Freiwilligenarbeit in Kenia - Erfahrungsbericht
Englisch unterrichten in einem kleinen Dorf
(von Linus, 20.09.2018)
My name is Linus and the last 2 month I´ve been volunteering in a small primary school in Nairobi, Kenya (located at Gethembe Slums). What I saw there was a teacher Dorcas Moraa who made something out of nothing and provided children with education, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to go to school, because their parents are unable to afford it. Nevertheless, they have a class room that is probably as big as your own room or smaller (admittedly speaking for myself) stuffed with 40 children from 0-8 years of age or baby class up to grade 3 and no direct access to water.
Most importantly though, one teacher is given the impossible task to teach all those children at the same time, including having to cook for them, while all the material is also pretty old. If you would be willing to help in any way (by donating or even volunteering) you are definetly most welcome. I´ve heard a lot of volunteers saying, that they don´t have a lot of work and get bored during their stay, if you go there I can guarantee you, that you would not feel useless, anybody you can take some load of the teachers shoulders and provide help is really needed.
Personally it was a great experience and it made me appreciate our school system even more. The kids can be quite annoying, since they are really touchy and during the time in school you just have no privacy at all, which is probably one of the reasons why I did not manage to stay there for the whole day (from 8am to 5pm). The teacher did not mind at all, so you can be flexible with your working hours. Plus if you go there I would recommend some Suaheli basics, because especially the very young kids are yet to speak english.
Otherwise I felt really appreciated and always so welcomed. My host family was really great. I had a host mother, her 22 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. I shared a room with the 2 children and we lived in a really small house in general. Despite that I was always happy when I came back to them, for example after I travelled to Mombasa over the weekend I was truly excited to go back home. It took me some time to adjust of course, because we had no direct access to water as well, but it also taught me that you really don´t need a lot (not even space) to be happy. I think if I hadn´t gotten along with the family so well it could´ve been difficult, but I was really lucky that we had such a great time together.
My greatest experience was to spent a couple of days at the countryside together with the school teacher and her family, because I felt close to the nature, and well integrated into the community and witnessed the simple but at the same time so intresting rual life
Finally I can only say that I do recommend this project short term or long term for everyone out there. You will learn something about the country and the culture and even more importantly, about yourself and about what you really need, maybe after you got back home again you will adjust your lifestyle, at least a little bit. And just see things from a new point of view. Admittedly I also need to say that I believe that especially if you only stay short term, it is not so cheap. I think if you go there, it would make sense to stay at least for one month, you should have time to dive into the culture and their way of live (I would´ve stayed for 3 months, but during the last months of my stay, the holidays in Kenya began, so I moved back to Tansania to prevent myself from getting bored).