Author Archives: vaninakacheva

December 15

Vivid memories

My days in Kenya are over. But I’m not over Kenya. And while I’m not ready to say good-bye just yet, while the memories from my 6m experience are still colorful and bright, I’d like to share what I’ll miss most about it, what I’ll remember most vividly… The children of Africa Very few people in […]

December 02

Contemplating the past

I am falling asleep.  I’ve been out all day, Walking up hilly dusty paths, Under the scorching African sun. In the footsteps of a woman. She is a symbol of an era, That will soon be history, Told in tales by old people to their grandchildren She is a symbol of the past,  Yet she […]

November 29

What do you want to get out of it?

What do you want to get out of it?

November 15

20 of 25: To Make It Last

One thing that amazes me in the NGO world and more particularly in Save the Children’s work in Kenya is the mindset of how to translate short-term programs into long-term impact. Program cycles last a year, two, maybe four, mostly influenced by funding limitations. Many of the programs we run here are behavior change programs, we […]

November 06

Veni. Vidi. Vesna.

Or getting to know Kenya in 10 days…. When I was coming to Kenya, I wanted to fully experience local life here. Previous Pulse volunteers advised me, ‘if you plan your travels well, you could see quite a lot in 6 months’. So I did. And I was sharing all of that with my friends, through […]

November 01

A Bad Omen

For the few months I spent with Save the Children in Bungoma, I’ve told and retold this story many times, on meetings, on trainings, to friends. In parts in Western Kenya there is a bad omen for the family, if your first born are twins of same-sex. The omen says that one of the twins must die, […]

November 01


West Kenya, Busia county, close to Uganda border. It’s mid-day, close to 40 degrees Celsius under the scorching African sun. More than 200 women have gathered under the deep shadow of a few trees. They are sitting on plastic chairs, children clutching their skirts, babies hugging into mothers’ breasts. They are chatting silently, looking expectantly at […]

October 16

On-Off-On: Restart

It’s been 3 weeks of silence. After the traumatizing events in my family a month back, I must confess I lost a little bit of inspiration in my Kenyan adventure. But then I went home and spent time with my family and friends, and then I came back. After more than 15,000km of travel back […]

September 28

About death. And life.

Probably this is one of the most difficult things I am doing during my Pulse assignment. Writing this post. One week ago my dog died. His name was Casper.He was not just a pet, he was family for 12 years, and I deeply loved him. I always dreaded the moment I would have to say […]

September 17

Dance with me.

  Imagine you are a teenage girl or a boy, you are young, smart, beautiful, talented. You aspire to play, laugh, create, perform, achieve. Yet, you live in an informal settlement or a slum area in Nairobi. The streets where you live are not safe. You need to do an extra effort to get a decent education, school fees, […]

September 11

#10 of 25. The Power of A Good Story.

Stories, stories, stories. In my communications role with Save the Children, I have come to realize that capturing and sharing individual stories is very important. Already three months into my assignment, I take this part of my work for granted. Yet recently I was asked by my friend Mahendra the “why” question – so why you capture these case […]

September 04

Children’s Voices from Dadaab

If you think “refugee crisis”, you think Europe. Now … think Africa! As per UNCHR end’15 data, the world’s largest refugee camp is located in Eastern Kenya. Dadaab. It was the site hosting more than 300,000 refugees, most of them fleeing from the Somalia civil war. “It was”, because few years back Kenya and Somalia governments signed an […]

August 29

The making of … a hero

How long it takes to shoot a 30″ TV commercial? It takes months and months of preparation, concept development, testing, drawing, shooting, post production. And a huge team: client, agency, production house, you name it. Soooo, when on a Wednesday morning I received the list of people, locations and interviews VIP wanted to cover for […]

August 21

How do you experience culture?

This time I want to write about me experiencing Kenyan culture. The longer I stay on my PULSE assignment, the less sensitive I get to the cultural differences, I simply get used to them. So I feel it’s the right time and place to capture some of the things that have impressed me so far. How do […]

August 14

Live like a Kenyan. Jump like a Masai.

“You stay in Kenya for 6 months? Then you are a Kenyan,” Peter*, our Masai host, says. He’s right. PULSE assignment is unique in many ways. One of them is the opportunity to explore cultural life in its full as a local. I thought, it’s an experience worth sharing. It’s a Sunday morning, we are chatting leisurely with […]