I'm No Longer the Same

Visiting an African country to work with children in a different environment, culture and traditions was my lifelong dream. Finally on 1st August 2014, after some bumps in the road, I landed in Kenya and was on my way to St. Theresa Development & Rehabilitation Centre in Naivasha. A centre offering rehabilitation, education, care and love to abused children aged between 5 and 15 years. This year 14 volunteers from Malta, Egypt, Canada, Czech Republic and Slovakia came together to organise 4 weeks holidays for the children.

The days were always full from morning to night, and we organised games, crafts and non-formal education for the children; we helped with the daily routine of food preparation and cleaning; and we also helped in any farming projects and manual jobs which needed to be done.

I was also helping in the clinic from a physiotherapy point of view, where I was offering my services to children and staff who needed physiotherapy intervention. The day's work was ended with a daily reflective-prayer and some socialising time we the rest of the volunteers.

At the centre we were all welcomed and taken care of so much, I found a new family and home in another continent. I learned and received so much from the children and all the other volunteers I shared this experience with.
Throughout this month, I was living the Dream. The happiness and harmony filled my life; the smiles and laughter of the children who are so strong and brave gives you the courage and the energy to keep on going. More than ever, you realise that life can be lived in a simple way and all the problems we face in our daily modern commercial life, are so trivial.
The children sing this one particular song:

I'm no longer the same, You changed my life, you've given me a new name, I'm no longer the same!
and I must say that these words do not only apply to the children living there, but also to all those who set foot in St. Theresa Centre.


Written by Claire Falzon (Maltese Volunteer)