Most Affordable Kenya Volunteer Programs in 5+ Locations from $280

Video and Photos

Orphanage
Orphanage
Fun during PE
Fun during PE
Always smiling
Always smiling
The sweetest kids
The sweetest kids
The children loved taking pictures. This was me and Daniela at lunch time playing with the children.
The children loved taking pictures. This was me and Daniela at lunch time playing with the children.
This is the group of 16 of us that went to Mombasa for the weekend. We got to go out on the boat and go snorkeling. It was an amazing experience
This is the group of 16 of us that went to Mombasa for the weekend. We got to go out on the boat and go snorkeling. It was an amazing experience
This was on my last day at the school. The kids loved doing the splits so they were all climbing on me trying to get me to do them too. This was my class and it was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to say.
This was on my last day at the school. The kids loved doing the splits so they were all climbing on me trying to get me to do them too. This was my class and it was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to say.
Saturday trip to the giraffe center!

About

Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable volunteer projects in Kenya. Based in Nairobi, Kibera, Nakuru, Mombasa and rural Kenyan villages, volunteers are welcomed to experience Kenya while assisting on a range of community-driven projects and gaining an understanding of the Kenyan culture and customs. Volunteers can choose to participate on projects for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks and are accommodated in local homestays alongside other international volunteers.

Popular Programs

Childcare Program

Childcare centers in Nairobi can host between 15-100 children at any one time, making them unpredictable and busy places. As a result, there is a high demand for volunteers who love children and have the energy to keep up with the number of children in these centers. The children love interacting with volunteers and will be sure to keep you on your feet!

Teaching Program

Teaching volunteers in Nairobi are valuable additions in both local and rural schools, as outside influences open the minds and broaden the horizons of students, as well as provide valuable exposure to the English language. Volunteer placements are located in both community schools and government schools, where you will assist local teachers with lessons each day.

Music Program

Music is a universal language and a colorful representation of the rich cultural heritage of Kenya. The aim of this project is to support local children to embrace a positive form of self-expression and to let their voices and songs be heard.

Women’s Education Program

More than 1.6 million Kenyans live with HIV/AIDS, and women make up a disproportionately high percentage of that number. As a volunteer on the Women’s Education project in Kenya, you will work closely with centers that commonly support women affected by HIV/AIDS in providing companionship, guidance and sometimes childcare. The primary aim of this project is to empower women through income-generating projects, education and skills training.

Special Needs Care Project

Due to lack of support and education around disability awareness in Kenya, many disabled children and adults are hidden from public view by their families. As a volunteer on this project you will assist with providing daily hands-on support and disability education among families and local communities. This project is well suited to caring and open minded individuals, with an interest in helping those with special needs.

Questions & Answers

As long as you are 18 or over you can volunteer!

Reviews

95%
based on 40 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 16 - 30 of 40
Jillian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kenya

I spent 3 weeks in Kenya for the sports education program. Unfortunately the need at the school I was at was not for sports education by for teachers so I ended up being a teacher and it was the best experience I ever had. The first weekend while there we wanted to go to Mombasa but we were unsure how to go about it so one of the program leaders were able to help us organize and he even joined us. It made our trip amazing!! My home stay was close to my school and I was placed with a girl my age who I became best friends with. If we ever need anything we were able to call the program leaders and the would help us on the spot, it made me feel safe and was nice to know I had someone to rely on. In the future it would be nice to know what kind of attire to bring and maybe baby wipes because it is very dirty there. I loved this experience because I was able to live in the culture of the people and live through experiences instead of seeing life through a hotel room. My favorite memory was coming back from Mombasa and we took the cheaper bus and it was so bumping for 12 hours that we were falling out of our seats, it was a bus ride to remember. All in all the kids and the people I met were my favorite I would go back in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
Be more clear on the duties that the volunteers will be doing in the schools, most schools need teachers and not teacher assistants
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jillian, Thanks for sharing! We are so happy to hear that the kids and the people you met were the best part of your time in Kenya. It sounds like the program allowed you to have a fulfilling volunteer experience and that you were well supported by the local team. We would love to have you join us again!
Will – IVHQ Kenya Program Manager

IVHQ Kenya
Barb
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kenya with IVHQ January 2017

Visiting Africa has been a dream of mine since I was a child. The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat while learning more about African culture where the perfect combination. A couple of years ago a close friend was diagnosed with cancer and I knew I couldn't wait any longer. I went online researching volunteer opportunities and found IVHQ.

