care centres and rehabilitation centres. These organisations care for children who have been orphaned, abandoned or abused and have no other place to go. Having lived tragic lives without love and affection the main thing most of these children need is some care and attention.
Many children’s centres open their doors to other impoverished children during the daytime by providing feeding programmes or a community school in order to benefit both the children living there and the wider community. There are also a number of government primary schools close to the orphanage where children are able to get an education.
The Kenyan education system works on simple standard levels, each of which corresponds to one year of school and has its own standard text books for each subject. This makes it straightforward for you to pick up on the syllabus where they left off, understand what students are working towards and come up with creative and exciting ways to help them understand the topics. Primary school is open to all in Kenya and continues until the age of 14/15 years, when students lucky enough to attain good grades may be able to secure sponsorship or scholarships to continue their education to high school and beyond. The hard work you put in during your project could really make a difference to the future of these determined and enthusiastic children.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will agree your detailed project schedule with the project coordinator on arrival. You could be spending a few weeks each at the school and the centre, splitting your days between the two projects or mixing it up day by day. However your work programme pans out you will find it tiring and challenging but deeply fulfilling.
You will help in the day-to-day care of the orphans and running of the children's centre, helping with feeding and food preparation, play time, arranging extra curricular activities, sports, arts and crafts, entertainments and generally bringing fun and affection to the lives of these vulnerable and deprived kids. You may also be asked to help teach a variety of essential subjects such as basic maths, English, reading, and indeed anything else in which you have experience.
Volunteers will work with young children and babies who either have no family or are from very deprived backgrounds. Some of the children are suffering from HIV or AIDS and have been abandoned or are too sick to go to school, whilst others may have been subject to abuse. Most of the children are in need of love and affection and you will be utterly astounded to see how much your care and attention can change their lives.
You will also have a full teaching schedule enabling you to engage fully with your pupils, using your creativity and initiative to deliver a stimulating teaching programme.
You will benefit in terms of your personal and professional experience and will be encouraged to formulate ideas and develop your teaching skills and techniques. Working either with a local teacher or independently, you could be directly involved with marking pupils' work, preparing homework and assembling innovative and effective lesson plans.
There are a range of extracurricular activities for you to contribute to, depending on your personal skills and interests, whether it is running a sports team, planning a school play, organising a choir or conducting one to one tuition for children who are struggling. Just use your initiative and get the kids involved! Whatever you decide, you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from inspiring these underprivileged children, whilst enhancing your own skills and experience significantly.