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Reviews and Photos for Kenya

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“I can truly say, I had an amazing time in Kenya and will cherish it forever. Kenyans are so friendly and one can’t help but feel grateful for the experience. I met so many people and they all welcomed me with open arms, taught me about their lifes, culture and shared their experiences. For me, living in rural Kenya is the best way to experience the African way of life and to feel the gratitude, kindness and happiness of people is the best and biggest reward.

Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to come to Africa and volunteer. Over the years I researched many organisations but there always seemed to be something holding me off. Last year I came across the CrossContinental website and the straightforward approach of the website appealed to me. I did not have to do any digging to find all the information I needed, let it be the program structure, prices or anything else. What makes CC really stand out, though, is their flexibility and efficiency. I was able to leave for Africa within a month after contacting the organisation, so no months-long preparation and waiting for responses. All my emails were answered immediately and I was also given the contact of one of the previous volunteers, who I could bother with all my questions and concerns.

The second great thing about CC is their reasonable program fees. Like most volunteers I did not have much money, since I had just completed my university degree but was keen to experience Africa. The program fee is in comparison to other organisations, where you pay 3-times as much and still have to pay lot of extras (i.e. for accommodation), amazing.

Thanks to CC, I was able to realize my dream of working and living in Africa and I will always be grateful for the wonderful eight weeks I spent in Kenya.”

Participant Name: Christin Rebarz

From: Germany

Work Projects: Micro-finance Work and Healthcare Work (in Kenya, Africa)

volunteer abroad in Africa Kenya doing sports education

“I would definitely recommend Cross Continental to others. Specifically, Andrew and I have already decided to work with the local coordinator to build his soccer development program with some of our contacts at home. Volunteering abroad with Cross Continental was an amazing experience for me. It was affordable and my local coordinator/host family was very welcoming. I was provided with safe and comfortable conditions during my stay. The soccer development program I was apart of was flexible and allowed for a rich cultural experience.”

Volunteer Names: Dean and Andrew

From : Canada (Langara College)

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Program: Sports Education and Soccer Development

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“The most rewarding experience in my internship abroad program was being able to provide people with necessary information for them to attain funds in the future for their projects which focused on sustainable development. In addition, another rewarding experience for me was being able to make a child smile by greeting them and allowing them to use my camera to take pictures. Interesting enough, most volunteers do not allow children to use their cameras. Personally, I had an amazing experience in Kisii, Kenya, Africa. My two months micro-finance internship through Cross-Continental Solutions Inc. went by fast. The work I did abroad was both enjoyable and rewarding where I made a good contribution in providing valuable information to the local community groups in order for them to acquire future funds for their income generating projects that focused on sustainable development. During my internship, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and broaden my learning zone. Through facilitating and public speaking, I gained confidence and improved my communication skills. Living with a host family was a great way for me to immerse myself in the culture where I participated in cultural activities and attended social events to enhance my global mindset. Even though the people in Africa are unfortunate in living standards, they are the nicest and excepting people I have come across in my life-time. I found that the people in Kisii are happy individuals whom rarely complain about their situation. Not only do the people lack capital, they also lack information. So there continues to be a need for volunteers and interns abroad and I hope to participate again in making a difference to the global community through Cross Continental Solutions Inc. in the near future.”

Intern Name: Anjaya Adam

From: Canada (The University of Victoria)

Internship Location: Kenya

Internship Program: Microfinance Project

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volunteer abroad in Africa

Thank you so much for the wonderful experience. The host family and the project were both incredible. Working at the Child Discovery Centre was a life changing experience where i got to meet so many incredible people. Many were my age so I found it incredibly easy to get on well with them. I even cooked Kiderri sometimes (which usually ended in me crying from the onions and all the children laughing at me). The orphanage was incredible, always involving me in activities and teaching me so much about Kenyan culture and about the project itself. I don’t think i could have asked for a better experience, it exceeded my expectations. So, i am so incredibly thankful to everyone for that.

Priscilla Bell

From : Australia

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Program: Orphanage Work

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volunteer abroad in Africa

Our host family is very hostile. So, we are happy to be here. The children are very open and pleasant to meet us. Furthermore, we have to thank the local coordinator for the unique hospitality at his brother’s place and the introduction to the Kenyan culture and traditions. Thank you guys for the experience!

Alex and Ksenia

From : Germany and Russia

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Program: HIV Orphanage Work

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“The team at Cross-Continental were absolutely brilliant with helping to organize my trip to Kenya. This not only included coordinating the volunteer placement with the Orphanage, but even helping with sight seeing and transportation requirements, and making sure costs were kept as low as possible. Jenn worked tirelessly to make sure the trip was a success in every fashion and followed up during and after the trip to make sure everything went well. I thoroughly recommend using them to everyone.

I went for an overnight safari to Masai Mara which was really cool. Saw some brilliant game and took lots of great photos. Up close with lions and elephants! It was a truly rewarding, once in a lifetime, experience.

