My journey as a volunteer has been so worth it! I would never trade the joy that comes with freely giving myself to serve for anything else in this world. I have been a volunteer for close to ten years. My motto is "do good anyway"! In life, no one owes you any kindness but you owe yourself the happiness that comes with doing good. It is not about what someone acknowledging what you do, it is about rising higher than the need to be recognized for doing good. It is about shining a ray of love in someone's life. It is not all about what you do but with what heart and intention you do it with. Volunteering teaches even the coldest of hearts connect with their selfless self.
My volunteer projects have ranged from offering to wash churches on Saturdays, babysitting for neighbours so that they can get time to do something they have not had time to do for long because they were overwhelmed by Parenthood, cleaning up police stations, volunteering to cook in homes of the less privileged, educating pedestrians and motorists in the streets on the importance of peace amongst many other activities.
One thing though that many don't realize is that volunteering is not for the faint at heart. There are many challenges that come with it. The biggest being the doubt that humanity serves you when you are volunteering. It is a sad fact that humanity is so used to evil that it is hard to imagine someone doing good without an ulterior motive. I have been mocked, ridiculed and even insulted in the course of my volunteer work, but that is not anything worth deterring me from pressing on. I continue doing good anyway!
My greatest reward for being a volunteer is the genuine smiles and happiness I leave those I served with. In my opinion, there is no currency in the world that can ever be higher in value than a genuine smile served from a grateful soul. I will spread love around this world like it's a virus. I will encourage those around me to volunteer and remind humanity that we all have a helping nature inside us, we just need to step out of our comfort zones to activate it.
Post by Petra Neemah, Intern
We’ve talked about skills and resources but there’s another thing that you can use to simply do good…..your time.
If you have some time to spare you could consider doing one of these…..
Visit elderly – Life can be lonely when you get older. Whether it’s a relative, neighbour or someone in a home for the elderly, visit and take time to listen to their stories about the times before we were all caught up in TV, games and phones….you might just learn a thing or two!
Organise a clean-up – you don’t need skills or even a huge team of people. It starts with you and your own local environment. Just pick up some trash and dispose of it in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
Help at church/mosque/temple – There are always opportunities to volunteer and what better cause than your church/mosque/temple? Ask what you can do to help and see if there is a regular way to contribute your time.
Read to small kids – Listening to storybooks has been proven to help children with their literacy, it can also spark an interest in books and reading. Think of your favourite book from when you were young, find a copy and read it to a group of small children. Maybe they can suggest the next story they would like to hear!
Coach kids in schoolwork – Did you know that there are several different ways in which we learn? Some people need to see or feel how something works, others need to read about it or hear it being talked about. Teachers often don’t have time to understand what works for each child in their class but you could support what they are teaching by finding different ways to explain to either one child or a group after school as they do their homework.
Chat to security guards – We often just walk past the people who spend hours outdoors in all weathers working to protect us. Stop and say hi, get to know their names, make conversation….help their day pass a little more quickly and make them feel valued.
Visit someone in hospital – Hospitals can be very lonely places at a time when you are already feeling low. Ask at your local hospital to see if there are any patients who don’t have visitors and offer to sit with them during visiting time, share a few words of encouragement and maybe even help them with some homemade food or a snack.
As always, we would love to hear how you choose to Simply Do Good. Please tag @SDGKenya on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with your stories.
Each and every one of us has something we can use to simply do good. Take a look around you and we’re sure you have more resources than you realise. As always, we’re here with some inspiration to get you started.
Food - What’s in your cupboards this week? Can you make an extra meal from what you have and share it with someone? Or make a batch of mandazi or chapatis to give out to people who would appreciate them?
Shamba - We hope those of you who are farmers get a bumper crop this season. If you have some maize and beans to spare you could donate them to a school or somewhere that runs a feeding programme. Encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same and you can really help kids get the most out of their learning if they get a nutritious lunch.
Clothes - In cold season, there is always someone who could benefit from an extra layer of warm clothing. Have a look through your clothes and see if you have one or two things you no longer wear and could pass on to someone who could make good use of them.
Car - We know that some of our SDG followers are fortunate enough to be car owners. If you’re one of them, can you think of someone you could offer a ride to? Take someone to do their shopping at the supermarket, give a colleague a ride to or from work, help someone visit a family member in hospital….
