Charity Experiences

Surprise

SURPRISE!!

When is the last time you got a gift from someone?
Remember how good it felt?

What it meant to you?
How much you valued or still value it?

Just for a minute try and imagine how great it feels to get a gift when you least expect it.The memory.The excitement…

A few weeks back I had the privilege of visiting Cheryl’s Children’s Home which is located just after Dagoretti with a group called Generation Why. To be honest it was a beautiful experience for me. Especially when the kids began to ask when they can open the things that were brought for them by the team that visited.

Your probably asking yourself so what is the point of this post really?

This is me trying to show people the importance of donating and how it goes a long way in making someone else just a little bit happier and comfortable.So here it goes!!

Why then do people collect donations for the needy?
Well,its for simple reasons such as :

To surprise them.
To make someone feel special.
To put a smile on someone’s face.

To lend a helping hand.

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Remember,to be passionate about giving is all you need to reach out to someone.

What should you donate then?

Personally,I would say you should donate good things.The type of things you would want to be given yourself.Something you would appreciate and that you know someone else will appreciate.

How often should you donate?
Most people donate yearly but I’d recommend once in three months.My reason for this is most of the time we have lots of things just sitting in our houses that we do not use yet someone else can make use of them.So why not make it a habit that once in three months you go through maybe your wardrobe get a few things that you do not wear and donate them to someone?

Would you like to donate to or gift someone needy?

Well,don’t you worry as I have a solution to that.There are very many organizations and individuals that collect donations and distribute them to different communities that are in need.Speaking of which,I am founder of an organization called Generation Why Community Based Organization that reaches out to a number of children’s homes.This year we are mainly focused on having donation drives and more volunteering activities.

Now that I have tried to show the importance of donating,don’t allow yourself to be left out.Join the movement of reaching out to other people.

In case you would want to donate any supplies (Clothes,Shoes,Stationery etc) feel free to click Donation Drive for more information.

Also if you are passionate about volunteering and would want to give some of your time during weekends to volunteer email us : generation2014why@gmail.com
You can also read more about us on : www.generation2014why.org

Or contact us on : 0717128738

PS: New month resolution. There will be a new post up every Monday.

(HINT : Next week’s post will be on the Sessions With Namulwany Section of my blog)

Charity Experiences

Are We Already 3?

3 years ago Clara Kariuki and I began Generation Why Community Based Organization.An organization that aimed to reach out to the community with an aim of ensuring that the negative attitude that some people had towards Generation Y’s would change. We planned to do this by volunteering at different Children’s Homes,Schools and children’s hospitals.I know you are wondering exactly how would we then change people’s attitudes towards Generation Y’s, this was going to be done by encouraging the children to strive to reach their potential in order to be different. We aimed to encourage them to go beyond their comfort zones in order to be the best versions of themselves with us (Generation Why Volunteers) as their “role models”. At first it all seemed like a dream,but later Clara and I managed to make it all a reality.

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So far as an organization,Generation Why has managed to :
1.)Volunteer at 4 different Children’s homes and make an impact on the community.That is :Cheryl’s Children’s Home,Makimei Children’s Home, Transform School and Destiny Shapers Kenya.

2.)Build a team of 15-20 volunteers who are either passive and active members of the group.

3.)Take part in 2 environmental cleanups organized by two different communities. One being a Clean up organized by Riara Exeter apartments and the other by Mazingira Safi Initiative.

4.)Volunteer at the Kenyatta National Hospital Children’s Cancer ward a number of times and even build a friendship with the children there.

5.)Partially satisfy the clothing and educational needs of the children at the Cheryl’s Children’s Home.

All this would not have been possible if it were not for the help we got from different people. Generation Why would like to thank especially all the volunteers and guests who took part in the volunteering activities. We would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the organization financially or in terms of supplies.

Here is to celebrating 3 years since the organization was founded. ???????? Happy 3rd  Birthday to Generation Why Community Based Organization.

