Can you earn money while in Kenya?
No, we’re on a missionary visa and can’t make extra income. Anyway, our purpose there is to work with young people and not make money – we could do that anywhere!
So, how will you survive there?
Good question! We have a dedicated team of people around the world who sacrificially give each month. Our monthly budget is $5,000 per month, and at this stage we have not reached this goal. This covers all our operating and living expenses. We don’t want to be the type that is always asking people for money, instead we want them to grab the vision and partner with us. They might not be able to go to Africa, but we can go on their behalf.
Isn’t it cheap to live in Africa?
To buy a house in a safe area it is almost as expensive as in Sydney. It’s like any city, there’s masses of people and only limited land. Not that we plan to buy a house, we’ll rent an apartment. It’s the things like insurance and buying a vehicle every 4 years that add to the cost. Electricity is really expensive and we have to look at the fluctuating US dollar which plays a big part for us.
Is it safe to live in Africa?
Firstly, Africa is made up of 54 countries and it’s not all war, famine and poverty. Secondly, every place has its risks. Yes, we face more risks than living on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, but it’s pretty comfy there compared to other parts of Sydney anyway. We always take security seriously. That means not wearing jewellery when out on our own, locking the car doors as soon as we get in, carrying a bag at the front instead of the back, things like that. We use local hosts when taking a group around and take minimal cash out with us. There seem to be more bomb attacks in Kenya, which is usually by Somali rebels. There’s nothing we can do about those, except to be careful. We don’t drive great distances at night and if Lizzie goes out, she catches a ride on a piki piki (motorbike).
What do you actually do when volunteering there?
Pete heads up the community development arm of BeyondWater. He is often found in different places around Kenya helping groups such as schools and orphanages who need advice on how to improve their sanitation and agricultural environments.
Sharon focuses on team development, education and resourcing local leaders. She is continuing her work with BeyondWater in alleviating poverty through safe drinking water.
At times their work calls for visiting schools, conference and church speaking as well as assisting international visitors.
Can we come to visit?
Of course you can! We can arrange all aspects of your trip here whether you would like to volunteer or just come and see the beautiful sites of Kenya. We have key people we’ve partnered with so your trip will be safe, enjoyable and affordable. We also have a special room set up just for our visitors with it’s own ensuite, internet, television and very nicely set up living space.
How long do you plan to be there?
As long as the funds keeps coming in, we’ll be staying. If we want to be effective working with young people then we need to be there long term.
Does that mean you plan on not coming back?
Yes, even those working in the humanitarian field need a break! Every year the Creans undertake a speaking tour to raise funds for projects. They intend to be back in Australia every 18 months.
Where do you live?
No, as most people assume, we do not live in a mud hut. We live in a 3 bedroom apartment. It’s in a compound with about 20 other apartments. There’s a mall 15 minutes walk away, shopping centre around the corner and the office is a 5 minute drive. It’s very safe and we have guards 24/7.