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Kenya

 

Kenya inspires. Today, as for decades, nature lovers, wanderers, artists and writers are drawn to Kenya's dazzling wildlife, varied landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The snow capped peak of Mount Kenya overlooks the Rift Valley where thousands of zebras, wildebeest, and other animals make their yearly migration.  The Rift Valley is home to a fantastic array of animals including elephants, lions, cheetahs, baboons, flamingos, and many more.  The Rift Valley is also known as the cradle of humanity.  Humanoid remains dating back 6 million years have been excavated on the shores of Lake Turkana.  Pastoralist and agricultural tribes still live throughout Kenya, carrying on cultural traditions that date back thousands of years.  And the Kenyan coast was home to Persian and Arab traders and continues to be a trading center of East Africa.  These cultural and natural elements combine to create a fascinating country, ideal for a volunteer or internship experience.

Even though the Kenyan economy is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, many Kenyans are still facing incredible poverty. ELI partners with local organizations in Kenya devoted to bettering their communities to create volunteer and internship opportunities for international participants.

Volunteer and Internship Programs

Youth

Orphanages and Youth Centers

UNICEF estimates that approximately 2.3 million children in Kenya are orphans. Many of these children move in with relatives after the deaths of their parents. Orphans are often put to work, denied the opportunity to attend school, and suffer physical abuse. Many run away or are forced out of the house. These children turn to the street or an orphanage for refuge. ELI partners with orphanages in Nakuru and day centers for street children in Nakuru. These organizations all place a large emphasis on the education and empowerment of the children. The orphanages are very good at providing the children with basic daily needs, but the children are often lacking the personal attention they need to really thrive. Volunteers have the chance to serve as a role model and mentor as well as to motivate the children to study. Questions? Click here

Kaptembwa Soccer Club:
The sprawling Kaptembwa Slum is home to an estimated 140,000 people on the outskirts of Nakuru. The children of the slum face many serious challenges in their day-to-day lives. By some estimates 30% of Kapetembwa's population is HIV-positive. Many of the children are the main wage earners in their families and do not know when their next meal will come. Others are forced to care for their younger siblings when their parents succumb to disease or abandon the children. The Kaptembwa Soccer Club was started to give adolescents the opportunity to play in regional soccer tournaments with the goal of empowering the local kids. The soccer games give them the opportunity to play with more well-off kids in Nakuru – a valuable and rare social interaction in this city of disparities. Volunteers assist with daily practice and attend matches. Please note that this is a part-time, volunteer placement. It may be combined with another volunteer opportunity. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Women's Programs

Women

Kenya is home to many strong and inspiring women, but many Kenyan women find themselves marginalized by lack of education, sexual violence, and limited opportunities. Volunteers can work with a women's center that provides support services for women in the largest slum of Nakuru. The center supports women by providing counseling, education, short term accommodation, vocational training, and a positive environment. Volunteers may teach English conversation, adult literacy classes, vocational training, basic financial literacy, and also support the women in their group meetings.

As in many countries, the Kenyan school system is facing many challenges including limited resources, overcrowding, and lack of qualified teachers. Volunteers can work in a primary or secondary school in Nakuru. The primary schools are especially in need of English teachers. English is one of the official languages in Kenya and students must pass an English proficiency test to move on to secondary school. The schools also warmly welcome volunteers able to assist subjects such as math, geography, the sciences, and entrepreneurial classes. Volunteers are also encouraged to assist with extra-curricular activities in order to serve as mentors and role models to the children. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Community Development

Community Development

For people looking to be fully immersed in rural Kenyan life, the long term community development internships are designed to give participants the opportunity to gain significant experience in international development through working with local organizations in small communities far off the tourist trails of Kenya. These internships have a three month minimum time commitment and can last up to a full year. All projects are initiated by the community and designed for long-term sustainability without outside donations. Projects are available in the areas of education, capacity building, social work,

