Project Linda-Jamii in Kenya by Maureen Kalimba Isimbi

by tuftsigl
May 30

I plan to volunteer or learn something new every spring break. During my 2017 spring break, I had the opportunity to visit Israeli and Palestinian territories with a group of Tufts students called Visions of Peace that is sponsored by Tufts Hillel. eI learned so much from the trip and decided to do more travel and obtain more global knowledge rather than the bubble of my own culture and understanding.

At the beginning of 2018, I started planning where I should visit during spring break. Due to my interest in children’s education and women’s rights, I reached out to a Kenyan woman that I met during the 2017 Clinton Global Initiative University Conference. She was working towards ending female genital mutilation in Kenya. She was involved in the Young Women’s Leadership Institute and Project Linda-Jamii. I asked her if there were any volunteer opportunities in either of these organizations.

Fortunately enough, there was an opportunity in Project Linda-Jamii, which is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for children rights as a means to eradicating gender inequality. The organization also aims to address issues related to women and girls that directly or indirectly affect children.

To address gender inequality, the organization has three programmatic focuses: education, advocating for equal opportunities, and providing easy access to health and sexual reproductive health rights.

It was an enriching opportunity to volunteer with Project Linda-Jamii. At first, I was very nervous to visit a totally new country. However, I think that is the point of why we should get out of our comfort zones to have new experiences.

During my time volunteering with Project Linda-Jamii, I had the opportunity to learn about how social media is a powerful tool for activism and community work. As a person who plans to establish my own community project organization, it was a very important skill to learn at an early stage in my community work journey.

One of the highlights of my trip to Kenya was visiting the Mary Faith shelter for girls. The girls in this shelter were victims of sexual abuse and as a result some of them were pregnant. These girls are already mothers at age twelve but still go to school and have great visions for their futures. I was very sad, but very inspired by the dreams of the women of Kenya’s tomorrow.

In addition to that, I had the opportunity to visit Ark Yard School in Kiambu County of Kenya where Project Linda-Jamii’s volunteers teach elementary students different concepts through fun activities such as coloring and painting.

I am very grateful to Linda Kroeger, the founder of Project Linda-Jamii, who made my volunteering trip unforgettable by exposing me to different important activities that opened my mind and heart to do good in the world.