Books - Do you have a book that has really inspired you or helped you through tough times? Or are you still hanging on to those books you used in high school or campus? Rather than leaving them lying on a shelf, let them serve their purpose and help someone else.
Bags - Who used to have a drawer full of plastic bags and has ended up with one of reusable bags??? If like us your cupboard is now full because you keep forgetting to take one to the supermarket…..sort through them and see if you have a few you could hand in to your local duka or mama mboga so that they can help out a customer who is as forgetful as you!
Junk - Want to help the environment AND some kids? Find a project that can make use of some of the items you throw away like plastic boxes, toilet tissue holders, bottles etc. Some schools or projects can use these for art or even music lessons!
If you’re inspired by this post and decide to put your resources to good use, please tag @SDGKenya on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tell us how it goes.
You don’t need money to Simply Do Good. We all have different skills that can be put to good use to help others in our local community. Here are a few ideas that might help to inspire you….
Photography – many CBOs struggle to get those eye-catching images that will help them raise the profile of their work. Using your photography skills you could provide them with content for a couple of months AND give them some tips on how to take better pictures.
Writing – Write a guest blog post for an individual or organisation, write positive reviews or comments online to help boost someone’s work, write an article for a local paper about something positive in your community…
Cooking – find an organisation that teaches cooking skills and offer to do a guest teaching slot. It’s always great for students to have someone different come in and teach for a few hours! Our friends at Seed of Hope in Nairobi enjoyed a baking session with a member of our team.
Acting – is there a community group near you with kids who have a passion for acting? Help them prepare and perform a small piece. It could even become a fundraising event if you could team up with others to help sell tickets etc!!
Marketing – there are many social enterprises out there with great products that are not selling. Use your skills to help an organisation find better ways to market their work whether it’s online or in face to face selling to distributors.
Painting/Art – Art can be a great source of therapy but it can also be a life-changing source of income for those with great talent. Find a place where you can share the skills you have to help others. We recommend checking out the Uweza Gallery in Kibera!
Sports – Are you good in tennis, golf, basketball or rugby? There are many sports that some children will never get to experience….and yet they might have a talent in them. Can you find a way to do a taster session to let children explore new sports?
If you have these skills or others and want some help finding a way to put them to good use, let us know! Or if you’re inspired to take action please tag @SDGKenya on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to tell us how it goes.
When a member of our team sent a message around their community WhatsApp group about the recent Mother’s Day deed, no-one could have predicted what would happen!
The message invited people to contribute to see if the community could raise enough for one Toto Care Box…..the neighbours responded and funds were raised for not one but two boxes.
Later, a message came around the group saying that one 7 year old girl, Zara, had been finding out about the boxes and wanted to organize a football match in the hood to raise money for a box. She calculated that with 10 apartments in her block, she needed to each house to contribute 300ksh to buy one box. Invitations were sent out not just to her block but to the neighbouring block too.
The date was set and players signed up. On the morning of the match, Zara and her sister Alba helped their mum bake cookies and cupcakes before going round the houses recruiting more players and collecting registration fees.
In the afternoon, the community came together for an adults versus children match. There was a lot of excitement and energy was in full flow…it was hard to tell which side was more competitive!!
After the match, refreshments were served and the children were quizzed on the purpose of the match. Many of them were able to explain that Toto Care Boxes were used to give newborns a better start in life by equipping their mothers with essential items and training to care for them.
It was then time to count up the money raised….but before that one mother presented an extra 3,000ksh on behalf of the losing team….and her husband presented another 3,000ksh on behalf of the winners!! Another household chipped in a further 3,000ksh and then Zara announced that she had raised 6,000ksh earlier in the day by going round the houses. So the total raised through the match was 15,000ksh, enough to purchase 5 Toto
Zara had the opportunity to present her fundraising proceeds to the ladies of Toto Care Box who were inspired and overwhelmed by the fact that someone so young had raised enough to purchase 5 boxes.
At SDG, we were delighted to have the opportunity to surprise Zara at school with an SDG t-shirt as we think she has done an amazing job. Zara is a great example of how to simply do good regardless of your age by using your passion, skills and friends to help others!
After four months of #SDGDaily….we’re switching things up a bit and passing control to YOU. From the first of May we are launching the #MayIChallenge.
This idea evolved out of our latest meeting of Friends of SDG. It’s amazing how much creativity can flow when you have a talented group of people bouncing ideas off each other!! Maybe you could get together with a few friends to come up with your unique deeds.
