Category Archives: Volunteers

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Volunteer Opportunities 2018

Come serve alongside our team in 2018!  See below for both short-term and long-term ministry opportunities.  Questions? Contact us! Our volunteer application can be found here:

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Short-Term Volunteer Overview

All teams should ideally be made up of 3 – 8 members. Individuals and couples/pairs are also welcome. Duration of the ministry trip will depend on the specifics of the project/outreach. A typical timeline is 5 – 10 days of service, with an additional two to three days of travel, and at least one full day for debriefing before returning home. Many volunteers choose to do an animal safari before leaving Kenya. Volunteers need to fund-raise or pay for their personal expenses and are also asked to help contribute to covering the cost of their ministry project. Donations can be processed either by the team’s home church or the Hope Matters Int’l (HMI) USA Office. HMI is a registered non-profit, so all donations are tax-deductible within the USA. HMI provides a training packet for all volunteers and asks that teams go through a preparation process together before coming to serve. We generally recommend a minimum of at least three months to adequately prepare and fund-raise.

Construction Teams and Individual Volunteers

Description: This team (or individual volunteers) would assist with construction on the new hospital building. This may include, but not be limited to: masonry, tiling, plumbing, electric installation, carpentry, and finishing work (door and window frames, ceiling work, painting etc.)
Requirements: Primarily professional Construction Workers
Time of Year: Feb – Oct 2018

Media Team or Individual Volunteers

Description: This team (or individual volunteers) would assist with documenting the ministry in order to share about the ministry. Photographers, videographers, and those who can edit media are all welcome.
Requirements: Experience in photography/filming/media editing
Time of Year: Flexible

Children’s Camp

Description: This team would be focused on working with children in primary school, (ages 5 – 15). The team would organize a children’s conference/VBS that would run from 10AM – 5PM for roughly four days. Activities will include group lessons, small break-out sessions, crafts, music, and game-time. The project expense will need to include providing lunch for the children each day as well as VBS materials.
Requirements: Open hearts, flexibility, and a heart for children. Some experience working with children is desirable.
Time of Year: Either April or August (when children are on break from school)

Medical Continuing Education

Description: Medical professionals who can train and equip Kenyan providers with up-to-date information related to any of the following topics: Maternal Child Care, Primary Care, Emergency Stabilization, Wound Care, or Chronic Disease Management. Trainings would likely be held in short sessions and repeated several times to allow multiple staff members to be trained. While not teaching, the volunteer can join in treating patients either in the outpatient centre or the hospital.
Requirements: Licensed medical professionals, some teaching/speaking experience preferred, but not required.
Time of Year: Flexible

Discipleship/Medical Team

Description: This highly specialized team would consist of both medical professionals and Christian leaders who are passionate about mentoring other believers in their walk with the Lord. We would like to give our national medical staff an opportunity to take time away for a spiritual-development retreat. Ideally the retreat would be a two-day event and would be run twice, allowing half of the national staff to participate at one time, and keeping half the staff in the clinic working alongside the medical team members. Staff would then rotate for the second session of the retreat.
Requirements: This will require medical professionals who can help cover the clinic operations, as well as a discipleship team to lead the retreat for the staff. Primary care provider (MD, NP or PA), nurse/medical assistant, and lab tech.
Time of Year: Flexible

Community/Agricultural Development

Description: Coordinating and running a conference specifically focused on economic empowerment for small-scale farmers. Topics would include farming business development, budgeting, and making your farm productive. The conference would also include a spiritual track about living out one’s faith as a farmer.
Requirements: Volunteers with farming, economic, business, or development experience, as well as spiritual discipleship leaders.
Time of Year: Flexible

Licensed Medical Professionals

Description: Small teams or individuals who could be scheduled and counted in our staffing to provide service at the medical centre for a few weeks at a time. Often this would entail covering a national staff-member’s leave time. Volunteer(s) would be partnered with a national staff member who would assist with translation and local protocols.
Requirements: Licensed medical professionals (physicians, dentists, PA’s, NP’s, nurses, lab techs, medical assistants, etc.)
Time of Year: Flexible

Student Internships

We have a limited number of student internships available each year. The internship is designed so that the volunteer will typically spend part of their time working on a special project for the ministry, and part of their time shadowing/working with our staff in the medical centre. Students are often asked to help give educational presentations in local schools and support group settings. Internship duration is typically from two to four weeks based on current needs.

