My First Day Volunteering
Save for the whirling of the ceiling fan, the Faraja Cancer Support wellness centre is quiet. The attendants are paying rapt attention to Rodney Aries as he introduces a top as fascinating as its titled; Quantum Touch.
For a Monday morning, the gathering of therapists and new Faraja volunteers are vibrant. I scan the room and access the men and women from different nationalities, races, age groups and professions. It is my first day as a volunteer at Faraja Cancer Support Trust and I am eager to listen to the day’s speaker, notebook and pen in hand.
“Love is a universal vibration, a foundation of all healing.” Rodney says.
He knows what he is talking about. He is a survivor of lung cancer.
“I don’t subscribe to the attitude of aggression towards cancer. I did not fight it but rather, once I accepted, I did a lot of research to understand all my options for quality life and healing.” he further quips.
On the 22nd of January 2018, Faraja Cancer Support Trust invited all their volunteers and therapists to a start-of-the-year session. Like Rodney Aries, some of the volunteers are also cancer survivors, while others have had a loved one experience the painful lick of cancer. The rest of the volunteers offer their expertise simply as a means of giving back to the community.
The range of expertise in the room varies from graphic designers, reflexologists, nurses, writers, counsellors, nutritionists, holistic therapy practitioners, physical exercise therapists and me- a writer.
A cancer diagnosis is not just shocking to a patient but is also emotionally, physically and financially draining. While the doctors offer patients mainstream therapies like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Faraja steps in to offer information, support groups and, something I learnt that day, complementary therapies.
“Complementary therapies ensures the wholesomeness of the mind and spirit. It allows the patient to accept their diagnosis and consequently their treatment process” Explains Dr Peter Rotich, a radiologist with HCG-CCK who was also one of the speaker’s of the day.
Towards the end of the session, the new volunteers had an opportunity to mingle and interact with the therapists and staff members who have been supporting Faraja’s journery of giving help, hope and life to children and adults with cancer in Kenya.
It is inspiring to learn about the difference that complementary therapies makes in the life of a cancer patient. Still, there is so much more to be done especially in creating awareness about the need for these free therapies and the existence of this wellness centre that opens its doors every weekday to patients and their care givers. I am ready for the challenge and look forward to my year of volunteering at Faraja.
Editor’s Note: Faith Karimi is a writer, publisher and skills development facilitator. She is married and blessed with three children