While tourists see the beauty of Kenya, volunteers and medical health professionals often only see the poverty. With half of the countrys forty-three million people living below the poverty line and unable to meet their daily nutritional requirementsnot to mention not having reliable access to healthcare and sanitation facilitiesmany of Kenyas most vulnerable inhabitants are victims to disease and unhealthy living conditions.
In Behind the Smiles: An African Odyssey, Dr. Rilly Ray Rajkumar provides a compelling and earnest window into her time serving as a volunteer medical doctor outside one of Kenyas most impoverished cities. Offering both a history and analysis of the poverty and plight of Kenya as well as a collection of engaging narratives recounting her personal interactions with her most memorable patients, Dr. Rilly speaks to the heart-wrenching reality of povertyas well as to the joy and hope that even just one person can bring to an entire village of need with their support.
Dr. Rillys story should inspire and encourage other medical health professionals to consider following her example and learn more about how they too can help. With motivated, inspired volunteers to help improve health services in these communities, the hope is that behind the rich culture and gracious smiles of the Kenyan people, we can also restore health and a sense of well-being.