"Serve the community, and you will never regret it."
Hellene Seleina Rotiken, now 20, of Narok, Kenya, volunteered as a peer counselor in Maasai Education Discovery, an organization that has connections in Boston, London, and Narok. It was founded in 1999 by Ledama Olekina, a Maasai from Kenya, to promote education for his people by using technology to promote bicultural education between the Maasai and people of Western nations.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Hellene: I am a peer counselor in an organization recently created, and I work with secondary school students in community service. We organize leadership camps and seminars for youth.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Hellene: Our organization is called Maasai Education Discovery, a center for computer learning, distance learning, and peer counseling.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefited from this work.
Hellene: Secondary school children, girls who are married off at an early age, and people who are infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
What inspired you to get involved?
Hellene: I have the passion to help the community and help them get through their lives, especially those who are infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
How did you first get involved? Give us some details.
Hellene: I first got involved when I was in primary school. We used to visit orphans, help clean the compound, donate food stuffs, and visit hospital.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Hellene: Organizing the camps, having them go well, and knowing that I have done something for my community, and that they have benefited from my work.
What is/was the hardest part?
Hellene: Bad roads across some parts.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Hellene: I am so assertive, and I have confidence and a high level of self esteem. I have gained leadership and counseling skills.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Hellene: One has to give their best and do it as if it were final. Serve the community, and you will never regret it.
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