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TESTIMONIES - VOLUNTEER HOLIDAYS

Testimonio Ara TenaARA TENA. Holidaymaker May 2018.

"I’ve been home for two days, and I still haven’t been able to take in what this month has meant to me. Quite a few months ago now, while I was looking for the best NGO to collaborate with in 2018, I found two magic words that would make my decision much more simple: empowerment and women. And so, five minutes later, I was already looking for all the information on the Afrikable website like crazy.

There will be people who, when they come back, say that they went there to help, which means that they have not understood a thing. My relationship with every person I met there could not have been more unequal: I tried to give them a piece of myself, but none of them have any idea of what they have given me, how much they have helped me and how grateful I am to them. I couldn’t feel luckier to have gotten the chance to be a little part of their world, lucky that they let me in and I got to learn so much from them. People who look down on them are so wrong! From now on when I think of the word sorority, it will be impossible not to remember all those incredible, full of life and brave women. Those women who carry a heavy burden but who always give you a smile. Those women, boys and girls, who made me feel at home, and who I will never be able to forget. I have had to travel thousands of miles from home to discover the meaning of many things: I have seen a place where class, religion, money and power do not matter; I have seen Christians and Muslims laughing together and supporting each other; I have seen them all working together for their families and themselves and I admire them deeply. I have seen people who may have little, but they always share with others what little they have, and, in short, I have seen a kind of humanity that is very hard to find around me.

Of course, there are many things that make us different from one another, and our circumstances are not the same, but deep down, if you care to go a little further, you find out that, overcoming prejudices and ignorance, we are not so different. We are people, women, in this case, with hopes and dreams, with desire to get to know people and let people get to know us, and we share many things that are universal. Love, friendship, solidarity or joy exist in all cultures and all religions. As much as they want to sell it to us, they are not unique to the Western world, they travel all over the world in many shapes and skin tones.

Neither will I ever forget the seven people I was lucky to meet on a small island in Kenya. Seven people very different from one another but who ended up becoming my Lamunian family. Seven people with whom I have shared mosquitoes, long conversations, the occasional mango and many many half-bananas. Canoe, percussion, dance and break partners, sharing lots of juices in Hapa Hapa. I love you all so much, it wouldn’t have been the same without you.

And in case I hadn’t met enough wonderful people, two other Lamunians stole a little piece of my heart. Thank you Marta and Anita for supporting me when I needed it. I’ll see you again soon, I’m sure.

Asante sana Afrikable for this month I will never, ever forget. For everything I have learned, for opening the door for me to discover all I have left to learn. I would wish you the best, but there’s no need, I know you are going to achieve the best, because you deserve it.

Mimi nakupenda sana. We’ll meet again.

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 


 

testimonio-eva-basalo-jun17EVA BASALO. Holidaymaker June 2017.

"A year ago today I set foot in Lamu for the first time... so many memories, and this second time in June has been just as amazing.

When people ask me why did I repeat the experience I can only say it was because I believe in them, and if they ask me: ‘will you come back?’ My answer is still I will, because I love them.

Seeing this year the progress, the improvement of their houses, women proudly inviting you to see how big their kitchen is, because they know they have achieved that; seeing their children grow up, running around and studying, seeing it all has been like living in a cloud.

I have experienced moments that will live in me forever: laughing while they brush my hair, learning how to cook with them, getting blisters on my hands from cutting leather by their side...

Getting excited to see Afrikable grow, the improvements in the workshop, the Maternity becoming more of a reality than a dream... each one of these feelings make me say, without hesitating or stuttering, ‘go and feel it for yourself!’ to everyone who asks me about the project. Fill your heart with their voices, their music, all of their doubts, their dreams; enjoy seeing them attend talks on politics, rights, health… enjoy dancing next to them to the beat of the drums and enjoy those chants that I will never understand but I hope I never stop hearing them...

For me Afrikable means fighting, dreams, future, joy; it means that the world can be a better place for everyone if we dare to get to know those who live far away from us, if we dare to admire them, if we dare to support them and make their fight our fight...

