I signed up for an Azma International medical trip to Nairobi, Kenya last summer. Little did I know at the time it would one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I made unforgettable friendships, learned more about medicine than I had in two years of university and embarked on a life-changing adventure. Sounds like the script to a Hollywood movie right? The best part is that it was reality. The director, Anne Mbithe, made sure I was welcomed and helped me through every step of my journey.
My six weeks working at a hospital was so much more than I could have ever expected it to be. The staff there became my close friends and some of the best teachers I have ever had. All I had to do was express my curiosity and a willingness to work hard. I would encourage any motived, adventurous soul interested in medicine and Kenyan culture to set out on their own life-changing journey with Azma.
Nancy, NC State University, USA
My experience in Kenya is beyond what I had expected or imagined. I had the opportunity to be integrated into a completely different society than I’m used to. It allowed me to appreciate and rediscover the wonders of life from hearing the first cries of a newborn when I volunteered at the hospital to being inches away from lions and zebras during my safari trip to Masai Mara.
Azma International had made all of this possible by connecting me to such resources and making sure my trip ran as smoothly as possible. I came back with a more worldly perspective on life and a hunger to explore more wonders of the world and this couldn’t have happened without Azma.
Christine, Case Western Reserve University, USA
My experience in Huancayo, Peru was amazing with AZMA International. I worked during the mornings with a local clinic for the town, helping doctors and nurses with basic duties. That was a rewarding and unique experience that I could have never received from schooling or independent traveling. In the afternoons I was blessed enough to work at a local after school program teaching underprivileged youth valuable skills. I stayed for five weeks, but whether you stay one week, or 12, the relationship that you build with these children will be one of the most rewarding of your life. To see how grateful the kids are in these communities to have volunteers come and work with them is incredible.
Where I was placed in Peru there were opportunities to teach in pretty much any subject, regardless of your teaching background.
Working with AZMA was easy and well worth the fee. AZMA is a unique organization and talking with its creator has really landed it a special place in my heart. I would recommend working with Anne and the rest of the AZMA crew to anyone, all age groups, all social classes, and all backgrounds. That’s the beauty of AZMA, they really are all inclusive, and offer experiences that truly are life changing.
Tara, ASU student, USA
Hey everyone! My name is John and I got the opportunity to volunteer through AZMA International summer of 2013. I stayed in Nairobi at Anne’s house along with her daughter and a few other volunteers. I was nervous about the whole experience because I had never even been out of the country before, but once I got to the house and got settled it was very nice. The first thing I noticed about Kenya was how nice the people are. Some of the nicest people I have ever met were from my trip to Kenya. I worked at Melchizedek Hospital for the 5 weeks I was in Kenya. It was a fairly small hospital but it was a great experience. I got to help out in all parts of the hospital and really see how a healthcare facility works and what it takes to keep it running.
I got some awesome professional experience at the hospital and I got some life experience away from the hospital. If you’ve never been out of the USA, and are on the fence about going, I recommend going. I also recommend going through AZMA International. The staff always want to help and really just wants the volunteers to have a good time and make it as easy as possible for us. If I could do it over again, I would honestly not change a thing!
John, North Carolina, USA
Volunteering abroad in Huancayo, Peru with Azma International was the experience of a lifetime. This was my first time abroad so I was a bit nervous at first but Anne and all of the Azma staff were so helpful along the way and made sure my trip ran smoothly. Teaching the kids English at the local schools was so rewarding. It’s amazing how much progress I saw them make and how much they truly appreciated my time there. The city of Huancayo is filled with so much life there was never a dull moment. I was immediately welcomed into the home of a local family during my stay. Discovering the breathtaking sights, vibrant culture and above all kindness of the people of Huancayo, Peru were what made my time so memorable.This was such an incredible journey and I could not have done it without Azma!
Allyson, UCF Orlando, FL
I decided to sign up for a medical trip to Kenya over the summer. It was my first time traveling out of the country by myself, so I was pretty clueless. Fortunately, Anne Mbithe was always there to guide me through everything. From giving me traveling advices and arranging my hospital orientation to recommending me places that I should visit, she would make sure that I make the most out of my travel. During my time there, I worked closely with pharmacists, nurses, and lab technicians at a local hospital. Everyone were extremely welcoming; they were just as excited to work with me as I was to learn from them.
I also had the opportunity to observe several brilliants physicians and surgeons at work. I even get to witness a childbirth on the day of my 21st birthday! Throughout this journey, I have made many incredible friends with the hospital staffs, locals, and other volunteers. We bonded by going site seeing, trying amazing different local cuisines, and shopping at the flea market. I felt that I was completely submerged into their society and the experience was eye-opening. This is why I will recommend Azma international to anyone who seeks a meaningful and fulfilling adventure.
Wesley, NC State University, USA
Last summer in Kenya, I learned one of the best lessons of my life, never let fear or misunderstanding hinder you from amazing opportunities. My experience in Kenya with Azma far exceeded my initial imagination. The country, culture, and people are so welcoming and your adventure whether it is in medical, childcare, or wildlife will be indescribable. Azma International, especially the director Anne, will help you encounter participation and exposure in a variety of settings.
From volunteering in 2 separate hospitals one in Nairobi and Malinda, visiting schools in the Kibera slum, living with 2 wonderful host families, seeing Kenya wildlife on safari in Masai Mara, to riding a dhow in Lamu, my ventures throughout Kenya were unlimited. I urge you to take part in this wonderful experience and to explore all Kenya has to offer. I cannot wait to return to Kenya in the future, and this is due to Azma International.
Hannah Lockamy, USA
I had the best experience of my life volunteering with Azma’s HIV/AIDS program.
I worked with wonderfull people in Kibera slum, who despite being infected and affected, they had hope! I was really inspired. Muchas gracias Azma!
Idoia Sorpuerta, Madrid, Spain