In case you are interested in joining us as a volunteer,feel free to email us generation2014why@gmail.com

Also you can know more about us from our website. (www.generation2014why.org)

ION : New blog post coming up soon. ????
Under the Charity Experiences section of my blog.

Charity Experiences

Ready,Set,GO!

Hey Hey,

It’s been almost four months since I began blogging about charity work and honestly, it has been the best journey of my life. Sharing my volunteering experiences with everyone that reads my blog has just been amazing. At first I was very afraid to even just open a WordPress account but I am truly glad that I did. Some of the wonderful comments you leave in the comment section have really been encouraging me to keep writing. When I look at my first post ‘The hardest prison to escape is in your mind.’ there is truly a difference in my writing and this is because of the feedback I have received from all of you. (Both positive and negative)

I am truly grateful. Thank you soo much.

Two weeks ago I put up a post (‘Here’s to the Journey’)  just walking my readers through how all this began. At the end of the post I requested readers to send in questions they had to ask me in regard to my journey doing charity work. And today I shall be answering all the questions that you asked me! (Just 11 Questions)

Thank you sooo much to everyone who submitted questions! 

  • How did you begin doing charity?

Well, it began in high school. The school I was in had a community service program which students would be allowed to take part in.But officially it all began with a few friends inviting me to join them during their visit to a Children’s Home in Dagoretti (Cheryl’s Children’s Home).I say this because this unlike in high school this time I agreed to take part in the visit willingly.

  • What motivated you to begin doing charity?

I would say curiosity. I had never done anything like it before seriously except once when my mum and I through our church visited Kibera slum. So I would say I was just a little curious to see how life was in a children’s home, in a slum…life as an orphan. That was about it.I just wanted to know.

  • Why do you do it?

Each time I think about why I do it I always smile because I have different reasons for doing it.But mostly I do it because it makes me feel whole……I feel normal. It’s almost like what completes me as a human being. I feel alive when I involve myself in things that help the community and those that are in need.

  • What are some of the benefits you have gotten from volunteering?

For starters, it has been a plus for me in my CV but aside from that it has enabled me to gain different skills such as Leadership through leading ‘Generation Why CBO’. I have also been able to acquire patience through working with different people in the organization and also with different people we meet when doing some of these activities. I remember once we visited a certain institution and blending in with some of the children was so difficult because some of them just didn’t want to. In that moment I had to give them some space then try again and again until eventually they gave in.But most of all the benefit I have gotten is I have been able to make very many new friends both young and old and get to imagine how it feels to be in their shoes. I think it has made me appreciate what I already have myself in life.

  • What are some of your best experiences from this whole journey?
    • Getting to be a child again – this has been my best experience really because most of the time ‘Generation Why CBO’ works with children. At first it was a little strange having to come down to the children’s level in order for them to have some fun, but eventually I had to. In this few years of doing charity I have played some games I never played as a child and even learnt new ones. It has been a great way to release the school pressure and also just to enjoy life a little bit.
  • Do you have any goals when it comes to charity?(Long-term and Short-term)

Yeeesss!!

Long-Term : To have as many people who are willing to be active volunteers join ‘Generation Why CBO’ in order to reach out to more people that are in need. That is the dream Clara and I (Founders of the Organization) have.

Short-Term: To encourage more people that are involved in charity to begin to blog about it if they haven’t done so already in order to achieve the long term goal above together.

  • What next for you in regard to charity?

Hmmm…I haven’t really given it a thought. But all I would say for now is why not take charity to a whole new level. Convince people that it can actually be lots of fun and of benefit to them. Show people that they should be grateful for what they have. You know? More like trying to make people see it from my view. It’s actually a very beautiful view. From the smiles you see after you do something very small to the very warm hugs you get as a ‘Thank You’…

  • What are some of the lessons you have learnt through volunteering?

LOVE AND GRATEFULNESS IS TRULY EVERYTHING!

  • What are some of the challenges you have faced?

