Rose Hennessy of Brighter Communities Worldwide with a local community member on one of her recent visits to Kenya.

You can’t turn this down, Kenya?

A Cork charity is asking people to consider joining one of its volunteer projects in Africa this year.

The call comes from Cobh-based Brighter Communities Worldwide (BCW) which has been working in partnership with communities in Kenya for the past 20 years.

The charity will be running its Harambee visit to the East African nation in October where volunteer participants will have the opportunity to work within a community in Kericho Country.

Volunteer roles include facilitating programmes on life skills, business, sexual and reproductive health, and remote emergent care; as well as installing smokeless stoves; school workshops; professional skills sharing such as medical, IT and media; and nursing.

All volunteers are asked to raise €1,000 to commit to the community work of BCW in Kenya. The charity will support volunteers with advice, fundraising ideas, and resources.

The 2 week experience will cost volunteers €2,000. This includes pre-departure training, flights, food, accommodation, and transport in Kenya.

Volunteers are responsible for their own travel insurance, travel vaccinations, and travel visa.

Rose Hennessy, Operations Manager with Brighter Communities Worldwide, has volunteered on several trips to Kenya and is heading back there again this year.

The Cork city native says she would encourage people of all ages to go, describing the experience as “wonderful, enriching, enlightening and hugely positive”.

Rose says she always had a thirst to volunteer, recalling how as a schoolgirl in Ballyphehane her curiosity was piqued by a teacher who had worked overseas.

“I remember in secondary school being drawn to stories of marginalised populations, people living in parts of the world affected by conflict, poverty and disaster,” recalled Rose.

“I was very taken with stories from a teacher who had worked overseas for a year and who definitely lit a fire under his class in terms of empathy and standing up for people affected by inequality.”

Rose, who first got involved with BCW in 2005 before officially becoming an employee in 2012, says volunteers traveling to Kenya this year will be working on the ground and putting their skills to use in a multitude of ways.

“As a volunteer, one has a powerful means of helping to achieve our goals. Working with Brighter Communities Worldwide, volunteers will help to deliver community education workshops on life skills, remote emergency care, and income generating,” said Rose.

She continued: “I admire so much about the communities I’ve grown to know – the Kenyan’s warmth and welcome is very like how we are as Irish. But their lives are lived on a narrow edge between what little they have and having nothing at all.

“Crops fail, family die from preventable illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhoea – their resources are so limited, and their vulnerability is very real,” she added.

For anyone interested in learning more about volunteering with Brighter Communities Worldwide, Rose says: “Have a chat with us and see if getting involved in our Harambee projects is something you might like to do - you won’t regret it.”