One of our Friends, Kihoto decided that he would offer to be a driver for a mother one day and just spend time driving her around to make her errands easier. Josephine, who came up with the “May I…” concept, is going to host Kharay on Coffee where she will offer her mentoring and coaching skills to friends over a cup of coffee.
MC Stero has decided to use our #SDGDaily calendar for inspiration and is going to find a way to help a friend’s small business. Meanwhile, Brand Ambassador Saint P is offering to cook a meal for someone.
Our SDG Rafiki volunteers are also gearing up for the challenge.
On our own staff team we have someone who will provide a free cake for a friend’s celebration and someone who will tell a supermarket cashier to use their change to give another customer a discount.
So the question is……..what will YOU do for the #MayIChallenge?
We have 100 Ways to Simply Do Good to give you some inspiration. Join us by carrying out a deed and passing the challenge on! Be sure to tag @SDGKenya on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so that we can see how many people take on the challenge.
We're already on month four of the #SDGDaily challenge. Today marks our 100th deed since we started on the 1st of January. That's 100 days of selfless generosity with time, energy or money being invested in other people.
We would love to celebrate this by hearing from you. Which deeds have you tried? Which ones had the greatest impact? Did you get any feedback from the people you helped with the deed?
Or are you like some people we met last week? You haven't actually carried out any of our suggested deeds but you have been inspired to carry out one of your own?
Please drop us a comment here or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts to let us know how #SDGDaily has been for you!
We're two months in to #SDGDaily and really excited at how people have engaged with it. From sharing ideas for future deeds to letting us know which deeds they have carried out, we've enjoyed hearing your thoughts.
One of our supporters posted about the impact she has seen from simply doing good:
"I have never known the impact that the little high fives and smiles you share with the guards at different premises would have on them till they decided to open their hearts and just utter blessings. The guards at Daykio just made me get so emotional with their kind words. That feeling was worth a lot more than I thought it could be😀😀.
Use what you have to make that difference in someone's life at least one each day and the world will be a better place. Thank you Simply Do Good for bringing me to this realisation." Beth
We hope this inspires you to take up the #SDGDaily challenge and join us for the next month of deeds! Download your copy of the March calendar today.
On the 25th December 2017, two groups of people came together and hosted deeds in the cities of Nairobi and Eldoret. The idea for the Christmas deeds came from one individual whose birthday falls on Christmas Day as he wanted to give back to have a different birthday event. He shared the idea of providing food for vulnerable people living on the streets and most friends were interested in doing the deed. This is a great example of what we call an SDG Rafiki event – friends who decide to simply do good.
In Nairobi we had 14 people, all of them being students from different universities within Nairobi. They packed 100 dishes with pilau, meat and cabbage and carried 8 litres of juice and 101 bananas. They walked from Archives to Jivanjee within the CBD sharing food with 100 vulnerable people and giving words of encouragement as they served the meals.
In Eldoret we had a group of 13 friends, who were also students at local universities. They bought 6 boxes of milk, 120 cakes and 120 bananas and they gathered 110 vulnerable people from the streets and fed them. They took the opportunity to interact with them and gave them a chance to showcase their talents. The event concluded with a prayer and one of the people came forward to give a vote of thanks, for they really appreciated the generosity of the team.
Post By Wilberforce Otieno
On the 25th January 2018, SDG hosted a training called “The 45th Tribe” for our volunteers. We had a team of 28 participants from Nakuru, Eldoret and Nairobi. We met at Archives within Nairobi CBD then we walked to the Arboretum. On the way, I demonstrated the core values of SDG;
I did this simply by speaking to people that were living on the streets, taking time to value them and offer them words of encouragement.
We arrived at the Arboretum and did brief introductions. Our founder and my colleague, Shawn, carried out the first section of training with our volunteers explaining the connection between SDG and Tin Roof Foundation. We then took a short break, playing a game for team-building, and had an interaction with the team members. This was followed by the second section of the training where I spoke about the Simply Do Good focus areas.
After the training, I gave each of the volunteers a copy of our SDG Daily calendar and asked them to pick the deeds they felt they would be able to do. We then went into a circle and took time to know what skills each person has and had a prayer session to end the day. I was impressed with how youths like to change the world by taking steps to make it happen. With the training, I am encouraged that many people will get to know how to make their environment and the world a better place.
Post by Wilberforce Otieno
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