Posted in Development

Voice of a Volunteer

My  life has seen me volunteer in organizations especially those that cater for the vulnerable. It is not about the money since most never come with a pay cheque and those that do am glad i got to see my first volunteer pay day. I think it is in my bloodstream not really a hobby but passion. It is in this platforms that i have interacted with people from all walks including foreigners who turn their holidays into helping communities in different arenas. From them i got to hear tales about their nations, got to learn a language or two, got the opportunity to take them to see our beautiful country and i longed for longer stays with them. However, this are always cut off as they go back never to return.

I have met children who have been rescued from the snaring eyes of beasts who kill them for their body parts; talking of albinos. Only the skin color makes them different from the normal you. I have met week old babies who are left abandoned by their mothers in hospitals or thrown away in garbage pits to the mercies of nature to take care of them. In my walk i have gone to police stations and interacted with corporals, gone to chief camps all in the name of case follow ups. I have seen sorrowful faces brighten for example, some children in a rehabilitation center had a court hearing for them to be granted as beneficiaries of the institution when after vigorous follow ups there was no trace of their families. In another case a crying grandmother was seeking for justice when her daughter had decided to leave her children to her while all she did was prostitution, giving birth and coming home to abandon them. She needed her daughter to carry her cross and be a responsible woman. The old lady gave me fifty shillings and after i refused she really begged and insisted i take it as a thank you.

I have met children who can neither see, hear, speak nor talk. All in one combination.I know you asking how they survive but God always has His plans. There was one in particular i took to a special institution. That was one tough journey boarding buses in the city, carrying him on my back and of course carrying extra clothes to change him as he was so hyper and stubborn at the same time. At times he refused to walk, whined on the road and everyone was looking at me with the ” what is wrong with you and do something” look. I remember i almost cried. Luckily he got to be admitted to a special school and i was there to witness his first day in school.

Sign language was one thing that made me even happier. I met a boy who used sign language in the entire organization and i think he found it hard to communicate to other children with no one to understand him. So everyday i was free i would call him with a pen and paper in hand write the simple things i needed him to teach me. Then in a bubbly face he was my teacher and mind you everyday i arrived at the organization’s gate he would run and we would start our sign talk of good morning, how are you and i was so impressed at how a quick learner i was.

Disability is not inability and in one institution me and my club members dedicated our Saturdays to it. In wheelchairs, walking sticks they did their chores so well that i just sat back and marveled at how they did. The only tough part was shower time and this is where we came in handy. Having divided ourselves the boys went with the men and girls with the ladies to their respective dormitories. In the bathrooms we had to change them, wash them, carry them, lotion them and change into clean clothes. For others that was the day to undo their shaggy hair and plait them. Every Saturday they eagerly waited for us and some even pointed out that they wanted so and so to wash them. It is in this platform i met kids with cerebral palsy and other abnormalities in a special unit. Some could not be classified as children due to their age. The only challenges in such scenarios is getting adult pampers which are expensive, parents abandoning their loved ones for fear of stigmatization and getting proper care for those with cerebral palsy.

Currently am dealing with normal children who behind their normality are faced with so many abnormalities in the society. Taking one step at a time i am becoming the change agent that i always wanted to be. I now can afford taking my parents for lunch or siblings for an outing. Now am one independent lady all thanks to volunteership.

Let me not bore you with my volunteer experiences but challenge you up to the task. I have heard youths say they can’t volunteer. It is a waste of time and resources. What do i gain from that you ask? Some even before volunteering ask if there is money to it and if there is no they walk away. What you do not know is this is the platform you learn to exercise whatever skills you have to young ones. This is the only place you  get links from, learn from others, build your confidence, make a change and makes you to be thankful at all times and not be a nagging fool. This is the only place that will make you go up the ladder in that job hunt. Which organization wants a person who has gained nothing apart from their educational certificates? None trust me.

Go out there and be useful. Now let me share some pics i have ever since i started volunteering in various organizations.

during the global handwashing day 2016
service to the disabled
community service at a blind school
during a chapati forum cooking for the elderly and street families
rescued babies from wks old -6months