Challenges.Hmm…mostly getting funding to push some of the projects ‘Generation Why CBO’ does. Being one of the people heading the organization simply means that I have to do a lot of convincing not only when it comes to funding but also when it comes to getting volunteers. But to summarize it all, some of the challenges I have faced are:

  1. Getting monetary and non-monetary donations that would go a long way in helping the different communities ‘Generation Why CBO’ helps.
  2. Getting volunteers/members who also have to same drive as myself and my partner (Clara Kariuki)
  3. The hectic procedures some Children’s Homes and hospitals have in regard to visiting them with volunteers.

Basically, that’s just about it.But hey! Is there anything that comes easy?

  • How do you manage to balance all this with your social life, school and all the rest?

To be honest I never feel like it’s a huge load I am carrying. I feel like it’s now part of me and my friends and family have gotten to understand that so really it doesn’t affect my life in any way. After all I’m doing it out of a passion for it and enjoying what I am doing.

  • Would you encourage people to take part in charity? Why?

Definitely Yes! You would be shocked how fulfilling it is to help those that are in need in the community. It almost like making the impossible happen. Think of yourself as a child’s superhero or like an aged person’s wonderful child you know…That help that the person really needed.

ION: In case of any more questions feel free to ask in the comment section of this post and I will answer them.

For more information on Generation Why:

Website : http://generation2014why.org/

Charity Experiences

Here’s to the Journey

Hello there,

My name is Melanie Namulwany Hapisu and here is my a summary of my community service journey.

Growing up I would see street kids in the Nairobi CBD but it didn’t go past that.All I did was just saw them.I never imagined how life was for them.I didn’t even for a minute wonder what got them to that point.

Can you really blame me? I mean how old was I?

I never even imagined there were children’s homes that existed.I hadn’t been exposed to that point.But with time I grew up and began to understand that life wasn’t just as I used to see it from my side.

In 2011 I had the privilege to join a school that had a program that encouraged students to take part in Community Service and this is where it all began.At first I wasn’t interested but a friend managed to convince me to give it a shot.We visited a very humble children’s home in Nyeri and by the end of my first visit I was honestly a hot mess.I couldn’t understand why life had to be so hostile some people.Some of the children in those children’s homes had been abandoned by the road side by their mothers,others left at the gate of the children’s home and others just tried their luck and knocked on the door which was opened for them.After such an experience I knew I had to make this visits more often in order to just offer company to the children.

During my 2011 school holiday, I joined some friends I had during their visit to a children’s home in Dagoretti called Cheryl’s Children’s Home.Since this home was not too far from where I lived it became a habit to visit as often as I could.After some time,I joined a community based organization called Scribbly Circle which was being run by one of my friends.This organization basically rounded up volunteers and visited the Cheryl’s Children’s Home at least once in a week in order to give a hand where necessary.At first it was very difficult to form a connection with the children so all I used to do was wash the dishes and help sweep the classrooms.But as time went by, I managed to make a few friends with the children and the bond began to grow stronger and stronger.My visits to Cheryl’s increased and I managed to bring a number of friends of mine on board as well.

In 2014 , my friend Clara Kariuki and I were challenged to start our own community based organization called Generation Why which would basically round up volunteers from all over Nairobi in order to reach out to as many Children’s homes as possible.This was the beginning of me promising myself to be extremely involved in matters to do with community service.

It has now been 6 years since I began volunteering and I have never regretted one bit of this journey.

ION :

In my next post I will be answering some of the questions people have asked me in regard to why I volunteer and how the experience has been.Feel free to reach out to me or drop a comment to add onto the questions.

 

For more information on Generation Why:

Website : http://generation2014why.org/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Generation2014Why/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter : https://twitter.com/Gen2014why

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/gen2014why/?hl=en

 

Charity Experiences

Sometimes it’s the little things that count most.

Have you ever asked yourself how little is little when it comes to helping those who are in need? No matter what type of need they have just how little is too little? Think about this, how many times has someone asked you to donate to a charitable cause? I’m sure many times but did you ever give? I’m not trying to make you feel bad or anything here because personally I understand. It’s not that there is money to give every single time yes? That’s very true. But none of those people said you had to give, did they? Did they literally hold a gun to your head and force you to donate? Well, no they didn’t. But let me ask, what comes to your mind when someone asks you to give especially a monetary donation in terms of the amount you can give?

