Our Nyumbani programs in Kenya welcome and depend on the wide-ranging expertise and willing enthusiasm of a hardy corps of volunteers from around the world. Read about one of our summer 2017 Village volunteers Joe!
Name: Joe Carthy
Favorite hobbies: Reading, bridge
Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
Date of arrival in Nyumbani: 29th of May
How long did you stay in the Village: 5 weeks
How did you hear of Nyumbani?
I first heard of Nyumbani Village from Conor, a good friend of mine who I would later end up volunteering with at Nyumbani. Conor was friends with a relative of Sister Mary Owens, the Executive Director of Nyumbani, and having talked with her and having done our own research into the Village, we both decided that we could both help to give back by visiting and volunteering.
Is this your first time to Kenya/ an African country?
This trip was both my first trip to Kenya and to the African continent. Thus, it represented a way for me to experience an entirely different culture and to gain insight into what life is like in another part of the world. The fact that Nyumbani is in Kenya represented a unique opportunity for me as well because my sister has been working in a humanitarian law firm that is based in Nairobi, and by volunteering in the village, I also got the opportunity to visit her a couple of times in order to enrich my stay and see more of Kenya.
Why did you want to volunteer in Nyumbani Village?
The village is a place which has a lot of interesting projects going on at the same time and I felt that if I came to the here, I would be doing meaningful work that made a difference in people’s lives. I was looking for a place to volunteer while I had time off from college and the Village seemed like a unique opportunity for me to apply myself. I wanted to gain insight into what life was like in the village, and to see how people acted from day to day there.
What were you first impressions when you arrived?
I was really impressed by the village. Before I arrived I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, I had done research but that had only taken me so far. Upon arriving I got the full scope of what Nyumbani has managed to create, a haven for almost a thousand kids. The scale is just insane. The polytechnic I found to be particularly impressive as well as the multiple rainwater harvesting projects that were going on. The village truly strives for sustainability and this is a great goal and it was really cool to see it in action!
What was your favorite experience?
My favorite experience in the village was teaching one of the Math classes at Lawson High School. They were great fun and a pleasure to teach and you could see that all the students for very enthusiastic to learn. I would recommend that all volunteers make sure that they go the school in the evenings and help the students during their study time, I found it to be very fulfilling.
What lessons did you bring home with you?
Something which inspires me regarding the village is the fact that it was created by people with a vision, and it was created from nothing. This is incredible to me and I will take it with me to drive me if I find an oppportunity for a similar project. Another take home for me, is the happiness that everyone walked around the village with. Everyone living there seemed so satisfied and were just embracing their day to day lives. This up beat attitude is definitely something that I can take back to my daily life at home.
Thank you Joe!
If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering at Nyumbani, please visit our volunteer page for more information.