International Volunteer Day – My Volunteer Story

Happy Volunteers

Volunteering is much more than a life experience, it is a philosophy. Being a volunteer is about tackling development injustices, participating in cross-cultural encounters, and contributing to a common future.

-Mirana Rakotobe

My name is Mirana from France and today I decided to volunteer at CIVS Kenya.

How did this get started?

Many of us have been impacted by the global pandemic that began in 2019. All countries both developed and developing, populated and unpopulated, great and small have been socio-economically affected. Many have seen hardships mount and inequalities grow. The urge to act was immediate and necessary, but how? The possibilities are numerous and infinite; to join a local association, to make donations, to go on voluntary service. Whatever your choice, it will be important, but my choice to participate as a volunteer was very quick and obvious. I wanted to contribute and support the development of a community where inequalities were already present and have greatly increased especially as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. My research led me to CIVS Kenya.

Why did I choose to get involved with CIVS Kenya?

I agree there are many opportunities for volunteering, but equivalently, it is sometimes difficult to find your way around making the best choice. I first wanted to get involved with an organization that has been established for several years. CIVS Kenya was registered in 1997 as a non-profit community development agency with a mission to empower communities, organizations, and individuals to realize their full potential. To my concern, I already had a lot of experience in the field of volunteering. I was also able to find all the necessary information to understand their approach and projects on their website. The latter being constantly updated, helped me to project myself in real life. Their availability and their accompaniment before the departure were what made the difference and put me a lot of confidence in them.

What is my experience in Kenya?

The culture shock is present but exciting. Discovering a new way of life, different cultures, and typical Kenyan customs is a very enriching experience. Kenya is colorful and lively with a special touch of a syndrome associated with the keyword ‘pole pole’ (slowly slowly) which brings a tasty mix of dynamism, calm, and softness. This cultural difference allows us to enrich and embrace each other’s cultural diversity. They connect me as much as I connect them. I am currently a volunteer at CIVS to support the head office in Nairobi. Although We encounter some other challenges such as the load shedding and the internet cuts which greatly affect the daily activities,  the work is always done in a good mood, alongside a very supportive team, and of course around a good Kenyan tea.

Happy volunteers


The Center for International Voluntary Service (CIVS Kenya) is a Community Development Organization working with local marginalized communities in Kenya to support them in their development and fight the poverty through volunteering and community development programs.