Nairobi Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
December 15th, 2007 – by: kristine_hardy
I decided to volunteer with GVN because I really wanted to go to Rwanda. But they couldn't fit me into the Rwandan program and as I love Kenya (I was there after my Honours year doing the safari thing) I got talked into doing the Kenyan Orphanage program instead. For those not familiar with the volunteer thing, if you go with a company such as GVN or i-to-i you pay quite a bit of money that covers your board, food and some transport and they provide an orientation and place you in orphanages/schools etc that are use to dealing with westerners and some of the money is also meant to go to the orphanages. The alternative is to find an orphanage needing help independently (the web does make this easier) but so far I've been scared of what I might get and have taken the easy route. Plus I figure if I pay money then I don't have to feel guilty if I'm not so useful to the placement and being a bit insecure, I'm always scared of being a useless burden to organisations that have better things to do that put up with clueless westerners visiting them. In 2006 I went with i-to-i to China and although I loved the kids at the orphanage there I didn't really like i-to-i, either the global organisation or some aspects of the local organisation (its mainly the worldwide parent organisation that I have a problem with) so I thought I'd try GVN. My experience with both the parent organisation of GVN (its a NZ company) and the local Kenyan organisation was more positive but I did hear disturbing stories of corruption at some of the placements which is always really frustrating.
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