Flying Kites Global

Flying Kites

About

At Flying Kites we believe that education is the key to empowering children, and rising out of the cycle of poverty. Through our Primary School and Community Outreach Initiatives we are investing in children and families to provide access to high quality education, expand access to training and opportunity, and ensuring that children have a safe and healthy place to call home.

Founded
2007
Headquarters

ETA4 P.O. Box 710191
San Diego, CA 92171
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Virginia
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with Flying Kites gave me an opportunity to work and live alongside an extraordinary team of people absolutely dedicated to their work. They made me feel as I were a part of their family, and they made it clear to me how I impacted the children in their care, as well as the the overall organization.

I was able to work in their school, assisting their full time teachers, working with other volunteers to teach gym and art, and tutoring some of the hardest working kids I've ever met.

Though fundraising was hard for me, I loved being at FK and knowing I'd help fund nearly a full month of operating costs.

And I liked that they didn't hide the struggles from the volunteers; we saw the financial difficulty, the infrastructure breakdowns, and the outbursts of the kids (few and far between) and because of that inclusion, I walked away with a much deeper, and more real, understanding the of the difficulties of working in resource/infrastructure poor settings.

Do it. Join their team.

Default avatar
Julianna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Flying Kites expects a great deal from its ambassadors; They ask for hard work, endless compassion, high levels of energy, a deep & lasting commitment, but they do so for very, very good reason.

As an ambassador, you spend at least three months (they may let you get away with just under 3) living & working at Flying Kites Leadership Academy, a home for 26 orphaned children and a school for about double that. During that time, you become part of a part a vibrant, love & laughter-filled home and more importantly, you live as a part of their family. You will come to know and love the children so very well that it is only fair they ask for your deep commitment on all fronts.

I found the fundraising challenging but once I really dove into it, I learned a huge amount about my own skills and was blown away by what I accomplished when I appealed to my networks with genuine passion & creativity.

I found this experience amazing because not only was I able to create real impact in the area of my great passion- in my case education- but I ended my long days with a bedtime stories and goodnight hugs from the very kids who's futures we worked relentlessly each day, all day to brighten.

Default avatar
Sam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I will never forget my time, experience and the family I was welcomed in to at Flying Kites. My daily routines involved tutoring children at the school for a couple hours, working on private projects for the kids, organization and home that I was passionate about and hanging out around the house, playing and taking in the heartwarming experience of being a part of such a special family. I also received tons of assistance when I ventured out into the surrounding regions of Kenya. The staff always went out of their way to make me feel safe and a part of their family. The relationships I forged with staff, children and volunteers will be with me forever and it's a place I hope to volunteer at regularly for the rest of my life.

Default avatar
Peter
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Six months ago, before I visited Kenya, I chatted on the phone with the volunteer coordinator of Flying Kites Oasis. I didn't know then that our conversation would lead to a life-changing experience.

Not just for me. Oasis has changed the lives of numerous orphaned children in the greater Nairobi area. Helping tackle the poverty and day-to-day challenges many children in Kenya face - clean water and food, a bed to sleep in, a safe home - Oasis is linking up with children's homes in and around the slums of Nairobi to help create a safe and healthy environment for their children.

For me, it was wonderful that Oasis gave me autonomy to connect with the children's home for which I volunteered, St. Catherine in the slum of Kibera, because I could work directly with the home and children. Oasis set up the relationship and allowed me to foster it. While I was there, I taught classes to the kids directly; I helped organize details of a long-term sustainability plan involving the building of a greenhouse; I played football and danced and learned and spoke at an end-of-term ceremony; and I developed friendships with many of the staff of St. Catherine that will last a lifetime.

Oasis gave me the opportunity to do all that. I was never shackled by too many "rules," but I also never felt abandoned. The staff would check in with me and I with them, bouncing questions, ideas, jokes off of one another. We found occasion to be social as well. The experience was a holistic one because they allowed me to make it so. I loved the fact that I could work directly with the children's home to best serve its needs.

Perhaps the most important thing FK Oasis did for me was support me in my continuing endeavors with St. Catherine. As a result of my experience I committed to fundraising for St. Catherine to help them realize their dream of building a greenhouse and becoming self-sustainable. Oasis has supported me in this project, which has lasted and will last much longer than my "official" volunteer stay in Kenya. I am in continuous contact with Oasis, which is more than willing to work with me as I continue my own ventures with St. Catherine.

I look back on that phone call and marvel at everything that happened as a result of it. Life may be timing, and maybe I just happened on this opportunity -- but Oasis was there to answer the call.

