An Update from Odede
Adam Whitefield - WYI Director (and soon-to-be General Manager)
In March this year, Ralph Hoey and myself had the pleasure of travelling to Kenya. It was the third time I have visited Kenya, but this time the main purpose of the trip was to sit with a range of key stakeholder groups within the Odede community to formalise WYI's commitment to partnering with them into the future.
In many ways, being back in Kenya was a bit like being in a time warp - on the surface very little had changed. The boys at the New Vic Hotel in Kisumu were still as friendly and as welcoming as ever. None of the roads had become any less bumpy, the matatus were still jam packed, the ugali (staple food) was still as dry as ever, and as we got further away from the cities the landscape was still the same old dusty, parched earth I remembered from some years ago.
Thankfully, the old fashioned Kenyan hospitality had not altered a bit, and Ralph and I were made to feel karibu sana (very welcome) everywhere we went.
On a macro-level there were certainly some signs of progress and development. The Kenyan economy was growing, a new constitution had been written, the political situation was relatively stable, and plans for large-scale infrastructure projects and investment were everywhere. Yet at the local level, it seemed as if the economic benefits from all this activity didn't really seem to be 'trickling down' to those communities who need it most.
Our friends in Odede are still one of those communities.
Yet, despite the persistent and significant needs that exist in Odede in areas such as health, education, agriculture, sanitation & hygiene, HIV/AIDS etc, there is something very, very special taking place.
Read more about what is happening in Odede here.
Overseas Action Program NewsAlice Johnson - Overseas Action Program Coordinator
We have just recruited and trained a strong team of incredible leaders who will guide 20 young volunteers on OA programs to Peru and Kenya this June. Allow me to introduce you to these four amazing and inspiring individuals.
We wish Belinda, Phoebe, Tina, Alex and their OAP teams all the best on their upcoming projects.
Introducing... Nurses in Action
WYI is excited to announce the launch of the Nurses in Action Program for health professionals. The program will run from March 15 - April 13 each year, during which time a team of 6-12 people will facilitate two medical camps and partake in a community hospital placement, amongst other opportunities. In 2013, the program will be led by Katy Condliffe.
Health professionals with qualifications in nursing, pharmacy, social work, speech pathology, midwifery, aged care and other allied health fields are encouraged to apply.
Click here to be taken to the Nurses in Action program brochure or contact the WYI office for more information.
Adam Whitefield & Jess Roberts - PEP Facilitators
Another year, another unbelievably successful PEP. It is hard to believe this has only been our third year running the program in this format, because this one seemed to be our most seamless and powerful yet! We've just had a flick through the participant evaluations too which also really affirms the awesomeness. SHAMON!!!
Each year PEP would not be possible without the tireless work of all of our amazing staff - whether it be those who donated their time to feed the hungry masses, to those who'd travelled from afar as coaches, facilitators, team leaders, and of course, strange men in women's clothing bearing even stranger tattoos. We want to thank each and every one of you for so generously giving your time to help make PEP 2012 the best yet for our participants.
PEP would also not be possible without you - our inspiring and courageous volunteers - who have also taken a risk and made sacrifices to be with us on this program. We hope that you have all walked away having rekindled those flames within yourselves, and that you may continue to fan the fire of all that you wish to achieve in this world.
It would be safe to say that what we are doing with this program is truly remarkable, and we all just wish we could do more of them. People walk into the PEP experience with a mixture of feelings - mostly anxiousness, uncertainty, suspicion and excitement. Yet what is certain, is that every single person will have walked out of that door being touched in some way for the better. Sure, everyone will channel their PEP experience in different ways - and that's the beauty of it. Yet we will all do so knowing that there are now people in our lives that really understand and identify with us, and importantly are willing to go out there and Be The Change in solidarity with us.
I know we speak for everyone involved in saying that it is an absolute privilege to be a part of such an incredible program. Already we can't wait for next year!
So if you're sitting there kicking yourself at not coming in 2012, just remember that you will always be welcome in 2013! And if you ever need any convincing, just ask your OAP/OSP teammates and take it from them!
Wishing you all an extraordinary year ahead, and we look forward to hearing about everyone's adventures in the months and years to come.
Lots of love,
Adam and Jess (a.k.a "J Rads")
Click here to read participant Dan Toole's account of PEP 2012.
