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Community Volunteer Projects, Kenya
Take part in a comprehensive volunteer venture, located in various areas of Kenya. Choose from a range of programmes: from working with children and adolescents in community projects, to healthcare projects, helping in orphanages and teaching placements.
This is community-volunteer programme that centres on placements in rural and urban locations all over Kenya. Volunteers choose three projects out of five project areas to volunteer in:
There are five different types of projects to choose from:
- Community and women's empowerment
- Teaching projects
- Orphanage projects
- Finance projects
- Healthcare projects
Each project type offers very different experiences for volunteers in Kenya. Once you have selected the three areas that are of interest to you, you will be allocated a project that not only matches your skills, but also matches the needs of the communitywhere the project is based. You will be placed at a project that ultimately genuinely benefits from your presence and assistance.
- Pre-departure briefing in London
- Pre-departure information and advice
- 24-hour emergency contacts
- In-country assistance and support
- In-country induction and training in Nairobi
- Transportation: airport collection and transfer to hostel in Nairobi for induction
- Accommodation: Local host family accommodation with project manager
- Food: Meals included and provided by host family
What's NOT included?
- Transfer to project from Nairobi
Depending on the type of project that you have been allocated to, you may be placed in locations all over central and southern Kenya.
The following regions in Kenya are available:
- Nairobi and the surrounding areas
- Western Region
- Eastern Region
- Central Region
- Lake Victoria Region
- Coastal Region
- Rift Valley Region
Project life and Photos
Once you have been collected from the airport and have had time to settle in to your hostel accommodation in Nairobi, you will be given a three-day induction at our partner’s office in the east of the city. The inductions start on the first Monday of every month. It would be good to arrive at least one day before the orientation starts. You should keep this in mind when booking your flight. The induction will include...
- An introduction to Kenya, providing you with a full orientation of the capital – this will include a city tour of Nairobi (to ensure that you know where all of the main attractions and amenities are in the city).
- A briefing on everything that you need to understand about life in the region - with useful advice about living and working in Kenya, and details of the project that you have been allocated to.
Transfer to your project:
Following your induction you will be provided with an assisted transfer to your project location. Distances will vary depending on where you have been placed.
Although you will have to fund the journey yourself it is reasonably inexpensive to travel by public transport, and you will be provided with assistance on how to conduct this journey. You can also choose to have someone from our partner organisation accompany you on the trip to your project.
There will be someone to meet you at the other end when you arrive at your project.
There are five varied projects to choose to volunteer in during your stay in Kenya.
- Community & Female Empowerment Projects
- Teaching Projects
- Orphanage Projects
- Finance Projects
- Healthcare Projects
Please inform your Twin Work & Volunteer Travel Advisor of your top three placement preferences. Once we have your choice of three projects (and have spoken to you about your skills and motivation), we will then speak to our partner organisation in Kenya who will allocate you to one of the three projects.
Below are some photos taken from a Home for Children & Young Adults with Disabilities and a Youth Community project:
1. Community and Female Empowerment projects…
The role of volunteers in community projects is always extremely extensive due to the fact that all communities will have varying needs and requirements. Kenya is full of diverse communities, each with their own customs, practices and tribes – this diversity allows volunteers to work in a whole range of exciting placements (and sub-placements)…
- A number of projects may focus on working with children who have disabilities, helping them to learn new vocational skills so that they can go on to find employment and gain independence. Volunteers placed here will spend a significant proportion of their time helping the children with their daily exercises, providing them with basic life skills and generally building up their self-confidence.
- Other projects can be based in educational centres in exceptionally poor urban areas, helping to raise awareness of important social issues amongst children and young adolescents. The role of the volunteer here will be to engage with the local people via outreach programmes, particularly though youth activities, school visits and the performing arts.
Working with children will almost certainly be a large part of many of the activities focused on in community projects.
Volunteers who choose to work in the teaching projects will be placed in a Kenyan school that can either be nursery, primary or high-school level. They’ll be expected to assist in lessons and help teach basic English and Maths.
Class sizes will almost certainly be exceedingly large, so you may end up taking small groups of children so that you can give them some one-on-one academic attention. You may find it difficult at first, as you’ll immediately face the challenges of teaching in an African school - for example the teaching style is very different in Kenya and the limited access to resources can be hard to come to grips with.
