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Volunteer in Kenya

Are you thinking of volunteering abroad? Would you like to help those in need while seeing the world? Have you ever wanted to volunteer in Kenya?

Kenya is a great country to volunteer and travel in. Here you can witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara National Reserve, taking in unforgettable wildlife experiences in the country's national parks and preserves while seeing endangered lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard, and rhino populations.

Though amazingly beautiful, Kenya is still a developing country, with the typical problems facing much of the third world. Poor economic diversity, lack of opportunity and education, along with rapid population growth, all conspire to keep half of the population living in poverty. Unfortunately, this affects poor communities, children, and women the most.

Today, many local organizations work to help poor communities and children desperately need volunteers more than ever.

There are many volunteer opportunities In Kenya for you to get involved with and make a difference through. You can teach in schools, serve in medical clinics, or offer support in orphanages or help in an HIV/AIDS awareness program. No matter what program you join, you will have the opportunity to share your passion, and change the lives of others while changing your own.

Are you interested in taking your life in new directions while helping those in need? Then request information about volunteering in Kenya by contacting IFRE today!

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Volunteer Opportunities and Projects In Kenya

Africa needs your help in countless ways, so no matter what your experience, background, passion or interests are, IFRE has a project in Kenya you can get involved with that will help you make a real difference in the world. Take a look at these exciting offerings and find your future project!

Kenya is a country that is consumed by poverty. There are thousands of orphaned and homeless children who have to fend for themselves in order to survive, and few orphanages in Kenya are trying to help these orphaned children. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to dedicate your time, energy, and skills to change the lives of children, but also enrich your own life through unforgettable experiences.

The aim of the orphanage volunteer program in Kenya is to help the local orphanage centers turn things around in the fields of education, child development, and healthcare. With your valuable efforts, orphaned children will be able to shape their own future into far brighter and potentially more prosperous ones.

You will also give orphaned children healthy, secure and constructive childhoods. Most of your volunteer work will revolve around caring for the children, teaching them, and assisting in the kitchen and the administrative offices.

Are you willing to share your love and passion for orphaned children? Go to the project page to find the complete information.

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Although good English language skills will give young Kenyans better prospective jobs and help to break the cycle of poverty, access to a good English education is not available for children from low income families.

Thus, these children go to local public schools which are perpetually over-crowded and understaffed.  Volunteers’ help is always needed in these school, and with your help students can gain this valuable skill and a chance at a brighter future.

By joining  volunteer English teaching project in Kenya, you will be able to teach English to children from disadvantaged families while immersing yourself in the Kenyan culture and language. As a volunteer, your main goal is to increase the student’s ability to comprehend English and encourage them to participate in creative activities. With their newfound ability, they will be able to obtain better jobs in the future and raise themselves out of poverty.

Interested to share your love and passion for orphans? Go to the project page to find pricing and complete information.

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In Kenya, many local clinics and hospitals are always overcrowded and looking for volunteers. So, when you join our medical volunteering program in Kenya, you will work in local hospitals/clinics directly under the supervision of local doctors and medical staff.

Depending on your education or experience, you will be shadowing the local doctors or be involved in general check-ups and treatments. No matter what you do, you will have a meaningful and fulfilling volunteering experience.

Want to learn more about medical volunteering in Kenya? Go to the project page to find the complete information.

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HIV/AIDS is a deadly virus which is widespread in Kenya. Many people, especially in rural areas where there is a severe lack of medical services, have to deal with HIV/AIDS on a daily basis. There is a lack of manpower and resources in the local hospitals to treat and help these patients, and an urgent need for volunteers. The effort put forth by volunteers like you will help change the lives of many poor and HIV-infected people in Kenya.

Upon joining IFRE’s Kenya HIV/AIDS volunteer program, your tasks will include counseling, visiting patients and their families, and participating in public awareness activities to help prevent the spread of future infections.

You will also provide tips to patients on health, nutrition, and sanitation, and keep patient records. Work responsibilities vary depending on your education, skills, and experience.

Want to share your love to HIV affected people? Go to the project page to find the complete information.

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During this exciting volunteer program and adventure, you will get the opportunity to volunteer in a local orphanage and explore beautiful Kenya. Not only will you make a difference in the life of children but also get to visit traditional Maasai lands, spot incredible wildlife, admire the stunning valleys, and explore beautiful villages and cultures. This program is a perfect blend of a volunteering abroad experience and a Kenya safari experience

Interested to make a difference in the life of orphans while experiencing African Safari? Go to the project page to find the complete information.

