Mirthe’s experience in Kenya

Maryosa’s volunteer photographer Mirthe (left) at the 2018 Financial Capability Conference in Athi River, Kenya

In light of our 2018 financial capability conference, our latest volunteer, Mirthe, joined as a photographer. Many of the photos you will see on this website are taken by her. Here, she recounts her experiences during her trip to Kenya for Maryosa.

My trip to Kenya for the Maryosa Foundation was certainly exciting. I went there with an open mind and with open eyes, and let my lens find what it may.

When we arrived in Kenya, I felt warmth. Literally, of course, but also metaphorically, emanating from the lovely people that greeted us. The environment was beautiful: the houses scattered throughout the landscape, the view of the mountain, the zebras, and the giraffes—my favourite animals! I immediately felt at home, which allowed me to confidently focus on my work.

I was even more inspired by the enthusiasm of the young participants. They were very confident, asked critical questions, and really participated as much as they could. Because of this, I paid close attention to the learning process as well as the general atmosphere to record in my photographs.

And what a great atmosphere it was. The workshops were fantastic with a vast range of creative elements. Never before had I seen such ingenuity. I was also impressed by how open they spoke about their finances. All this led to the participants forming a very close group. At each end of yet another intensive day of work, the evening was a time of liberation and dance. Beautiful! … and then, someone takes you by the hand, invites you to the middle of the circle, and it’s show time! Oops.

Now, already some time after these great experiences, the participants still tell me through social media how much they learned during the conference, and how often they remember the experiences. I, too, often think back. Maryosa gave me the opportunity to join their mission, and I am grateful for that. I have recorded the conference visually and in writing. I have conducted interviews with the participants who had plans for an education. I hope that this work can help to make that dream come true. Photography is my passion, but my personal drive, and my dream, is that they will have an opportunity to have the life they envision for themselves. Thát will make me happy.