In 2003 my family and I faced a life changing experience. Questions surrounding my life and where it was headed took on a much greater significance and it was about then that the idea of volunteering overseas became more than just a wish. I had no idea about the specifics all I knew was that I wanted to make use of my degree.
I am glad to say that between then and my departure date my objectives became a lot clearer and I was able to outline at least 4 key reasons that lead me to volunteer in Belize.
I wanted to learn about life in a developing country, the issues people face. I knew from the start that I could always go back to Kenya but I also accepted that if I opted for Kenya I would miss out on the ‘full’ overseas experience. The opportunity to go to Belize paved the way for me to open my eyes, mind and heart to new people and new cultures.
As a law graduate I know that law is a useful and versatile degree but I wanted to see this in practice. I am interested in the role of law in the development sector and this placement was ideal for this. I hoped to gain skills that enabled me to think of my career outside of the ‘traditional’ world of legal practice and make it useful in countries such as Kenya.
RACE AND VOLUNTEERING
While researching volunteer organisations I found that very few of the overseas volunteers were from non-western countries and of those from the west very few where African or Caribbean. I was interested in finding out why this is the case. I also wanted to use my experience as an overseas volunteer to raise awareness amongst non-western and African Caribbean people.
As a Christian I am always looking for experiences that will bring me closer to God. Being miles away from friends and family, working long hours for no pay was one way for me to learn more about relying on God.