My time in Ruben Centre
I spent 3 weeks in Nairobi, Kenya volunteering at the Ruben Centre. Admittedly I had tried to expect the worst, having never been to Africa, I was not sure what to expect but knew that life would be harsh and resources be minimal. And this was in many cases how things turned out but in other ways they were also different. Some things were better and some worse but overall an experience with the Ruben Director Br Frank O’Shea is life changing.
Your day can turn on a head from visiting and spending time with tiny children screaming in agony from hot water burns to listening to 6 year old children read better than some adults. The Ruben Centre is to the people of the Mukuru slum an oasis. The children cling to you to learn, share and experience you in their lives and they simply want to be there much more than returning to their difficult lives at home. I went with the attitude to quite simply try and “give”. Even telling a joke or putting a smile on a child’s face here is a wonderful experience to have improved their lives that tiny little bit if only momentarily. The apartment available for volunteers visiting the centre is excellent. Situated just ten minutes drive from the school and in a complex with many kind families it is more than comfortable and welcoming for your stay. I met a neighbour who took me to the gym and others who simply invite you in for dinner in their family home.
Go for it! Get out of your comfort zone. Visit Africa and see what you can give and learn about yourself in another world. As Br Frank said many times “don’t settle for something small” an abundance of amazing life shaping experiences are available here to help you grow