Meet our volunteers, Judith & Sonia!
Meet a few of our current volunteers… maybe it’ll inspire you to join us!
Welcome to the A Rocha Kenya team! Tell us more about yourself.
Judith: Hi! My name is Judith. I’m from Berlin, Germany. I currently attend the Technical University in Berlin (TU Berlin) pursuing a degree in Ecology and Environmental Planning.
Sonia: Thank you! My name is Sonia. I am a student at Strathmore University in Nairobi, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialisation in finance and management science.
Why did you choose to volunteer at A Rocha?
Judith: As part of my degree program, it is mandatory for every student to complete an internship with an organisation that is aligned with their degree and A Rocha was a great option for me. This was due to a few reasons such as the organisation having projects that are aligned to my degree as well as the new environment that I would get to live in.
Sonia: As part of my degree program, it is mandatory for all students to do 225 hours of community service and A Rocha was my first and only option. I had been here before and I liked the people, the work and the proximity to the beach.
What tasks have you been doing since you started volunteering?
Judith: I have been a part of many tasks including writing a report and preparing a presentation about the invasive plant species Prosopis Juliflora, weekly plant phenology, research for the marine team, a few bird counts and occasional needs assessments for the ASSETS program.
Sonia: I have mostly done data entries dating back to 2003. Additionally, I have taken in a few field work projects such as a bird count to Ken Salt in Gongoni and Lake Makimba, needs assessments for the ASSETS program and sea grass identification research in the marine program.
What has the experience of living within the Mwamba Eco Lodge been for you?
Judith: The sense of community that is present within the centre has made me feel at home and there is always something new to learn from all the local staff as well as the guests that come here.
Sonia: I do not live in Mwamba, but the staff here were very helpful when I was looking for accommodation. They were able to link me with affordable and comfortable long-term accommodation.
The sense of community that is present within the centre has made me feel at home and there is always something new to learn from all the local staff as well as the guests that come here.
What have you enjoyed most?
Judith: EVERYTHING! The people are very accommodating, the food is always good and inclusive of people with dietary restrictions, and Mwamba is about 80 metres from the beach which is perfect for a swim or walk in the evenings. But I must admit that the change in climate is proving to be a difficult adjustment for me.
Sonia: Lunch time is my favourite time. This is not only because of the AMAZING food that is there but because all the staff members have lunch together presenting a chance to learn about different people and cultures. This is especially helpful for people that are not from Watamu and may not know anyone here.
Lunch time is my favourite time, not only because of the amazing food that is there but because all the staff members have lunch together presenting a chance to learn about different people and cultures.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to volunteer with A Rocha?
Judith: MAKE SURE TO CARRY SUN CREAM! This is necessary for people who are not used to this kind of climate. However, there should be consideration for the contents of the sun cream as it is preferable to bring sun cream that does not destroy the corals. Also, when bringing supplies, be mindful of the environment because some products may dissolve quicker due to the humidity.
Sonia: Firstly, come to the organisation with an open mind. This helps with the overall learning experience that you are to have. Secondly, do everything to the best of your ability and where it is challenging do not be afraid to ask. Lastly, make an effort to explore Watamu, do not only go to the ‘tourist places’ but try and see Watamu through the eyes of the locals. You are more likely to enjoy your stay more in this way.
If you’re interested in volunteering with A Rocha Kenya, get in touch at [email protected]!