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Need: Volunteer: Just One Person works with high school girls and women to empower them academically and economically.

Just One Person works with high school girls and women in Kakamega, Kenya to empower them academically and economically.

Girls in rural Kenya aren’t exposed to alternatives that are available to them after high school graduation and don’t possess the skills they need to pursue these opportunities. Our core mission is providing workshops and seminars to high school girls using a 3 year life skills curriculum that teaches them those skills. Girls also participate in JOP for one year after graduation when they are placed in internships with small businesses and income generating projects that turn theory into practice.

We are also striving to develop financial sustainability in Kenya for our JOP girls’ programs by working with local women’s groups to establish small businesses. We provide loans from a revolving fund and assist the group with skills training, administrative duties, business consulting and marketing. In return, the women’s groups donate a small portion of their profits to help support JOP program operations. While empowering women in the community to establish economic independence, our work with women’s groups also engages the local community in the education of the next generation of Kenyan women.

Currently, women’s groups have established a tree nursery, mushroom project, soap making project, bead project and an embroidering handicraft project.

Kakamega is located on the edge of the Kakamega National Forest, one of the last remaining rain forests in Africa. While the forest is protected, out of the need for cooking fuel, people continue to cut trees in the forest to make charcoal. There is a huge demand for a cheap source of charcoal made with alternative local resources. We are seeking volunteers who would like to assist in the creation and implementation of a project that uses other local resources such as banana leaves, sugar cane remains(bagasse), or cow dung to make a fuel that will replace charcoal made from trees. The project will be directed in Kenya by the co-founder of JOP, Emma Sisia, who will assume the responsibility for engaging community members to assist and to provide the necessary resources.

Volunteers should have strong people skills for any project undertaken in Kenya. English and Kiswahili are the two national languages and most people speak English. However, due to cultural differences, volunteers need to be willing to learn and be sensitive to a different style of communication and methods of working on and implementing projects in Kenya. Other skills recommended are flexibility, resourcefulness, a sense of humor and sense of adventure. Emma Sisia, having worked with Americans previously, is well suited for to help volunteers integrate into the community.

We are looking for volunteers that could devote time and energy to this project. It is most likely that within a minimum of 6-8 weeks, the project could be designed and the early stages implemented. Time in addition to 8 weeks would ensure that the project is established and running smoothly. Just One Person welcomes volunteers at any time of the year. Because Kakamega is located almost at the equator, there are no seasonal changes to contend with.

If you're interested or would like more information, you can email me at my personal email address; annettelillyruss@yahoo.com. Please visit our website to learn more about Just One Person.

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