Nakuru Hope

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10 / 10 after 19 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.nakuruhope.org

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I spent 3 weeks doing voluntourism at Nakuru Hope in 2013. I had previously met the founder and director, Susan Saleeba, when my nephew volunteered at the project in 2011 at just 18. I was keen to see it and also help wherever I could.

We arrived into Nairobi and were met and transferred to the Nairobi Club, an historic and beautiful building, to spend one night. The next morning, we made our way to Nakuru, visiting a giraffe refuge and also an elephant orphanage - well worth it! At the lookout at the Rift Valley, (a Wow moment) we were nearly there. Reaching the homestay, we were welcomed by Rosemary, our hostess. The homestay is comfortable and secure and close to the CBD.

After a day of orientation, we set off to the Learning Centre. Our lone man was seconded as a fixit guy and helped at the land, where our new school was to be built and also in the slums, mending doors,frames,locks, beds, etc. Susan was busy with admin and finalising the plans for the new building ( now completed)! Gail had nursing experience so she handled some minor, and not so minor, medical problems. We all visited families in the slums to check on them and perhaps to offer a food parcel, or to provide immediate food for kids who hadn't eaten for 2-3 days. We sorted lentils and beans and made chapattis for lunches, taught in the classroom, did some office work, and made ourselves useful. And of course spent time with the wonderful children - teaching, playing, singing, dancing, reading , cuddling. Joy!

The tourism part came into play at the weekends, as the school was closed then. We went to the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park ( the one with the pink flamingoes), the Equator, and souvenir hunting. Missed out on some things but there is always 'next time' and there will be a next time for me as I want to go back 2014 to see the progress and just to be there and do whatever again!

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Posted: February 9, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
66

If you have been thinking about volunteering in Africa but have absolutely no idea where to start then Nakuru Hope is the place for you.
I spent many months making enquiries only to find that I was required to put up considerable amounts of money with absolutely no idea of where it was going and how it was being spent.
Through a friend, I found an extraordinary woman called Susan Saleeba who has spent the past seven years caring for the most disadvantaged people in the sprawling slum at Kaptembwa on the outskirts of Nakuru in Kenya.
Earlier this year I spent three weeks with Susan and a group of volunteers from various parts of Australia. I would like to emphasise that every cent raised goes directly to the people and you can see how it makes a difference.
The home stay in Nakuru is very safe and comfortable.
Each day consisted of visiting families with Christopher the Operations Manager, assisting teachers at The Learning Centre and helping with food preparation for the children's lunches.
This was an experience I will never forget. The beautiful smiling faces of the children with outstretched arms, always ready for a cuddle.

At the end of 2013 Susan will open her new school and orphanage providing safely and comfort for her "families".
I encourage you to take the step, you will never regret it.

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Posted: November 21, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:

I volunteered for Nakuru Hope for 8 weeks and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It has been nearly two years since my visit, and I still think about this life-changing experience every day. Working at Gabriel's Learning Centre was fulfilling and exciting, I loved assisting in teaching the pre-primary students, playing games with the children, and singing and dancing with them. It was eye-opening to participate in home visitations of the people of Kaptembwa (one of the largest slums in Kenya). Helping the families directly by purchasing food for the week or purchasing various other items in which they needed was extremely impactful. It was fantastic to see the donations given used so quickly and directly towards the cause. In addition, I enjoyed working on projects such as building a latrine and cleaning out the home of a man afflicted with AIDS. As a 19-year old who had never traveled overseas in my life, Kenya was a perfect place to go. Kenyans are so warm-hearted, welcoming and friendly. I felt safe living with Rosemary. She was helpful at accommodating outings such as visiting lake Nakuru and participating in the Masai Mara safari. I can't say enough about Susan Saleeba (the founder of the organization). I lived with Susan for 3 weeks, which was an experience in itself. She has such a beautiful spirit. I have never met a woman as giving as herself who is so dedicated to her job. Christopher, the operations director of Gabriel's matches Susan with his hard work, kindness and patience. This entire experience gave me such an appreciation for life, and I will definitely return in the future.

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Posted: November 12, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

I spent 3 weeks volunteering with Nakuru Hope over the last summer. I had always wanted to volunteer in Kenya, but was cautious about choosing an organization, as there seemed to be a lot of negative reviews out there! After reading the reviews on this website for Nakuru Hope, I got in contact with Susan, and since then I've found the process of volunteering an absolute breeze (especially compared to some of the horror stories you find out there on the internet!)
I spent 3 weeks teaching at a small school, playing with the kids, and visiting the families of the students in the slums of Kaptembwa. Everyone involved in the organization was friendly, helpful, and genuinely passionate about helping raise the community out of poverty. Although it was difficult to see the terrible conditions that people endure in the slum, it was a pleasure to work with an organization that squeezes the most value out of the resources it has.
My time in Kenya exceeded my expectations, and I would strongly recommend Nakuru Hope to anyone interested in volunteering overseas.

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Posted: October 18, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
28

Volunteering for this project changed how I see the world, and I don't think I can give it a bigger rap than that. If you are looking for a grass-roots organisation where you can make a tangible, visible difference every single day, this is it. This was exactly the type of volunteer experience that I had searched for for almost ten years - a small but powerful organisation where I could play a hands-on role in actively helping people, especially children.

Every day at Gabriel's was different, and the variety was so stimulating, and gave me a really broad sense of both the problems at play in the Kaptembwe slum and their possible solutions. From teaching songs about frogs to the children in the school, to cleaning out the house of a man who had lost his wife to AIDS, to being part of the most beautiful and powerful women's meeting with the sewing students, every task or activity was rewarding. There was an incredible sense of community around the centre, and I felt not only safe but treasured.

I can't speak highly enough of Susan, the director, and Christopher, the operations manager - they are caring, wise, incredibly knowledgable about the local situation, and have the trust and admiration of the local people. They were able to show us how to use our time and money to literally change the course of people's lives, and were adaptable and accommodating of our areas of interest, and how we wanted to spend our time. They encouraged us to travel and see the country, which in itself was a gift. On one of our trips away (to our utter disbelief!) our group successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

I cannot wait to return, and am particularly excited about the possibilities that will be opened up when Gabriel's moves to its new premises, where we will have the opportunity to help change the lives of even more women and children, and to develop ongoing and meaningful relationships with them. As well as more classrooms and school facilities, the new building will house a rape and refuge centre for women, and volunteers will be able to stay there as well.

There isn't a day that passes when I don't think of the Nakuru Kenya Family Project - of the lessons it taught me about humility and generosity and the huge amount that can be achieved when good people have the resources to reach out to people and places that would otherwise be forgotten. If you are even vaguely considering volunteering here, I urge you to take the plunge.

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Posted: October 13, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: dbell2012
Age:
30

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