It may be serendipity that I found out about the Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project. On the year of my 50th Birthday (yes, this year) I had promised myself I would finally fulfill a lifelong dream to volunteer in Africa. I’ve researched all sorts of options such as Projects Abroad, I-toI Travel, Global Travel, International Volunteer HQ, Australian Volunteers and Projects Abroad. Most cost (Fees and then airfares, insurance, visas etc. on top of that). Some are cheaper than others. Some are marketed well. I couldn’t make up my mind.
I searched the Lonely Planet website and came across the book Volunteer – A Traveller’s Guide to making a difference around the World. That’s just what I wanted to do. I read from cover to cover with all sorts of ideas swirling through my head. Still no solution but I then discovered Foot2Afrika. Foot2Afrika is in Tanzania and in the wake of the Shopping Centre bombings in Nairobi, Kenya I turned my search to the possibly safer Tanzania. The people at Foot2Afrika sounded lovely. Most of the fees go to the project and I was placed in contact with an Australian who had travelled to the project. I all but placed a deposit.
Then one weekend while chatting to my friend Carol she mentioned an old school friend had started an orphanage in Kenya. I thought that at least it wouldn’t hurt to contact this orphanage. Cathy Booth founded Umoja Orphanage Kenya in 2011 which became a Project of Rotary Australia Worldwide Community Service. Cathy was compelled to build the orphanage to give Kenyan children a second chance at life after witnessing the dismal poverty and children without hope. The name Umoja is Swahil for unity and togetherness which is an apt philosophy for this beautiful project that combines Australia and Kenya as one.
Please go to the Umoja website and see for yourself the terrific work they do.
This project is a little more expensive than others that I have investigated so I need to fundraise madly. The reason I like it so much (besides the fact that I have a link to Cathy through my friend Carol, feeling like it’s meant to be). It’s a quicker trip (I have a full time job and my writing projects), Australian based, supported by Rotary, in-built safari costs, fully guided by Cathy herself and for a ground roots worthwhile cause.
I’ll tell you more about it soon. If you’d like to help me fulfill my dream and join the project (their next trip is June) please contact me for more information. I have a few fun plans in mind and once they are nutted out they’ll be placed on this blog.
Let’s help change the lives of people who have a beautiful country but unlike Australians don’t have the opportunities we take for granted; shelter, food, clean water, education, training, employment and a secure and loving environment.