Since my experience I have said many times that I was happy I didn't have friends who wanted to go on safari with me as otherwise I wouldn't have traveled with IVHQ and I wouldn't have had the experience I did. My month long trip started the first of January although I arrived in Kenya on January 30th. Over the course of the weekend more people started to arrive. Most had arrived by Saturday and James from NVS arranged for us to do a city tour on New Years Day. This involved a trip to the giraffe centre, the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage, the crocodile/turtle farm, an all meat meal at Carnivore and a visit to the monkey park (it was a holiday and too many people meant no monkeys in the park). The bond between our group was instant and tight. I was concerned that I would not fit in as I was twice the age of the oldest other participant but the gang was very good to me and accepting of everyone. This bond was only enhanced by us all doing outreach our first week. The other volunteers would be one of my reason for recommending this company.

I had plied for and been accepted to do teaching. I was concerned that I might not remember basic elementary stuff to teach. As luck would have it I was placed at a nursery school for kids 3-5. Kids in Kenya start school young. I loved the school I was at and I felt very much appreciated by the teacher in my room. Teachers don't have photocopiers like we do in Canada so all work needed to be entered manually in each individual students workbook (19 three year olds and one teacher). This is what kept me busy. I had lots of opportunities to interact with the kids although being three their English was about as good as my Swahili. We managed. I did enjoy speaking to the five year olds at lunch and break as their English was much better.

I loved the students and the school. On my last day the students preformed a special concert for me. I was so moved. I think of my babies (the name of my class was baby class) every day. The kids were so cute and honest. I was told my nose was big, my skin was pink (only one side and the other side is white), that my double chin was "so big" and that my hair was the colour of a simba (I am a red head). Despite the comments I certainly felt the love from them haha.

My time in Kenya was much more than just volunteering. One of the advantages of having other volunteers is that you could always find someone to hang out with. One weekend we went to Diani beach (awesome trip) and I also did a safari weekend. Initially I was worried that three days wouldn't be long enough for a safari but in one day we saw the big 5 and every other animal I wanted to see. The safari was great with a wonderful guide and a beautiful camp. The trip was further enhance with a cultural trip to a Massi village.

Through the week life at the volunteer house was much quieter. For two weeks there were four of us living at the house plus our wo house moms. After that three more people joined the house. Keep n mind that weekends were packed at the house as other volunteers used it on weekends as a central meeting place. Life through the week consisted of DVDs (a local will download anything you want for fifty cents), occasional trips to the bar for happy hour, trips to Junction for wifi/water/Java/and any other shopping needs, trips to the local market etc. These trips were either with another volunteer or alone. With so many people around all the time walking during the day or taking a matatu wasn't worrisome at all.

My house "moms" (I was older than them haha) were Sara and Miriam. They are great women who work very hard. They were great cooks and they cooked a variety of yummy food although typical African food is rather bland. I certainly became friends with these sweet women during our time together. The house is close to Kibera but is still in a posh neighbourhood. The compound had security and a gate. School was about 2km away from the house. The walk became part of my day and I began to look forward to it.

Overall my trip to Kenya was fabulous. The support from NVS staff esp James was great. I never felt unsafe during my time in Kenya although one of the other volunteers did have his phone stolen in a matatu (definitely a part of the culture). The people of Kenya are very welcoming and they are so friendly. I hear mzungu so often that I just responded to like my own name. I've never been touched as I was at school by the students nor have people ever been as interested in my hair. I usually had at least three hairdressers at a time during lunch at school.

I was surprised at the acceptance of violence towards children. Children getting beatings by teachers is expected. As a Social Worker this was hard to see. Ironically the children don't behave better because they're afraid of the beating re-enforcing that it's not the most effective way of disciplining children. I also noticed that the children are much more physical with each other often kicking or punching one another. I attributed that to the presence and acceptance of violence in their lives. But I digress...

In general a great experience. I made friends from around the world, meet great Kenyans esp the children, saw all the animals I wanted to see, experienced the Indian Ocean, saw baby elephants, kissed a giraffe, tried new foods, realized again how privileged North Americans are all while avoiding a month of Canadian winter. Win, win, win! I only wish I hadn't wasted so much time before doing this. It won't be my last trip with IVHQ

What would you improve about this program?
Minor issues but here are some suggestions

The volunteer house needs new mattresses and some fitted sheets would be nice (I recommend you bring one from home).
Mosquito nets were on the list to bring but weren't needed.
I found the hike at Hells Gate challenging. The level of fitness needed shouldhave been told to us prior to starting the trip.




Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Barb, Thanks for sharing this great review of the IVHQ Kenya program! We often hear about how welcoming other volunteers are and this just warms our heart – we love our volunteers! It sounds like you made the most of your experience by providing valuable assistance to your teaching placement, exploring Kenya during your weekends, and getting to know the local team and the other volunteers. Thanks for providing valuable insight for future volunteers and for being an awesome IVHQ volunteer. We are thrilled to hear that you are joining us again and we look forward to seeing where you will be heading to next!
Will – IVHQ Kenya Program Manager

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Gabrielle
2/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Unsafe, Unsupportive staff, and Mediocre Volunteer Initiatives

I suppose I'll start at the beginning:
I read through the program website and decided it looked like a good fit for me. I was interested in the teaching program, and the description only said schools were closed through December, so I figured I would be ok to apply for 4 weeks starting November 1. I was accepted and happily went straight to the facebook group to seek advice from former volunteers. When I mentioned what program I was doing, an alumni told me she was pretty sure the school term (and thus the teaching program) ended in October, so I sent an email to IVHQ asking why I would have been accepted to start in November if this was the case and clearly stating that I didn't want to be on the Childcare program and wanted to be on Women's Education if not teaching. I was told not to worry, the school term didn't end until November 18 and after that I could definitely be put on the Women's Education project. Excited to be a part of both, I told all my friends and family this was the plan. When I arrived in country, however, I was informed the schools closed in October and sent straight to the childcare program. I would have complained, but I didn't want to lose all the time it would have taken to switch programs and had been placed with only one other volunteer (who was really cool). Because they explained they always put at least two volunteers in each placement at a time, I knew that if I moved, she would have to as well so I didn't want to put that on her.
The orphanage we went to was delightful; the staff and kids were friendly and they cared about making the best life they could for the kids living in the facility. The in-country partner organization had us pay for our lunches while we were volunteering there and had generally poor communication. We were frequently kept late or called on the weekend by the manager asking where we were because they had no idea what hours we were supposed to be there. Additionally, there wasn't really much for us to do at the orphanage. There was already a schedule laid out for cooking and cleaning by the staff and kids, they didn't have any scheduled activities for us to help with, so we spent most days at the orphanage sitting around and casually playing with the kids who didn't have anything better to do. Partially because we had nothing to do there and because he insisted we needed to 'learn something,' the manager of the program used most of the days to take us away from the orphanage on field trips, without the kids, at our own expense. These trips included things like visiting farms or sewage treatment plants, watching him shop at the market, and promoting his book at a local school which was out of session. For the most part, these trips were interesting, but very quickly became expensive and took away from time we should have been spending with the kids.
The accommodations provided were nice upon first impressions, but unfortunately involved a number of security breaches which made them unsafe and at times uncomfortable. We were not allowed bring outdoor shoes inside (I was once scolded by the house manager for putting a pair of flip-flops I had worn beside my suitcase in my bedroom) so we had to leave them outside the front door. One night, another volunteer's new hiking boots were stolen by a neighbour. The program does not provide volunteers with their own keys to the house, not even for a deposit, so if we were going to be home before the house mom, she would leave the keys in the kitchen window within easy reach of anyone outside, giving the neighbours multiple opportunities to enter the house. Finally, and worst of all, the house manager frequently allowed her boyfriend, who I later learned was unapproved by the program and had not completed a record check like everyone else, to be in the house, often overnight, occasionally sleeping in the same room as me and another volunteer. She did not ask us if we were comfortable with the situation at any point. Because the other volunteers seemed so ok with it and it was so frequent, I assumed the boyfriend had already been approved by the program. I didn't complain because I didn't want to seem like a princess compared to the others and was afraid I would be treated poorly by the house manager if I said anything to the program about something the other volunteers were fine with. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have said something the first time I woke up to find a man who was not a volunteer in my room, however there were many steps the program could have taken to prevent this ever happening.
Not surprisingly, I was robbed while staying there, and the program staff were the opposite of supportive. My trip involved 1 month volunteering in Kenya and then I was heading to South Africa, France, and England, so I had a stash of currencies for these countries totaling over $300USD hidden in separate baggies inside a pocket of a purse in the bottom of my suitcase in my bedroom. I noticed as I was packing to leave Kenya that the vast majority of the money (all paper bills worth over $5 USD) had been stolen, and the thief had left the small bills and coins. I knew it had been within the last couple of weeks because I had checked on my stash that much time before. I first told the other two IVHQ volunteers about this and one of them said she had also noticed about $80USD worth of Kenyan shillings gone missing from her stuff, but she had blamed herself for probably misplacing it at the time. I then reported it to the house manager and the staff member listed to 'call in case of emergencies' and neither offered any sympathy or support whatsoever. Both accused me of misplacing the money, even though I proved it hadn't been misplaced by emptying my entire suitcase in front of everyone in the house and explaining that only the paper money was missing, not the coins. The house mom gave me weak excuses as to why it couldn't have been her boyfriend, asked me not to tell the program he had been staying there (and mentioned that he had lost his job two weeks before so was relying on her for money), and later accused me of lying about being robbed. The staff member I reported it to said he would contact the manager of the other volunteer program which had volunteers staying in the same house and the general manager, but he never contacted either of these people on the issue. I was told that if I suspected other volunteers of taking the money, I had to confront them myself, so I was put into the incredibly uncomfortable position of asking my friends if they would be willing to empty their suitcases the same way I had done. All of the other volunteers and the house mom willingly subjected themselves to this, but I was unable to search the boyfriend because he didn't have a bag in the house. I flew to South Africa that same night so I was unable to take any more action in Kenya. When I arrived in South Africa, I contacted the general manager about the situation and it was the first he was hearing of it (because no one had reported it to him) but he promised me they would take action. Weeks later, I emailed again asking for follow-up information on what had been done to investigate the theft or resolve the security breaches, and the only thing they could tell me was that they were 'recruiting a new host family for next year'. In response, I sent a list of steps I believed they could have taken to make their accommodations more secure and offer more support to volunteers, but received no response for this email.
Orientation was short. It wasn't exactly bad, but it wasn't great either. It included them telling us a little bit about our placements, teaching us about the safari company they recommend (which I never got to try because the phone numbers and email they gave us didn't work so I had to go with another company) and then dropping us off at our homestays.
In short, I do not recommend this program as a safe or effective volunteer program. However, dealing with the staff at IVHQ was just fine, the program fees (if you choose the right country) are reasonable, and I do recommend IVHQ as a good way to explore a new country if you have no prior connections in that corner of the world.
Thanks for reading and I hope that if you do choose to volunteer with IVHQ or IVHQ-Kenya, you experience is much better than mine was!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gabrielle,