 


 

Long-Term Ministry

Personal Assistant to the Director

Description: Assisting the international director with basic administrative tasks such as scheduling, research, special projects, etc. We need someone who is humble, flexible, self-motivated, takes direction well, and is able to jump in where the need is. Ideally this person would have some medical training and experience.
Requirements: Follower of Christ. Must raise his/her own financial support. Medical training/license preferred but not required.
Timeline: Initial commitment of three to six months.

Hospital Based Physician

Description: Family or General Practice physician with OB experience preferred. This is a team leader position. This doctor will be hospital based, working with a team of primarily Kenyan medical professionals. Duties will include both out-patient and in-patient care in our new 24-bed hospital.
Requirements: Follower of Christ. Must raise his/her own financial support. Must be a licensed physician who has completed residency. International experience preferred. OB experience preferred.
Timeline: Initial commitment of six months to one year.

Hospital Based Medical Professionals

Description: Licensed medical professionals (MD’s, DO’s, NP’s, PA’s, RN’s, Lab techs, Radiology techs, etc.) Will be hospital based, working with a team of primarily Kenyan medical professionals. Duties will include both outpatient and in-patient care in our new 24-bed hospital.
Requirements: Follower of Christ. Must raise his/her own financial support. Must be licensed in his/her field of work. International experience preferred.
Timeline: Initial commitment of three to six months.

Going Digital

DSC01589This month the Village of Hope Medical Centre got an upgrade as we went totally paperless. Over the course of the last year volunteer Andrew Klassen has been writing software specifically tailored to our medical centre. He came to personally set up and activate the program and network. Now everything from lab orders to medications are being processed digitally. It’s been an exciting transition. DSC01743

Joining Andrew were his parents Brian and Kelly. Brian helped with some constructions projects, while Kelli offered up her ultrasound skills in the maternity department. We want to say a big thank you to Kingsburg Community Church for loaning them to us for a few weeks. They will be missed! Check out  Facebook  for more pictures from their visit.

 

Volunteer Opportunities: Kenya 2017

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Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have an adventurous spirit and a desire to serve in Africa? Here are some opportunities to come volunteer and serve alongside our team in Kenya in 2017. For more information and an application please contact Michelle michelle@hopemattersintl.org and Nikole nikole@hopemattersintl.org

Serving on a Team

All teams should ideally be made up of 4 – 8 members. The duration of the team will depend on the specifics of the project/outreach. A typical timeline is 5 – 10 days of service, with an additional two to three days of travel, and at least one full day for debriefing before returning home. Many teams choose to do an animal safari before leaving Kenya. Team members need to fund-raise or pay for their personal expenses and are also asked to help contribute to covering the cost of their ministry project. Donations can be processed either by the team’s home church or the Hope Matters Int’l (HMI) USA Office. HMI is a registered non-profit, so all donations are tax-deductible within the USA. HMI provides a training packet for all teams and asks that they go through a preparation process together before coming to serve. We generally recommend a minimum of at least three months to adequately prepare and fund-raise.

img_8343Discipleship/Medical Team

Description: This team would consist of both medical professionals and Christian leaders who are passionate about mentoring other believers in their walk with the Lord. We would like to give our national, medical, staff an opportunity to take time away for a spiritual-development retreat. Ideally the retreat would be a two-day event and would be run twice, allowing half of the national staff to participate at one time, and keeping half the staff in the clinic working alongside the visiting team. Staff would then rotate for the second session of the retreat.

Requirements: This will require medical professionals who can help cover the clinic operations, as well as a discipleship team to lead the retreat for the staff.

Time of Year: Flexible

Construction

Description: This team would assist with finishing work on the new medical centre. This may include, but not be limited to: tiling, painting, plumbing, electric installation, carpentry/finishing work (door and window frames, ceiling work, etc.)

Requirements: Primarily professional Construction Workers

Time of Year: May through July, or mid-Sept through October

img_5053Children’s/Youth Camp

Description: This team will be focused on working with children and youth, primarily ages 8 – 16. The team would organize a children’s conference/VBS that would run from 10AM – 5PM for roughly four days. Activities will include group lessons, small break-out sessions, crafts, music, and game-time.

Requirements: Open hearts, flexibility, and a heart for kids. Some experience working with children is desirable.

Time of Year: Either April or early Late July/August (when children are on break from school)

img_4320Medical Continuing Education

Description: Medical professionals who can train and equip Kenyan providers with up-to-date information related to any of the following topics: Maternal Child Care, Primary Care, Emergency Stabilization, or Chronic Disease Management. Training should be approximately 2-days in length and will most likely be run twice to allow for a maximum number of participants.

Requirements: Licensed medical professionals, some teaching/speaking experience preferred, but not required.

