My time volunteering
I got the amazing opportunity to be part of the team volunteering in Wote, Makueni Cycle 4! In-depth needs assessments conducted in Makueni found that people aged 15-30 were the most marginalised in the County, thus youth formed the target group of all projects in Makueni though EYEE (Empowered Youth for Entrepreneurship and Employability). The specific objectives of EYEE were: enhanced youth agency and ownership; improved access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth; increased number of youth engaged in agribusiness. Our team was divided up into groups of 2-4 volunteers from the UK and Kenya, placed on around 7 different placements across the county each working in their own way to implement EYEE.
The impact of my placement
I was working as a team of 4 alongside the County Government Department for Youth, Sport, Gender and Social Services. Working at the county office gave us a platform to work with ICT youth groups, empowering them in EYEE. We also worked independently with a number of other youth, women’s and disability groups around the County, educating them on employability skills such as CV writing and interview techniques, as well as developing their entrepreneurship skills, such as business and idea generation. We carried out lessons on proposal writing and smart money management. This empowered the groups through us helping them to write a proposal and if/when they get the donation, advised them on how they can manage their money efficiently and effectively. Additionally, we taught groups about bookkeeping and record keeping, to effectively enable them to keep track of everything they have spent/earned. This is an important issue to learn about, as successfully being able to demonstrate income and expenditure is an important step to becoming eligible for grants and donations.
My unforgettable moments
There were so many memories made on this trip, it is such an intense experience so its hard to pick out specific moments, but seeing the progression made by groups we were working with was pretty special, as well as spending much needed downtime having a good laugh with the other volunteers. Of course our mid phase review has to get a mention, our MPR committee worked so hard to make it an amazing weekend, and seeing an elephant at sunset made it unforgettable!
The impact my placement has had on me
When I think about my time in Kenya, it seems to have gone so fast, but the amount I learned while I was there has definitely changed me. Though I loved it, there were a few challenges along the way, but this allowed me to grow as a person, developing leadership skills, confidence and learning to be proactive in my decision making. I now feel so much more prepared to start working, and I have already been able to draw upon my new skills in interviews. Additionally, I now have the confidence to go out in my local community and volunteer now I'm home.