Who said that only a huge amount of money can be considered a “good donation”? What if all someone had to give was 1 Bob (Kenya Shilling)?

What exactly do you do with the 1 Bobs you sometimes end up remaining with as coins after purchasing some things?

 Do you just keep them somewhere in a tin at home?

Do you use them to purchase sweets that cost a shilling or so?

Or are you those people that keep very many of them in their cars and choose to give them to some of the beggars you come across on the streets?

Well, it’s your choice. Whatever you end up doing with those little coins is your choice after all it is your money so you have every right to choose what to do with them. But why not give them to a charitable organization to figure out what they can do with the coins?

Well you’re probably thinking, “Wow Mel! They will probably just keep them like I did “

Let me tell you what, before you give the coins to them how about ask them if they think the coins would be of help to them? It’s that easy. If they do not need them then you do not have to give them out.

“After all its their loss aren’t they the ones who keep asking for donations?” a friend once said to me.

I’m sure we have all seen these small tins at the supermarkets that ask you to put in a monetary contribution inside them, have you ever thought of dropping all your coins in there? I guess not. I don’t blame you. But what does this say? Is it that we consider the 1 Bob (Shilling) useful? I took an initiative to ask a couple of people why they keep away this 1 Shilling coins away if at all they consider them useful and some said

“OH! I personally keep them for one of those rainy days when I’m really broke. “

So why do you keep them?

A few weeks back as I was busy going through my social media I came across a short clip by someone I knew back in high school and it really challenged me as she was trying to tackle this same “1 Bob issue!!” In her video, she spoke of how very many people keep very many 1 Shilling coins but do not know what to do with them. Her solution was how about we have as many people as possible collect all the 1 Shilling Coins they have and eventually come together and use them for a great initiative that would go towards helping the needy in the community? I was really challenged by this, it all made sense. I mean I have a whole bag full of 1 Shilling coins just sitting in the house doing nothing. I rarely open that small bag unless I ran out of money for photocopying or something. In case you want to be a part of this wonderful initiative feel free to find out more about it in the link at the bottom of the post. As small as it seems, isn’t it better to begin from here? Especially for those people who find it very difficult to give towards a charitable cause.

How about you try this as an individual? Collect all the 1 Shilling Coins you have at home or wherever they may be really and choose what to do with them. I’m I asking for too much? Well, I don’t think so because it’s the least I could ask for. There are many charitable causes you can help: Children’s Homes, Hospitals, Environmental Organizations and many more. It’s all your choice.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown

For more information about the 1 Bob initiative see the video in the link below:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BW8Ona9BMEF/?taken-by=namulwany&hl=en

PS: Feel free to write your views in the comment section. Thank you for Reading.

 

Charity Experiences

Is conservation a dead word? – Part 2

Is conservation a dead word?What do you think?

 

“Na hii Nairobi yetu ni chafu!”
Allow me to directly translate(And this Nairobi of ours is dirty!)As I was walking around Nairobi this week I heard one pedestrian say this.
Well,the problem was not what he said or how he said it but my problem was that as he said it he was busy eating sugarcane and throwing the remains as he walked.

 

Is trashing the environment all about attitude?
Personally I think it is about attitude. But the question is what exactly is your attitude as an individual towards it?

 

Do you think its the County Governments work to clean up after your mess or are you those who believe that the change all starts with you?
It is easy to imagine that we can change people’s attitude through environmental education but is it just that easy?

 

What is going to be your role in this whole environmental conservation journey?
Would you rather just sit there and watch how things will unfold?
How will we have an effective community attitude change towards environmental conservation?
Rewards perhaps?Individual initiative?Group initiative?

 

Think about this,every single time you litter, the trash is transported by wind,water or even human beings through breaking it down into smaller parts.This ends up damaging the health of not only human beings but also that of animals.Most of all it ends up damaging the ecosystems on the planet.

