CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya
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What Is The Work of a Volunteering Organization?

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When one is considering travelling abroad for volunteering purposes, they will often prefer to use a volunteering organization.  How do you pick the best volunteer organizations? Well, that is a question we will help you answer in a subsequent post but first of all, what is the work of a volunteering organization?

civs kenya

To identify projects

Where does a volunteer spend their time when they arrive into the country? Well, it is the work of a volunteering organization to look into different circumstances facing the less fortunate people in a given country and find out what projects they can start to help those people. Doing this ensures there is a place for people who want to volunteer abroad to stay in and get to do just that.

To prepare different programs for the projects

Every single project has people with different needs. It is the work of a volunteering organization to identify these needs and also come up with ways and activities in which these needs can be met. The best volunteering organizations are the ones that will even determine the best amount of time a volunteer can stay there for the entire volunteering process to be a success.

To find host families

When anyone who has decided to volunteer abroad jets into the country, they will need a place to stay throughout the volunteering process. Whether they are doing long term volunteering or short term volunteering, it is important that they have a place they can call home, with trustworthy people who will also play a big role in assisting them throughout their time away from home.

To give volunteers an orientation when they arrive into the country

Well, as you can imagine, when you travel to a foreign country, there’s only so much you can have knowledge of in that particular country. Contrary to a leisure trip, a volunteering opportunity requires you to have as much knowledge as possible about a place because you will not always have someone to guide you or walk with you throughout your stay. The best volunteer organizations will do this before you even start volunteering.

To help volunteers out in the course of their volunteer work

Sometimes, running into a problem or getting into trouble could be inevitable for the simple reason that different countries have different rules and regulations. It could be trouble with the law or just with the community folk. It is the work of a good volunteering organization to intervene in such situations as they are responsible for you during your stay.

To evaluate the volunteers

The best volunteering organizations are the ones that will set aside time to help you evaluate just how well you are doing with your projects in order for you to know how to continue and to just get a feel of what the community in which you are volunteering in thinks about you.

To maintain correspondence with the volunteers when they leave

They have a responsibility of updating you on how the projects you might have started are moving forward even in your absence as an act of goodwill as well as to give you some encouragement that something you started or just did will have an impact to the community’s future.

To find partners to send the volunteers or help in funding projects

Sometimes, it is necessary to get partners for funding purposes especially for non-profit organizations. It is also important to get partner organizations as some of them are responsible for sending groups of volunteers. A volunteer organization creates these partnerships.

The Centre for International Voluntary Service is a leading volunteer organization that helps volunteers who would like to volunteer in Kenya. We do all the above.

Check out our website for more or contact us for more details.

The Importance of Community Development

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Last year, we brought up the topic of community development and mentioned a few things and after talking about water and sanitation in our previous post, we thought it best to post about the importance of community development.

For any country to develop, the community needs to develop. It is the most common basic unit of society after the family and when there is development in the community, there is a general improvement in a nation’s economy.

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What is community development?

It is the process whereby a community comes together and works collectively towards finding solutions to the problems that affect them.

So, what is the importance of community development?

It helps in agricultural growth

Part of community development activities include farm work and taking care of animals. Agriculture is the backbone of most economies and Kenya here is the perfect example of countries that heavily rely on agriculture.

Community development sees to it that people get the right information on the best farming methods, the right equipment and encouragement, not to mention ideas required for the success of agriculture.

It helps in development of the health sector

Through community development, public health facilities are created. These facilities assist in treating of ailments that may affect members of the community such as malaria, typhoid among other common diseases.

It helps in development of schools and educational centres

The importance of an education cannot be undermined, mostly because it shapes the future of all the members of the community. Through the community development process, funds and resources are brought together for building of schools and other types of educational centres to equip the community with the tools needed to succeed in future.

It helps in development of administrative structures

With each kind of community development project, a leader is needed to oversee the activities. Often times, the community gets to select an able leader that will help them make the best decisions. It generally leads to creation of leaders.

It helps in development of human resource

The community development process creates employment for members of the community to enable smoother running of the schools, farms, health centres, among other amenities that come about as a result of the community development process. This also leads to a reduction in crime rate.

It provides a sense of inclusion

Community development encourages participation from all members from children to adults, of course everyone with their own suitable role to play and this inclusion brings about a sense of unity and everyone learns to value each other.

It helps in the improvement in the overall living standards of people at the community level

Through all of the above mentioned importances of community development, such as agriculture, the educational centre growth, reduction in crimes among others mentioned, the quality of life is improved significantly.