Time of Year: Flexible

Community/Agricultural Development

Description: Coordinating and running a conference specifically focused on economic empowerment for small-scale farmers. Topics would include farming business development, budgeting, and making your farm productive. The conference would also include a spiritual track about living out one’s faith as a farmer.

Requirements: Team members with economic, business, or development experience, as well as spiritual discipleship leaders.

Time of Year: Flexible

Serving as an Individual or Pair

Licensed Medical Professionals

We are looking for licensed medical professionals who could be scheduled and counted in our staffing to provide service at the medical centre for 1 – 4 weeks at a time. Often this would entail covering a national staff-member’s leave time. Volunteer(s) would be partnered with a national staff member who would assist with translation and local protocols.

Student Internships

We have a limited number of student internships available each year. The internship is designed so that the volunteer will typically spend part of their time working on a special project for the ministry, and part of their time shadowing/working with our staff in the medical centre. Students are often asked to help give educational presentations in local schools and support group settings.

Meet HMI Volunteer Coordinator: Nikole Opiyo

10427364_10204656677050188_3587878617840375126_nToday I’d like to introduce you to our short-term volunteer coordinator, Nikole Opiyo.

Nikole’s heart was captured by the people of Kenya during her first mission trip in 2005. At the tender age of 17, she spent a month learning and loving in a children’s home in Eldoret. During that trip, she encountered God in a way she never had and said “Yes” to pursuing a calling to serve in Kenya. She served as a short term missionary for Empowering Lives International, African Inland Mission, and Word of Life Youth Ministries before she started an organization, The Rehma Project, committed to empowering youth in a slum community in Mombasa, Kenya. She moved to Mombasa for full-time ministry there in February of 2011.

While serving as a short term missionary, she fell in love with a man who shared her heart for the people of Kenya. In December 2011, she married Kelvin Opiyo in a beach side wedding in Mombasa. Together, the two of them committed to loving and empowering underprivileged youth through The Rehma Project. In 2013, the doors opened for them to return to Canada to pursue further education and support for The Rehma Project. In the spring of 2014, they welcomed their first child into the world, Mercy Opiyo. In 2014 Nikole also started working with Michelle to make plans for short-term volunteers. Earlier this year she took over coordination for Hope Matters volunteer program. Nikole and Kelvin are expecting their second child this month!

Nikole is passionate about connecting Kenyans and North Americans in a relationship that involves love, encouragement, understanding, and a pursuit of Christ. She loves to see the impact that short-term missions has on the locals, the missionaries, and the Kingdom of Christ. She feels privileged to see that happen as she works with Hope Matters International.

If you are interested in volunteering with Hope Matters, please contact our office for more information by sending an e-mail to office@hopemattersintl.org. Nikole would love to talk you through the process of applying to volunteer either in Kenya or perhaps even from your own home.

A Summer of Outreach

IMG_4802We just said goodbye to our volunteers from Kingsburg Community Church in CA. They helped us run a series of medical outreaches. IMG_4851

With the team’s help, we were able to see approximately 400 patients in our outreach clinics in just one week! Patients were tested for diabetes and high blood pressure as well as getting eye-exams and reading glasses.

 

 

The team also had the opportunity to do special health education in a large primary school. One of the highlights was being able to share the Jesus film in several different venues.

 

 

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Another special experience was feeding over 200 children lunch in the slums of Turbo after a special program and gospel presentation.

 

 

IMG_4841One of our team members has been living with diabetes for over four-decades. She was able to encourage patients to not fear testing and treatment. It was beautiful to see the skills and personal life experiences come into play to minister to the sick and hurting here in Kenya. IMG_4846

 

Glasses were distributed to those who hadn’t been able to see well or read in years. We also had a number of patients with complicated medical issues whom we were able to refer back to our medical center for more comprehensive treatment.

IMG_4860We want to give thanks to each of you who pray for and financially support this ministry. You are greatly appreciated! Please keep an eye on this blog for regular prayer updates. And if you would like to financially support the work we are doing in Kenya, please click here.

