1st week of volunteering

On 29 September 2013 by From elephants to kangaroos

So here I am in kisumu for 1 week and I can tell you that a lot of things happened… Today, I will focus on the first week humanitarian mission, I will explain the history of the family / the place where I live in a future post.

To give you some context, the Migosi family hope society is actually a group of people from the Migosi’s slam, at the base of a family, welcoming more friends / neighbors / abandoned children. Their goal is to help other people in the neighborhood or the city, either environmentally or through assistance to the person via an awareness of a project, etc … all of which can extend as that ‘desired, each volunteer can propose ideas.

As the school is under reconstruction, I asked Helen (my “mom” home here or rather my sister see her age, and also the leader of Migosi) to spend the week with her follow around to see some of the assignments.

IMG_2479Monday, we started with the environmental mission. Agnes, another volunteer from Hong-Kong, wanted to develop a project based on ecology. Indeed Kenya, it is customary to throw his trash on the ground, there is no bin. Therefore, she wanted to do something to clean up the streets. October 20th will therefore be a great day of cleaning which we all participate in the dirtiest area of ​​Kisumu, manyatta. For this we are looking for sponsors (government, business ..) that could help us to talk about the event and allow us the success of it. So Monday we were in different places (hospital, Red Cross, government, coca cola …) to explain the project and drop letters to try to sponsor us and get the equipment and volunteers.

Tuesday, we went to see the progress of the school in which I work. Classes are almost ready, there is the concrete floor sink, paint and water tank has completed but one of the classes should open shortly which will allow me to teach.

Wednesday, hard day ahead of us as we were to meet single women, sick, only to spend time with them and give them some food. We buy sugar for tea and ugali flour, whole food here.
IMG_0548 - CopieThe first woman is 25 years, has 4 children, the oldest is 12 years old… She had an accident in January, a piece of wood through her two legs at the knees. She shows us a picture of it on the ground, bleeding. For several months, she could not walk or work. They have been kicked out of their homes and are now in a very small space about 20m2 for the whole family. Now she can walk again but not working. The association has found sponsors to pay her rent for a few months and we bring him some food. Despite his troubles, she keeps smiling and looks happy that either. The parents of one of the volunteers for a few days, the mother emerges very moved and upset. For my part, I just try to be positive and say that what we do has a real purpose for these women.
imageThen comes a group of older women rather isolated. We meet them all in a fairly dark room. All speak one after the other to tell us what the concern right now. For most, it is the disease. One even admits to having AIDS, which is very rare in Kenya. It is quite touching to see yet these women tell us their “little problems” in their language (Helen we translated in English), see their emotions on their faces …
We continue our tour with Felix and his mother. The father died two weeks ago after seven years of illness (AIDS among others) but still, I find them very gracious and the house is decorated with care. The mother has a beautiful smile, I’m pretty impressed by the courage of these people…
We end the day by Evans, a young man who has stopped his studies to take care of these four siblings. The association seek a sponsor to pay his last two school years, which corresponds roughly to 500€. After that, he will go to the university, the state can take over half the cost.
We walked 5h under the sun to go and meet these people but I was tired more from what I lived by the work itself. Even if some of their making these some foods, I think it is important to take time for them to go visit them, listen to them, sometimes trying to do more in the sponsoring and others.

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Thursday, we are distributed to track letters filed Monday for the “mass cleaning”. The government will help us by giving us the equipment and finding volunteers (for the record, we spend 2 hours in an office for a discussion that could last 5min… Kenyan style I guess). Then we go to the hospital to lend us gloves and masks and also going to talk to communities to bring the world.
We spend the rest of the school day to sand and paint the school. The first layer is completed, the water supply almost equally. Normally I would start ay go next Monday or Tuesday! Again for the record, I think we could go much faster if everyone got going…about 15 people there, we were only 4 or 5 to work, the others watched. Too bad, it could go much faster…

Finally Friday, we leave distribute letters to different media for the “mass cleaning”. Hopefully all this will have a real impact!

You will therefore understand many different and varied projects… And this is not all. Sunday we normally go to the Juvenile prison to discuss with young people who (fortunately) did not die for their crimes and try to understand why they did what they did and see if they are ready to change. Another difficult moment has come I think!

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