Asante sana to this year’s coordinators, Erika and Irene, for looking after us and after them! I love you!

To Lola and Merche...I hope to keep admiring your tireless work and to keep learning to love without trying to change what you love."

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 


 

testimonio-concha-romanCONCHA ROMÁN. Holidaymaker August 2017.

"My experience in Lamu and in Afrikable will be one I will always remember. It has reminded me of what is important and what is not. It has taught me that things can be changed, even if it’s slowly. That it’s worth a shot and not to look the other way. I will not say that this experience will mark a before and after in my life, but I do come back home as a different person.”

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 

 

 


 

testimonio-carlos-meana-jul17CARLOS MEANA. Holidaymaker July 2017.

"I’ve felt great, I have learned and I have been reminded that one can be happy with very little and the importance of pole-pole (no rush). For a month I forgot about everything, I have slept well and I hope I have done my bit to make the world a better place. I hope to come back again.

Thank you very much and good luck.”

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 

 

 


 

testimonio-cristina-fernandezCRISTINA FERNÁNDEZ. Holidaymaker May-June 2017.

"My stay in Afrikable has been wonderful. I’ve felt very loved, very happy... especially happy. I thought I would feel alone and I would miss my people more than I did, but gradually you find your space in Afrikable and they make you feel part of this great family.

The women are exceptional, natural fighters, heroines always dressed in colours and with a big smile on their face every time they enter Afrikable, ready to welcome you, to communicate, to teach you.

There are so many things we should learn from them... Never throwing in the towel, wanting to improve, to slowly progress in life. Because this is a long-distance race, but there they are working for their lives and dignity step by step.

For me this has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I still have so many things to think about and to go over, but I have certainly been very happy. I can only say: Thanks.”

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 


 

testimonio-isabel-cayuelaISABEL CAYUELA. Holidaymaker April 2017.

"I came to Afrikable to get away from my daily work and to see fist-hand a project that works to improve the situation of women in Africa. After two weeks, I leave completely renewed since Lamu is a special place where one feels welcome and integrated from the first moment.

I also leave with a very positive attitude after seeing how projects started in a humble way but with willingness and enthusiasm, are able to gradually change the situation of many women and children in this small corner of the world. Fantastic experience.

Asante sana!!”

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 


 

testimonio-clara-barreiroCLARA BARREIRO. Holidaymaker March 2017.

"Afrikable is going to be the experience that will mark my 2017. It has been a reality check that has turned into life lessons and positive energy. The people I shared this month with, the coordinators, women, children and the local people have been one of the greatest discoveries that together with Lamu make the experience a 10.

Thanks for existing, Afrikable! Thanks to Lola and Merche for creating something so beautiful. Thanks to Erika and Irene for always joining us and being our personal guardian angels.

I don’t want to leave!!!”

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 


 

testimonio-sandra-fernandezSANDRA FERNÁNDEZ. Holidaymaker August 2016.

"JUST ONE MONTH
It’s been almost 4 months, 4 months since I came back from the most amazing month of my life.
A month in which I experienced new cultures I never thought I would experience from within.
A month in which for once, day after day, I would get up feeling happy, even though I find it so hard to get up early!
A month in which I knew I would get hugs, genuine hugs, first thing in the morning.
A month in which I met a group of holidaymakers with the same enthusiasm as me, I met them and today we know this is long term.
A month seeing women with a smile on their face despite the weight they carry on their shoulders, which is a lot!!
A month that made me forget the absurd idea that I was going to feel sorry for them and start feeling sorry for us, who have everything we want but are certainly empty.
A month enjoying the people of Lamu, the way they feel music, their beaches, the boat trips, their “pole pole” and *HAKUNA MATATA*, Afrikable’s enthusiasm and, especially, the affection. Seeing the wonder Lola and Merche, Afrikable’s founders, have created and becoming a part of this big family thanks to Anita and Cris, my coordinators.
Many will think it was just one month, that’s nothing, what an exaggeration! That’s what I thought at first, but it was an intense month, with all kind of emotions. Experiencing things we had never experienced before.
A month that was enough to make me want to come back, well, enough to know that I’m coming back.
And yes, it was JUST ONE MONTH.”

