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Travellers Worldwide is a Leading International Provider of Voluntary Placements & Work Experience Internships Overseas.

Established in 1994 and with a 20 year unparalleled record of safety, you can be confident that your placement will be the ideal environment to nurture your personal and professional development.

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9 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 66.67%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8
  • Value 7.7
  • Safety 8.3
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Yes, I recommend this program

My First Surgery

To help paint a picture of what my experience was like, here is a post from my blog:

Reversing a Colostomy

"After two and a half hours of surgery, we finally completed the reverse colostomy. It was a very dirty procedure, that would take too long to explain through a post, so I will spare all of you the details.

Although I had to leave the room a few times in the beginning to get some fresh air, I was bedside to the patient the whole entire time. I saw inside the body cavity with great detail as they cut the small intestine and re-stitched it all back. It is truly amazing how man-handled surgery is. Most think that precision and delicacy is used, when in reality a lot pulling and tugging is involved. Tissue is by no means weak, so you must use force when it comes to making incisions.

Throughout the procedure, Dr. Mwea would sometimes pause and lecture us on some anatomy. While doing this he by accidentally ripped some tissue surrounding the intestines, causing a blood bath. No worries though, it was nothing that couldn't be fixed by some simple stitching and sutchering.

After reattatching the bowel, in order to clean out the cavity of blood and other fluids, saline and iodine were dumped in and sucked out via a tube, similar to the ones you see at the dentist. All that was left was stitching up the two wounds. As a result, part of the colon was removed, since it had been expsed to the outside air for some time, and the patient awakened about 15 minutes after complete. It was truly remarkable. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this was all done with a broken anesthetic machine. By broken, I mean that there is a leak somewhere, making it impossible to tell how much of a certain drug is entering the patient. The hospital doesnt have enough money to fix it either. Procedures like this should not be done with such a risk anymore. Our technology is too advanced for this to happen. The doctors have told me that they have been trying to get a grant from anyone wealthy enough. On top of this, in most countries, surgical tools are thrown away after one use. This is because it is cheaper for them to buy new ones rather than clean them. Hospitals, in countries like Kenya, have been using the same tools ever since their oppening, while others are disposing the same tools after a single use! It doesnt taking a genious to realize that there is something wrong here.

Now that I have experienced my first surgery, it wont be long before my hands are inside a body cavity. Cesarean sections here we come!"

Oh, and this was only one day at the hospital! It was by far the best experience I could ever ask for!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Life is life, wherever you are.

Did I enjoy teaching?

This is a hilariously unanswerable question. I loved working with the children - they were like my adopted Kenyan babies. I got to know their little quirks so well, and getting to do extra curricular lessons with them was immensely rewarding as I was genuinely able to focus on them individually to ensure their progress. It was difficult to communicate with them much of the time, as at the tender age of 6, most Kenyans don't speak fluent English. But they were so keen, and friendly and fascinated with me that this didn't stand in the way of me forming quite strong attachments to a lot of them… I would love to go back again, especially to see the same children and see how they've progressed!

To be honest, I didn't receive any training from the school to help me teach my kids, and neither were any of the other volunteers who were assigned to older years. I taught Standard 1 in primary school, a grade generally made up of 6 year olds. In the Kenyan school system, children should have already been through three years of nursery school before starting Standard 1. Unfortunately, nursery school is not free in Kenya, whereas primary school is. Therefore many, many poor children are sent straight into Standard 1 where they are massively behind all of the other children, don't understand most of the lessons, and are caned for being slow (yes, it's supposed to be illegal in Kenya, yes it still happens).

Watching a caning never gets easier. I struggled massively with the punishment of the children, because my main role was really as a teaching assistant and the teacher used to discipline the children. However, if the teacher ever went away for a morning, the children knew that I wouldn't cane them and were absolutely impossible to control.

