Working in Kenya: A Program Administrator’s Personal Journey


Abiola Oke’s recent publication, Giving: An Organization’s Guide to Volunteer Engagement and Team Building was released just before Christmas. Since then it has become one of the best selling books on the subject of career transition. In her book she shares with readers several case studies and personal stories that show exactly what can be accomplished when a career transition program is used as an engagement strategy. I personally would like to focus on one particular aspect of volunteer engagement and team building in Abiola Oke’s book, given its relevance to my business. This book’s focus is a case study on Abiola Oke’s experiences as a coordinator for an interfaith and AIDS outreach organization.

Are Your Team And Volunteer Engagement Initiatives Integral To Your Charity’s Mission And Operations?

In the case study that follows, titled Faith-Based Volunteer Engagement and Teams, Abiola Oke relates how she utilized a faith-based team and volunteer engagement program during the organization’s three year mission in rural Kenya. She describes how she worked as a team and volunteer coordinator assisting key members of her organization as they worked with members from both faith traditions to address community concerns. During this comprehensive period of service, Abiola was able to witness first hand how faith-based nonprofits can successfully integrate the needs of their communities while simultaneously working to strengthen their ties to their cultural and religious heritage.

In light of the current global media attention that is devoted to issues of faith-based nonprofits and the impact that such organizations can have on local environments, I find that Abiola Oke’s detailed description of her work as a program administrator for an interfaith AIDS outreach organization sheds new light on the practice. Through her detailed descriptions of her work as a program administrator, one is able to draw insight not only into what she did as a team and volunteer coordinator but also into the challenges that religious nonprofits face when working in foreign environments. For any non-profit organization hoping to draw the benefit of engaging its target community through effective and efficient volunteer engagement and team building programs, I highly recommend reading Abiola Oke’s book, “Working in Kenya: A Program Administrator’s Personal Journey.”

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