Affordable Volunteer Programs in Kenya from $270

By IVHQ   Reviews (10)   95% Rating

Volunteers are needed in Kenya to volunteer in a range of projects, including community development, sports education, HIV/Aids work, women's empowerment, teaching, and much more! IVHQ offers highly affordable volunteer programs in Nairobi and Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, giving you an incredible opportunity to volunteer and make a difference in the local community.

Current IVHQ Volunteer Programs in Kenya:
  • Teaching
  • Childcare
  • Sports Education: Coach enthusiastic students a variety of sports in addition to classroom instruction.
  • Music Education: Assist in instruction of the piano, guitar, and basic introduction to music. Volunteers should have a basic understanding of musical theory.
  • Women's Education
  • Programs in Kenya start on the 1st and 15th of every month
  • Volunteer anywhere from 1 week to 12 weeks
  • All volunteer receive orientation upon arrival including a cultural and language introduction
  • Volunteers stay with a host family for an authentic immersion experience
  • Weekends are open for you to explore Kenya, and the East-African safari!
  • Learn more about IVHQ programs by reading the great reviews and interviews IVHQ alumni have left about their incredible experiences in Kenya
View Program Information
  • Kenya
Volunteer Types: 
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
$500 - $2,000 (USD)
Age Group: 
Online Application
Age Requirement

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Program Reviews (10)

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  • Danielle
    Age: 19-24
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Université de Moncton
    2 weeks in Kenya

    I had an amazing experience volunteering with IVHQ. I am already looking into the next trip I'll take with them. From the second we got out of the airport to when we went back to come home the staff made me feel welcome and safe. They were excited to share their culture with us. I have learned so much! When we got settled in they told us all about the things we could do at night and on the weekends. It was really easy to sign up for safari and take visits to fun places like a giraffe centre and an elephant orphanage. I loved seeing all the animals... It's an experience I'll never forget! Also, the teachers at the school I was volunteering at were so nice and helpful. But the best part of the trip had to be the children I had the honor of working with. They were so keen to learn and to play games! Overall, this was an incredible experience and I recommended to everyone to volunteer with IVHQ! :)

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  • Ariana
    Age: 18 or younger
    San Francisco
    Volunteering V.S Tourism

    I arrived in Africa alone, but left with a family and friends.

    In one month I was able to teach 30 kids english and math, play with them and supply them with new toys and school supplies, kickstart a women's empowerment group and teach them how to make jewelry, reach out to a refugee camp and start a fundraising campaign for them, paint a school, learned and became a part of a beautiful community that taught me that life is truly what you create it to be.

    Its hard to put into words what this trip meant to me and who it helped me become but there is this; theres a fine line between volunteering and tourism, and trust me Kenya is beautiful, visiting Mombasa, going on a Safari in the Masai Mara, and riding camels on Diani beach was beyond my expectation and absolutely amazing . However I knew I wanted to create a change whether it be small or big, so it was up to me to put in the work and effort to create that change.

    I spent one month in Kenya, but lived years.

    How could this program be improved?

    IVHQ is a great non profit organization that connects with numerous organizations throughout the world, the organization in Kenya is NVS. NVS could definitely be improved more, as I felt their team wasn't as involved and passionate as their volunteers were.

    Riding Camels on Diani Beach
    Elephants in the Masai Mara
    My Kids. Enique School of Education.
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  • Tina
    Age: 25-30
    Melbourne, Australia
    Deakin University
    A Kan-do attitude in Kenya!

    The countries of Africa are very often perceived as politically unstable and unsafe for young woman travelers.The security that IVHQ offered me (and my family) during my trip was invaluable. My parents had the reassurance of a NZ contact if they could not contact me and we knew what to expect in terms of being collected at the airport and being placed in a relevant role within a reputable organisation.

    The Fadhili and Marafiki community welcomed us with open arms and kicked off our orientation with a song. My friend and I were placed in the orphanage program and enjoyed every minute of it. We helped out with cooking, homework, entertainment of the children and cleaning of the house (african-mumma style!). We even had the chance to teach at the local school.

    Through the partner organisation we even went on safari at a seriously discounted 'volunteer' price.

    We had a private room and bathroom and had lots of opportunity for sightseeing during the day when the children where at school.

    How could this program be improved?

    We expected three meals a day, however this is not common in Kenya. Typically you will just have a hot drink in the morning and a large meal for dinner. This was somewhat of a surprise to us but now after having visited Kenya twice, I realise it is a cultural difference.

    Hanging out in the Orphanage
    Play time!
    In-house homework help. Who is paying attention here?
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    Response from IVHQ
    Hi Tina, It's great to hear from you again :) Safety is of huge importance to IVHQ so it's great to hear that your safety expectations were met when in Kenya with IVHQ and our local team. Thanks for sharing a little of your experience in Kenya. Looking forward to seeing you on another IVHQ trip soon.
  • April
    Age: 19-24
    Brandon University
    Kenya - Maasai Teaching

    My experience with IVHQ was overall very good. They placed me at a great school in an amazing community. The price was the cheapest I could find for similar volunteer opportunities, plus we were still provided a good orientation and additional transport to our communities no matter how rural. They place you either with a local family or at a volunteer house in bigger cities.

