In this section

In June 2024, James travelled as part of a See, Serve, Speak team to support Habitat projects in Kenya. Here, he told us about his experience.

When I signed up for the See, Serve, Speak mission to Kenya, I didn't fully understand what I had signed up for. A friend of mine had previously gone on a trip to Zambia with Habitat and she told me about the amazing experience she had. This inspired me and gave me the confidence to sign up to our mission to Kenya.

I had never visited a third world country before and upon first impressions of Kenya, I was overwhelmed by the tough conditions and poverty that I found myself surrounded by. However, what really surprised me were the locals. The sense of community was incredible. Locals used to walk by and stop what they were doing to help us out on site. Each and every day on site was incredible.

I would say I was quite nervous about my abilities and how to apply myself on site. I had never done manual labour before and was not confident about my abilities but as Niall and Susan (our leaders) say, "there is a job for everyone on site". This gave me the confidence to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. The transformation of the build over only a couple of days was fascinating to witness. It is amazing to see what can be achieved over a short period of time if people support each other and work together, within the team but also alongside local people.

On one of the final days on site, we heard from the family and the community where we were working. They spoke some very kind words about how everyone in the community were benefiting from this new build and how grateful they were to receive such support from Habitat. But the highlight was the words from the Grandmother of the family whose home we were building. She said "I don't know where you have all come from, but God has sent you here to help me and my family". This really struck a chord with all of us as she showed her appreciation and gratitude for the help that she was receiving.

To anyone who is considering donating or volunteering with Habitat either locally or internationally - DO IT, you will not regret it. When you volunteer, you are not just helping to support the work of Habitat or to support one family - that is not the full picture. What you as a volunteer receive for supporting this work is so much more. It gives you a sense of achievement and an opportunity to help those that are less fortunate than you. There are so many people in the world that need your support and all you can do is take one step at a time. So please donate or volunteer with Habitat, you will not regret it.

You can get involved in 2025! Learn more and sign up here or read more global volunteering stories here.

Keep up to date with the latest Habitat Ireland projects and news!