Lauren has been a LOOK University Mentor since October 2023 after she came to LOOKFest 2023. She has a wonderful career as a psychotherapist and school counsellor. Lauren is also fundraising for Kibos School for The Blind in Kenya. I caught up with Lauren and learned all about her work with Kibos School.
Lauren was torn between volunteering in Kenya and India, she wanted to work in a country where disability is seen as negative.
Before Lauren travelled to Kenya she had only been abroad on holidays and had never travelled alone. She called her decision to travel solo all the way to Kenya ‘insanity’ but When I asked why she wanted to volunteer abroad she said; ‘Why not? I think if you can help then you should.’
While in Kisumu, Lauren mostly did one on one work with one preverbal VI little boy. She also spent a lot of time getting to know the staff and students, focusing on their wellbeing. It wasn’t all work, though. Lauren also found time to build a relationship with the Headteacher of Kibos school, who is also VI and was a former student.
Lauren’s trips are self funded as the school does not have the money to pay her, they even struggle for money for food and spare clothes for the students. Kibos School for the Blind is a residential school. The families are meant to pay school fees but the majority are covered by the salvation army as the majority of families can’t afford it.
Lauren is hoping to spend one year in Kenya and is also fundraising to pay for the school fees for as many students as possible.
Lauren and other volunteers are working on a program of professional development for the students, hoping to teach them farming and soapmaking to help support their families.
The school fees are £88-140 per year, depending on the student’s grade. This does not include not books or uniforms. She has managed to fundraise for 5 kids so far!
You can find out more in the dedicated facebook group.
If you can, please share Lauren’s gofundme far and wide!