Global Fundraising Services staff member Faiza Abdulkadir has only recently returned from a month of volunteering for a charity in Kenya, but she is already planning to head back there.
Faiza has been working in Appco UK’s contact centre since 2012, ensuring those who choose to support the company’s charity partners are happy with the way they were signed up and the commitment they have made.
She took her work with charities a step further this summer when she committed to raising money for a trip to Nairobi to work at orphanages and schools, and in one of Kenya’s biggest slums, Kibera, with the Agape Volunteers programme.
As well as volunteering at a baby orphanage, Faiza stayed in a village with a local Maasai tribe, and spent time teaching English and helping to build a school.
“At first, I was suffering – in that heat, and doing such physical work – but it was amazing to be able to be that hands on. Seeing the help you’re providing, literally brick by brick.”
Having returned to the UK for her graduation – a BSc in international business – Faiza says the experience reaffirmed her commitment to the charity sector, and she wished she could have stayed longer.
“I’ve still got the Kenyan blues, I want to go back! It was pretty intense, but it was a really, really great experience. I’m definitely going to go back next year.”
The trip to Africa has also given her even more motivation for her role at Appco, the first-hand experience showing her the real importance of the support that fundraisers generate.
“Sometimes people will say to me ‘oh, but I’m only giving £5’. That £5 makes a massive difference in people’s lives. It really is a case where every bit helps,” Faiza says.
“It’s unbelievably sad some of the situations that these people are in. I couldn’t stop crying, but finding ways to help them, that’s the best solution.”
Before leaving London, Faiza raised £700 for the trip, so she could provide packs with pads and pens for the children at the schools she visited.
“I’m so grateful for all the support that I received for my own fundraising, and want to thank everyone who donated money. You can’t imagine how much even receiving a pen means to people who have so little, so that made a real difference.”
Caption for pic: Faiza Abdulkadir with a local Maasai woman in Nairobi during her volunteering trip to Kenya.