Through all of the above importances, national development is also achieved and we at CIVS do our best to support communities achieve the kind of development that they need in order to be uplifted. We have a number of community development projects in different parts of the country and we would like to have you join us in our different ones.

For more information regarding our community development, visit the rest of our website or email us. Thank you for stopping by. Like our Facebook page as well to get more updates.

The Pros And Cons Of Volunteering In Orphanages Abroad

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In our last post, we highlighted the few things you need to know about volunteering in orphanages abroad with a promise to talk about the pros and cons of volunteering in orphanages

Should I volunteer at an orphanage abroad?

You may be asking yourself this question, so here are the pros and cons of volunteering at orphanages that should definitely help you get the answer to that.

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The pros of volunteering in an orphanage

It gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young, vulnerable children who need to feel wanted and appreciated.

Most of these children in orphanages understand that their situation is different from that of most other children and they often need the tenderness and sense of acceptance and love that they feel from volunteers. When you volunteer at an orphanage, you give the children much needed encouragement.

It enables you to make a difference in the community as a whole

Children are generally part of the community and use the community facilities. For example, they could go to the local school, local church among others. Therefore, when you come in as a volunteer at an orphanage, you might have to teach at the local school which includes other children in the community; serve in the local church that is attended by the members of the community, e.t.c.

It is a way for you as the volunteer to build your confidence

It is generally not the easiest thing to leave your country and travel to another with no idea as to whether or not you will be accepted. You might meet children who might have issues trusting new people as a result of rejection or abandonment. Managing to get past this stage and winning their trust gives you a sense of confidence and understanding of different people while just giving back.

It enables you to develop your skills further

Amazing just how much you can learn from teaching or interacting with just one child. Orphanages present an opportunity for you interact with quite a number of them and through activities like teaching, cooking and other activities undertaken during this period, you get better and also learn to look at the world from other people’s perspective.

It builds a foundation for the future, both yours and that of the children

In our last post, we emphasized the importance of recognizing that every single move you make at the orphanages should be made with the long term in mind because every one of them has an impact in the future of the children.

It can also shape the direction you as a volunteer will take in terms of career and the decisions you make in future having received a better understanding throughout the entire process, of the world and issues that affect different people regardless of their ages and origin.

fortune learners center

So what are the cons of volunteering in orphanages?

The whole idea of institutionalizing children is exactly what brought about the difference in opinion on whether or not it is a good idea to even have orphanages, with some arguing that better options like finding foster families for the children is a better idea as it keeps the children in that much needed family unit.

Well, here are some cons of volunteering in orphanages.

It brings about an emotional attachment between the volunteers and the children

This wouldn’t be such a bad thing except, the volunteers are often around for just a while and would have to leave at some point. This often leaves the children suffering emotionally from the effects of the separation as they have to go back to a life without the volunteers they were used to or to adjust to a new set of volunteers.

Some volunteer organizations only operate with the intention of making money

It is highly likely that you will prefer to travel overseas as a volunteer with the help of a volunteer organization. They will often appear as wanting nothing but to make a positive change in the lives of young orphaned and vulnerable children but actually have alterior motives, making extra coins.

In other words, they just take advantage of the popularity of volunteer tourism.

You might , as a volunteer, not be able to finish up what you started

Due to the timed periods that a volunteer can be around, some projects you start might actually end up not being completed .

It is quite possible to be in situations where you run out of time before finishing something you started and in some cases, it is difficult for another set of volunteers to carry on with it exactly according to what you envisioned.

Volunteering abroad can orphanages can be expensive

In a case where you are working with a nonprofit organization, you will find yourself having to pay some participation fees because they depend on this to keep the projects running. So this becomes an additional expense to what the volunteer would have to pay for their flights, certain items they might need while they get to their volunteer destination.

We hope this post on the pros and cons assist you in making a decision.

We at CIVS would love to hear from you whether it is through inquiries or whether you have made your decision.

For more information, email us or visit our website, www.civskenya.org

Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries

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Having talked about the pros and cons of volunteering in orphanages abroad, we would like to shift our attention today to water and sanitation in developing countries.

Water is of great importance and access to it cannot be downplayed. Access to fresh water is a key to the economic development. Without it life becomes difficult for people. Kenya has been categorized as a scarce water country, just like many other developing countries which have a limited supply of renewable water.

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This lack of renewable water supply can be attributed by a number of things. For example urbanization. The poor planning that has often caught people in urban areas off guard and caused a struggle for access to water and sanitation. The result is development of slums which unfortunately have increased in number in the country.