The school was really basic, a lot like an old (old) cowshed with basic bricks (rocks) and mortar, dirt floors etc. A few of the newer classrooms had been plastered so if they were painted the school could apply to get signed off as an official place to hold exams and save the kids travelling around 5ks away and paying 3500 shillings each to sit exams.

Though we probably all struggle to get by money-wise from time to time, this trip showed pretty clearly that if you can turn on a tap and water comes out, and you are lucky enough to be able to drink it, then you’re doing pretty well for yourself. Hot water is just showing off. Probably the coolest part of my whole trip was hearing some street kids, who sleep wherever, and scavenge garbage to live, say that they were definitely going to go to school more often now that the school looks so flash.”

Timothy Loughnane

From : New Zealand

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Program: Construction Work at Orphanage School

international volunteer abroad culture Africa Kenya

My volunteer trip to Kenya was an amazing experience. Every time when I enter the orphanage, all the kids would run to me and hug me. I have never felt so valuable before in life. It felt so good to be able to bring such big smiles to the faces of the local kids. My program was customized to my needs. I only wanted to do part time volunteer work and I had to arrive on one specific day due to a discount flight offer. All that was no problem at all. To be honest, I couldn’t find another organization with more flexibility. Cross-Continental Solutions also provides cultural activities regularly and travel services were excellent. They made sure that I would get a fair price with decent tour operators.

Amy C.

From: Canada

Volunteer location: Kenya

Volunteer Program: Orphanage Work

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international intern and volunteer abroad Africa-Kenya international intern and volunteer abroad Africa-Kenya

international intern and volunteer abroad Africa-Kenya

“I am incredibly happy with my experience provided through CrossContinental. My goal was to experience the uncensored truth of life in a developing/third world country. And I certainly got that. It may not have always been a comfortable relaxing time, but even the experiences which I found to be uncomfortable and stress related provided me with just the kind of truth I was looking for. I’ll be the first to admit that I have taken for granted all of the freedoms and comfort I was born into as a Canadian citizen, and even having lived my whole life believing that I possessed some idea of what life in a developing country may provide, I in actuality had no idea at all. The world is not a pretty place and that’s the tall and skinny of it. There are parts of the world which are unfair and hostile, but that is the cold hard truth of the world we live in.

The most rewarding experience for me took place in my position as a rehabilitation assistant at the Keroka district hospital. My supervisor, Anne, treated me as an equal, and a partner, involving me in discussions of the patient histories, diagnoses, treatment design and implementation, as well as clerical duties involving the drafting of patient notes and support plans. During my time spent working with Anne I was not an Occupational Therapist’s Assistant – I was an Occupational Therapist. Even with only having accomplished a Diploma of Human Kinetics, I discovered that my primary knowledge base, coupled with my previous experience attained through past positions in healthcare, has given me a solid foundation to succeed in my desired career field of choice. Coming into this experience I possessed confidence in my theory, but was uncertain in my ability to practically apply the knowledge I had attained in my schooling. My confidence is now at an all time high and this has been the most rewarding experience of my volunteer abroad program.

I highly recommend the services of CrossContinental Solutions to anyone looking to volunteer abroad. In my experience they are far and above the most affordable and attentive service provider available today. During my time spent employing their services I was provided with an incredible level of support and I could not be happier with the results of the volunteer placement that was made available to me!”

Jeremiah Humphrey

From : Canada

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Program: Healthcare

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“I would recommend CrossContinental to others as it definitely the most affordable volunteer/internship program available. There is a lot of flexibility, so it is great as it is basically what you want to make of it. I stayed in Nakuru, Kenya, which was a nice set up as all the volunteers stayed with the same host family. It was a good way to meet other people and to have friends to explore and travel with on weekends. I did micro-financing with women’s groups. This was a great experience as I went around to small villages around the Nakuru region with a local team and got a good understanding of the area and the people that live there.”

Kathryn Grant

From: New Zealand / Canada

Internship Project: Kenya (Micro-Financing and Tree-Planting Work)

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“For the most part, aside from the issues and some homesickness/culture shock, I had a good time. The most rewarding parts would be: 1. Seeing how happy the kids were with the things I brought them from home. 2. Gaining insight into Kenyan culture, and 3. Going on a safari.” “I would recommend Cross Continental to anyone who wants an affordable overseas volunteer experience. I learned a lot about Kenyan culture, and met some wonderful people during my one month trip. The kids at the children’s certer were very friendly, and very excited to see me whenever I visited. I also got the opportunity to take a three day safari, which was awesome. I certainly learned to never take anything I have for granted.”

Kathleen Parker

From: Canada

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Project: Teaching Orphans

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“I am already loving it here. I am very happy. The coordinator and host family are very nice. I enjoy my room I stay. I love working with the kids. I talk to them a lot, play with them a lot, and I have been able to teach. I look forward to more time in Kenya.”

