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VSO Volunteer Reports Back on Kenya Experience

Last September Elizabeth Sarney went to Kenya as a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) Volunteer. The Club welcomed her back to tell Members all about it. Elizabeth is pictured here showing her photos at the Club meeting. 

Elizabeth works as a fundraiser for the charity “Freedom from Torture”. She decided to take a 3 month sabbatical to work as a VSO volunteer participating in the International Citizen Service programme in Kenya last September and had to raise £1500 for VSO to be allowed to participate. She came along to the Club last year to tell us about her plans and to sell us some home-made cakes, and we were able to send her away with a donation of £66 and a promise to come back and tell us about her adventures!

Elizabeth was based in Malindi, and was working on projects supported by DFID. She worked in a team of 16 where 6 team members were from the UK and 10 were from Kenya. The group often used drama and music to educated local communities for example on World Aids Day.

Pictured here is “TOSHA” – the youth group that Elizabeth was working with in Malindi – this was taken just after a performance of traditional dance.

While Elizabeth was in Kenya she witnessed flooding from strange weather patterns having a disastrous effect on local communities and their crops – making climate change seem very real, and observing how it hits places like this more than the countries with the largest carbon footprints.

More about the VSO Programme: The VSO International Citizen Service (ICS) is the UK’s leading global volunteering programme for young people who want to do voluntary development work abroad. ICS brings together young people from different countries to fight poverty – with volunteers from the UK working alongside volunteers from the developing world.  Each project is designed to fight poverty and make a lasting difference by working with local people to meet local needs. This means that volunteers are having real development impact. Founded in 1958, VSO is an international development charity that works through, and with, volunteers.  They promote volunteering to fight global poverty and disadvantage, and bring people together to share skills, creativity and learning to build a fairer world. As part of the commitment to ICS, all volunteers are asked to fundraise before going overseas. The money raised will go towards supporting the work of VSO and will enable VSO to continue sending youth volunteers to the developing world to make a lasting difference in disadvantaged and impoverished communities.