By Martina from Italy – When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is having coffee and opening the Better Me facebook page. I read all the news, enjoy for the progress and try to recognize everybody in the pictures. It looks like that after two weeks I still cannot separate from the Korando family and just want to feel part of it.
This experience of being a volunteer in Kenya started by chance, as most of the important things in one’s life. The decision to go there was taken in 5 minutes. Since I was a teen I wanted to have an experience as a volunteer. I can still remember the Skype call with Torsten when I asked him “so can I come to Korando? ” and when he said “sure”. I simply said Thank you, I was so happy !
A couple of days before leaving I started to get nervous. Everybody wanted to have details on my trip to Kenya and I kept on answering “I do not know …..”. I only knew I wanted to go there, details about the room, meals and so on where simply not important. (Though they are available on the volunteer info page)
I finally arrived in Korando and then everything evolved naturally. I found myself without any filter in a new environment and was immediately surrounded by a warm and welcoming community.
Now the same friends are asking me how it has been. This time of course I cannot answer “I do not know” and I try to give them a flavour of my experience which is not easy … I start telling them what I liked. I liked Mama Dolfine, her energy, her integrity, her absolute will to help children by offering them a secure and serene place to live and her dream and hard work, to send as many boys and girls as possible to schools and universities. She strongly believes that studying will give a chance to her children to find their own way in the life. What a simple but big and powerful dream!
I liked the children in the orphanage, their strong community consciousness, their pure joy for what they have, their sense of responsibility, their readiness to welcome new young ones to share everything among them and support each other. They are lucky, they know what friendship is !
I liked the primary school with its rituals, which are an experience itself ! I liked the Dome Home and its concepts. I liked the volunteer in Kenya team, even if I’m well aware that it was not always easy for me but also not for them (nevertheless I’m a 52 year old women who was facing her first volunteer activity in Africa 🙂 ). I want to thank them for sharing with me this great experience. I really feel enriched. It is so powerful when you start questioning your beliefs. This does not mean you are or must be wrong, you simply accept diversity. One fascinating point to me is still how to integrate different generations and cultures in a way of living, to better exploit the huge potential of mixing things together.
I also liked the Kitchen and the time spent there with the children. And I liked Lawrence, the master of construction with his incredible sense of irony. I liked Leevans, the artist, who was able to keep the attention of many kids with his workshop even more than the call for a football match…. I liked so many things that I feel I’m describing a sort of happy island and in fact it is a peaceful place for many. But I’m more than ever aware that this is the result of hard work, resources, energy and positive attitude of everybody in Korando ( Mama Dolphin, Torsten, Simon and Lawrence deserve a special mentioning). This is the proof that a strong motivation and confidence can move mountains and obstacles.
Mama’s and the local team’s priority is to start a small business and generate some income to face the cost of school fees and the continuous improvement of infrastructure. By the way, the new boys dormitory is great ! There are some ideas and I know I want to help them. I simply feel part of the Korando family and I have experienced and share it’s values.
Close to me I have my orange booklet with lots of notes. I’m sure I will start writing stories. I do not want to forget this great experience !
Thank You Korando Family,