In addition to the life-changing programs listed above, IFRE also offers a hands on medical program, group programs for high school and college students, Family volunteering, alternative spring breaks, and many more unique programs. Contact us today to learn more.

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Volunteer Opportunities In Kenya : Fees & Start Dates:

Start Dates: Our Kenya volunteer programs usually start every Monday, although we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints and if you require another start-date, we can usually accommodate your needs.

Fees:

Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible. 

Pricing Detail

Weeks All Projects
  1 Week   $150
  2 Weeks   $250
  3 Weeks   $350
  4 Weeks   $450
  5 Weeks   $550
  6 Weeks   $650
  7 Weeks   $750
  8 Weeks   $850
  9 Weeks   $950
  10 Weeks   $1050
  11 Weeks   $1150
  12 Weeks   $1250

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day »

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (host family)
  • Food (local food 3 times a day)
  • Airport Pick up/Transfer
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

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Volunteer Opportunities In Kenya : Room/Food/Supervision

You are already giving so much of yourself to volunteer abroad and help make a difference, IFRE wants to make sure your- Kenya volunteer experience is stress-free and goes smoothly. We take care of all those pesky details for you, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You’ll have safe and comfortable housing, nutritious meals, and careful supervision by a passionate and experienced staff.

While volunteering in Kenya, you will stay in the safe and secure homes of Kenyan host families. The homes of our host families are located in a beautiful area about 30 km away from the Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta) International Airport, and this area is very safe. You will stay in a clean, sparsely furnished home that will meet all your needs as an IFRE volunteer.

The nearby local bus (matatu van/bus style taxi) station is only one kilometer away from the homes of our host families and is easily accessible by walking. The matatu runs to downtown Nairobi, which is approximately 15 km from the homes of our host families, and costs around $1to $2 Depends on destinations

Useful amenities within 2 km of the homes of our host families include an internet café, restaurants and supermarkets. The local police station is also located nearby, so our volunteers in Kenya can feel absolutely safe while staying with our host families.

In most host family situations, volunteers will share a room with another volunteer of the same gender.

Once you have applied for program placement, you will find the specific details of your accommodations in your personal placement documents for your Kenya volunteer project.

Learn more about our Kenyan host families and their homes here.

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Free Time

Volunteers have free time on weekends and in the evening and they can use this time to explore the beautiful country of Kenya and all it has to offer.

While IFRE does not arrange activities during this time off, our local staff members and coordinators can provide assistance in making appropriate arrangements to travel and explore the country. This is the time for self-discovery, learning, and exploring this foreign culture and exotic land.

If you want to take a safari tour, our IFRE local coordinators/staff are available to give you free advice, travel tips and help you book your travel.

As well as the game reserves, Kenya has wonderful coastal beaches. You can explore the amazing wildlife, fascinating landscapes and colorful cultures and customs, or you can simply hike in the village. Please discuss your options with our local Kenya volunteer project staff to find the best way to spend your free time in Kenya.

Read more about some of the exciting things you can do in your free time while in Kenya.


Safety

Your safety is IFRE’s number one priority at all times, and you can have peace of mind knowing we will do everything possible to ensure you have a safe and secure experience volunteering in Kenya. We offer pre-trip support, reliable and comprehensive travel insurance, airport pick-up, and availability guidance and support by an experienced in-country staff that is right there on the ground to help you every step of the way.

In-Country Support

As soon as you arrive in Kenya, you will have the support of an experienced team of in-country field staff. The team is comprised of mature, educated, socially respected individuals who are dedicated humanitarians highly experienced in working with international volunteers.

Your main point of contact will be the in-country coordinator. They will select your Kenya volunteering project placement, make all the arrangements for your airport transfer, accommodations, and food, give you an orientation which covers culture, safety, and your service work, introduce you to your host family and project staff, and make periodic visits and calls to check up on your progress. You can reach out to the coordinator at any time with any questions, issues, or to ask for advice and they will be happy to assist you.

Learn more about our commitment to safety and our in-country support in Kenya.

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Volunteer Opportunities In Kenya : Frequently Asked Questions- FAQ

Which airport do I need to fly to?

You should fly to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.

Do you organize airport pick-up services?

Yes, we organize airport pick-up services for our international volunteers in Kenya. You just need to provide our staff with your flight details and meet them at the airport, so that they can drop you off at your hotel prior to the start of your volunteer placement.

What happens if I miss a flight or arrive late?