Translator: Sonia Moscardó

 


 

testimonio-eva-maria-basaloEVA MARÍA BASALO. Holidaymaker September 2016.

"Two and a half months have passed since I returned from Lamu, and still had not be able to write a word and if someone asks me the reason I don't know what it is, I suppose it will be the same for which I couldn't make an album, or for which I still cannot explain much of what it feels...

This begins at the beginning, doesn't it? Well, the beginning is to get off the plane with a million of illusions, nerves and some fears. There, your coordinator is waiting for you, with a smile of those which invade, which blind, when I saw her, I wondered, where does she get it? And an hour later, when you get to the shamba, you understand...

Two months later I'm still waking up in the morning and recalling the sound of their laughter, the colours of their clothes, the joy of their gaze and their morning hugs full of energy, which invades and revitalizes you.

Thanks to Afrikable I discovered that dreams are reality that the hugs are for real, that greetings cheer up one day and that smiles can win a thousand battles.

Thanks to my coordinator Anita and Cristina for making everything easy, for getting closer to their family, because although of different race, beliefs, culture... they are their family.

I guess if I have to define my experience the word is THAK YOU, the adjective is INCREDIBLE, the verbs are SMILE, ADMIRATE, LEARN, REACT.

And, of course, thanks to the September holidaymakers for the nights of endless laughter, for the mornings full of sand, for the afternoons of talks and for your human quality.

And, as always, congratulations LOLA and MERCHE, I admire you and each of the women of AFRIKABLE, I take a little of each inside me."

 


 

testimonio-ana-carlavillaANA CARLAVILLA. Volunteer Holidays Coordinator 2016.

"And I have to say, I fell in love, I fell in love with the human quality that exists in Afrikable, Lamu. There are feelings that cannot be explained, but I will try to get you a little bit of how much I felt.

One of the best moments is when you arrive at the shamba and you feel at home, feel happiness and peace, feel energy to hang 5 or 6 children and go greeting woman by woman giving them good morning, see come from afar a child who comes with open arms, showing her smiling, letting you see his 3 teeth and taking awkward but determined steps towards you, that children shout your name from the other end of the shamba and you melt inwardly, that the women come to you and give you their most precious good, their babies, to be the one to take care of them. If you thought you had reached the top of a morning happiness, there will always come a woman who, with her hand, will touch your heart, who, with her eyes, will fill you with affection.

The island gives no choice to stress or European rhythm, to problems or bitterness, to the ballasts that you can bring, you return your feet to the ground with the "pole pole" and "hakuna matata" and they are saying "hey! Life has to be lived, there's no hurry, no problem to take away your smile."

If we talk about important things on the island we will talk about music, they carry it in heart and veins, in every part of Afrikable, in the orma town, in the dhow, in the houses, in Lamu, in every part wherever you are there will always be someone singing or making music with any improvised instrument. Silence is a precious commodity but it surpasses what you feel every time they sing.

The best experience of my life has been to go with Afrikable. There came my best version, three months in which every second is a life, in which to enjoy and let go will make you feel really full and happy.

I wrote this last year in December flying to Spain back, and it's exciting to keep feeling the same but even more intense, stronger, deeper, more beautiful."

 


 

testimonio vacacionera Begoña MetolaBEGOÑA METOLA. Holidaymaker December 2015.

“I’ve been asked to tell about my stay in LAMU and I can say that I went with my daughter Beatriz, what is in itself an important point of cohabitation. But most of all, I want to share what I lived there, something that I will never forget. I cannot stop thinking, even for a single day, about what I saw and felt there.

