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EU Aid Volunteer. Community based officer. January – July 2019


1. Age
2. Profession
Communication profesional
3. For how long time have you volunteer in Shianda?
6 months
4. Why did you decide to go to Kenya?
I have always been interested in cooperation and humanitarian aid sector. Besides, I had been in Africa before and I wanted to have a longer experience in the continent. So the vacancy in Kenya was like destiny offering me a position.
5. Why did you decide to volunteer with WEFOCO?
I received an unexpected email with this new vacancy. When a saw the website, its mision and the activities organized by the organization, I decided to apply for it. The possibility of working in the field more than in the office was very appealing for me.
6. What do you think about the work that is being done by WEFOCO?
I was very surprised with the impact that WEFOCO has on the local community. The lives of many people around Shianda change thanks to WEFOCO and that’s impressive.
7. What kind of tasks did you have?
I mainly organized and conducted capacity building sessions in order to boost the business activities of the local communities. Likewise, I monitored the impact of the activities organized by previous volunteers. I also developped a communication plan to increase WEFOCO visibility. And of course, as all the volunteers, helped on any necesity of the office.
8. What did you like the most about volunteering?
In my case, having the chance of working with local communities, with local experts. It was very enriching spending time with them, talking, sharing experiences… I learnt so many things from them. And sharing the experience with other volunteers from different countries was also very interesting for me.
9. What was surprising?
I was surprised of how easily I addapted myself to the new context. I had never lived before in a place like Shianda, and I felt it home very soon. The people at the office and the communities welcome made my arrival very pleasant. The whole experience was far beyond my expectations.
10. What kind of additional information would you have liked to know before going to Kenya?
I would have preferred to have more information about my role, knowing what was expected from me. But I think the ignorace (in that sense) is good as it makes you be a good observer and more open minded to understand the real needs and how you can contribute.
11. For what kind of difficulties the new volunteers should prepare themselves for?
I think we all have to change our standards at all levels: communication, goals, relations, punctuality… Accepting the “it is what it is” will help them to get used to the local standard :) 
12. Tell about your favourite experience from Kenya.
In Shianda, moving around by boda boda. I usually don’t like motorbikes, but in Shianda, going into the interior, crossing the farms, is an amazing experience. Also, I had the chance to travel alone some days, what I would recommend to everybody as the relationship you establish with locals is much more interesting than when you travel with other people.
13. Do you miss something from Kenya/Shianda?
I miss many many things. Having breakfast surrounded by chickens. I miss the best mangoes, avocados and pineapples I ever had in my life. I miss living with no rush, living “pole pole”. I miss the people I shared my days with (volunteers, women groups, gym friends, friends…).
14. Any other comments?
Do not hesitate to go to Shianda. It is an indescribable experience that will remain forever. Your mindset and values will change for the good.