July/August 2015 Prayer Points

IMG_3986bWell the summer is flying by here in Kenya. Here are some ways you can be praying for us this month and next:

  • The Village of Hope Medical Centre is exploding with growth! Word is out that medical and laboratory services are available and the patient flow has been very high. Some days it’s hard for the providers to find time to grab a bite of lunch to eat! Give thanks for the many patients who are receiving care at the medical centre. Pray with us that the Lord will open doors for additional space and staff as we are already outgrowing our current facility and are in need of more hands to help treat the high volume of patients.
  • We were extremely blessed by our Nursing Team from Kingsburg Community Church. They taught two courses of Helping Babies Breathe in which we saw 37 providers receive certification in this critical skill. Give thanks for all they accomplished and pray that the providers will not forget what they have learned, and that lives can be saved as a result of their training.
  • Our next team is en-route to Kenya I type this. This team from Kingsburg Community Church will be involved in several major optometry/diabetes/hypertension outreaches. They have a very busy schedule during their time in Kenya and will be serving with us from the 21st through 28th of July. Pray that they will be strong and effective in their ministry.
  • In August we will have an intern from Canada serving with us for two weeks to help our staff transition into an electronic form of patient record keeping. This is a huge undertaking! Pray for her and the staff as they take on this huge task.
  • We have learned that the soonest our patient Ann might be able to have her open-heart surgery would be October. This is because of the level of complication to her case and the need for an American surgeon to perform the procedure. Her condition is deteriorating and I have some concerns whether or not she will be strong enough for surgery when fall comes. Please pray for God to be in the middle of this difficult situation.
  • We have been blessed to have a major Hope Advocate named Kim taking on a huge task to benefit our ministry. She is running from the American/Canadian border all the way to Alaska to raise funds. You can read more about her journey here: Alaska or Bust! Please pray for her safety and success on this huge endeavor! Pray that her efforts will be fruitful and that our ministry in Kenya will be blessed.
  • We are still trying to raise the funds needed to bring our shipment of medical supplies over to Kenya. As the health ministry is really taking off, it would be a huge advantage to have access to these supplies. Pray that the floodgates of heaven might be opened so that we can get this equipment shipped to us where it can be put to good use!

We value your prayers and support! Please let us know if there is any way that we can be praying for you this season! You can contact us at office@hopemattersintl.org Thanks!

Kingsburg Nurses Team

IMG_4254We are loving having our team from Kingsburg Community Church here serving alongside us. The nurses are teaching courses about helping newborns to breathe for healthcare providers and reproductive health workers. Our non-nurse on the team has been incredibly helpful with various projects around the clinic from painting to installing flooring! For pictures and daily updates on their activities please check out our facebook page by clicking here.

Alaska or Bust!

Alaska? What does that have to do with medical work in Kenya? Read this special message from Hope Matters supporter Kim Sparks to find out..photo (17)

The best ideas come when you least expect them! Hi, my name is Kim Sparks. I am a young professional who currently lives in Seattle, although I have spent most of my life in Southern California. My life is relatively ‘normal’ considering I work a 9 to 5 job, pay bills, enjoy spending my free time with friends and family, and being active etc. All of that is going to change this summer. I am quitting my job, hitting the road and spending the summer running from the U.S./Canadian border to Hyder, Alaska in support of Hope Matters International!

Why Run?

Self admittedly, this is a pretty crazy undertaking. But I think that’s part of the appeal for me. I love being in the outdoors, and the thought of a challenging adventure excites me! I once took a summer to hike the Sierra Nevadas five years ago, and it’s been too long since I’ve been out. As John Muir would say ‘The Mountains are calling, and I must go.” Only, this time I’ll be in Canada!

This also marks the end of a difficult chapter in my life. It is a celebration of the difficult, but life-giving, decisions I’ve had to make in regards to personal and work relationships. But I also want this run to be about something bigger than myself. While continued personal healing would be great, I’m more excited to see how this experience could be used to bless others.

Why Hope Matters International?

I have known Michelle for about 15 years now. She was highly involved in my church high school youth group, and I really connected with her. I admired all the work she was doing to become a nurse at the time, as well her passion for Africa. Although we both became busy with our own lives, we’ve stayed connected through periodic updates. Michelle’s work in Kenya has been on my heart for some time, and it was a natural choice to support her organization.

The Daily Grind

Essentially, this is one really, really long camping trip. We are officially leaving July 2nd from Seattle and heading to the U.S/Canadian border. Once we clear customs, I’ll hop out and begin!! I am so thankful to have the support of my boyfriend Caleb, without whom this trip would not be possible. He will be driving all the gear as we travel. Essentially I will be running part of the day for approximately 10 miles along country roads, and then setting up camp. Caleb will be spotting me (following me with the car) on some of the more narrow portions of road/up the 1 major mountain pass we have to cross. There will be some time for rest and sightseeing, but for the most part this will be our daily rhythm for the next 3 months. If you would like to get updates from the road, follow us at www.findingalaska.net!

How Can You Get Involved?

