My new GVI adventure
I first started with GVI at the Kenyan expedition in 2012. I participated in the GVI national scholarship program for 3 months, and then became a health project field staff and programme manager in the health project program. After working in Kenya for almost 3 years, learning a lot and putting my studies to practise it was time for another experience. I had best time working at GVI kenya-shimoni expedition and I realised that I didn´t want to leave GVI. I did some applications and interviews and an opportunity to join the GVI Mexico team emerged. I was glad that I was still going to share my experience within GVI Mexico team as community Field staff. Even though the visa application took a long time, once I received my visa I was ready for the flight to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I packet my bags making sure I had all essentials for the journey.
After three days of buses and flights I arrived at GVI Mexico Playa del Carmen staff House on 30th August 2015. the base manager at the time took me to the volunteer’s house for a tour. During the tour a lot of things ran into my mind. One of my thoughts was that this felt like a familiar place. The reason it felt familiar was that it was run similarly to the Kenyan project i.e. shared rooms, shared chores etc. The following week I began paper work and training from the program coordinator and the base manager.
After I received the much needed orientations and training it was time to start joining the projects. Luckily my first project was participating in a fundraising event to sponsor dog therapy at one of our projects (special needs school) for 6 months. In the event, we were undertaking a challenge of 42.5 km’s cycling through a small jungle. I was bit concerned because the longest I had cycled before was 28km’s and I hadn’t done it for the past last 3 years but I was ready to give it a go.
The special needs school (also known as Escuelita) was a small school formed by mothers who cared for their children or family members with special needs. The hard work the staff are doing for these kids is very impressive. The students all have different needs related to autism, downs syndrome, and others. The mothers formed the school and took care of their children and of others in a kind way. They give them important life skills lessons, different therapies, socialising time, playing games with them. They also have aqua therapies, and equine therapies that take place outside of the school.
We divided staff and volunteers into groups of three and each team had to come up with a uniform and work together as a team. There were 3 established stops between cycling distance where the group members had to stop and take pictures to confirm they passed the places. We started the cycle at 8am and finished it at 1pm, everyone was super tired but we were happy we did it for the school. We managed to raise money for school to pay the dog therapy activity for 6 months. Every time I was helping on Dog therapy at the special needs school and see them happy. I feel pleased that I was one of the people who helped to make that possible.
Mwinyiisa Kopa, GVI Mexico Playa community Field staff.
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