It is crucial for our volunteers to inform us about their missed flight or late arrival in such circumstances. Volunteers must always give us proper information regarding their flight details and arrival time, so that we can prepare for their arrival.  If you missed your flight, please book a hotel downtown Nairobi and call your ground coordinator. You can find the phone number in your placement details

Who will come to pick me up? How do I recognize the person at the airport?

Our local representative will be waiting for you at the airport arrival terminal. He/she will be responsible for picking you up from the airport on time and taking you to your accommodations. Our local staff will be carrying a white signboard with your name on it. If you do not see them, you can always call them, as their contact information will be provided to you before your flight to Kenya. We also encourage volunteer to exchange pictures with our ground coordinator so you will more easily recognize each other.

If my Kenya volunteer program begins on Monday, when should I arrive? If I want to arrive before the starting date of my assignment, where will I stay and who will organize the accommodations? Will it cost me extra?

If your assignment begins on Monday, we highly advise you to arrive on Sunday and take the day to rest and prepare. If you plan to arrive earlier than the starting date of your volunteer program, you should get in touch with our in-country coordinator and let them organize the accommodations for you.

Who will take me to the airport for my departure?

IFRE does not provide airport drop off services after the completion of your volunteer project. You will need to arrange a transfer vehicle to take you to the airport for your departure on your own. If you need assistance, you can ask your in-country coordinator for advice. Be sure to budget for this expense.

What do I need prior to departure from my home country?

To prepare for volunteering program in Kenya, you will need to complete several steps. The first is research, so you’re already ahead of the game. Be sure to also research Kenya, including customs and culture, so you know what to expect. You’ll need to book your flight and provide that itinerary to our coordinator so they can set up your airport pick-up. Research the visa requirements based on your home country and apply well in advance as this process can take a few weeks.

Next, you’ll want to visit your doctor and discuss your trip. Get up to date on any necessary vaccinations, including subsequent boosters that may be needed, and get any prescription meds filled as you won’t be able to get these abroad. Speaking of health, you’ll need to obtain a reliable travel insurance policy in order to participate in our programs. Print out a copy along with making a copy of your passport to bring along in your travels.

Where are the projects located?

Our Kenya volunteer programs are located in the Nairobi suburbs and the Mataboni (rural) region. These places are full of culture, so you will enjoy every moment of your stay. Volunteers can go on insightful trips around the surrounding areas of their project locations and visit popular tourist attractions.

Is there any minimum or maximum stay? Can I extend my stay if I choose to?

Our programs run in duration from one to twelve weeks. You will need to ensure your visa is for a sufficient period to allow you to complete your volunteer work.

Can I extend my stay if I choose to?

Yes, if you want to stay for a longer period of time you can easily extend your stay in Kenya. We will be happy to assist you in any way possible to make sure that you have no trouble extending your stay and if needed, the duration of your visa.

Will I have enough time to travel after work and on weekends while volunteering in Kenya?

Yes, our projects are designed flexibly for volunteers who wish to spend some time exploring Kenya’s beautiful landscapes. You will always have your evenings and weekends free.

Who will guide or support me in the project?

It can be intimidating to visit Kenya and spend time volunteering without any guidance or supervision. Fortunately, our local staff and in-country coordinator are always ready to help you. Our in-country coordinator will be responsible for guiding you throughout your time abroad.

Can I change my project if I do not like the one I have initially chosen?

Yes, our volunteers can change their project if they have some issues with their first choice. However, this rarely occurs, and our volunteers are in general quite satisfied with our program offerings. Contact our in-country coordinator to discuss this issue, and a new project will be selected based on availability.

Can I work on more than one volunteer program in Kenya at a time?

Yes, you can work on more than one volunteer project at a time if that is what you wish to do. You should get in touch with our in-country coordinator if you decide you are up to the challenge. However, you should know that each of our projects requires you to work for at least 4 -5 hours per day so it can be physically exhausting to work on more than one volunteer project at a time. Consider splitting your trip in two and dividing the time between the two projects for a more manageable option.

How old should I be to take part in these projects?

You must be at least 18 years old. Those who are under the recommended age of 18 years should submit a parental consent from their legal guardian, and in some cases, we can make an exception. Minors can also volunteer alongside their parents.  

Who manages IFRE’s projects?

Our in-country coordinator manages all IFRE’s programs. You can always ask them for help or if you have any issues regarding the volunteer work.

Will I receive any training before the start of my volunteer work in Kenya?

