I'm volunteering to help those in need in Kenya, you can help.
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african-woman-at-the-riverFar from the streets, bars, banks of big cities like New York and Sydney, in developed countries like Australia and the USA, a world away from stock markets, soy lattes and hipsters, lies a rich yet troubled continent where millions of vibrant, friendly people struggle to survive. They struggle in ways most of us can’t even imagine. Not surviving in the sense that “I can’t make house payments”, or  “I’ve maxed out credit cards to pay bills”, or “I can’t afford school books” but in the sense that “My family hasn’t eaten in days”, or “I have HIV and I am too sick to work and provide for my family”, or “The only job my uneducated daughter can get is selling her body”. This is surviving for people in Africa, and this is why I want to help them.

Big Change

Turkana GirlAfter 10 years of various jobs in big cities: from Dot-Coms to walking dogs, tending bars and crashing banks, it’s time for a change, so I’m going to volunteer my time to help those in need in Africa. I’ll be spending 2 months bringing awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya, and assisting those suffering from it, following up with patients about medications and counseling families dealing with grief. I will also be volunteering with people in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, (think refugee camp) working to improve their time in the camp. After hearing about the atrocities of recent years in countries like Darfur and Rwanda, and seeing the devastating effects of natural disasters like the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the recent earthquakes in Pakistan and China, I’ve really wanted to get out there amongst those affected. I’m excited to be able to make an impact, however small in the lives of those I will work with in Kenya.

Why Africa?

Masai mother and childFor years it’s been a dream of mine to volunteer overseas, I’ve really wanted to give my time to serving people somewhere who really need help. Reading and watching news stories about the genocide and child soldiers in Darfur and hearing horrific tales of a so called cure for AIDS in South Africa, both shocked and touched me. The resilient people who rise up and out of situations like these inspire me, and it’s those people I want to help.

The Program

African BoysI will be volunteering with GVN (Global Volunteers Network) Kenya Program. GVN is a private NGO based in New Zealand who places volunteers with partner organizations in developing countries.  The partner organization I will be working with in Kenya is called VICDA (Volunteer International Community Development Africa). VICDA is a non profit organization which works directly with the community at the grass roots level to help orphans and those suffering from the effects of war and the HIV/AIDS crisis.

We Need Your Help

RefugeesWe as in the people of Kenya and I need your support to get me there so I can . The program does cost money, as do flights, vaccinations and insurance, so I’m reaching out to all of you, MY community and asking for donations to help cover the costs.  My goal is to raise US$3500 which will cover the costs of getting me there (flight, program, insurance, vaccinations etc) but hopefully we can raise even more so I can donate the rest to the deserving VICDA programs.

Without a doubt, these are tough economic times for all of us. But it’s certainly tougher for people in Kenya and other troubled African nations, so give big, and I will personally deliver your donation to those in need.

Click here to donate

Stay Updated

This will undoubtedly will be a very challenging and rewarding experience for me on a personal level, but most importantly I will be helping those in need. During my time in Kenya, I will be posting notes and photos to this blog, and updates to Facebook and Twitter  whenever I can find internet.