I gave nothing and they gave me everything. We used to arrive to the SHAMBA and just the grateful looks and smiles with which these women received us every day were worthy. And I say I didn’t give anything but they gave their children, the most precious gift a MOTHER has.

Those children run into our arms to give us a kiss, a smile, a hug or just to play and be with us.

And what to say about the group of holidaymakers that were there; I could be the mother of any of them but they made me feel as one more and we became good friends.

I’ve been also asked how I got to make myself understood as I don’t speak English, and much less Swahilli, but I think the language of Love and Affection is the most important one.”

 


 

testimonio-lidia-jimenoLIDIA JIMENO. Volunteer Holidays Coordinator 2015.

""I do not want to leave". This is the sentence that I have heard the most during this whole year and it summarizes perfectly what you feel when you have lived the experience of Afrikable as a volunteer. This experience changes you and makes you feel that you want more. How would you not want more from this family of courageous women? More kisses like those from our grandmothers…those that sound and make you laugh like a little girl, more smiles that wrinkle the eyes, more hugs that run through the skin, more deep and complicit gazes that say "we are together and we can"…

Who was going to say to me that in September 2014, while I was preparing my backpack to go as a volunteer to Afrikable, my life was going to change, I was going to receive a lot of love, I would feel happiness within me and I was going to meet plenty of wonderful people.

Today, January 20th 2016, it is my turn to say: "I do not want to leave" and it is time to say goodbye to my family in Lamu, to my friends and mates Orma, Giriama, Maasai, Swahili, Pokomo… All different but all united, courageous, determined, feminine women who are also mothers, workers and that are making a difference in their houses and creating a new future for their sons and for themselves.

I do not know how to say thank you for everything that I have received this year. I have no words. I can only say THANKS Merche and Lola for the opportunity and the confidence that you have had toward us, for being our friends and mates besides being our "bosses". THANKS to the Afrikable team for all the dedication and effort from Spain that makes this possible. THANKS to the volunteers that invest their holidays in collaborating with us and that go home saying "I do not want to leave". Because that sentence means that they have truly known Afrikable. THANKS to all the women and children from Afrikable for making me so happy and for everything that you have given me. THANKS to Esther, my coordinator from last year, who knew how to transmit her love for this project. THANKS to Cristina and Ana for being that brave and taking one of the most important decisions of their lives. You will never regret this. You are going to do it really well! And a very special THANKS to Marta that now is my little sister (my father does not know it yet but he now has 6 daughters). Marta, thanks for existing and offering me all the affection you have inside.

"I do not want to leave" and I will not leave because we are together in this.

A thousand thanks to the team and good luck, girls, in your new adventure in Lamu. Taking care of our family is your mission :)"

 


 

testimonio-marta-herediaMARTA HEREDIA. Volunteer Holidays Coordinator 2015.

"Our days here are coming to an end and, as you may know, balance cannot be better. As Merche says, we have laughed (until crying) and we have cried (until laughing), but above all else, we have been immensely happy and we are proud and grateful. Proud and grateful for all the work done, for everything that we received that cannot be described by words, for being part of this family, for all those great people that crossed our paths, for all that we have learned…for everything. Thank you, Lola and Merche, for everything. I cannot say more than this. Thanks to the team for the entire good job in Spain. Thanks to the women and to the kids for every smile and every hug. And, if I may, thanks to my sister Lidia for being the best travel companion that I could have: you have turned this into a better experience.

And now it is time for Cris and Ana. Girls, you are going to do it very well! There will be good moments, bad moments and so-so moments, but it will be worth it. You are in love with this and that is the best starting point for the good job you are going to do. Enjoy every second in here.

And, well, after this drag, I only hope that this is not going to be a goodbye and that we can still work together! Big hugs to all of you!".

 


 

testimonio-cristina-sanchezCRISTINA SÁNCHEZ. Holidaymaker September 2015.

