Volunteering at the Good Life Orphanage is an experience that will stay with you forever. You will create some unforgettable memories and form lifelong friendships with those you meet along the way. We had the pleasure of spending almost 3 months at GLO and during that time were able to get to know the children individually as well as get a little bit of insight into how things are ran.
Kevin & Mary
The orphanage was founded by Mary and Kevin, an Irish couple from Manchester. They started the charity in 2008 and since then have worked extremely hard to fundraise in the UK in order to maintain the orphanage. Since opening there have been a number of extensions and it now homes almost 50 children and has 20 staff. Although the orphanage has came a long way since opening, there is a long way to go and what you can offer as a volunteer is hugely appreciated.
Fisher More School
The success of the orphanage is a direct result of the determination shown by the founders Mary and Kevin to ensure everyone on board meets their high expectations. This, combined with kind donations and year round fundraising, makes great things happen at GLO. For us, as volunteers it was important for us to know we were helping an organisation that was ran with passion and where the children always come first, particularly when volunteering in Africa, where often this is not the case.
El Vesuvio Football Kits
At the moment the children at GLO are from 1 month to 14 years old. Each one of them has there own little personality, each one of them has their own harrowing story. From the outset you would never be able to tell the heart ache most of these children have been through, they are happy little bundles of joy. The children come from extremely impoverished backgrounds and many have suffered unbelievable abuse, as well as being orphaned. Yet the children are eternally grateful for everything they have, a true testimony to the great work going on. The orphanage is situated in a rural location a few miles outside of Mtwapa. Mtwapa is a bussling little town, about 45 minutes from Mombasa, the location feels very much like the real Africa.
Merlins Gifts
You can have a rewarding experience at the Good Life Orphanage and walk away feeling like you have done something to help. I would particularly recommend volunteering at GLO to somebody who has a specific skill or profession that they can use to move the orphanage forward.
Mamas with Diarmuit
A typical day for me involved working in the school, planning activities with the children and working on putting systems in place for child development and play. My husband’s day would involve anything from purchasing building materials from local shops, the building of farm buildings, to the planting of fruit trees in the farm. Our nights would tend to involve sitting outside with the houses mothers and aunties star gazing while chatting about the differences in our cultures. Often the children would put on story telling and singing concerts for us, using water tanks and sticks as home made bongo drums to make tribal african beats- a perfect end to our hectic days. I have lovely memories of those evenings.
Remi & Brendan
Our weeks were broken up by going out and exploring the local area, we would go for drinks at the beach bars, go to restaurants on the creek or go into Mombasa town, there was always something to do. Usually on a Sunday we would go to the Feeding station and help out where we could in giving food to local children. Around 1,500 children would gather at an area about 3 miles away from the orphanage and que for their food. Helpers would go every week to assist in giving out the food, usually donated by different people every week. This experience never got any less shocking no matter how many times we went. Seeing babies and young children, begging for food in torn clothes and no shoes after walking for miles to get there, didn’t get any easier to digest.
Baby Dan
The day we left the The Good Life Orphanage was a sad day, we had got to know and love the children and it was heartbreaking to say goodbye. They gave us a traditional african send off with lots of singing and dancing which made it all the harder to leave. We left knowing that the children were in the best of hands and we took comfort in the knowledge that we would definatley return.
Kenyan Mayo Man Alan
In a nutshell the Good Life Orphanage is a little safe haven where life is really good. Our stay was a truly invaluable experience.
Our A Team Volunteers
If you are reading this considering volunteering at GLO I would say take this opportunity with both hands. If you can get just some of the enjoyment and fulfilment that we did from our experience then you will be able to consider yourself very lucky.