KVCDP

Kenya Voluntary and Community Development Project

About

Kenya Voluntary and Community Development Project (KVCDP) registered as Voluntary and Community Development Project (VACODEP) is a non-profit, Non-Governmental Organization started to empower the youth socially, economically, encourage and improve the quality of life in the Kenyan communities. We are Kenyan based-Organization facilitating between local communities, Organizations, and volunteers to participate in voluntary work in Kenya. There is quite a tremendous difference volunteers could make in helping local organizations achieve their goals in the areas of health, education and the local economy. We are based in Nairobi with certificate number OP.218/051 registered under NGOs Act in Kenya and an affiliate member of the NGOs Council of Kenya.

The project is envisioned to connect people with communities in need by supporting the educational and charitable work through the placement of international volunteers and the distribution of financial and material donations.

Website
www.kvcdp.org
Founded
2005
Headquarters

YWCA-Parkview Suites, Nyerere Road Nairobi
Nairobi
00200
Kenya

Reviews

Default avatar
Randy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It has always been the dream of our daughter to go to Kenya and volunteer at an orphanage. As we searched the internet for volunteer programs, KVCDP caught our eye because it was a grass roots program where local citizens were making a difference in their own community. Jacky and Albert recognize the need in the communities they serve and place volunteers in programs where they can immerse themselves in the experience to the fullest extent. The staff, Wilfred and Emily, at the orphanage were very accommodating and friendly. Every day we were involved with the children's activities as well as the various chores required to keep the orphanage operational. We also had many opportunities for home visits with the caretakers of the orphans and elders of the community. The whole experience was very moving and it was hard to leave the children.

No trip to Kenya is complete without seeing the many wonderful sights it has to offer. We took advantage of the volunteer travel program offered by KVCDP to visit Lake Nakuru National Park and participate in a safari in the Masai Mara. The scenery and views of the wild animals were breathtaking.

I would highly recommend the KVCDP program. It was a very rewarding experience. Our daughter returns every year to the orphanage to visit the children.

What would you improve about this program?
Install a sitting toilet at the orphanage for volunteers who are not comfortable with a squatting toilet.
Default avatar
Matthias
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Having arrived in Bondo after a 10 hours bus ride from Nairobi, I was so happy to see Wilfred, the coordinater of the Wagusu children's program. His positive and welcoming attitude assured me of two interesting weeks to come. In the end my expectations were exceeded and I left Wagusu as a new person, a person who would try to appreciate more and stop taking things for granted. Despite the very basic living conditions, the children were amazing, also Emily, the teacher and Margarete, the good soul of the center. I spent time with them every day from 8am to 4pm and we did various things together. We played games, sang songs, learned English, built two football goals, washed the dishes, prepared food, cleaned our teeth, collected rubbish and shared many laughs. This part of the program really overwhelmed me, because I felt so much love, kindeness and appreciation. The second part of the program involved the community of Wagusu. I met the women's group and took part in a visit of the elderly. We cleaned their house, clothes and property and shared a meal with them. Of course, there was much singing, which I enjoyed a lot. I also visited one of the local schools and talked to the principal, teachers and students. School is so much different there. Furthermore, I visited one of the children's homes and shared a meal with the child's caretaker. That afternoon was particularly impressive to me. I also went to the lake to watch the fishermen, to the village to watch the people doing their daily business and to the goldmines, which puzzled me most. In the end, the people in Wagusu are very curious and it is interesting to talk to them in order to see how they live. To understand that is a start to discuss possible and necessary changes with them. Especially cleanliness, hygiene and traditional topics like marriage, childbirth etc. are essential to talk about, both to understand and to challenge their thinking. I am so pleased to have been in Wagusu for these two weeks and I am so happy to have this experince deep in my heart. I will share it with everyone I meet and I will not forget Wagusu and its people. I hope one day I will return and express my gratitude personally once more to Wilfred, Emily, Margarete, the children and Jacky, who runs this program amazingly good. ERUKA MANU !!!

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the toilets and organize a possibility to shower. In general I'd focus more on hygiene, since it is not only more convenient, but also protects everyone from getting ill.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Matthias Quaas

Matthias Quaas is a 35-year old German from Berlin who currently lives in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. He is a teacher of languages and a freelance translator. He likes reading, music, films and writing as well as football. He volunteered with KVCDP in Kenya from 13 January 2014 - 24 January 2014.

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with KVCDP in Kenya?

KVCDP volunteers play football after building goal posts for the kids.

Matthias: I decided to volunteer in Kenya because I had planned a trip to West Africa this January and I wanted to see first-hand how the Kenyan people live, what Kenyan culture and tradition feels like and which attitude towards life exists, rather than being told by guide books or tour operators.

I had never been before to Africa. Having done a lot of research in the Internet, I had finally found KVCDP, which sounded promising.

Instead of going through a lot of forms and questionnaires, which European-based organisation like to demand from you, I was chatting via email with the project’s coordinator right away, who answered patiently all my questions.