Thank you for your feedback. After receiving this feedback directly, your IVHQ Program Manager has been proactive with following up with the local team in Kenya to ensure the necessary changes have been made.

In regards to the school holidays, the Kenyan government unexpectedly changed the holiday dates at late notice, and the disruption was unfortunately outside of our control and that of our local team.

As discussed with you, we are sorry that we were not able to make some changes for you while you were on the program. We encourage volunteers to raise any concerns while they are in country to ensure these can be addressed. We assure you that we are working with our local team to ensure future volunteers do not have a similar experience.

The feedback regarding your homestay has been addressed and this homestay will no longer host IVHQ volunteers in the future. We are sorry that your home stay experience was not up to the high standard that volunteers can expect from IVHQ and we assure you that this is not the norm on our programs, as we know you are aware from volunteering with IVHQ in South Africa.

Thank you again for sharing your feedback. If there is anything you wish to discuss further, your IVHQ Program Manager will be happy to help.

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Tasha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING experience!!

This was my first time leaving the country and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I spent 6 weeks volunteering in Kenya with the childcare program and it was the best experience I've ever had! The staff was helpful, my host mom was amazing, the volunteers were fun, and the kids were the absolute best! I was expecting to go to Kenya and teach the kids great things, but in reality they were the ones that taught me. They taught me how to truly be happy. All of the kids are always so happy with the simple things in life and there is so much to learn from them.

While volunteering there is plenty of time to work and play. I spent every Monday-Friday with the kids and then on the weekends had plenty of cool places to go visit with other volunteers. It is really the best of both worlds. You get to experience and explore a new country while also having a life changing experience volunteering.

If you want to have a truly life changing experience in a different country I strongly recommend Kenya. Everyday is a new adventure and there is so much to learn from the people you will be surrounded by. Volunteering abroad is expensive, but it was definitely worth every penny. I am definitely planning to go back in the future!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be nice to have a break down of where exactly our money is going. Just because it is a big chunk of money and it would be nice to know exactly how all of it is getting spent.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tasha, Thanks for posting such a beautiful review. It is great to hear that as a volunteer you were able to learn from, and influence, those you were working with. You have been an awesome volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in Kenya.
Will – IVHQ Kenya Program Manager

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Rachel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing!

I love kids. I couldn't ask for better students to teach and learn together. Even though we didn't have enough resources at school, the students showed great desire and enthusiasm to learn and participate. I encourage anyone that is planning to volunteer teaching in Kenya to prepare more teaching materials beforehand. Anything that you prepare would be useful. Plus, don't forget to bring a camping lantern too!