Please consider joining me, and donating to an extremely important cause. Many of us are extremely fortunate to have accessible medical care, unlike many people in rural Kenyan villages. My goal is to raise $14,160, which is based off of the total KM of this trip. If you want an easy breakdown, consider donating 25 cents a mile, which is $220, or 50 cents a mile which is $440. All donations are tax deductible. Check out Hope Matters at www.hopemattersintl.org

Donations can be made through http://www.hopemattersintl.org/give.html. Online transactions are through Pay-Pal. Please indicate in the note/memo section that your donation is in support of: Alaska or Bust 2015.

Donations can also be made by check made out to Hope Matters International and mailed to P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma, CA 91701. Again, please indicate in the Memo section that your donation is in support of Alaska or Bust 2015.

Meet Mary: She’s Climbing for a Cause

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Today we have the pleasure of a guest post from Mary. She shares her story here:

 

Meet Mary: My name is Mary Saugstad. I am a Canadian, an RN, a climber, a naturalist, a wife, a volunteer, a traveler and a humanitarian. For the first time in my life all these labels that ‘I am,’ will all be intertwined in an adventure of a lifetime in Africa! I will be climbing with my husband throughout Africa, with a particular goal of climbing to the top of Mt. Kenya in an effort to raise awareness of the beauty of Kenyan mountain culture and humanitarian relief needs in Kenya.

The Back-Story: We decided to climb Mt. Kenya after spending a few months in Nepal trekking through the beautiful Himalayas and spending 2 months volunteering with Porters’ Protection. After our trip we said to each other that Africa is next … Mt. Kenya will be our goal. So this adventure has been brewing in our heads for the last six years. On a personal level, I have always valued volunteerism in any community and made a commitment to myself that I will volunteer my time and my resources on every travelling adventure that I embark on. One of my major driving ambitions to becoming a nurse is to use my nursing skills in promoting health around the world.

My particular connection with Hope Matters International began in 2012. I shared my passion for community health in Africa to my nursing community health practicum instructor Denise Beaupre, who has been involved in several community health initiatives in Africa. We met for coffee a few times and after much discussion she referred me to Michelle Kiprop, RN, MSN, FNP. And now a little idea of mine will spring into fruition in December, when I will finally get to meet Michelle in person in Kipkaren, Kenya where I will volunteer as an RN alongside Michelle.

The Cause: My husband, Don, and I decided that it would be a neat idea to add value to our climb by trying to raise funds for Hope Matters International. This initiative of ours is in hopes of raising awareness of the beauty of mountain culture in Kenya, and raise awareness to the importance of community involvement in the areas that we travel to. We believe that as members of this wonderful world we have the duty to share our resources to help build communities. We hope to raise $17,057 for Hope Matters International to help fund Michelle’s medical clinic initiative in Kenya.

mountain_hiking_bootsDetails of the Climb: 17,057 is the number of feet of Mt. Kenya. This is equivalent to 5199 metres. We will likely hire porters and perhaps cooks, and maybe a guide. My husband is an expert mountaineer having climbed several mountains all over the world for the last 20 years. I started climbing in 2005. We have been training for this climb all summer by climbing in our local crags in Squamish, BC and summiting a few mountains the last two years, including Squamish’s Stewamus Chief, a 700m granite monolith. We will also train in Cape Town climbing Table Mountain and several other crags in Africa as well as trekking through various parts of Africa including Drakensburg, in Botswana and perhaps Namibia from November until the start of our climb up Mt. Kenya around November 30/December 1. Likely, the climb will take about 1 week including trekking to base camp and acclimatization. We are going to try to attempt the Normal Route to the top of Mt. Kenya which is a 5.8 route. The actual climb itself is about 400 metres, which equates to about 20 pitches of climbing.

The Goal: So far we have raised approximately $1000 by simply sharing our objectives to family and friends. When we get back from our trip we will organize two film nights: one in Squamish and one in Vancouver to share our adventure, raise awareness of Michelle’s health initiative and hopefully raise funds. We will not stop until we get to the $17,057. We are now only two and half weeks away from embarking on our adventure of a lifetime and truly look forward to it. We feel so fortunate to have the health and the means to be able to go on this trip. I truly look forward to volunteering with Michelle and giving back to a community that I know will give so much to me and to my husband.

How You Can Help: Donations can be made in honor of my climb by clicking here to make an online payment. Or if you would like to send a check you can make it out to “Hope Matters International” and mail to P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma, CA 91701. Please include a note in your envelope or with your electronic donation designating that the donation is in honor of Mary’s climb.

 

Thank you for reading this blog. And thank you to all my family and friends who have so far supported this initiative.

 

Sincerely,

Mary Saugstad, RN

mary.saugstad@vch.ca