Hear what volunteers have to say about their experience at Melon:

Judy from Australia

I have volunteered at Melon three times.  Every time I visit, both my love and passion to help grow stronger.  When I am there I feel like I am at home.  God called me there and it is where I am the most happy.  Even when I am not there I pray and raise money for the many needs of Melon.  The children need sponsors.  Sponsorship helps so very much.  The children’s poverty is so bad.  Their living conditions are appalling.  Food and water are in short supply or unavailable.

I love working in the baby classes with the 3 and 4-year-olds.  I enjoy being around the children with learning difficulties the most.  It fills me with joy to watch them develop.  It is so very touching.  They are so eager to learn.  I am amazed by their enthusiasm.  The greeting they give me is so heartwarming.  They really appreciate the love, cuddles, and kisses I give them, but they give even more back to me than I give them.  I am so blessed.

The dedication of the director James, his mama Beatrice, sister Joyce, and brother Sammy is so inspiring.  The work of the teachers, who get very little in return for their wonderful work, is also inspiring.  And Mary and George do a very important job cooking the meals to make sure the children are fed.

When I see all the devotion and love at Melon, it is impossible for me not have a strong dream for a better life for the children.  I will continue to help Melon with love and compassion.  I believe we can make a difference.  God bless Melon.

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Natalie from the United Kingdom

I would recommend volunteering at Melon Mission to everyone, from students to couples to anyone with big enough heart to want to “give back” and “make a difference”. As a volunteer I have full time job in UK decided during my holiday I would do something amazing!

I was met and greeted at the airport and this helped to settle into Kenyan life. Someone from the mission was always on hand to give you advice and help in any situation from finding the local bank to details of tourist attractions in the area.

Now arriving in Nakuru where Melon Mission is based was extremely different from the big city, The people were incredibly friendly and good sense of community spirit; it was very obvious that the families lived in poverty and quite honestly animals and families were starving and jobs are few and far between.

The whole experience has been most memorable and amazing. From working in the school and interacting with the students and teachers helping with class room activities and teaching and learning Kenyan life to exchanging songs and activities and games, from England bringing ‘Fun’ and ‘Laughter’ to Children and families. It is vital the children come to school to be fed the one meal a day and hope to be educated to one day leave the slums.

It was a great way to integrate and learn from the community I was involved by helping the volunteers as a kitchen hand, to eating and drinking with families at there homes to even visiting local businesses, and getting a new Kenyan hair style all plaited. To realize that people who do not have job to live end up living on dump site. People salvaged rubbish to eat. They make a living from creating the most wonderful jewelry and bags to sell to tourist to buy fresh vegetable or fresh water.

Melon was a place to feel love and give love, talking and joking around with children, teachers and host family as if I were an actual member of the family, meeting and making some of the best friends ever with other volunteers making friendships with locals.

Overall recommend give your time or donation to this good cause and since the organization is based solely of volunteers and have no help from there government or one of our big charity organization they rely on good faith. 

Asier and Nagore from the Basque Country

Honestly, for us, volunteering at Melon was a wonderful experience.  We travelled on our own so we got directly in touch with James.  We stayed at his home, we had breakfast and dinner with him and his family and had lunch at the school.

The first days the volunteer gets familiar with Melon, with the workers there and the children.  You will be introduced to the teachers, cooks (please give a million kisses to Mary and everyone else), and you will first watch how they teach, how they eat and play games.  In the summer time, not all the children attend class but a large number do as the school provides them with remedial lessons.  My God!  We remember the kids and they are the best!

As a volunteer you can do many things, like playing with the children during breaks, helping during the lessons, training the football team, helping in construction work, and if you have good level of English you can even give some lessons.  You can also visit the families, sing, dance, and you can even go crazy with them!  Play, play, play, prepare theatre plays.. It’s impossible for them to be quiet!  It’s so cool!  As we said before, they are the best!  Speak in English and Swahili, heal their wounds, cook, wash-up, hand out the food….

From our point of view what we have given to them is so little compared with what they have given us.  They taught us so much!


Emma from New Zealand

After a few days of interacting with the Children and observing you start to realise just how different their lives are to ours.  Each child has a different story and is suffering in a different way, whether it is because they have lost their parents, are week from illnesses such as HIV or AID’s, haven’t eaten properly in days / weeks & are suffering from Mal Nutrition or have so much pressure on them to look after their families.

Reality really hits when you pay a visit to a Child’s House (a small Mud Hut sleeping up to 10 people in some cases). You go inside and the children are laid on the floor sobbing. You ask why the Children are not at school and their Guardian tells you that she cannot afford to feed them and they have no energy. The reason these poor Children are crying is because they are starving. A term that a lot of the western world uses so loosely. Until you see this with your own eyes, you will never understand the meaning of starvation. It’s a harsh reality and not something you want to see, but in a strange kind of way it’s something you have to see to make you realise.

During our time at Melon James took us on many home visits to various families who are all facing very difficult situations. In one particular case a 6 year old child who should have been attending school was looking after his 3 younger family members whilst his Auntie went out to earn a living so they could keep a roof over their heads.

Funds permitting, each morning Melon gives the children a cup of porridge known in Swahili as Uji. Then at Lunch time they are usually given Ujali (maze flower mixed with water & boiled up until becomes stiff) with some sort of vegetables. It’s a known fact that having the same diet everyday is not good for you, so Melon try to vary this whenever they can by giving them Rice & beans instead. Rice is more expensive though, so this is not often possible. The most important thing is making sure that the 350 plus Children at least get something to eat.