    I ended up returning to the community I taught in an additional three times, however I did this without IVHQ which saved me quite a bit of money. But, still, I would highly recommend them for your first trip since they can set you up in a program you likely wouldn't be able to be involved in if you just travelled to the country on your own for the first time.

    How could this program be improved?

    They set you up with another in country organization, which is too bad that you aren't working with IVHQ the entire time. Although the in country organization was good, it would have been better had they not contracted out to in country organizations and it's my understanding that they do this in every country.

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    Response from IVHQ
    Hi April, It's great to hear from you and it's awesome to read that your experience volunteering with IVHQ was just the beginning of your volunteer contribution in Kenya. As each country we work in is vastly different, we partner with local organizations in each volunteering destination who are in the best position to identify opportunities for volunteers to provide valuable contributions that address the needs of the local community in a sustainable way. Thanks for your feedback and for volunteering with IVHQ.
  • nicolette.rae
    Age: 25-30
    Orange County, California
    Get ready for your life to be changed.

    Karibu Kenya. Welcome to Kenya. I signed up for an 8 week volunteer program and I ended up extending it to 12 and still didn't want to leave when that was over. I absolutely fell in love with the country and, as it turns out, that happens quite often. The Kenyan people are all so warm and friendly and always anxious to talk to new people. The food is simple, but hearty and all delicious. The staff at the volunteer office are all amazing and fun and offer amazing support and truly are some of the best people in the world. To do what they do, they have to be. This is one of the most popular programs in IVHQ and for them to be able to organize and coordinate with all the volunteers, all the host families, all the volunteer placements, and all the outreach projects all without missing a beat - they are amazing!

    So! My typical day would start with a breakfast of toast and chai with my host family in the morning, waving goodbye to my host brother as he trotted off to school, then leaving to walk to the orphanage around 8:30. It was about a 30 minute walk. I could have taken a matatu or a bus for about 25 cents, but and I loved the walk. Always something interesting to see along the way and I met some great people along that route. I would get to my work placement at the orphanage and would usually be greeted by one of the girls who were too young to go to school and then we would hang out with the ladies either chopping vegetables or sorting rice. Most of the girls who lived there were usually off at school when I was there, but there was a primary school on the property so I would get to hang out with the kids during break time. So! I would chat with the ladies, help with the food prep, and listen for the littlest baby to let us know if she needed anything (they don't have baby monitors, they have open windows). As soon as I would hear that baby cry I would race upstairs and get my baby-time. She was 2-weeks old when I got there. The most precious thing you can imagine. Once she was settled, I would go back and help until lunch time. I would have lunch there (with this program, all meals were included if you were at home or work) and then depending on the day I would hang out with the kids for a little while longer or get a head start with the food prep for the next day or sometimes I would just head out from there.

    After work my options were endless and I made so many local friends who were so happy to show me around and there were always volunteers either at my house or at other home-stays nearby who would be up for hanging out too. I always tried to stay aware and assess the situation whenever I was being taken somewhere I hadn't been before and I never felt unsafe. Sometimes I would take the bus into Nairobi town centre and meet up with a friend for a drink, or I would wander around the local markets and do some window shopping, or there was a local pub that I would go to with one of my boys to play pool. There were internet cafes all over the place, but for internet I would usually go to the big mall that was about a 10-minute matatu ride away. I ended up becoming friends with a couple of the guys at the Wine Bar and the Nairobi Java House there so it was a combined social visit/wifi stop for me. I would usually make my way home when it started getting dark which was when dinner would be ready. I would eat with my host family and the other volunteers and usually catch up on whatever soap opera series was on tv.

    The weekends never allowed for a dull moment either. Between Safari and Outreach (a weekend where we visited 3 slums, doing a feeding program for 2 of them, and rode bicycles through a national park where zebras and water buffalo and gazelles would just stare at you as you rode by) where you will really get to know the volunteer staff and your fellow volunteers. I did Outreach twice, it was so incredible. The whole experience of being in Kenya will change your life, but Outreach is where it's most intense. Driving up to these slums and playing with these kids, you really have to fight back tears sometimes, but it's so eye-opening and really puts things in perspective.

    On the flip-side of that, there are endless travel opportunities to any number of the diverse locations in East Africa and all of these trips can be done on your own, but the volunteer staff is always happy to help you make arrangements or even chauffeur, depending on where it is that you want to go. If you find yourself in Nairobi for the weekend, get ready! The Nairobi nightlife is so much fun! It starts late and ends late so make sure you are well rested or just have a red bull or something. If you're going out in a big group it's worth it to arrange for a driver for the night, but! Make sure that all of the volunteers and the driver are on the same page at the beginning of the night about payment. There is always room for negotiation, but that should always be done before you are taken anywhere. Also, keep in mind that yes, things are cheaper in Kenya than in western countries, but they are not free! Gas is expensive, cars are expensive to buy and maintain, not to mention the time that the driver is sacrificing for you. Most of the volunteers were cool when it came to this, but it was SO frustrating for everyone else when at the end of the night one person would throw a drunken fit because he felt like he was being ripped off by 2 dollars! I will step down from my soapbox now.

