I was at By Grace Orphans Centre for the last two weeks of January 2005. It was the first time I had undertaken any voluntary work with children overseas. When I arrived, the most noticeable thing was that living conditions at the centre and in Kayole in general, are very basic and the children and staff work with virtually no resources at all. Despite the lack of material things, the atmosphere at By Grace is really positive. This is due mainly to the attitude of the resident volunteers who tirelessly give their expertise and their love to the children and in particular, because of the vision and enthusiasm of the founder, Salome Wambui Muturi.
I had an amazing experience at By Grace. Everyone made me feel welcome and appreciated. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer and do more. The students in my English classes were keen and conscientious. The younger children who did some art with me were a joy to be around.
My host family could not have been nicer. Ann and Patrick made sure I was comfortable and cared for. By the end of my stay, I was extremely sad to be leaving. I still miss Ann’s cooking! I found the whole trip enriching on so many levels and although this is a cliché, it reminded me of what is important in life. I went to Kenya to help, but I received more than I could ever give.