HIV/AIDS education, environment, public health, microfinance, conservation, human rights, cultural heritage, female genital mutilation, and performing arts. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Education

Education

As in many countries, the Kenyan school system is facing many challenges including limited resources, overcrowding, and lack of qualified teachers. Volunteers can work in a primary or secondary school in Nakuru. The primary schools are especially in need of English teachers. English is one of the official languages in Kenya and students must pass an English proficiency test to move on to secondary school. The schools also warmly welcome volunteers able to assist subjects such as math, geography, the sciences, and entrepreneurial classes. Volunteers are also encouraged to assist with extra-curricular activities in order to serve as mentors and role models to the children. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Deaf Education

Deaf Education

This internship provides practical classroom experience and insight into Kenyan Deaf culture in one of Kenya's few schools for the deaf. Interns will assist with day-to-day classroom activities, especially focusing on one-on-one tutoring. Participants in this program must be conversational in sign language and have past experience in the field of deaf education. The minimum time commitment is eight weeks. This internship is a great opportunity to gain insight into strategies for deaf education, an understanding of attitudes toward the deaf in Kenya, and the challenges deaf people face in a developing country. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Microfinance

Microfinance

The field of microfinance has received a lot of attention since Muhammed Yunus received a Nobel Prize for founding the Grameen Bank. Thousands of microfinance institutions (MFIs) provide financial services at a community level in Kenya and have changed the lives of many small scale entrepreneurs. Interns work with the staff of MFIs in Nakuru to learn about all aspects of microfinance, from assessing credit-worthiness to assisting with education programs and working on the day-to-day tasks within the main office. Placements are made with successful MFIs that place an emphasis on entrepreneurial development in the education of their clients. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Health & Medical

Health & Medical

Medical Professionals:
Kenya has one of the smallest health worker to population ratios in the world. Kenyan health professionals are stretched thin by the demands made on them and welcome qualified volunteers to assist with day to day tasks in a hospital or small clinic. Conditions are very basic, and due to the lack of staffing, many patients are forced to endure long waits before receiving treatment. Tasks are assigned by the local staff based on what they feel is appropriate given a volunteer's background. Many volunteers also assist with educational outreach programs in addition to time spent with patients in the clinic. This is a great opportunity for doctors, nurses, PAs, and other health professionals to learn about Kenya while also giving back to the community in a very appreciated way. Please note that this volunteer opportunity is designed for experienced medical professionals. Questions? Click here

Medical and Pre-Medical Students:
ELI works with the Nakuru Provincial General Hospital and Municipal Health service to create programs for pre med and medical students. Interns will shadow the doctors and other medical staff in order to gain an understanding of the day-to-day practice of healthcare in Kenya. Participants in this program will have no medical responsibilities, but may be given tasks such as assisting with patient histories, taking vitals, and anything else the permanent hospital staff feels is appropriate. Interns at the hospital are encouraged to get involved in the health education outreach programs in order to give back to the community as well as learn first hand about the health challenges the community faces. Pre-dental and dental students have the opportunity to work with a Kenyan dentist in a private practice. Interns shadow the dentist to gain insight into the practice of dentistry in Kenya as well as gain valuable work experience. This opportunity is ideal for participants wanting to gain first hand experience working in a government hospital in Kenya, learn about tropical diseases, and learn about public health issues in East Africa. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Law

Legal Internships

Legal issues vary widely in different areas of the world. The Court Systems are not always as efficient, organized, and fair in some countries. For this reason, experience in a legal internship in another country provides valuable insight into the workings of Justice issues both at home and abroad.

In Kenya, law and pre-law students have the opportunity to work with local lawyers and justice officials working in Legal Aid type fields. Interns work closely with lawyers who are actively representing under-served communities in the region. Participants attend courtroom proceedings and assist with client interviews and dealing with the bureaucratic paperwork that exists everywhere. This is the chance for interns to experience the differences, and more surprisingly, the similarities between the courtroom process at home and abroad. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

International Volunteer Camps

International Volunteer Camps

The International Work Camp Program is a low-cost alternative that gives volunteers the opportunity to work on a three week long project with other volunteers from all over the world. The projects are organized by the Kenya Voluntary Development Association and serve all areas of Kenya. Volunteers meet in Nairobi for a 1-day orientation before heading off to the work camp site as a group. We work with many other organizations worldwide to provide volunteers for these projects.