    Anyway, this is an amazing program with tons of support locally and through IVHQ. All of the volunteers I met loved their host families and their placements. On the rare occasion that they didn't love them, they were quickly moved to a place that was better suited to them and then everyone was happy. Endless opportunities to help and do good and every effort that you make is so greatly appreciated. And the people. If you let yourself be open to it, the connections you will make will be with you for life.

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  • C
    Age: 25-30
    Great value

    Tremendous opportunity, great experience, reasonable rates. Supportive staff, great community of volunteers to be a part of. Amazing safari opportunity as well.

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  • Jake.morgen13
    Age: 19-24
    The best two months of my life

    This program was exactly what I was looking for in a volunteering experience. I never wanted to be on a program where I had a set schedule for every second of my trip. With IVHQ you live with your host family and have your program close by, but its very much up to you to make sure you accomplish what you want to at your program. Nonetheless you are there to volunteer so everyone makes sure to go every day and give assistance however you have free time to hang out with your host family, hangout with the other volunteers, travel, explore your area etc. It was incredible, I could honestly live my life volunteering with IVHQ going from country to country. It is such a great program and you get to know the staff on such a personal level, where you can just text the people you met at orientation to ask questions.

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  • Ray
    Age: 19-24
    Amman , Jordan
    Life Changing.

    I have done my share of trialling and this trip to Kenya was by far the best one . I met so many kind and friendly people from the natives to the fellow volunteers who are now close friends . The most touching moment was at one of the biggest garbage slums, I have already seen so many pictures of these places before coming to Kenya , but being there , breathing the polluted air , touching the little kids dirty hands , just being totally immersed changed the way i think and live my day to day life. all in all it is an experience that is highly recommended for everyone of every age. International Volunteers HQ made this experience perfect with its organized trips and its care for the well being of their Volunteers.

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  • Domonique
    Age: 25-30
    Darwin, Australia
    Overwhelming hospitality

    Nick and I have just returned home after an amazing couple of months volunteering in Kenya. We were teaching at a slum school in Kajaido, about 2 hours south of Nairobi, in the heart of Masaai land.

    We were welcomed with open arms by the Fadhili community (IVHQ's program parnter on the ground in Kenya), our host family and a horde of happy kids every morning. Their smiles were infectious and their zeal to learn was inspiring. We taught years two to six every subject from english to creative arts, and singing and baking.

    Simply spending time with the kids was our biggest highlight. During our month-long stay they never asked for anything - only that we stay longer, continue to share our stories of home and play more games!

    There was no running water and limited electricity where we lived. Breakfast and lunch consisted of plain white bread and chai, milked straight from the cows, and dinner was usually white rice and potatoes with goat, beans or cabbage. Ugali was also on offer, but we never took to this like Kenyans!

    Every weekend Nick and I travelled including trips with IVHQ to other programs offered across Kenya and road trips with Fadhili staff and other volunteers to Mombasa. So many good memories!

    It's true that relationships run deep in Africa and we look back so fondly of our time there. I can't recommend IVHQ & Fadhili highly enough - they were supportive, prompt and genuinely amazing people!

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  • afontana
    Age: 19-24
    Tucson, Arizona
    University of Arizona
    Volunteering in Kenya Changed My Life

    I went to Kenya the first time through IVHQ in May of 2009 and I have returned every six months thereafter. I went there looking for a chance to travel, volunteer, and step outside of my box. Well, I got that and much more, more than I could have ever asked for. I was placed out in Maasai land where i lived with a family. The family and community took me in whole heartedly, and I now consider them apart of my family. I taught 5th and 6th grade at Olmararoi Primary school five days a week for several months. I cant say enough good things about the children and the staff at the school. Where lived was literally in the middle of nowhere, it was amazing you would see giraffes roaming around, and millions of stars at night. Aside from my direct placement i became close with all of the IVHQ employees in Kenya, some of whom i still keep in touch with at home. They made me feel safe and welcomed from my very first day abroad. They were extremely helpful with helpng us set up activities for the weekends, like safari, river rafting, bungee jumping, and more. I would reccomend IVHQ to anyone who wants to travel, volunteer, and have an experience of a lifetime on a budget!

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About the provider

IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ) provides safe, unique, meaningful and extremely affordable volunteer programs in 30 countries around the world, with a constantly expanding base. Programs are available in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific, where IVHQ works alongside local NGOs to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities. Currently, IVHQ has programs in Bali, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Morocco, China, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Victoria Falls, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Laos, the Philippines, Romania, Italy and Fiji!

Whether you're taking a volunteer vacation, a gap year, or on a career break, IVHQ has a wide variety of programs ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks to fit anyone's schedule. Browse through the programs below and visit the IVHQ website for more information.