Friday, October 20, 2006

Entry from a 2006 Volunteer

Testimonial from Una, a 2006 volunteer :

My experience in a small Kenyan community where I spent 5 weeks of volunteering sparked my interest in social problems within poor and uneducated communities. I was exposed to the issues of HIV and AIDS, as well as the different views towards gender. Gender differences put females in the communities at an increased risk of contracting HIV and other diseases. The lack of choice and knowledge to have fewer children is creating more orphans and a poverty circle impossible to escape. I worked at a school raising AIDS awareness and noticed an incredible amount of misinformation, myths and rumors about HIV/AIDS and other serious issues. At the time I lacked the knowledge to best deal with these individuals whose lives have been surrounded by death due to poverty and disease. The community I was in places great value in people with white skin. Myself and the other volunteers were seen as a means out of poverty and away from disease. There was very little belief in one’s own self to battle poverty. I felt a tremendous pressure to pass on my knowledge to influence the community for the better. I wish I had the knowledge then to best approach these situations, so to make a maximum positive impact.

AVIF offers sustainable development and assistance in projects highlighted during volunteer programmes, with the help of, to allow communities to learn to battle poverty themselves.