IFRE provides training to our volunteers before the start of any of our programs. The nature of the training given to our volunteers will depend on the nature and the level of difficulty of the volunteer project they have selected. You will be briefed on your service work, your schedule, necessary safety measures, and the customs and culture of Kenya.

Is there a dress code in the project?

No, there is no dress code, and you are free to wear what you would like as long as you appear modest and decent.

Why should I pay to volunteer abroad?

IFRE is a non-profit volunteer organization, which depends on the program fees paid by its volunteers in order to run its volunteering programs in Kenya. Unlike other non-profit organizations, IFRE does not receive any kind of funding from the government to pay for its volunteer projects. Hence, IFRE is completely dependent on its volunteer program fees for the operation and management of its programs. The money paid by volunteers help IFRE cover the expenses of rent, advertisement, utility bills, staff salaries, and tax of the company. Your project fees go directly to your host family and the projects you have traveled abroad to support.

Why are IFRE’s fees so much more affordable than other volunteer organizations?

IFRE does not run its volunteer programs to earn a profit and can thus afford to charge less than competing organizations. IFRE aims to provide meaningful and affordable volunteer opportunities in Kenya and collaborates with numerous international organizations to make sure that its volunteer programs offer a rewarding experience to volunteers who wish to help and support local communities in poor countries across the globe at a reasonable cost. IFRE does not charge any additional fees for its volunteer trips in Kenya, as its volunteer program fees are just enough to sustain the operational costs of the company.

Can I get help to raise funds?

Yes, volunteers can get a tax deduction for their volunteer trip abroad as we are a registered non-profit in the United States.

Can I get help to raise funds?

Yes, we can help you raise funds for your volunteer project in Kenya. Contact IFRE to learn more about this assistance.

For further readings:
Why to pay for volunteer abroad
How to reduce the cost of volunteer abroad
Pay fee directly to host family

Is it safe to travel to Kenya?

Yes, it is very safe to travel in Kenya. The government of Kenya is doing its best to make sure that international visitors can come and experience the beauty of Kenya as safely as possible. IFRE also puts effort in keeping its volunteers safe and away from any danger. Volunteers should check safety advisory websites to keep up to date on current and developing conditions.

What safety measures should I take during my volunteer trip in Kenya?

While Kenya is a safe country for foreigners, it is always a good idea to be cautious when traveling abroad. The instances of mass protests and violence are pretty rare, but you always have to be vigilant of your surroundings and take precautionary measures, like you would do in any other country. You must always make sure that no one is following you. You also need to keep your money, credit cards and passport in a safe place. We advise all our volunteers to do proper research before coming to Kenya.

What will happen if I get sick in Kenya?

If you ever get sick and require immediate help while volunteering, our field staff will take care of you and take you to the nearest hospital or medical clinic. Our in-country coordinator, as well as the doctors and medical professionals, will do their best to provide treatment to you if you are sick. Be sure to bring along a copy of your insurance policy and your passport to present to the doctor.

Why must I get travel insurance before beginning my volunteer trip to Kenya?

IFRE requires all volunteers to purchase health insurance prior to travel. This will cover you in the event of injury, illness, and emergency. Reliable travel insurance is offered by hundreds of travel insurance companies all over the world. Just make sure to read all the

What vaccinations do I need to have prior to the start of my volunteer project?

All participants joining this program require vaccinations. The following vaccinations are highly recommended and mandatory:

  • Typhoid (recommended)
  • Hepatitis A &B (recommended)
  • Yellow fever (Mandatory)

It is also recommended that you are up to date with your other vaccinations. You may wish to insist your doctor provide you with a script for a broad-spectrum antibiotic to protect you from certain bacteria. For more information, please specifically contact a travel doctor at a travel clinic at least 2 months before you plan to travel.

However, you must visit your local doctor for proper advice first. You can learn more about vaccinations for your trip in Kenya.

What are the principle health risks for volunteers in Kenya?

Like any other developing African country, Kenya has its own set of health risks and hazards, which you should be prepared for. You must be cautious while volunteering outdoors and prepared to cope with the temperature and exposure to the sun and insects. A good protection against mosquito bites during the daytime is necessary. Staying hydrated all day long should be your top priority, but you should only drink boiled or chemically filtered liquids. You MUST avoid drinking tap water and only eat food from hygienic places.

For further readings:
Vaccination
Volunteer Health and Safety

How can I apply?

Applying for IFRE’s programs is easy. You just have to go to our website and fill out a volunteer application form. You must fill it out with the correct information and check it before submission. You will then have to wait for our staff to contact you for further actions.