"When I arrived to Lamu and especially when my feet touched the sand of the shamba and I heard: “Jambo, Jambo!” and I saw the dimension of the generosity of the human being, I understood what really matters in life. I felt like the most insignificant person of the planet. I understood that I should demolish the wall of fears and excuses that I had, which does not allow us to see the reality of the world. A world where wonderful people, affection, kindness, solidarity, offering, understanding, the survival for the life and especially all the respect and love for the others exist. To me, this world is called Lamu, a place in which they have taught me the value of life, where the smile is their flag. The only thing I can say is Asante, asante, asante sana! We we ni katika moyo wangu (you are in my heart).

I want to thank you for this opportunity of living an experience where I met incredible people, where each woman of the project (Fatuma, Maryam, Swafia, Grace, Joyce…) makes you fall in love everyday with their smiles and their enthusiasm of learning and getting ahead. It is a life lesson. And what to say about the little ones: Salim, Omar, Ali, Said, Sahara, Lolita…incredible and unforgettable. Asante sana!"

 


 

testimonio-amparo-lucenaAMPARO LUCENA. Holidaymaker September 2015.

"I am not good at writing but I will try and transmit what these holidays meant to me. I will start by saying that it really has exceeded my expectations. When I was about to leave Spain, I already knew what this project was about but after being there I could understand better what the real necessities of those women and their families are. And now I absolutely believe in the project and I can say that all of you have my support.

The relationship with the women and, specially in my case, with their children, has been amazing. I will not be able to forget the smiles of the children and their hugs, no matter what. That afternoon in the village when the women opened their houses’ doors for us, we shared dances, laughs, tea and pastries… We felt so welcomed by them that we could not contain our tears. It is difficult to explain what we felt at that moment…it was maybe one of the more intense moments that I lived in there, wonderful and unforgettable.

I can add to this the fact of meeting a lot of wonderful people in the group. The volunteers and the two coordinators, Marta and Lidia, were from the start one more of the group without forgetting the performance of their roles and, without them, nothing would have been the same. My little family in Lamu. As you say, we cannot forget that we go there on holiday and, in that way, I can say that these holidays have been the best of my life. The smile is still on my mouth. That may mean something."

 


 

testimonio-carlos-meanaCARLOS MEANA. Holidaymaker August 2015.

"At my age, 62 years old, this has been an amazing opportunity, something that I should have done way before. It was an entire month with no preoccupations, full of calm and happiness. The work was really gratifying and the contact with the women and the children, incredible. I have learned and understood a lot of things in one month.

I have never had as intense holidays as these and I have never made such a good use of them. Moreover, I have never slept better. One could sleep well, then wake up, then have breakfast and go to the shamba. Everything were smiles right there and no one complained about anything. There was no need to check the watch out and, without even noticing it, the time for having lunch arrived. In the evening when we went back, we still had a pleasant walk through the village, the seafront, the Hapa Hapa and the Floating. And after that, it was time to sleep soundly until the following day. We should not forget the beaches, the boat trips, etc.

Thank you so much, Afrikable. It is a shame that everything is finished now."

 


 

testimonio-alicia-lorcaALICIA LORCA. Holidaymaker August 2015.

"My stay in Lamu has been until now the most wonderful experience that I have ever had! And it has not been this way because I was in a paradisiacal place with spectacular beaches and I was surrounded by beauty no matter where I looked, but because I have been lucky enough to share laughter, guffaws, complicit gazes, hugs, kisses, tears that were up to slip away from my eyes and tears that reached to slip away, with a group of remarkable women and with a group of children that have given to me a lot of affection and tenderness barely knowing me.

I carry each one of them in my heart and I have the feeling that a piece of me will stay forever with them in Lamu. I cannot avoid making a special mention to my little Abubakar, when each morning he ran so I would go after him, when we sang together Malaika (even if we only sang the chorus because it was the only part we knew ☺), when he cried and I would take him to comfort him and then I would try to make him smile… Each of these memories will stay with me forever.

I wish that I could come back one day and see how the little guys have grown up and the elder ones have achieved to study and to reach their dreams! And, finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Afrikable for giving me the opportunity to live what I have lived during this month!"