 

In my post Is conservation a dead word? – Part 1″ I briefly spoke of my experience when I took part in cleaning up Kirichwa Kubwa River along Riara Road,Nairobi.That is one of the days I will never forget in my life.I do not think I have seen a river as filthy as Kirichwa Kubwa. The stench that was coming from the water in the river was unbearable.As if that was not enough the amount of plastic bags and bottles we had to clean out were far too many.It was as if someone had just come to the river and dumped all their litter.Majority of the volunteers present kept complaining of how filthy the river was but was this of help?

 

We were all cleaning up after other peoples mess and maybe ours as well but here we were complaining instead of coming up with ideas that will help solve this environmental conservation issue we have around us.

 

What will we do about it?
Do you see the importance of environmental conservation?
How will we get everyone on board with this whole environmental conservation conversation?

 

The only way all this is going to work is if you who is reading this article, YES YOU decides to be the beginning of this change.
Charity Experiences

Is charity the opium of the privileged?

“Ah!Why does she have to always be against everything I say and do?
She had her life,why can’t she let me have mine too?I hate her so much”

Guess what?She’s only looking out for you.Trying to run this race she’s never ran before.And even if she’s run it before its not the same whatsoever.

You think you hate her yeah?Well let’s imagine you not seeing her ever again.Imagine what it would be like not to have her to be your number one cheer leader.No one to give you a the warm hugs she used to give you.No one to just stay up as you read just because she knew you needed company.

Do you sometimes ask why she would do all this?Including being there for you through thick and thin?Well let’s just say that sometimes you say things you don’t mean,but why say them though?

“Mtarudi when?”(When will you come back again?) said Dennoh a lovely 10 year old I met at one of the Children’s Home’s I had the privilege to visit.

“Unaweza nihug?”(Could you hug me?) said Beyonce yet again one of the girls I had the privilege to meet at another home I visited.

“I treat this children like my own.Sometimes I wonder why their mothers had to abandon some of them.
Or Why God allowed some of their parents to die.All this children need is love.Motherly love.” said one of the staff of the homes.

A mother has a never-ending supply of unconditional love.

That is what motherly love is.Do you think you can share this kind of love with someone else who doesn’t have the opportunity to receive this kind of love on daily basis?
Do you think you can show this kind of love to those who lost their mothers or even both their parents.Those who are sick in hospital or even at home and have no one to visit them?The old people who no longer have their sons and daughters visit them as often as they used to when they were younger?

What if you had the chance to show this kind of love to someone or a group of people even just once?

Think about it.
How many hospitals are around you?
How many children’s homes are around you?
How many institutions for the aged are around or even those for the physically challenged?

Maybe that’s too much for you yes?How about we start with this,how many people faces can you put a smile on in a day?It’s as easy as that.

Let me tell you something, serving the community is all about having unconditional love for everybody whether you know them or not.Charity work is all about trying to fit in the other persons shoe and seeing what its like to be in their position.⁠⁠⁠⁠

Charity Experiences

Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts

A few months back I had the privilege to be part of team that had organized a visit to the Kenyatta Children’s Cancer Ward in Nairobi,Kenya.Weeks before the visit I had still not made up my mind in regard to attending this activity,but eventually I decided to just go through with it.Not because I wanted to but because a friend of mine at that time who had cancer asked me to.His reason for me going was so that I can give hope to others just like I did to him.

 

Have you been in pain before?(Of course you have).
Not just any type of pain.I’m talking about the pain you can’t describe, the pain you can’t even wish for someone else to feel.As if that is not enough,the type of pain which even morphine cannot relieve.

 

Well,this is the kind of pain some people go through and most of the time they have no option but to bear it.

 

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”– Cayla Mills

 

Let me try and make you understand what its like to be in this position.(The position of being in both physical and emotional pain)Try and imagine what it would be like if you had cancer.

