Not convinced that a gap year is the way to go?! Check out Alex’s account of her time volunteering in Kenya:
Travelling through Mombasa for the first time was an enlightening and amazing experience. The laid-back feel to the city made it very easy to settle in, and adapt to the way of life. It was the perfect location - white sandy beaches, wildlife and nature parks, poverty stricken slums, traditional Kenyan culture and way of life. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming, with everyone saying hello and wanting to shake your hand. I’ve never met people who make you feel at home quite like the Kenyans did. It was hard coming back to England and I just miss the Kenyan people so much!
At my project at the orphanage, I really had the best time of my life. I felt so good seeing how happy I made the children. I played with the kids all day long and never got bored. The last day before I went home was one of the best days of my life. At the end of my farewell party, I was so sad to leave the children that I cried. Some of the children wrote some of the sweetest letters to us, and you don’t realise how attached you had become to everyone, until it is time to say goodbye. I will hold that day with me forever. I will never forget the project. The experience it gave me was immeasurable.
During my project I had time and opportunity to travel, make friends and see the country. The representatives were also so helpful and would organise any trips you wanted to go on. I went to the Masai Mara Safari Park and climbed Mount Kenya. These were both incredible and ‘must do’s’ in Kenya. Overall, my trip to Kenya was an unbelievable experience, and definitely does not compare to anything else I have ever done. Easily the best 6 weeks of my life, without a doubt.
Don’t forget not only can you help disadvantaged communities by volunteering, we also have wonderful work experience placements and cultural courses that can help you gain skills to achieve your dreams in your chosen field! You’ll have the opportunity to make lifelong friends and experience a new culture……what are you waiting for?!