Default avatar
Allison
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Flying Kites Oasis gave me the opportunity to immerse myself with in the Kenyan community by using my skills as a nurse to assist other Kenyan nurses at various clinics around the slums of Nairobi. This was an un-forgetable experience unique to the Oasis program. Most other volunteer programs allow you to only work with other volunteers. With the Oasis program I was the only volunteer working side by side with Kenyans. I would highly recommend this program :)

Programs

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Chase Klingel

Chase Klingel is from Spokane, WA. He is a Freshman at the University of Washington. He is 19 years old and loves to cook, play sports and experience new things in life! He volunteered with Flying Kites from June 16 to July 22, 2012.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Flying Kites in Kenya?

Chase: The reason I decided to go abroad and volunteer at Flying Kites was because I knew there was a chance for me to give back. I have been so blessed my entire life and I knew that if I had the opportunity to impact a child's life who had grown up with less than me, I had to take it!

children blowing bubbles

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Chase: My day to day activities consisted of waking up at about eight am, heading to the school and tutoring for three hours (9:00-12:00). During these three hours I would tutor three different children in math, science, or English. These were some of my favorite memories because you really get to know your students. After school I would play soccer or jump rope with the children and then after dinner I would help them study. I could also never forget helping cook with auntie Rebeccs! You must do that if you go!

Lastly, the nice thing about Flying Kites is that you CAN explore! You aren't forced to stay at the orphanage so you can go check out places like Nairobi, Mombasa etc. if you need a break. I highly suggest exploring around but make sure you spend time at the orphanage getting to know the children. That's always priority number one!

What made this experience unique and special?

Chase: The reason Flying Kites was such a special experience was because its not an orphanage at all. Within the first 24 hours of being there, you aren't a stranger from America. You are just another fun loving member of this incredibly humble family!

How has this experience impacted your future?

Chase: Personally, this experience taught me the meaning of love. Yes, this sounds cliche but it is true. I of course knew what love was beforehand, but it was astonishing to see children who never knew their parents and yet they still acted like they lived the lives of rock stars! This family showed me that having material goods can't give you the ultimate happiness, only expressing and sharing in genuine love can.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Julianna Morrall

Flying Kites staff member with a child in Kenya

Tell us a little about Flying Kites and your role at the company.

Julianna: Flying Kites was started when a little boy living in an overcrowded orphanage in the slums of Nairobi challenged a small group of volunteers to see him as a child, and not as an orphan.

Orphans need bowls of rice. Children need families, people to invest in the quality of their education and the possibility of their dreams. They need nourishment and inspiration and adventure and security; they need to be shown that the world cares about who they are and who they will become.

At Flying Kites, we believe in children.

And so, in the Aberdares Mountains of Kenya, we have built a Home and Leadership Academy for orphaned children who would otherwise have nowhere to turn. Through our emphasis on exemplary care, education, and compassion, children who have suffered the devastating effects of poverty are being empowered to change the world.

Believe with us.

How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?

Julianna: Three years ago, I began working in the field of international volunteering as the Volunteer Coordinator for Flying Kites. Since then, we have transformed the volunteer program from one of short term engagement and limited impact, to one defined by the deep, long lasting dedication of participants and community- altering impact. Our ambassadors literally drive the organization forward and upward and it is a privilege to work with them.

What makes Flying Kites unique?

Julianna: Flying Kites is unique in its acheivement of creating a home- in every sense of the word- for children who had no where else to turn. The children at Flying Kites are loved, nurtured, and educated to the same degree you'd want for your own children. They are given the opportunity to be unique, to adventure, to be curious and active and compassionate. Flying Kites may care for orphan children, but it does not run an orphanage in any typical sense of that word.

Julianna with a child from Flying Kites in Kenya

In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer?

Julianna: First and foremost, humility. Alongside humility, you must possess a vast openness and eagerness to learn. International volunteers absolutely must be ready to serve others- to truly put others' needs before their own and do so with a sensitivity to the limitations of their knowledge. Someone I respect greatly recently reminded me to be a learner and always listen when told you don't know anything. I think that is an incredibly important attitude to maintain when volunteering, and especially when volunteering abroad.

What does the future hold for Flying Kites?

Julianna: The future of Flying Kites is as bright as the smiles of the children we care for. I believe that Flying Kites will continue to strengthen it's ability to deliver family style care and high quality education to orphaned children, and within the next few years, be able to expand its reach to more children in desperate need of a home, support and opportunity.

I also hope Flying Kites can continue to strengthen its Oasis network through which many childcare institutions in Nairobi, Kenya have begun to share their best practices, explore new funding resources, and work to a higher standard of care in partnership with each other.