 

The pain you would you have to go through after chemotherapy.
Some of the sleepless nights you would have not only because of the pain,but also because of the many questions you have about life really.
Imagine crying as an adult.
(In our society, it has been made to seem like crying is a sign of weakness.But is it really?)
It can even get to the extent you begin to question God.
   Why me and not anyone else?
   Why Cancer?
   Why now?
You can even think of taking away your life.But will that be the solution to all of this?
Can you imagine how much your life would change?
How many friends will suddenly come around to support you when they first find out you have cancer then suddenly distance themselves from you?Or treat you very delicately just because you are “Sick”?

 

All this experiences make you stronger.You find new ways to live with the situation and still be happy.You still afford a smile even when the going gets tough.You still encourage others when they are down as if the load you are carrying is lighter than the one they have.

 

” Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities.It cannot touch my mind,it cannot touch my heart,and it cannot touch my soul.” -Jim Valvano

 

Captain Vee

Kenyatta Children’s Cancer Ward

Charity Experiences

Is conservation now a dead word? – Part 1

So what exactly is environmental conservation?????????

WhatsApp Image 2017-05-07 at 19.17.51

Anything we do to protect our planet and conserve its natural resources….The whole point is,it is all done to ensure we have an improved quality of life.

Is that what we really have here on earth?Lets not even stretch it,is that what we have here in Nairobi?????

Where exactly do you lie in this conversation? Think about it

Are you those people who believe there will be someone who will come clean up after you?
“After all Si ni kazi yao?(Its their job)”
No no maybe you are those who just don’t care?
“Si environmental groups zitakuja kusafisha?(But the environmental groups will come to clean)”
Or are you those people that get bothered and completely hurt even when you see the smallest piece of paper being thrown?

Can you really blame people who say,
“How can I clean up after someone else’s mess?”
“Why can’t city council come and clean up isn’t it their job?”

I’ll leave you to answer that.Can you imagine if this is the attitude we all had towards our environment?

But really how do you expect to see change if you can’t be a part of the change?How many times have you complained of how dirty our environment is and yet you are a huge contributor to it?Why not stand up and do something about it!!!You never know who else you will motivate to join in.

“Nature is not a place to visit,it is home” -Gary Snyder

To those that motivated me to do this post thank you.

(Riara Exeter Apartment’s community members,my friend’s who took part in the cleaning up of the Kirichwa Kubwa River and most of all to Nairobi County Council).

Pictures by :Roy Odera
Instagram:depixl⁠⁠⁠⁠

For more pictures from the clean up see below.

 

Charity Experiences

The hardest prison to escape is in your mind.

Have you ever thought of how life would be if you were in prison?Well,take a minute and do it already!!Think of how it would be not seeing the ones you love the most for a period of time,sometimes a short period and sometimes a long one.As if that is not enough,think of how it would feel not to be able to express your freedom in all aspects.Would you be able to handle it?

Do prisoners get homesick?

Do prisoners get lonely?

Do prisoners desire to have their total freedom?

Do prisoners still know how to love once they are released?

“In prison you get the chance to see who really loves you” – Suge Knight

On the 29th April 2017, through my school I had the chance to visit the Naivasha Maximum Prison and to be honest it was an experience worth writing about.Let’s start with just the atmosphere once my classmates and I drove into the prison compound.To be honest I was a bit shaken,I thought I had watched enough movies to be able to manage how a prison would look but clearly I hadn’t!Lets start with the very high concrete walls that were surrounding the area,then to the gates we had to pass through before accessing the main prison.As if we had already seen it all,the huge door that we had to use to enter the prison.We passed about four different entry points before we began seeing the inmates.

If only you saw how excited some of them were to see us.Could that have been a way to show how good they felt to be visited?Even by total strangers?I mean that says enough already!!It doesn’t matter who comes.Just for as long as there is a visitor,someone to make them smile,someone to give them hope,someone just to…

“Crime ni Noma”(Crime is not a good thing) one of the inmates said to us.This got me thinking is it really worth it?Stealing that little money then slowly growing into a serious “thug” if I may say?Is it worth it harassing that little girl or that young lady or that young woman just over a simple sexual desire you have?Well, NO IT ISN’T!!

It all starts from somewhere,doesn’t it?

“The hardest prison to escape is in your mind” – Unknown