Bianca and Adam made a life-changing decision in 2019 to travel to a rural village in Kenya together to volunteer with local hospitals and schools. Not only did they challenge themselves and do things they never thought they could do alone, yet alone together; the ripple effects of their time in Kenya have continued to impact their lives once they returned home.
World Youth International’s Global Adventurers Program (GAP) is designed for those who want to make a meaningful impact overseas in developing countries, but who may not be medical professionals. The program provides a valuable experience and creates unique opportunities tailored towards couples' skill-sets to share a life-changing experience together.
Our most recent Global Adventurer’s Program Volunteers Bianca and Adam travelled to Kenya together for a placement. Bianca, a Registered Nurse, was placed at a rural hospital to work with local health professionals and patients. Adam, a full-time Rugby League Player with the NRL Dragons Squad and who has experience in working with children, volunteered as a Teachers Aid at a nearby school. UNICEF estimates that in Kenya, more than 1.2 million primary-school-aged children do not attend school, with rural areas such as the village where Bianca and Adam worked struggle to provide children with access to quality education services.
“Myself and Adam enjoy the gym, keeping fit and spending time with our family and friends. We aren't people who travel a lot as we really enjoy keeping to our routine. The program took us out of our comfort zones and was an amazing experience we will never forget.” Bianca, GAP Volunteer
“There were so many moments that I will cherish forever, however one moment was particularly memorable. We were walking to the shop and were surrounded by over 40 children from the school holding our hands, smiling, laughing. This is a moment I will never forget; the happiness we were able to bring to the children just with our presence alone.”
While there were many happy moments, there were also many challenges. Bianca and Adam found adapting to the environment difficult and had to come to terms with how most Kenyans live; in clay huts without electricity or clean water.
They also experienced a sense of uncertainty before each new experience.
“Before each new experience we both faced a great deal of nerves. One day we had to share a 20 minute trip in a van filled with over 25 live chickens inside (not in cages or tied up). It was the longest 20 minute ride of our lives. Power black-outs also occurred very frequently. Many nights we went without power, cooking dinner under torch light followed by a cold shower.” Adam, GAP Volunteer
Even so, Bianca and Adam were able to embrace the challenges and appreciate the experience.
“All the Kenyan people were very friendly, and that was one of my favourite things about the trip. Everyone would say 'hello, how are you', and because everyone walks everywhere, there are always a lot of people on the streets to chat to as you pass by. It was awesome to spend the time over there. It was a great experience and something I will never forget, so I am really thankful for the opportunity. It was really eye-opening." Adam, GAP Volunteer.
If you’re looking for a life-changing adventure and the opportunity to use your skills in 2020 and beyond, check out our GAP opportunities here.