What can volunteers do with Networks for Voluntary Services?
- They can teach! (General education, sports, music)
Volunteers are placed in either community schools or orphan helping schools. Sometimes we collaborate with the government to allow volunteers to work in public schools in very poor places. The teaching program is offered in
- Rural areas of Kenya (to include Maasailand with the Maasai Tribe!)
We have partner schools in very remote areas in the northern parts of Kenya, the vast slums of Nairobi and other major towns, and the general rural Kenya. Many of the schools that we work with are understaffed and are always in need of additional support.
Each school placement accommodates students of differing ages; however volunteers generally work with students between the ages of 1 to 16 years old.
A note about Maasai land……..
The Maasai are a nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress. The Maasai speak Maa (ɔl Maa), a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family. They are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English.
We have partner schools in several areas of Maasai land; many of the schools that we work with are understaffed and are always in need of a helping hand.
2. Volunteers can work with individuals with Special Needs:
You must know that “Disability is not inability.” These are words of encouragement for those who perceive that people with physical challenges are helpless and cannot do what others do without the challenges. The view of those with special needs may vary around the world due to culture. Kenya is no different when it comes to a culture responding to this population. In many areas of Kenya, the belief that disabled people bring bad luck because they had been cursed or had had a spell placed upon them by witchcraft can be found. Those with a disability or special need are often viewed as not fully human or possessed by evil spirits.
Due to lack of support and education around disability awareness in Kenya, many disabled children and adults are hidden from public view by their families. There are increasing numbers of children born with either mental or physical disabilities that are living in poverty and cannot afford to fend for themselves or access any kind of support.
Volunteers on the Special Needs Care project assist with providing daily hands-on support and disability education among families and local communities. Volunteer tasks include assisting with physiotherapy and rehabilitation for the children or adults, and providing training for the family and supporting community. Volunteers on this project do not need to have previous experience or training in special needs care, as they will be working closely alongside local staff.
- Volunteers can support Women’s Education.
Although HIV prevalence among the general population has fallen in Kenya, women continue to be disproportionately affected by the epidemic. In 2012, 6.9 percent of women were living with HIV compared with 4.2 percent of men. Young women (aged 15-24) are almost three times as likely to be living with HIV as men of the same age (3 percent and 1.1 percent respectively). However, HIV prevalence among young women has almost halved since 2003, showing that progress is being made.
Like in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls in Kenya face discrimination in terms of access to education, employment and healthcare. As a result, men often dominate sexual relationships with women not always able to practice safer sex even when they know the risks.
Many women living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya still feel isolated by the community. For this reason, many have formed groups where they meet and discuss issues affecting them and especially how they can improve their livelihoods. The main aim of these groups is to empower these women to come up with ideas that can help them generate some income, peer education and acquiring of new skills. In many of the groups, women are able to learn short courses in sewing, tailoring, candle making and jewelry-making.
These women get support from well-wishers, charitable organizations, volunteers and religious groups through providing them with finances to, enable them start their own craft-making or tailoring businesses to generate an income and provide for their families. Volunteers can assist in different areas such as, counseling, skill-training and awareness/education