Through our experience of providing development trips over the years we have come to identify the benefits of providing a degree of support and follow-up to our volunteer clients when they return home. Aside from the social side of the home-coming experience there is also the personal development aspect of the trip. It is important that you recognise the huge potential gains that can be made from your experiences and how they may help guide the next stages of your life and career. We believe that one of the strongest ways to get the most from your experiences in the long term is to record them, actively reflect on them and then build directly upon them. We will provide a framework of support to help you to achieve this.
Activities and initiatives include:-
- Certificates for the trip in general and for specific aspects of achievement will be awarded to group members.
- We encourage all members to keep a journal of their trip, however brief or in-depth. We then ask that they produce a short report on the trip or specific aspect of it, to be shared with their fellow travellers.
- We organise a de-briefing stage to the trip on return to the UK.
- We provide a forum through which group members can stay in touch with the rest of the group and with the communities that they visited abroad.
- We provide a workshop on careers, interview techniques, employability and International Citizenship.
We also provide continual support on the ground during the trip, from both the local staff and also the UK staff and Trustees. Generally this follows a process of keeping in touch by phone, text or WhatsApp, email and skype. Volunteers have contact with us all the time and there is plenty of opportunity for us to be flexible. We have very large network of people on the ground so volunteers find they have plenty of people to socialise with and discuss issues with. Each area has a high level of staff input and there are always activities going on. Volunteers generally become immersed in a way of life and make lots of new friends, as well as contributing meaningfully to the work of the charity. If there are any problems then we can quickly respond to emergencies and information is very easily conveyed to the office in the UK and also to friends and family back home. Most Kenyans use wifi now to communicate with WhatsApp or VoIP technology, and most people use smartphones to get online. We provide logistical and practical support, as well as emotional back up when it is needed.