Emily Cresswell

Special Needs School and Coastal Orphanage , Kenya

Special Needs School and Coastal Orphanage

medical volunteering in Kenya 8

It wasn’t even an hour that I was there before I felt accustomed and welcome in each of the projects. The children are so very endearing and regardless to their circumstances they were happy children and always had a smile upon their face. I feel that every day that I was there I tried my hardest to help out in any way that I could. I brought educational posters with me which turned out to be a great contribution, they used them in school and I saw children using them for personal use, which was a beautiful thing to see their eagerness to learn. Just giving the children attention and love every day, you could see the impact with the children and how they appreciated. I loved helping out in school sessions, as the teachers have very basic skills so I loved being able to challenge the children and help progress their learning.

The Special school was harder. The children have greater needs as you are working with cerebral palsy, deafness and other forms of special education. I am glad I was able to be part of helping. It was hard putting emotions aside to get on with helping clean children, help with day to day exercise, bandage wounds, and playing with them. I also was able to help teach children. This was challenging as children are of different ages and abilities. The deaf children were amazing, they didn’t need as much help but, spending time with them they gave you a different type of experience. They taught you sign language in Swahili; you were able to really teach them as they were of higher ability! I could write and write about both projects as the experience in both was so fulfilling and fantastic. I have become so accustom and attached to the children and Watamu. I felt that I needed longer there because a month didn’t feel enough. I felt there was more I could do and needed to do.

To pick my fondest memory would be like picking a favourite child, I just couldn’t do it. I loved all of it, the locals, the Kenyan life style. The children every day, the games we played, the Swahili they taught me, the sign language they taught me. Going out with Outreach to a village and vaccinating children and giving them vitamins was amazing, scary but, unforgettable being able to see a part of Kenya lifestyle where tourism hasn’t had any impact at all! The way you see the whole of the community operate on need rather than want and how they are content. This alone was enough to make me want to stay as it was refreshing.

It is definitely worth the money and I would recommend that everyone should have experiences like this. It is fun, emotional, hard yet fulfilling. It has opened my eyes in many situations to my own life and to that I will forever be grateful.