 


 

testimonio-cova-diazCOVA DIAZ. Holidaymaker August 2015.

"Since I arrived to Madrid everything that I say is a cliché: my life has changed, people from there are wonderful, I have learned a lot… But the truth is that I do not find other words to describe it. In my head I only have pieces of moments that I will never forget: Seremon laughing, Abdul Cade asleep, Larasha painting, Zeinab singing, the smell of Fatuma’s stewed potatoes, Hawa and Halima laughing so loud, Abu Bakar’s eyelashes, Mohammed’s glance, quick dips in Coconut Beach with the children, dances in the village of Orma, Flora’s jokes, Husseini hugging me, Ali and Suleiman being up to their usual, Marian and Nashra’s beauty, Mumina and Zahara’s kindness...

They have taught me so much that I have not been able to process it all yet. The one thing that I know is that I have been completely happy. And this happiness is still nearby. And I will come back, that is for sure. I promised it to Rahima"

 


 

testimonio-claudia-postigoCLAUDIA POSTIGO. Holidaymaker July 2015.

"And suddenly it’s already been a month and I’m back home again… While unpacking I realize that I brought my suitcase filled to the brim… full of sand and insect bites, but also full of smiles, a million pecks, new emotions, hugs, laughs and guffaws, friends, lots of friends, looks, a thousand stories to tell, songs, new flavors and a million pictures!! :)

I will always remember those days when I fell in love with Lamu, with a project and its family… ASANTE SANA AFRIKABLE!!"

 


 

testimonio-paqui-cabezaPAQUI CABEZA. Holidaymaker July 2015.

"It’s been one of my life’s best experiences. You get much more of what you give. I had heard that before, and was able to confirm it while in Lamu. The island is a piece of paradise, and not only because of its wonderful beaches and interesting culture, but also due to the human side of its people, who touch your heart. I think it’s a good place, from where you come back stronger in every way thanks to the big amount of affection, joy and love that you receive from the project’s women and children, as well as from everyone in Lamu.

I have learnt that in our society we have lost spontaneity, ability to adapt to changes and to play down problems… in short, that we have got too settled. Maybe we should take a look at Africa and recover some values. And, of course, I wish I keep the “hakuna matata” philosophy for long!"

 


 

testimonio-lucia-barrachinaLUCÍA BARRACHINA. Holidaymaker July 2015.

"I arrived here with no expectations at all, and it was the first time I was in Africa. People in Lamu seemed charming to me and Afrikable’s work in the island is of great value for the women involved in the project. In some cases it is even a life-changing experience for them and their children: it offers them security and economic resources, so they can leave their husband if he doesn’t treat them well, and avoid arrange the marriage of their teenage daughters just because they lack the resources to support them.

For me, it has been a very rewarding experience and I carry home the memory of the smiles and the joy that children, and people from Lamu at large, transmitted."

 


 

testimonio-alvaro-estevezÁLVARO ESTÉVEZ. Holidaymaker July 2015.

"A few days ago, my mother asked me if I missed something, and after telling her that I did miss a T-bone steak, I reflected on it for a while. And except to talk to my family and a couple of friends, and to find out if they are doing well, I really don’t miss anything because in Afrikable I fell like at home; I ‘feel free like a shark on the sea’, as they say here.

When I talk about Afrikable, I talk about the great family of which I am lucky to feel part in Lamu, where main protagonists are the women, praiseworthy women with such fascinating lives! But they have a competitor now: ‘papa john’! My relationship with them is very special and hard to explain. Their main skill isn’t English, and even less is mine Swahili, but as if by magic you get to understand each other! And when not, Hakuna Matata my friend, and you will always find a complicity smile that fills your soul. Sometimes, instead of smiles there are guffaws, so loud that they become breathless, and so contagious that you start laughing without knowing why. I love it!.