This has forced people to have to buy water, which might not be safe for their use. With this urbanization even forests which serve as water catchment areas have been destroyed. Rural areas have also been affected by this problem of water shortage.

While certain groups of people in urban centres can find their way around this situation, there are more people who can’t and often require assistance.

The Centre for International Voluntary Service operates with a goal to uplift communities that are less fortunate and as a result, we have projects aimed at helping these people get water and sanitation needed for their safe livelihood.

CIVS focuses on giving solutions such as providing hygienic water storage facilities or equipment, rain water harvesting pumps, solar power pumps among others needed to ensure communities have acces to proper sanitation.

This makes a significant difference in their quality of life as it could prevent them from contracting waterborne diseases like malaria, cholera, diarrhea among others.

While it is part of the United Nations sustainable development goals to get as many communities to have access to water and sanitation, we have chosen to in our own way play a small part.

You can check out our website www.civskenya.org for more information or email us to be part of the change in as far as ensuring the less fortunate have access to water and sanitation.

What You Need To Know About Volunteering In Orphanages Abroad

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We hope you had the chance to go through our article last week on feeding programs in Africa and today we would like to shift your attention to volunteering in orphanages abroad, or what others may refer to as children’s homes. What do you need to know about volunteering in an orphanage?

A person who wants to undertake a volunteering abroad activity such as volunteering in an orphanage abroad surely has good intentions right? It is a noble cause with the aim of, to some extent, making life a little better for the orphans and vulnerable children right?

Interestingly though, the issue of volunteering in orphanages abroad has brought about controversy among some people with a select few arguing that it does more harm than good. Note, a select few.

kaya kinondo ecotourism project

That said though, every single activity of volunteering has its ups and its downs. This one mostly has ups as the children definitely need it.

We will delve into the benefits of volunteering in orphanages overseas in a subsequent post as well as the down sides but first, we at CIVS feel the need to tell you a few things you need to know about volunteering in orphanages.

You Will Be Among Vulnerable Children

Most of the children in the orphanages in Africa especially, are there because they were victims of diseases and epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, natural calamities such as drought that may have killed their parents and/or caregivers and in some cases, abandonment.

As such, you need to be considerate, and ready to put a smile on the faces of such children, some of who might be traumatized as a result of the circumstance that led to them being sent there.

You need to make them feel that despite their situation, they are important members of society and they should not feel unwanted.

You might have to do more than what you expected

You may be thinking that you volunteering at an orphanage abroad will involve you just spending your time with the children, playing with them and teaching them.

However, you should know that it takes a whole team to ensure that these vulnerable children survive in those orphanages and you might find yourself having to help those who cook for them in the kitchen, those who clean, helping in first aid as children often have accidents, disciplining the children but reasonably. You might have to act as intermediary when some of them are not getting along which is normal among children, among other roles.

All these are for the benefit of the children.

There are going to be consequences of everything you do at the orphanage

As a volunteer, say in Africa, you should have the intention of making a difference even though you will not be there for long.

Understand that any of the activities that you undertake have some kind of impact in the future of the orphaned children you work with. Whether you came as a teacher, a counselor or any kind of helper, your contribution will result in either something positive or negative depending on your conduct during the period of volunteering.

In short, you need to always think of the future and not just the present, therefore make the most of your time there.

It is an amazing opportunity to learn

When you choose to volunteer at orphanages for example in Africa, you find yourself among people or children who are used to a certain way of life, in other words, children from different cultures.

In working with them, you get to learn about these people and how they view life; you could end up learning about their language, their beliefs and other lessons that will definitely shape how you view life.

It opens your mind thus making you a much better person.

It is not easy but it certainly makes for a worthwhile experience

Taking care of a child is generally not the easiest thing because every child is different in their own way.

Taking care of those in an orphanage especially abroad is even more challenging because you have to take the time to understand them first before actually instilling certain perceptions and values in them.

Some of them, despite being so young, will not be immediately receptive towards you as a volunteer and this will require you to exercise patience until you slowly get acceptance.

Once you do though, it gives you a feeling of pride and achievement which makes it all the more worthwhile.

So, having gone through these points, we hope you will keep these in mind.

At CIVS, we have a number of children’s homes and centres as part of our volunteer projects this 2019 and we would like to have you work with us to offer these vulnerable children a chance to feel accepted.

We encourage you to go through our website http://www.civskenya.org for more information on these centres. In case of any inquiries, feel free to contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">iThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."> .This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">