Make a difference in Kenya
Become a leader in activities and games which are a key part of Kenyan culture and community.
The most popular sport is football, but you are welcome to introduce your own games and ideas as well as bring equipment for new sports. Strong leather footballs, perfect for Kenya, can be purchased once you have arrived, and will be greatly appreciated, as will your old football boots from home. You will be expected to do classroom-based teaching during the day, and sports in the evenings.
Sport is hugely important in Kenyan society, and is an important way of forming friendships and having fun as well as staying healthy.
The team will particularly look forward to your sessions and enjoy taking part in drills and learning new tactics as well as playing matches. However, it is important that every child is involved, as playing sport is a great way of fostering a sense of family and community.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided for you with your host family. Breakfast will probably be bread, butter, jam, eggs and chai, a type of African tea, although this varies day by day. Kenyan food often has an Indian influence, and dinner consists of rice, beans, mixed vegetables, chapatis, ugali and stewed meat. You are encouraged to try out the local vendors and stalls near your placement for lunch; they provide food very cheaply and you will be promoting Agape’s support for the community, as well as having the opportunity to sample local cooking.
However, your host mum will provide you with a packed lunch if you prefer, just ask on the day. It is recommended that you drink only bottled water during your stay, which is available in most shops- it's cheaper if you buy in bulk. If you have any special dietary requirements, do let us know and your host family will be informed.
You will be living in volunteer groups near your placement. You will be living in either 'host-family' accomodation or in a 'volunteer-house.' Both will provide beds, a mattress, pillows and sometimes a mosquito net, but you should bring your own sleeping bag. In line with the Christian values in most Kenyan households, your host family may expect you to sleep in single sex rooms. Volunteer houses vary, but you can make a request for a single-sex room. All of our home-stays in Nairobi have electricity but very few have running water, instead using drainage pipes and water tanks stored inside the house. All our host families are exactly that; families, so there may be some house rules that you will be given when you arrive.
Within a day of arriving in your home-stay you will recieve the Agape Volunteers orientation. This is explained in much more detail in the information pack, but the general idea of this is to make sure that you are as prepared as is possible for your stay in Africa. It explains things like culture, customs, language and how to stay safe on a day to day basis. This also gives you a chance to meet other volunteers who you might not be staying with.
All Kenyan and Masai volunteers recieve two extra trips included in their volunteering costs.
The first of these is the IDP outreach trip. IDP stands for "internally displaced person" and these camps are a hangover from the 2007 election violence where thoudands of people were made homeless. Unfortunately, since then for whatever reason these people have not been able to retuen to their communities and still live in tented camps spread out accross the central African Rift Valley. The conditions in these camps are not good and unfortunately since the UN withdrew in 2009, Agape Volunteers are one of the only full time aid organization operating in these areas. We run a food outreach trip every two weeks where we travel to the camp to distribute food and general supplies and a medical trip around every month, where medical supplies are distributed with the help of local doctors. As part of your volunteering fees you will take part in one of these trips if you want to that is. Most volunteers describe it as their most striking memory from their stay in Kenya but also as the point at which they felt most useful. Agape Volunteers is committed to continuing these outreach trips but is also investing in longer term solutions to the problem, which include the building of a school, completed in 2010 and a medical clinic, due for completion this year.
The second trip is the city tour. On one of your free wekend days in Kenya you are entitled to a free tour around the city of Nairobi with other volunteers. As part of this trip you will visit the monkey park, animal orphange, crocodile park, elephant sanctuary and some beautiful city parks. There is a nice lunch provided by your host family, but as this is taken in the monkey park, you will have to guard it with your life!
You don't need to worry about organizing either of these trips as one of members of staff will be in contact about them once you have settled in.
In the morning, you will be teaching your own class in the school you are based in or carrying out other duties around the school. Lessons start at 8.20am, and run in hour long blocks interspersed with short breaks, when you will be leading games and activities. You may spend time assisting another teacher or preparing for your afternoon sessions.
Lunch is from 12.50pm until 2pm, and you are free to meet the other volunteers. After lunch, lessons will continue until 3.20pm, after which there will be time for more games. The children love to practise sports and play games during the evening, and joining is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a volunteer. You may be joined by volunteers from other placements at this time. As schools and parks are the safest parts of the community, you are particularly encouraged to stay with the children.
At around 7pm, you’ll be heading back to your host family for dinner. After dinner there is time for games with the other volunteers, before bed at around 10pm.
There are plenty of optional extras you can choose to include in your trip. At the weekends, you can get involved with lots of activities taking place in and around the city. Teaching at Saturday school is optional for volunteers, and usually involves lots of games rather than serious lessons. You can explore the Maasai markets, and take advantage of the city tour of Nairobi included in your programme fee. Your host family will also have good recommendations for places you can visit. Most families will attend church on Sundays, and whilst this is optional, they may invite you to try it.
For more extended trips, you can visit the spectacular Fourteen Falls, go to Diani Beach near Mombasa, visit National Parks and even climb Mt Kenya. Most of our volunteers also choose to take a safari, which is an unparalleled experience in some of Africa’s most beautiful parks. It is available to our volunteers at a reduced rate from the tourist prices. You can find more information about all of these optional extras in our information booklet, and when you get to Kenya. Second to this, after you have booked, your trip adviser will ask you if there are any other trips that you would like to take whilst you are volunteering.
what to do next?
- costs rundown See how long you can stay for and find out the costs
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