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Voluntary work

Getting Down With The Kids!

I had the honour of working as a trainer at a Kids Journey day recently here in Hertfordshire. The children were aged between five and eleven years, and had a wonderful mix of innocense and wisdom beyond their years! 
 
The day started with artwork and games to help them to relax and get to know each other. We talked about what happens when we experience upsetting emotions and are not able to express them at the time. How when we 'stuff them down' or 'swallow them', they get stuck in our bodies and make us feel unhappy inside.

Farewell To CRI Hertford

For the last few years it has been a pleasure to give voluntary treatments to clients of CRI (Crime Reduction Initiative) drug & alcohol rehabilitation centre in Hertford. The clients were able to relax and find their own inner stillness in quite a profound way through Aromatherapy massage, Reiki and seated massage. Many of them found that the benefit lasted for several days afterwards, which all helps with chosing a healthier way to live.
Addiction always has an emotional root cause.. the challenge is to uncover the cause and be able to move on from it.

Fund Raising For Hill Breeze

Several months have gone by since I was in Kenya, the school staff still keep in touch with me to let me know how things are going and the children still play the games I taught them!
When I was there, many friends asked how they could help with this project, and now I have some facts and figures to offer as suggestions.
There are currently four teachers serving at the school, with no guaranteed income other than the donations of well-wishers to back them up. They also have plans for a number of self-sustainability projects for which they will be fund raising.

Thanks to the Staff at Hill Breeze

Ken Ariri–founder of Hill Breeze Orphan Support School (on the right in the photo with me in it). Ken welcomed me with great enthusiasm to the school, involved me in all activities, introduced me to the local community (and his extended family) and ensured that my visit was both enjoyable and successful.
 
Joseph Ouko –co-founderof Hill Breeze school and teacher at Nyabola Girls Secondary School (on the left in the photo with me in it). Joseph introduced me to the pupils and staff at his school and offered (as an alternative option) his house as my accommodation, which was very kind.

Farewell Hill Breeze

 
Three weeks went very quickly at Hill Breeze, and it seemed as though we were just settling down and getting to know each other when it was time to leave. Ken organised a wonderful farewell send off for me, having coached some of the children to sing very touching messages of thanks and good wishes. We had a really joyful celebration, with the children dancing around the compound waving their ‘resource balloons’. I felt very honoured to have been a part of this little community and thankful for the contribution I had been able to make towards the continued success of the school.

Lake Victoria

I also visited Lake Victoria one weekend with Ken and we took two of the school children as a special treat. The lake is so large that you cannot see the other side so it looks just like a sea. We soon attracted a band of local children who were obviously unused to having many white visitors, providing a new source of entertainment for them. Many of Ken’s extended family live in this area and again I recieved a very warm welcome from everyone. We spent a very entertaining evening dancing to traditional African music, the sight of a western lady willing to get up and dance alongside them caused much amusement!

Hil Breeze Children at Play

Watching the children at play was a lesson in simplicity. With no expensive gadgets or toys available to them, a football consisted of a number of plastic bags all wrapped together. A make-shift steering wheel and the imagination of a young boy took him on a drive all around the compound! A bicycle tyre  and a stick could be expertly kept uprightand rolled around as yet another play activity. The older children watch out for the younger ones, but they learn to be self-sufficient at a very early age.

Journey Therapy With The Children

 
It was saddening to hear that Nyanza province has a high incidence of HIV/Aids,leaving many children without parents and further impoverishing the community.These children are part of a community who see no real tangible way out of their impoverished circumstances. Through Journey Outreach we hope to open their awareness to the limitless possibilities born of self-belief, self-awareness and the power of positive intention.
 
Orphan children celebrating healthy new internal resource qualities using balloons. Building on previous work done with the children, I used Journey therapy techniques to encourage them to be aware of all of the emotions stored within them, to welcome and release any negative feelings.

Teaching At Hill Breeze

       
For the first couple of days, I sat in on classes and observed the lessons as an induction into the curriculum. Then I was given my own classes to teach:  class 2 SocialStudies, class 3 English and class 4 Science. I am not a teacher by profession, but I have a science background and my life experience has included many public speaking events, plus training and coaching activities; so I found that inspite of my initial nerves, I really enjoyed teaching the classes.

Hill Breeze Orphan School, Kenya - October 2011

Arrived in Nairobi on the 3rd Oct, and travelled onwards to Nyanza county next day. I am here to stay in a rural community and work in the Hill Breeze orphan school for three weeks. The school was founded by Ken Ariri - himself an orphan, who saw in a vision that he should start a school for children who had been forsaken and had no hope of a good future. He works tirelessly to scratch whatever funds he can to feed and provide learning resources for the children. There are three teachers who work voluntarily for very little money.
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