Small Woman, Big Dreams -- Kenya Round 2

Vidhi Patel Start Date: Jun 25, 2018 - End Date: Oct 24, 2018
  • Nairobi, Kenya

My Travel Story

by: Vidhi Patel Start Date: Jun 25, 2018 - End Date: Oct 24, 2018
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a very humbling 25th birthday in a country that taught me valuable life lessons. To make this experience possible, 2 years ago I raised $1,300 thanks to the generous people in my life & spent it on school supplies, toiletries, shoes & other basic necessities. I made the trip with four overweight checked bags, confident that I was doing something good for the children I was teaching in the orphanage I was placed in. While I had the best of intentions, after a year of research, I learned that the difference I made was extremely small & temporary as I could have had a much greater impact.

I have been longing to go back to Kenya to do something on a larger scale & I am finally making it happen. I will be teaching English at a school that is part of Global One during the week of October 15th. Instead of buying items from the U.S. & handing them out, I will assess the needs of the school I work with & spend the money in the local Kenyan economy accordingly. I will look to possibly have some amenities built, like a functional classroom with walls, a proper bathroom, or library. This will give me an opportunity to support local businesses, by purchasing the supplies directly from them and helping the economy while providing something that will last. To make sure I am targeted with where and how I spend the money, I will be working with my volunteer organization & the school to have a plan of what I can contribute in the week I'm there. 

Another meaningful aspect of my previous trip was the opportunity to experience the Maasai way of life. My host family opened their home to me, & went above & beyond to make me comfortable. I have kept in touch with them & sent little things every few months, but again, I want to do something on a larger scale. I would like to use a portion of the money I raise to help their community, whether it's building a new roof for a home, or making a proper chicken coop fence, so the wild hyenas stop eating them.

The remaining amount of money I raise will go directly towards a non-profit some strong women & I have built. We're in the beginning stages of establishing the non profit but we're moving at a rapid pace to have it up & running. The Angaza Project aims to help women living in imporverished areas through skill training & education. For example, we have a master seamstress that will be teaching women in Kenya how to sew so they can start their own business & provide for themselves. Some of the funds would go to tools needed, such as sewing machines or craft supplies. 

My goal is to raise as much as I can, so every dollar counts! Even if you choose not to financially donate, I welcome your ideas for making a long term impact!

If you choose to donate to my fundraiser non-anonymously, please send me your address, as I'd like to send a little something after my trip.
  • Nairobi, Kenya