Once all formalities were settled, I was sitting on a plane to Nairobi. I felt excited and having arrived at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, one of the staff of the organisation picked me up as agreed upon.

After a short, but informative meeting with the project’s coordinator in Nairobi, I was on my way to Wagusu. There, I met Wilfred, the day care center manager, who welcomed me warmly and I realised right away I had made the right choice.

Thanks to KVCDP, I learned more about Kenya in the next two weeks than I could have hoped for.

What made this volunteer abroad experience unique and special?

Matthias and KVCDP employees build a compost.

Matthias: Spending two weeks in Wagusu, I was touched many times. I think the authenticity made this experience unique and special. The journey was very authentic. Travelling by bus and then by boda boda was very particular.

The accommodation was genuine. Set above Lake Victoria with an amazing view, the facilities were very basic, but it gave me a feeling of how people live there.

Also the first day in the center was very touching. We were welcomed by the women's group in a very traditional way, including speeches, dances and food.

Most of all, the children were special. Spending every day with them gave me the opportunity to see how little is necessary to enjoy life.

They, but also every one else in the community made me rethink my life and life in general. Which things have value, which have not. What is important, what is not. How much do I need to be happy. My answer today is, I don't need much.

So, it was the people in Wagusu that have made my experience very special.

Do you feel like you made a significant impact on the local community? Why or why not?

Matthias: I think I have not made a significant impact on the local community in Wagusu.

Their way of living may not be perfect in my European-dazzled eyes and in many ways I can think of possible improvements, however, the community has found a way to live in balance with their surroundings.

I was not there to teach them but to learn about their way of living and to exchange ideas. Concerning some hygiene issues, I commented on the status quo and made suggestions to improve the situation.

But it's really up to the community what they do with these ideas. I hope playing with the children and participating in the community activities made an impact in that moment, because I did enjoy it very much.

But to make a significant impact I think I would have to be involved more and stayed longer.

Tell me about one person you met.

Children gathered up for a group picture with their teacher.

Matthias: Margaret is a beautiful person and stayed with me in the center during my time being there. She is a member of the Wagusu community and has a husband and several children.

She lives in the village, but takes very good care of the volunteers during their time in the center. She cooks, cleans, always smiles and is very interested in having a chat with you.

For two weeks Margaret was preparing tasty and local dishes for me and shared these meals with us in the evening. Here we had time to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

I learned that she is a very good mother, teaching her children to be independent. I also learned that her husband is one of the goldminers in the town and that they have been living in the community for a long time.

She is friendly and her dancing skills really impressed me. I think she is a very wise person, who can teach you lot about Kenya, if you want to listen.

On my day of departure she walked a long way to greet me and say good-bye, even though it was Saturday and early in the morning. Margaret's friendliness, unselfishness and hospitality is something I will remember and I appreciate a lot.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Matthias: What I have learned most of all is that everything, big or small, has a value. Having seen children being so happy with having close to nothing, really made me rethink my life and life in general.

I want to learn to be happier with less and help those who have less than me. I have started to talk and write about my experience a lot trying to share my experience with others.

Also I have started to work voluntarily once a week. I teach in a language school for free and I enjoy it very much. Like in Kenya, a smile is more valuable than money.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What position do you hold at KVCDP? What led you to join their team?

Jackline Ouko KVCDP Program Director and Co-Founder

Jackline: I Am a Program Director and a Co-founder of KVCDP. I have the passion to work with people in the social field which involves giving direct services that brings change by empowering the less fortunate members of the Kenyan communities socially, economically, encourage and improve the quality of their lives.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Jackline: I enjoy working in company of people with positive attitude who are ready to make a difference.

What makes KVCDP's programs so unique?

Jackline: KVCDP implements programs addressing the issues that directly affects the communities and have direct impact on their beneficiaries including. It gives hope and new breath of life to the most desiring orphaned children in Wagusu community. The Wagusu community is responsive to KVCDP programs; no other organization goes above and beyond more than KVCDP.

All our resources are well invested in people and the community who feel ownership of the programs and project. Also, unlike other organizations, KVCDP started with humble beginnings with the people as the basis for resources. With no startup funding, we look at being sustainable in the long run. KVCDP volunteers have the power to suggest what is best for the community. A sense of ownership is felt by all involved.

What is the best story you've heard so far of a KVCDP participant's experiences abroad?

Jackline: This is a story from Audrey Korenek one of the participants in 2013 in one of our community programs: "Honestly it was the best trip of my life. I can't express how comfortable and how at home I felt in Africa. The people were the most amazing part and made all of us feel so welcome. The children were the sweetest kids I have ever met. The women's group of Wagusu were the most amazing group of women I have ever seen. I hope they continue to grow and keep up all of the work and dedication. What they have done for the community is so great and has really made an impact. I wouldn't change about my trip and I really hope to come back some day. Thank you Jackline Ouko and Albert Ouko for your hospitality and for the love you showed us. What you have done for your community is beyond words. I hope God continues to bless you both and all of the people of Africa."