When should I apply for a volunteering project in Kenya?

You should apply for our volunteering projects in Kenya as soon as possible, whenever you find yourself seeking for a volunteering trip abroad, have found a project which resonates with you, and have determined the dates which you are available to travel. Applying a few months in advance is desirable, as this gives IFRE more than enough time to make sure everything is in order for your life-changing volunteer experience.   

What happens once I submit my documents and application?

Once you submit your documents and application, our staff will begin analyzing and evaluating them. After that, the application will be sent to our in-country coordinator in Kenya, who will be responsible for managing your time abroad. Once the in-country coordinator approves your application, we will contact you and provide you with the full details of your volunteer trip.

How long does it take to process my Kenya volunteer project application?

Depending on the number of applications, we usually take about a week to process your application. However, if there is an emergency where we have to hurry up, we can finalize the application within one week. Let us know if you are in a hurry, and we will do our best to meet your request.

What documents do I need to submit with my application?

You don’t need to submit any documents with your application, with the exception of if you have decided to take part in our medical/health care project. In this case, you must be ready to provide us with an authentic medical certification from a legitimate institution, or a student medical id.

Are there any necessary requirements to participate in volunteer programs?

If you are applying for the medical volunteering project in Kenya, you will need to provide us with your medical certificate or id. If you wish to teach English, you will need a solid grasp of the language and native speakers are preferred. Otherwise, the only other requirements to join are being 18 years of age and passionate about making a difference in the world.

Do I need a visa to volunteer and travel in Kenya?

Yes, you won’t be allowed to enter the country unless you have obtained a travel visa from the Immigration Department of Kenya. You will need to obtain a tourist visa. A tourist visa allows you to enter Kenya once for a maximum duration of 90 days, and carries a fee of US$ 51 for a single-entry visa.

How do I apply for the visa?

The easiest and most direct way to apply for a Kenyan tourist visa is by visiting the Embassy of Kenya at your home country prior to your departure. You can also apply for a visa on your arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport before the start of your volunteering program in Kenya.  Visit for more information about the Kenyan visa process

Can I extend my visa while I am in the country? Can you help me with this?

Generally speaking, extending a Kenyan tourist visa is not difficult. According to the Immigration law, you must visit the Immigration Department of Kenya in order to extend your Kenyan visa. Keep in mind that the extension will only last for three more months.

How do I contact the IFRE’s local coordinator during my volunteer work in Kenya?

You can contact the IFRE’s local coordinator by dialing their phone number on your personal mobile phone or sending them an email. Contact information will be provided prior to your departure.

How can I communicate with my family from Kenya?

The most convenient way to communicate with your family while in Kenya is by using social media like Facebook and Skype. Internet facilities are available everywhere in Kenya, so it won’t be hard to access.

Can I use my phone during my volunteer project in Kenya?

Yes, you can use your personal mobile phone. However, you will need to contact your current provider prior to travel to ensure that your phone will work while traveling abroad. Be aware that international roaming charges may apply, and these can be quite costly.

Can I buy a local SIM Card in Kenya?

Yes, you can buy a local SIM Card in Kenya even if you are a foreigner. This can help eliminate those expensive roaming charges and offer easy and affordable internet access via your mobile phone. Again, you will need to check with your current provider prior to travel to ensure your phone will work with the foreign SIM, as it may be locked.

How can I get/purchase internet?

First of all, you need to buy a SIM Card from a local vendor shop. For that, you need your original passport and a recent passport size photo to fill out an application form. Once you have done that, a vendor will give you a SIM Card. You can then purchase a data package to access the Internet after its activation, or you can always ask the vendor to purchase it for you if you can’t do it on your own.

Is there internet available everywhere?

Yes, Internet facilities are available everywhere in Kenya. So, you can always go online and browse the Internet during your volunteering trip in Kenya. However, there are many places where you won’t have access to free Wi-Fi, so make sure to buy a local SIM Card and use an Internet data plan on your mobile phone.

Some of the things you may want to bring along for your stay in Kenya are a pollution mask, power adapter, toiletries, medicines, first aid kit, passport, visa, flight tickets, travel insurance, rolling suitcase, insect repellent, filtered water bottle, power bank, ear plugs, hand sanitizer, , and sunscreen. IFRE provides bedding, but if you feel you would like a sleeping bag you are welcome to bring it along.

We hope we have answered all of your questions, and that you are ready to get moving with your volunteer abroad adventure. Contact IFRE today to get started planning your trip volunteering in Kenya!

 

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