Ryan Patrick

From: USA

Volunteer Location: Kenya

Volunteer Project: Orphanage Work

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“With the help of Cross-Continental, I have been able to travel to a completely foreign country and immerse myself in a fascinating new culture, while simultaneously fulfilling my desire to develop my understanding of medicine. Initially, I had some difficulties processing the culture shock and entirely different way of life here in Kenya. However, with the aid of my loving host family and other new friends here, I have finally been able to adapt, and have come to love living in Kenya. Fortunately, after one month here, I can gladly say that I haven’t had any stomach upsets or other sicknesses. As I have been slowly learning more and more about the wonderful culture here, I am beginning to appreciate certain luxuries at home that I often take for granted.

Despite my young age and lack of essentially any medical knowledge, the staff at the hospital in Keroka has been generous enough to take a lot of time to explain every little step to me. In addition to their explanations, they have even allowed me to gain some hands-on experience, and to interact with some of the patients. I was surprised that they even allowed me to assist with the birth of children, and injections, but I’m glad that I’m being given the chance to advance earlier in a field of work that I soon hope to be a part of after my studies.

Due to the flexibility of the program that Cross-Continental has set up, I have also been able to accompany another intern to her work at an orphanage to help and play with the children there. I often work at the hospital during the week and then stay at the orphanage during the weekend. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to not only help patients at the hospital, but to also aid children who are less fortunate.

Although I still have many more months here to learn more about Kenya and the people here, so far, I am already extremely happy with my experience. By the end of six months here, I fear I may never want to leave.”

Mika Tomita

From: Japan

Internship Location: Kenya

Internship Project: Healthcare Work (weekdays) and Orphanage Work (weekends)

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“It’s an incredible experience. Living with them made me realize how lucky I am to live in France, where tap water and electricity are a must, where I can go to high school without fearing to be expelled for late payment, where my parents support me financially and mentally in my studies.

But I think what amazes me the most is that people here have so little but they give so much. The orphanage where I work relies on charity only; the government doesn’t give a penny. The owners are a pastor and his wife, and they try really hard to find the funding for food, for school uniforms, books, firewood, beds. It’s a struggle of everyday and I admire them so much for that. The kids are so kind, optimistic and understanding. They all work hard to make it work. They fetch water, wash the dishes, sweep, clean, wash… They own almost nothing but they know how to treasure what they have. They all work really hard and keep their smile on while doing it.

So if I could write a few words about the kind of experience this internship taught me, it is that I’ve learned a human lesson. A lesson about modesty, optimism and kindness. A lesson about chances in life, chances that you have to seize in the moment. A lesson about strength, a strength of the rarest kind. A lesson about faith, a faith so strong it can accomplish anything. A lesson about love; love of your family, love of your neighbor, love of what life has given you.”

Sofia Simonet

From: France

Internship Location: Kenya

Internship Project: Orphanage Work

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“From the first moments on, I realized that I would be able to get a lot of responsibility regarding my work since I was the first micro-finance intern in the village. I got to basically plan the schedule myself and was able to initiate some very good and relevant improvements for the groups and individual farmers as well. Currently, no big improvement suggestions for Cross-Continental. I been very happy with the work you have done. Especially many thanks for the fast replies for my emails.”

“Christmas here is celebrated mainly on the 25th. The day starts with going to the church for mass. Afterwards people do not like to stay home with the family, like in Finland. The locals like to walk around the village and meet friends and relatives. On Christmas and New Year’s, there is mandazi (a fried dough treat popular in Eastern Africa) in every home you might visit. In general, the Christmas experience was very different as it lacked the commercial factors like presents, and of course the snow.

On the 25th, we went to mass where people from different villages gathered to pray and meet each other. We arrived a bit late to mass due to rain. Apparently it always rains on Christmas day here. As we arrived at the church, many children rushed to greet us and shake our hands; for many of them, this was their first time meeting white people. There were around 100 children and they were so happy to see us. After mass, we walked to a town called Birongo where we met some relatives of the host family, and of course enjoyed mandazi. Once we were filled with mandazi, we went to the orphanage, where we gave the children Christmas hats, and had a nice time talking to them.

The new years here is celebrated on the 1st and not that much on the 31st like in Finland. The new years was also quite different. First of all, there were no fireworks, but the children make a lot of noise by screaming and shouting and singing at the stroke of twelve. On January 1st, the day starts with another mass, and then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around and socializing with others. In the evening we went to town center with Mika, Sofia and a couple of young locals to dance until dawn, in true Kenyan style. Kenyans are very crazy dancers and they know how to shake it! After dancing the whole night, we took one of the first matatus (mini-buses) in the morning to go back to the village to rest our exhausted legs. The next day we slept until the afternoon and rested. The second day was a resting day for the locals as well, and on the 3rd it was time to start working again after a different and unforgettable New Year!

To conclude, I had a very nice time experiencing the holidays abroad and can suggest it as an experience to everyone who is willing to spent their Christmas and new years away from home. It is something to remember for a lifetime. :)

Paul Pehkonen

From: Finland

Internship Location: Kenya

Internship Project: Micro-Finance Work