In her final blog post, Natalie French (BA Social Work student) reflects on friendships formed during her time in Kenya and what she has learned from her six week enterprise placement.
Through this placement, I have had the opportunity to experience Kenya, meet new people and understand how individuals live within Kenyan culture. It has been amazing to meet such positive and inspirational people. While there, I was lucky enough to meet a young man named Moses. At the time I met him, he was 18 and found himself homeless after his parents were killed and his younger siblings sent to live with another family in Kericho, a town 70 miles away. Moses was the most inspirational person I met in Nakuru. Although he was homeless, he never asked or begged for money or food. Moses, Hibo (another volunteer on the project) and I became good friends and we regularly met for lunch, taking it in turns to buy Moses food and drink.
This was one of the most rewarding parts of my trip, helping someone in need and seeing how appreciative he was of even the smallest of things. As a social work student the social aspect of any culture inspires and interests me. This trip has helped me engage with new people, build a rapport and see how the little things in life really do make a difference to individuals in greatest need.
This programme has enabled me to gain experience and learn about a new culture as well as working closely with entrepreneurs in order to increase the revenue of their businesses. I have gained an understanding of the social and financial aspects of individuals living in this society and how people in society can work together in order to improve their businesses, learn new ideas and help one another become successful.
From a social point of view, getting to know different individuals and how they live their daily lives will help me a great deal in the future, particularly if I work with a Kenyan family within my field of work. I feel this experience has equipped me to better understand their views and deal with any issues that may occur regarding religious or cultural beliefs.
Balloon Kenya has been an extraordinary and inspirational experience, one which has been full of fun, laughter and new challenges. I have met some amazing people and learnt about different cultures. This once in a lifetime experience has been incredibly rewarding, insightful and interesting and one which I will never forget!
If you would be interested in taking part in an overseas placement, see the Hull Careers Service website for more details on where you could go, what you could do and how to apply. In some cases, the Careers Service may be able to help with funding towards the costs of your placement.