OSP Volunteers Achieve Amazing Things in Kenya
Francesca Trott - Overseas Service Program Coordinator
We currently have nine wonderful OSP volunteers based in Mutumbu and Yala, contributing their time and skills at teaching, occupational therapy and community placements. In my role as the OSP Coordinator, I am privileged to share a small part of their journey. I have been blown away by accounts of the amazing things that our vollies have achieved together, including the funding and renovation of classrooms, coordination of weekly jigger and de-worming camps, health education talks and the production and distribution of reusable sanitary pads.
Read more about what Lucy, Ben and the team have been up to in Kenya by clicking on the links.
Fred visits Australia
Kate Breuer - WYI Office Volunteer
We were very excited to have our Kenyan in-country partner of 16 years, Fred Mito, visit Australia for four weeks recently. Fred was able to experience the Australian culture, meet up with friends and family and attend our annual Personal Empowerment Program.
Fred spent a few weeks in Melbourne, where he was able to meet the Step Out Victoria team and attend their Bowling over Poverty lawn bowls event on the 28th of April. Having stepped fresh off the plane, he enjoyed catching up with people and learning to bowl and play 8-ball. Fred also had the opportunity to catch up with his brother who lives in Melbourne with his family, and whom he had not seen for a number of years.
After some time spent in Melbourne city and heading to country Victoria with Katy Condliffe and her family, Fred headed to Adelaide to meet up with the World Youth crew in SA. Here, Fred spent time with staff at the office and was able to create some exciting new goals for WYI Kenya in the near future. During his time in South Australia, he was a guest at Parliament House and also spent a few nights on a houseboat on the River Murray.
Fred also attended the 2012 Personal Empowerment Program (PEP). Fred was able to step out of his comfort zone and reflect on his life whilst at the program, as well as making a number of new friends. He was an absolute hit on the program, and when asked about the weekend, said 'it was one of the best experiences of my life'.
To finish the trip, Fred took a train ride from Adelaide to Melbourne before boarding his flights back to Kenya. Fred thoroughly enjoyed his time in Australia and gained a lot of insight into the lives and backgrounds from which WYI volunteers come when they visit Kenya. It was a pleasure to have Fred in the country and to share so many experiences with him.
World Youth International would like to thank all those involved in making Fred's stay so welcoming. Particular thanks go to Katy Condliffe, Mark Guerin, Michael Foldi, Lyn Pettman, Nicole Murray and Ben Moffatt, and Ralph and Ann Hoey.
An Update from WYI Step Out Australia
Our Step Out teams across Australia have been very busy in recent months, with fundraising events taking place in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, and social get togethers happening all over the country...
Supporters of Step Out QLD 'raise' around Brisbane
Danielle Smyth & Nic Rodda - Step Out Queensland Coordinators
During the Easter Holidays, we held our first Amazing Raise where teams raced around Brisbane to complete various challenges as arranged with ethically minded businesses and volunteers.
Our aim of this particular event was to engage with the Brisbane community by offering them something a bit different and somewhat more adventurous.
The day was a huge success and we even raised some much-needed funds in the process. With special thanks to Davies Park Markets, West End Football Club, Big Issue Street Soccer, Lifeline, Aard Varc, Oxfam, Dr Deb's Travel Clinic, Brew, Fix Restaurant, Sky Room, Nutrimedics and Quest Community Newspapers, we were able to raise $905 for the OAP projects to be completed in Peru this year.
A huge congrats to Dani, Nic, Janelle and the Step Out QLD team!
Step Out South Australia on the Green
Emily Sims & Madeline Collins - Step Out South Australia Coordinators
The sun was shining on April 15th as supporters of Step Out SA flocked to the Millswood Bowling Club for a laid back afternoon of lawn bowls, good food and cheap drinks.
A great time was had by all, with $1400 raised that will contribute to the construction of a water purification system in the community of Odede. Many thanks to our sponsors at the Himalayan Kitchen, Brown Dog Cafe, Con's Fine Foods and Bakers Delight Stirling, to Janet Thompson and all who lent a hand or attended on the day.
Congratulations from us all at WYI to Nancy Auma of Odede, Kenya on the arrival of baby Joan.
World Youth International is pleased to introduce its new In-Country Partner in Peru, Hortencia Andia Flores. Hortencia was born in Cusco and has a background in Archaeology. She also works as a teacher of Spanish and Quechua to both locals and foreigners so will be an invaluable asset to our volunteers in Peru. Muchas gracias to our outgoing In-Country Partner Maria Myburgh and her husband Mark for all their efforts in coordinating the Peru programs over the past 4 years. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.