Team Kenya is a Go Volunteer project and society that aims to free Western Kenya from poverty, injustice and inequality, and provide their young women with the opportunity to realise their potential. Get to know them here.
Friday, Day 1 in Karibuni
After 2 days of travelling from Newcastle, to Dubai, to Nairobi, to Kisumu and finally to Karibuni Cottages, we have made it! The drive to the cottages let us see the real Kenya, and get a sense of the harsh, rural, poverty-stricken reality that many people face here. In contrast, Karibuni is a lovely peaceful place to call home for the next two weeks.
On our first afternoon, we visited Arina school, where there was a big event to celebrate the Day of the African Child, which included speeches from Val from Team Kenya and Anatalia, a Team Kenya sponsored student. It was an amazing opportunity to see the conditions of a school here, interact with the children and play some games. Then, back home for butternut squash soup and lentils before an early night!
Saturday, Day 2
We started the day with a lovely breakfast of eggy bread, prepared by Salome, a staff member at Karibuni. Then, we received a project introduction about Karibuni from Erick, which included the banana plants. Next, we had a stroll to Pala, a nearby village, where we saw the primary and secondary schools and a local quarry, and were invited into Daisy's home and met her family. Then, back at Karibuni we met Beryl, another Team Kenya sponsored student - we will share her story soon. After lunch, we had a walk into Ndhiwa the local town, where we were greeted by (and followed by!) lots of friendly and very excited children. We then went to join in the Brighter Futures football training session, which aims to empower girls through sport and show that girls can play football, which was well demonstrated by Emma's goal! Running around in 30 degree heat hit us all very hard, only lasting 15 minutes when the girls could do 2 hours. Upon arriving back at Karibuni, there were some special guests from the cooperative bank. Meg got chatting to them and was offered some goat's intestine, which she bravely tried! We spent the evening reflecting on what we'd done and recovering from the heat!
Sunday, Day 3
Amy and Ben had an early start with a 6.30am run with the lovely Dickens - perfect training for the Great North Run which we are doing in support of Team Kenya. Then we all split up to go on home visits to meet some of the most vulnerable girls that Team Kenya are supporting. These girls are provided with essential items such as sanitary towels which they would otherwise go without, as well as receiving counselling and other support. Meg and Amy walked to Pala, meeting Elizabeth and her grandmother, whilst Emma and Abbi went on a motorbike to Bongu to meet Lucy. The home visits help Team Kenya to identify problems and look for solutions; for example, both girls were really ill and are in need of more medical assistance.
In the afternoon, we spent some time with Millicent and Erick, who taught us how to make traditional beaded purses. After that, most of us went on a nature walk which was cut short by the rain, whilst Emma and Val went to visit Erick, his wife Rosie, and their 6 week old baby, John Humphrey. He was a very happy baby and didn't cry once! We rounded off the day with a talk by Godfrey, who told us all about the history and culture of the Luo tribe.
Monday, Day 4
We started off the day at the Resource Centre, where we met the staff and saw some IT training being given to some locals by Godfrey (a current college student). We then did the preparation for our session on self-esteem, which we will do on Wednesday with the sponsored students. Back to Karibuni for a lovely lunch of omelette, avocado salad and fried potatoes, before heading to Ndhiwa Hospital School to watch the Brighter Futures session, which consisted of a classroom session on child rights and responsibilities, followed by football. The last activity with them was writing letters to their pen pals at Long Whatton school, which they really enjoyed. We ended the day with a fantastic peanut curry, some card games and making the most of the clear skies with some stargazing.
Tuesday, Day 5
The chocolate cravings have begun... We spent the morning at the Resource Centre where we continued our planning with Nancy for the session with the sponsored students. Meanwhile, Jud stayed at Karibuni to see the training on awareness of gender violence for boda boda riders (aka motorbike taxis). In the afternoon, we were at Pala primary for the Brighter Futures programme, which was the same session as before but reaching new students. After tea, we were treated to an interesting talk by Tobias (the escari - the security guard) on beekeeping. In Ndhiwa, bee boxes are given to 16 women who make honey which they can sell to support themselves, and Tobias is in charge of the harvesting. The night ended with a competitive game of uno, with the loser having to eat a disgusting 'chocolate' flavoured yoghurt.
Wednesday, Day 6
Big day. We got up early and headed to the Resource Centre where we delivered the session to help improve the self-esteem of the sponsored students. This included writing empowering things about each other and burning a list of negative thoughts about ourselves. The girls seemed to have a great time and it was a good opportunity to get to know them more. After a bumpy trip to Bongu primary with some of us squashed in the boot, we helped the students to respond to letters written to them by pupils from Christ Church primary, North Shields. It then turned into a party with singing, dancing (and laughing at us), and the hokey cokey, which proved to be a big hit. After tea, Gordon was very excited because it was time for our big night out at the Super Star hotel, aka the place to be! After a few bevvies, the locals tried to teach us how to dance, again with little success!
Stay tuned for more, and check out our Facebook Page for new developments!