As a final year student, she wanted to end her year with some life changing experiences. In June 2016, Faiza volunteered in Nairobi, Kenya for just less than a month with other Kingston University students. She raised a total of £800 for those in need to support local projects. She set off with a suitcase full of books, pens and paper. She was ready. She was ready to learn about the Kenyan culture, see what she could do for those in need near her hometown and what Welcome Back to Africa could do to help.
Her journey started when she met a CEO of Wells Fargo, someone she claims inspired to continue her work. She described her as a White Kenyan which she did not expect to meet, introducing her to Permaculture world to help Kenyans build a career of their own. She was quick to support Faiza in her ambitions and was ready to help.
The International Business Graduate spent a week volunteering at the Angel Centre for Abandoned Children, she described it to be heart-warming but heart-breaking at the same time, she was filled with emotions. Some of the stories shared by the wonderful carers at the home were tragic, new born babies found in dustbins bags by hopeless teenage mothers. However, Faiza described the living conditions and standards as absolutely amazing and that the carers treat the children as if they are their own.
She also visited one of the world’s biggest slums, Kibera, again she described it as a wake-up call. She witnessed families of ten that would share a one bedroom as their kitchen, bedroom and sitting room. Hundreds of families sharing one communal shower, the living standards were poor. But that did not stop these people from being grateful, polite and welcoming.
She also spent a week working on a new project Agape Volunteers had introduced in the Masai Mara, “living in a mud house was challenging”, she said. “It was cold but I could not complain, I knew we were making a difference, they did not need to hire labourers, we were five girls and believe me we did a good job! But that was not only it. One of the Agape Volunteers were on their way back from a tour trip when he noticed a Masai woman teaching underneath a tree, he stopped his car to find out what they were doing, from there he was inspired to build a school.
The Kingston volunteer spent nights with the Chief of Masai Mara “Uncle Sam” and Masais’. We exchanged stories; there were no lights but just the fire we sat by, with wild animals surrounding us”.Faiza spent her last week volunteering in St. Dorcas Educational Centre. A home for most and a school depending on donations. Faiza donated stationary to teachers and children. She came to find these children were in need of books. Books they could read and learn from. From these experiences, she knew Welcome Back to Africa’s dream to build libraries across the world had to happen.