Something else that I am passionate about is kiddies, my soft spot. Trust me when I tell you that I've never felt so loved in my life. I can’t explain with words the feeling that permeates my whole body when 2 or 3 rugrats accost me in their way to the samba and don’t release me until they enter the classroom. Or when they jump on me on piggyback and I can’t escape, or even better, when I see their faces full of happiness and hear their laughs that resound in my head all the time. I must talk about Houseini, one of the smallest kids. Every day, with his eyes half-closed, he stretches out his little arms so that you can grab him and then, the only thing you want is to be morning again.

My trip mates are great, as well as the girls, who in my opinion deserve a special mention; their way of being, of understanding the women, their project and, above all, how they transmit it, is incredible, as incredible is what they do at every corner of the village and with its people. People that welcome you with their arms wide open and don’t get tired of greeting you, doesn’t matter if they see you every day, they don’t get tired! Let alone the smallest kids with their million ‘jambos’…jambo, jambo, jambo, jambo!! And their hands shake, such a special one, together with a kiss if you are lucky.

All this is just a very very small part of everything you see, fell and experience here. It’s a real gift to wake up every morning and have the chance to learn, learn to live, to be a person… in short, to grow up.

Lastly, I can only say that I am very very happy here and that the only thing that upsets me is knowing that shortly I will have to say goodbye to all this. See you soon!"

 


 

testimonio-julio-hernanJULIO HERNAN. 2013 Holidaymaker.

"My name is Julio. Three years ago I took the step of being a solidary traveler in Afrikable and achieve one of my dreams, this was know Africa. Everything began when my mother bought a Masai bracelet in a solidary market of those who the NGO makes.Investigating in internet I knew the project and without any hesitation, I called to reserve. At the beginning you have many nerves and doubts but when you arrive to Lamu island (Kenya) everything result being more easy. The women, children and all the town give you welcome with open arms.

In the different months that I have been helping, I have had the possibility to take part in the diverse areas of the project. When you work with the women you learn a lot of them. You realize the strength and the urge that they have to support their families. In many cases you do not share the same languages with them, but you make a special conexion that allow work jointly.

Being with the children is very rewarding, always they receive you with a smiles and hugs. Even in your worst days they bring out the best in yourself. Seeing them everyday you realize that to be happy you do not need big luxuries.

Something that I love of Lamu that It have influece of many cultures and live together different ethnicities. This makes that the island have a great cultural wealth. You have the possibility to introduce and learning about its diferents religions.

Every time that I come back of Lamu I feel a diferent person for all the values that I learn. I consider that I have family there. Every day I wonder for the women. the townspeople and how are going to evolve the children. This experience has changed my life fully. I have met wonderful people, both local people, solidary travelers or tourists. Also I have made big friends that I never forget.

I encourage any person to join at the project of solidary holidays. You never forget it.

Hugs, Julio"

 


 

pilar-gomez-testimonyPILAR GÓMEZ. 2010 Holidaymaker. Postdoctoral researcher.

"I often remember the time my friend Juancar and I spent in Lamu. It was an incredibly enriching experience that I would recommend without hesitation to everyone I know.

I just can't forget the women on the project, their children, their stories...I have so many memories! Khadija and Lizian learning to do sums in Excel, Amina going without food to practise using the sewing machine, Mahmoud gulping from his bottle...I remember with particular fondness one evening when Mwanaisha invited us for tea at her house. She told us how her life and the future of her children had changed since coming to Afrikable. When I left there, I think we all had tears in our eyes.

Lola, Merche and all the Afrikable team are doing a great job! I'm sure they will continue to improve!"

 


 

ruben-flores-testimonyRUBEN FLORES: 2012 Holidaymaker. Bus driver and Trainer.

“How many smiles...how many great moments..and how happy you can be, with only your basic needs covered. I take with me an unforgettable memory, a holiday that has greatly inspired me, and I go home with a very rewarding feeling.

It has been a totally enriching experience which has allowed without doubt a bond with the place and its people and customs. A journey that is impossible to forget because of the place, but mostly because of the experience. I am very pleased and happy to have had the opportunity to participate in and see up close the Afrikable project.

