Overall Rating:/ 10Volunteering in Kenya was an enriching and unforgettable experience. I volunteered in the HIV/AIDS project where a small group of us volunteers visited HIV-infected patients to provide emotional and practical support. We typically went out and bought groceries with them and made a meal to share in their home, including any chores that they needed help with. Home visits gave us the opportunity to ask them questions about their lives and in turn these HIV-infected patients were able to share their stories. By having patients talk about their experience living with HIV, we believe that this contributed to reducing the strong stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Many of these individuals, have either been neglected by their loved ones or have kept their HIV status a secret. Every single patient we visited was incredibly happy and grateful to meet us, and likewise, I personally found every home visit, very enjoyable.
Additionally, I had the opportunity to take part in an HIV/AIDS outreach in a small town called Migori in West Kenya. We went out into the community and tested individuals for HIV and also provided some counselling. Because the village we did the outreach in was relatively small, word quickly spread about us, which led people to voluntarily approach us to get tested for HIV. I believe that this outreach played a role in increasing the community's awareness of HIV/AIDS, which contributed to reducing the stigma of this health problem. Although this outreach was at times quite challenging, it was very rewarding.
Apart from that, I absolutely loved staying at the volunteer house. For me, it was a 'one of a kind' experience where I was able to stay with people from around the world who were also passionate about humanitarian work. On top of that, the food that our host mum made was always super delicious! Everyone in Kenya was very friendly and hospitable and I really enjoyed being a part of their rich culture.
Overall, my time in Kenya was fantastic and I am absolutely gutted that I couldn't stay for longer.