PHOTO GALLERY: Community bands together for Kenya
KENYA is a developing country in the eastern coast of Africa and relies on the help and support of volunteers.
From April 14 to May 26 I spent six weeks as a volunteer in Kenya through the company Projects Abroad.
Projects Abroad is an independent organisation that does not rely on fundraising or government aid to achieve social goals.
They are entirely funded by the fees paid by volunteers such as myself.
To go to Kenya for six weeks as a volunteer was going to be a full out of pocket expense to me.
However, to cover some of the project costs such as flights, placement fees, vaccinations and supply costs Projects Abroad encourage volunteers to do their own fundraising.
With some help from family we came up with an idea to run a Team Penning event to help fundraise for my trip.
I took my proposed idea to the Cooyar Show Society, who agreed to be the soul sponsor for the Team Penning event by donating their showgrounds and facilities to be able to run the event.
The Team Penning was held on Saturday April 7, one week before my journey began.
It was a very successful day and we managed to raise over $3500 to go towards my trip.
The money raised at the Team Penning definitely had a very strong and positive impact on the citizens of Kenya.
In my time spent there I was working within schools in the slums where people are quite poor and school facilities are very basic and limited.
Projects that I was involved in whilst in Kenya that the money raised went towards included; repairing floors in school and painting the classrooms, running a feeding and care program for 50 slum children during the school holidays and travelling to small communities offering them medical aid.
Not only did the Cooyar Show Society have a huge impact with their generosity but also the Cooyar State School and community members.
Whilst I was in Kenya the Cooyar community sent over two very large boxes full of stationary and school supplies for the children in the schools in Kenya.
Words cannot even explain how grateful the children were for the supplies they received.
Things such as reading books, exercise books, colouring pencils, pens and rubbers are all things that most children struggle to own and use to be able to complete their school work.
Therefore the supplies that were sent over were very much appreciated and went a long way.
I am very grateful for this experience I have encountered in the last two months.
We as first world citizens don't realise just how lucky we have it in this beautiful country we live in and get to call home.
Once again thank you to the Cooyar Show Society, Cooyar State School and the rest of the community who helped make a difference on so many people's lives.
I am thoroughly enjoying sharing my experience with others and educating them on how another part of the world lives.