There will also be scope for you to engage the children in other educational extra-curricular activities, including games and sports.
At the orphanages in Kenya volunteers will be helping to look after children from very poor and vulnerable backgrounds. Some children may not actually live onsite as they’ll be accommodated with nearby extended families, others though will be orphans that have lost both of their parents. Whatever the individual circumstances may be for each child, they all need the care and attention of volunteers.
- On a day-to-day basis you’ll be assisting the staff and supporting them in their efforts to run the homes, and you’ll take time to play and interact with the children. You can help them get ready for school, give them extra tutoring when they get back from school, or simply play games with them in order to keep them entertained.
There are several micro-finance positions available in small volunteer projects. Volunteers on these placements will be able to analyse the accounting and filing systems of their placement organisation, and then assist them in streamlining their financial processes. Setting up and implementing a system of reporting profit and losses is also an important part of the assistance required by these organisations.
Healthcare is a major issue in Kenya and there are countless volunteer projects that target this specific area.
- One of the central roles of volunteers on healthcare projects is to help raise awareness of certain high profile diseases and social problems. The healthcare projects require volunteers to assist with the delivery of important educational and counselling campaigns, with work that includes dealing with issues such as alcoholism, drug/substance abuse as well as environmental degradation.
- There is of course also a very large emphasis placed on sexual health and HIV/AIDS awareness - this is a huge area of work for the healthcare projects, and strong guidance is always provided on safe sex in order to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. Appropriate, counselling is also offered to those who are affected/infected by the disease.
Flights, transportation and visas
- Please arrange your flight to arrive in to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
- You will be met at the airport and taken to the volunteer accommodation. Your airport transfer will be conducted in a serviceable vehicle.
- You will travel to your placement via public transport.
CIBT Visa advice...
For expert visa advice we advise our volunteer, work placement, and internship participants to get in touch with CIBT - a company that we work in partnership with. Our UK, Canadian, and US travellers can use CIBT for visa advice and to get their visa applications processed - with visas returned within a week.
Dates and duration
There will be an orientation meeting for new volunteers lasting three days beginning on the first Monday every month. Volunteers should arrive at least one day before the orientation starts.
Please check availability with a Twin Work & Volunteer travel advisor. Call 0800 80 483 80 or contact us.
Safety and insurance
- All of Twin Work & Volunteer's placements are in partnership with recognised and established local organisations, run by or employing local people. These organisations, depending on the nature of what they do, might be small-scale NGOs, family projects, schools or orphanages, or local initiatives with environmental or social goals.
- We often use local businesses to provide logistical and support services to volunteers such as transfers, pick-ups, accommodation and so on. In this way, we support the local economy through helping independent local businesses to thrive. We take our partnerships very seriously and work extremely closely with all our partners.
- We provide 24-hour emergency support from the UK and our partners provides support locally.
- We have an agreement with the crisis management service Tranquillico, should the very worst situations arise.
- If any wider safety concerns arise in the destination, such as civil disturbances or natural disasters, we seek advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and implement their recommendations where appropriate.
Comprehensive insurance is available for all programmes. You have no obligation to take up insurance with any of these companies, but insurance of a suitable sort is mandatory on all our programmes.
No specific skills are required to volunteer on this programme however you must be prepared to volunteer in some very poor urban locations or remote rural communities. You must also be ready to embrace the cultural differences that you’ll encounter during your stay on the programme.
Accommodation and Food
- During your initial few days in Kenya when you’ll be receiving your induction in Nairobi, you’ll be accommodated in a hostel in the eastern part of the city. Our partner’s office is just around the corner from where you’ll be receiving your induction.
- During your volunteer placement you will stay with a local host family.
Host families in Kenya will be different from those in your country. Some of the home stays may be quite basic, but all of them will be clean and comfortable. Staying with a host family is a fascinating way to learn more about the local culture, and you’ll find that they want to know more about where you’re from as well
Food: In the urban areas expect to find a mixture of both western and Kenyan food offered to you, however, at the rural projects you will almost certainly be given local cuisine.
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