I take with me some great memories and the sense of having learned a lot, especially with the children from the tiny school in La Shama and all the tenderness which they gave. Thank you!”

 


 

carmen-cobaleda-testimonyCARMEN COBALEDA: 2011 Holidaymaker. European CLM Marketing Manager.

"I had the opportunity to participate in the child development department, supporting the teacher at one of the schools.

It was wonderful to meet these children who always smile, despite their harsh living conditions. It was very gratifying to see the huge progress they made with just a little attention, care and positive support...and of course, what I learned and what those children gave me was much greater than what I could teach them! One of the best experiences of my life!

I took away the great love they all offered me and the dream of continuing to collaborate with Afrikable from Spain, to promote this wonderful project so that it can host many more women and children.

There is still a lot to do, so whether you have already participated in other volunteering experiences or this is your first time, I encourage everyone to try Afrikable. I am sure you will not leave indifferent!"

 


 

manuel-silvestre-testimony

MANUEL SILVESTRE: 2012 Holidaymaker. Financial Adviser and Social Entrepreneur.

“Afrikable trained her, and in Afrikable’s opinion, she is good, natural, happy and warm-hearted. Lola, Merche, Raquel, Cris, Mr Big, Khadija, Grace, Joyce, Dorkas and the kids (I remember especially Rahima, a cutie of a girl) are good, natural, joyful, simple, welcoming….

Afrikable offers much for me to learn. Because it is not a large organisation, you can find out everything that goes on: the problems they experience, how they make decisions, the obstacles they encounter, etc. Having the opportunity to be near to the organisation headed by Merche and Lola has helped me to learn many things and I am very grateful to them for sharing their day-to-day life with us.

People say that the world of business takes much more than it gives. In my case, this imbalance has been almost insulting. I have taken a lot from all of them. Thank you all!”

 


 

andres-garcia-testimonyANDRES GARCIA: 2010 Holidaymaker. Electrical Engineer.

“The three weeks of volunteer holiday I spent with Afrikable on the island of Lamu were unforgettable.

The arrival by boat to the island with the dock full of expectant people; the games of football with the children from Afrikable’s school during playtime; the narrow, long streets in the old town of Lamu; the women of the shamba making baskets from plastic bags sitting in the shade of a canopy surrounded by sand and palm trees; the walks in the silence of the night or along the seafront; the happiness of the children swimming at the beach; the coconut juice and Osman's squid; the fishermen in their boats; the clay figures and the paper planes that the children from the school made; racing up the dunes of the deserted Shela beach; the dusk and the dawn in the island of Mandatoto; the talks with ‘papa’ before sleeping...

All these experiences have stayed engraved on my mind and made me go back to Lamu a year later. As things happen in threes, I know I will go back again”

 


 

maitane-perez-testimonyMAITANE PEREZ: 2012 Holidaymaker Marketing and Protocol.

"I came with many unnecessary things: rush, prejudices and stereotypes encouraged by my society, which has given me so much but I now consider to be lacking in many other aspects. However, I left Africa with a backpack loaded with the basics, hardly noticeable.

In Lamu, you never know what experience awaits you just around the corner. Overwhelming experiences told in the first person by the main characters of each story force you to relativise Western problems, the strength of which is like a slap saying “wake up! There is a parallel universe to the one in which you live”.

Thanks to all the members of Afrikable who made it possible for me to feel more alive than ever and to have the opportunity to offer the best of myself to some marvellous women and children."

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ABOUT AFRIKABLE

Afrikable is a Spanish charitable organisation, registered in the National Register of Associations under number 1/1/594088 and in the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID)'s Register of Non-Governmental Organisations under number 2033.

 

In Kenya our association is called Afrika Able Organization and is registered with Kenya's NGO Coordination Board under number 10976.

WHERE ARE WE

  • Lamu, Kenia.
    Madrid, Spain
  • +34 605 722 162