Participants in these projects need to be ready to adapt to life in poor communities in Kenya. This is a program requires participants to be flexible and ready to camp for the duration of the program. Sleeping arrangements are made in spaces provided by the community and there may not be cots or beds available, and toilet facilities consist of pit latrines. Bath shelters provide privacy for taking bucket baths. Participants must plan to not have access to running water and electricity. All meals are included in the program fee, but please keep in mind that the meals will be typical Kenyan meals and may not include luxuries such as meat with every meal. Questions? Click here

Cost & Details

Cost

Length of Program Youth Programs All other Volunteer
or Intern
2 Weeks US $470 US $570
3 Weeks  US $565 US $665
4 Weeks US $660 US $760
5 Weeks  US $755 US $855
6 Weeks US $850 US $950
7 Weeks  US $945 US $1045
8 Weeks US $1040 US $1140
9 Weeks  US $1135 US $1235
10 Weeks US $1230 US $1330
11 Weeks  US $1325 US $1425
12 Weeks US $1420 US $1520
Longer Inquire Inquire

 

International Work Camps:
Three Week Camps: $450

Medical Internships:
Additional $50 per month for hospital and clinic fees.

Volunteer Work Permit
The Kenyan government requires all volunteers to get a permit from the local immigration office. The permit is approximately US$150 per month (15,000 Kenyan Shillings).

Application Fee: $200
The application fee is a separate administrative charge for all programs. It does not apply to the program fee. (Please see our application fee refund policy here)

Credit card payments: Payment by credit card will be assessed a 3.5% surcharge. This is the fee that we will be charged for the transaction. Contact us about alternative forms of payment.

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

What's Included/What's Not


Program Includes:
* Pre-departure information
* Pick up from the airport in Nairobi and transportation to Nakuru
* Orientation and welcome pack
* Volunteer Position
* Accommodation
* Two meals a day for General Program
* 24/7 emergency service 
 
Program Does Not Include:
*Round-trip Airfare
*Return trip to Airport in Nairobi (the shuttle from Nakuru to Nairobi costs around $20)
*Required Travel and Medical Insurance
*Visa Fees
*Volunteer Work Permit

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Accommodations

Accommodations:

Volunteers in Kenya stay with local host families.  ELI truly believes that this is the best way to fully immerse in another culture and get the most from an international experience.  All families are carefully screened and are well-respected members of the community with at least one family member who speaks English.  Participants will have either a private or shared bedroom with secure storage (volunteer must provide own padlock).  Bathrooms are shared with the host family. Volunteers will be provided with breakfast and dinner daily. Please note that accommodation with the International Work Camp Program will be in group living situations.

Start Dates

Arrival Dates

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Start dates are completely flexible, but we ask that volunteers arrive in Nairobi on a Saturday or Sunday if possible in order to start working on Monday.

We ask that participants not arrive December 23-January 1 in order to allow our coordinator and staff to spend the Christmas holiday with their families.

Notes & Helpful Links

Notes & Helpful Links

Participants will fly into the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. You will be met at the airport and driven to Nakuru, about a 3.5 hour drive. Here's a handy tool to see what time it is in Nakuru: Time Conversion Tool.  Check the Weather in Nakuru.  There is so much to see and do in Kenya... Once you have exhausted the usual tourist destinations, here's a great list of recommendations for the Top 10 Things to do in Kenya..

Volunteer Work Permit
The Kenyan government requires all volunteers to get a permit from the local immigration office. The permit is approximately US$150 per month (15,000 Kenyan Shillings).

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