I worked for 3 weeks at Gabriel Learning Centre, which was founded two years ago by an Australian woman of great vision and spirit. Volunteers may help doing everything from kitchen work at the Centre to building latrines in the Kaptembwa slums of Nakuru, but as I am a teacher, I spent my days teaching basic reading and math to the "nursery" age children and conversational English to the adults who were learning to sew. Gabriel's staff carefully chooses its adult students, who learn tailoring (on a treadle machine) and business skills so that they may later support themselves and their families. The program is run through Susan Saleeba's rigorous fund-raising back home in Australia, and under the careful on-site direction of Christopher Makokha. Volunteers are encouraged to do what they do best--whether they prefer working with the adults (sewing and embroidery experience are sought-after), or the children (ages 3-7). Christopher says we must "go with the strength that we have."
Many of the other ELI volunteers chose to work at the hospital, but came to the Centre to be with the children in the afternoons, and to help support the families in the slum. Last year, one American volunteer raised money and sent (by new volunteers) four iBooks to the Centre. I used these to teach English vocabulary and beginning computer skills to the adults; the possibilities are endless if you are a computer adept.
Your time at Gabriel's will be rewarding and appreciated. Rosemary Njenga Wangui is the volunteer coordinator and will guard you like a bulldog (her real dog is also great!). All of the staff are sympathetic and kind-hearted. Boundless energy is not necessary; compassion and open-mindedness are better tools to carry. Those, and picture books for the children if you're going. The children also need chalk, white boards, dry erase markers, pencils, erasers, and sturdy composition books (there are twenty children currently and about 75 adults).
Go. You will make a difference to many, including yourself.



It was an absolute joy to have had you at Gabriel Learning Centre and sincerely welcome you back 'home' to Nakuru at any time, you are part of our family now. Sincere best wishes for your future volunteering and adventures. Susan Saleeba
I travelled over to Nakuru, Kenya with Susan last year and had an amazing experience. Susan, Christopher and Rosemary (our homestay host) exposed us to the families within the village and we were able to help them directly by providing food, medical attention, cleaning their house and building better toilet facilities. Some days were tough but then there was an opportunity to spend time with the children, sewing students and adult education class, which was very uplifiting. Volunteering with Susan is certainly not all work and no play either...we visited Lake Nakuru, the Masai Mara and had many cultural experiences during our time there. I'm still telling my family and friends about the experience a year on and plan to go back next year!
I also had a most enjoyable and educational experience when I travelled to Kenya with Susan Saleeba in 2010. The project that Susan has begun and sustains is the Gabriel Learning Centre in the district of Kaptembwo. Serving both adults and children, the focus is on education to give marketable skills or prepare for further education. Other aid is also provided. I loved helping the teacher with the pre primary kids, visiting families to assist with aid and doing whatever was needed. The volunteer accommodation was a pleasant surprise and all the extra activities such as visiting the Masai Mara lands, were a wonderful adjunct to a marvelous experience. I shall never forget the dedicated, wonderful staff, the beautiful children and their families. I hope to go again soon. I recommended this volunteering experience to my son, who took the opportunity to visit last year and just loved everything about it. Susan Saleeba is a very good, very thorough organizer who ensures the experience is one that will remain with you always.