Throughout my time there I was always made to feel valuable and appreciated. On more than a couple of occasions we were invited to the Bishop’s house for lunch or dinner. We met the entire family, who I can honestly say are some of the most beautiful and caring people I have ever met. They have such a dedication to caring for people less fortunate and will do everything in their power to help ANYONE in need.  Through their faith they draw courage and determination which helps them through each day and keeps them strong so they can help others. They are always so positive and believe that things will get better each day.  For all the love you give to the children you got that back 10 times over from them. Despite everything that they have been through and are still going through, they are so loving & appreciative. They nearly always have a huge smile across their beautiful faces which is contagious and instantly makes you smile too.

Being exposed first hand to the world that I only previously saw on the TV and seemed so far away has opened my eyes and made me realise just how lucky I really am. My experiences will live with me always. Each day I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given, and I now appreciate things a whole lot more than before.  Melon for me was an invaluable experience which taught me a lot. I would urge & encourage anyone wanting to visit this project to go for it.  I will be completely honest and tell you that it will be somewhat of an emotional roller coaster but worth every minute and is extremely rewarding.

Olivia and Gonzalo from Spain

Last August, Gonzalo and I set off from Spain with high hopes placed on our journey to Nakuru.  We contacted James, director of Melon Mission. We talked with them, their needs, their lives, their routines, hopes, sorrows and joys.

The warm embrace of someone who we did not know, (rather than photos and emails) made ​​us feel welcome and appreciated. We share a few days with the children and teachers, with the family of James. Painting, playing, cleaning, scraping the ground, and we financed a construction project that progressed well. We also ate Ugali and cabbage. 😉

There is much to do.  The most wonderful thing I can say is that fortunately in every playground, whether rich or poor, the sound of joy is the same!

Bruno Crocianelli from Italy

So this is how I felt at Melon: It’s like being home. I’ve been back in Italy for three days now, but I feel something empty in my heart. I really loved playing with the children, especially the little one, and you know, they always asked me for balloons and they took my hand and brought me to their classes. I felt so loved there and teaching the elders they were very nice with me, trying to teach me Swahili. And then the final speech: I didn’t expect all that gratitude ! I miss them so much !

Sarah Jackson from the United Kingdom 

I spent one month at Melon Mission and loved every second of it!

 During that month I taught one of the nursery classes and also helped carrying water to the kitchen, and washing up after mealtime. While there, I personally arranged for about 15 children to have eye tests, which resulted in 4 of them requiring glasses. I also arranged for a group of volunteer doctors to come to the school and treat the children for ringworm.

 During my stay, one of the little girls, Grace, suffered a severe arm fracture on Christmas Eve and had to be admitted to a private hospital. However the fees were astronomical and her parents were unable to pay, therefore the hospital would not release her until the entire bill was paid for. It was a bit of a nightmare, but through Facebook posts and raising awareness we were able to raise about £1600, which was more than enough to get her out of the hospital and back into school. With the remainder we were able to feed the children for one month as well as buy textbooks, stationary and track suits. Thanks to Tauheel Islamic girl’s high school (where my mum works) for raising about £1000 of it !

There are plenty of opportunities to meet other volunteers working in Nakuru and also opportunities to go on trips and safaris. I plan to go back to Melon Mission as soon as I have the funds because I loved the place and the people so much !

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Nicole Vickstrom – B.C. Canada

Volunteering at “Melon Mission” was honestly the most humbling, amazing experience ever. I spent a week helping to teach, singing, dancing, serving lunches and taking photos of the coolest little kids ever. It was a very well organized program. I really appreciated how Joyce, the volunteer coordinator, met my friends and I at the airport and took us right to James, the head master’s house where we stayed for the entire week we were there. James and his wife were so great and welcoming. At the end, Joyce, had made sure I got to my next destination safe and sound. They do such great work for those kids. You can tell the impact that this family has made on these children’s lives. Something I will never forget! 

Dawnda Abdulla & Sube Adullah – B.C. Canada

I don’t even know where to start. Ever since I was little there’s been something inside of me that wanted to give and volunteer. I’ve dreamed of volunteering in Africa for so long. There’s something about Africa I have always loved. I’ve always wanted to volunteer and adopt and being at Melon has fulfilled everything I dreamed about and solidified how much I wanted to adopt and volunteer all the time.

Staying with James and Becky was amazing. What their family is doing for all the children is beyond words. I felt so comfortable staying with them. They really made Sube and I feel like family staying there. James was so open and honest about everything that they do at Melon even offer to show us all the books to show how they spent the money. I don’t doubt them for a second what they are doing for the community.

Volunteering at Melon was amazing. Sube and I were placed in the class 4-5 and sube also spent most of his time in the kitchen. We spent the days helping the kids copy the schoolwork from the board. We also took turns teaching the kids alphabet sounds, numbers and words. When the kids went to eat we would help pick through the beans and then help with the washing of the dishes.

After that we would go back to class during nap-time and mark the last days homework and then also copy homework into their books for the night.

There is not much I would say needs to be changed since we were there only for a short time. Though next time we go we would like to stay longer and I would love to be more involved. I would love to help paint, fix things be more hands on. I wish we could have done more. 

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