The school had very few supplies, and was often vandalised by youths from the local community. As a result of this, the classrooms (mostly quite crude stone and cement buildings) were barren and horrible little places to be, certainly nothing like the opulence of typical Western primary schools. It gave me an enormous amount of satisfaction to be able to buy my classroom a padlock to keep the vandals out. After that, I was able to create posters to stick up on all of the walls, full of the knowledge that they had been learning over the term. The classroom was so bright by the time we'd finished!

The one thing I definitely regretted not bringing with me was more basic stationery. And by basic, I don't even mean colourful card from WHSmith, I mean packets of cheap-o bog standard pencils from poundland or the Works. In Kenya, even things like that cost a ridiculous amount compared to the price of living. I would have taken packets of boring pencils and sharpeners (another big shortage) and rubbers. The kids go through them at a ridiculous rate - losing them, leaving them at home, trading them, breaking them, I would have taken packets and packets if I'd have known. OH, and while I'm thinking about it, the one most valuable thing I took was my digital camera. They go crazy for cameras, and are fascinated by the ability to look back on themselves on the LCD screens!

I love travelling and meeting new people, and I would always encourage people to see as many places as possible. But I'm not sure I would recommend going on this programme - at the end of the day, considering how cheap accommodation is out there (etc) I'm not convinced it was worth the hundreds of pounds I ended up paying.

The only thing that I really struggled with whilst in Mombasa was the food. We were (understandably) fed pretty much the same food every day whilst we were there, and unfortunately this was usually very over-cooked chewy beef. I was sick for a period of time, and afterwards just could not face going back to the beef. I ended up losing quite a lot of weight because of this, but most of the volunteers I stayed with actually had no issues at all. Eating outside of the house where we were living was fine for food, Mombasa has a massive Italian scene so there's spaghetti and pizza everywhere you go, as well as the more traditional Kenyan fare (have had massive love for pilau rice since leaving).

Mostly I felt quite safe whilst there, but I don't think I would have been as comfortable if I hadn't had fellow western volunteers to back me up. As a white person, you genuinely do stick out like a sore thumb wherever you go in Mombasa, and sometimes it can get a little too much. I only felt unsafe a few times - a) when I walked home late at night with some friends, and we were followed by a drunk man in a car and b) when we went on a bus journey to Lamu and armed guards boarded the bus to search for illegals. However, nothing bad came of the situations.

The programme totally revitalized me. Before I went, I had serious doubts that I could ever enter a career working with children because I'd had a number of negative experiences with young family. However, being there, even when the children and I didn't understand each other half the time, was one of the happiest times of my life! I loved them, and I know now that with a bit of work on my patience (haha) that I could definitely one day work in a school or tutoring environment.

Cheesy as it is, the programme reminded me that life is not perfect, but that people can be wonderful and inspiring and amazing. It doesn't matter where you are - there is still this connection that binds us all together as humans, and it was fantastic to experience it.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Children's School in Kenya

My experience abroad was like no other. It was one of the most influential things I have done in my life.
The children in the school, the culture, the atmosphere is something I will never forget. Students from the school colored me pictures, wrote me notes, and I even bought a little pre-school girl a uniform because she didn't have one and she "stole my heart" so to speak.

Every day I would wake up to my "host sisters" getting ready for school then I started my walk to Shikimana school for a day of helping in the kitchen, and teaching any classes from Mathematics, History, to P.E. which was always exciting. Then after school was over I would head back to the host family house for dinner and learn how to cook authentic Kenyan food.

The highlights of my trip were the appreciative hearts of the people. They were so kind and thankful for the help us volunteers provided. They truly don't have much but they give their all in every situation and are very hard workers. I learned so much while overseas and I would recommend everyone trying this once in their lifetime. The feeling you leave with, sticks with you forever.

Travellers Worldwide were very available when needed. A great company to work with. The only difficulty I encountered was a bit of complication with the host "dad" who was working with Travellers. I did notify travellers because they were unaware, so it was nothing on their end. OH and it was nothing major just unclear of what my job duties would be at the school.

Overall, I wish it upon EVERYONE to go get this experience!

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