Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Africa: Kenya - Challenge Africa (Part 3)

Heyyyy Everyone,

[First read part 1 and part 2

Here is my third and final Africa blog, well not my final forever because I know I will be back, but my final for this trip. This part of the trip was very different from the others.

Charity work and volunteering is something that has always been very important to me since I was able to join my local Oxfam store when I was 18. I don't have enough money to help everyone, but something that helps almost as much as money, and is easy to give, is your time. When I have time on my hands I like to be able to think that I use that time wisely, and the best way to do that is to volunteer. Being so close to Kenya on this trip and having lots of free time made it impossible for me not to pop over and check out the amazing work Challenge Africa have been doing in Abimbo Village, and of course help out wherever I could whilst I was there. 

My time in the village was eye opening, inspiring, enriching, and at some times challenging and heart wrenching. I am an emotional wreck when I watch any of the TV fundraising programmes like Children in Need or Comic relief, but nothing can quite explain how I felt when I was sat next to a young 21 year old lad who hasn't yet finished High school because he can't even afford to put food on the table, let alone pay school fees, and I had to explain to him that my education up to 18 was free. It makes me feel sick to my stomach that we take things like school for granted. No matter what their situation they are still so positive and ambitious. The same young lad who still has 3 years left of high school and will not be able to afford to do them consecutively told me that in 10 years he will have been to university, become a teacher, and will have saved enough money to come and visit me in England.

The children at the centre were some of the happiest children I have ever met. They love going to the centre for school and playtime, and were happy to let me get involved with their fun and games. The centre gives them more than they could ever ask for, they get an education, they get to play with other children on the park and with toys, they get delicious food cooked by the matron and fresh, clean running water, they even get health checks to make sure they are fit and well. These are all things that wouldn't be possible without the support of Challenge Africa

One of the things I find most amazing about Challenge Africa's projects is their commitment to sustainability. Although there is always a need for initial investment, that money is used to create self sustainable projects. For example, their most recent project, Kids4Kids, gives each child at the centre a goat. The goat produces milk that can be used at the centre and also brings in a small income, they also breed, meaning more children can be supported.  

I am by no means an ambassador for Challenge Africa so please check out their website for more information about what they do and how they do it. Here are some of my favourite pictures from my trip, I took hundreds and it was hard to choose from but I've tried to narrow it down for you. 

Dancing and Singing in the playground

'The boy Owen'  

No caption needed!

The two swing sets I helped build for the children

The boys enjoying their new Dennis the Menace toys

Toothbrushes in the health check room

Loving their new swings 

Selfie time - cheesy grins!

More selfies! 

They Loved my sunglasses!

I hope you like my pictures, if you have any questions about my trip or Challenge Africa please comment below and I will be happy to answer them! 

Ciao EmmaJessica <3

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