Besides education, food and water are major issues that students are facing in Kenya. I started a fundraising page to feed the kids at Bright Star. I hope I will have your support. Please feel free to join me and make a difference together: www.youcaring.com/bright-star-montessori-learning-center-67…

Asante sana!

What would you improve about this program?
Besides the ones that I submitted earlier, some of the mattresses at volunteer houses may need to be replaced. Otherwise, they may hurt people's back for staying too long. Thank you.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rachel, Thanks for providing advice for Teaching volunteers who are looking to travel to the program in Kenya. You are an amazing volunteer!

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Eryn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A growth experience!

I really enjoyed this program and I'm very glad that I went! I did the women's education program at Gihon Women's Empowerment Center in Kitengela, Kenya (a 45 minute- 2 hour drive outside Nairobi with traffic). The program and its director, Agnes, were fantastic. Agnes is so appreciative of volunteer help and the center does need it. Some of the time, however, I felt pretty useless. The other volunteer and myself taught a thirty-ish minute lesson each day and the rest of the time the women were usually busy with their sewing teacher learning how to sew. Lessons were on a wide variety of topics from managing finances to safe sex-- most of the women only have a primary school education so they need to learn a lot of more basic things.

I rated the social scene low because there's really nothing to do in Kitengela and it's not safe to go outside at night, especially alone. For the most part, people are friendly but there were definitely some more threatening people on the street (no more so than I would expect from going to Kenya).

The program isn't perfect but I definitely recommend going!! There is SO much need in Kenya and anything we can do to help is so appreciated.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Eryn, Thanks for providing feedback on the program in Kenya. We are glad to hear that over all you enjoyed the program! We will be sure to take your feedback on board moving forward. Thanks for being an IVHQ volunteer!

Georgia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience - literally my life changed

My name is Georgia, I'm 20 years old and Im from England. Im currently a student at Durham University studying Human Geography. Ive just started my final year of my degree and the hot topic of conversation between my friends, family and basically anyone I meet is 'What are you going to do once you graduate?', and my answer to this question was always 'I have no idea'. To be honest with you, its still very daunting and hideously scary to think that soon enough I'm going to be a proper (hopefully) working adult. But after my short time in kenya I realised that my near future doest have to just be a 9-5 office job, running around a hot and sweaty city doing jobs for everyone. I worked with Positive Life Kenya, a small NGO located just outside of Nairobi that work to empower HIV+ women. My daily jobs consisted of home visits to the women, giving support and most importantly finding ways and teaching the women how to become independent financially. We set up an Esty page to sell some of the beautiful jewellery that the women made. We helped maintain the table banking system that supports the women with small loans to help expand their businesses. My experience at this NGO showed me how this type of work really changes lives. Young children were found sponsors so they can leave the slums and get the right support and nutrition. The women found their feet again and could support their families. The vibes of Kenya, the help and security I had from IVHQ and incredible adventures I had, together combine to help give my final answer to that burning question of 'What do I want to do when I graduate?'. My answer is... I want to move to Kenya and work with an NGO that empower women. Okay okay, I havent quite figured out everything yet, but Im working towards finding an internship or placement at an international organisation that will give me the same kind of work experience that IVHQ provided but at a more permanent level. Travelling to new countries, and especially working during your visit, opens your eyes but can also provide real life changing moments.

What would you improve about this program?
I understand its difficult to place people at the various placements before they arrive but some ideas of what placements volunteers could be on before their arrival would be very useful. Maybe a profile of the different placements to re over before arrival would be nice (but not necessary)
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Georgia, What a great tale of self-discovery! You are an incredible volunteer and we have no doubt that you will be snaffled up by an NGO in Kenya. Thanks for making real, positive change in the community you volunteered in. We would love to hear about the next stage of your journey. Stay in touch!

Kasey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent experience Volunteering in Mombasa

My three weeks spent in Kenya were amazing. The IVHQ and NVS staff were incredibly supportive, able to answer any questions we had before and during our trip, and even connected us to excursions in our area as all of the affiliated ones were based out of Nairobi. I would highly recommend going to Mombasa to volunteer. Very few volunteers go there (perhaps because of the extra $100 fee), but it is well worth while. Myself and my friend were the only IVHQ volunteers there at the time, but the need for more definitely exists at the schools and various orphanages.

During our time, we were able to spend time with the kids at our placement, but also took on the role of teachers to support the current staff, who are full time local volunteers (receiving no payment for what is the equivalent of a full time job). I would say that this placement (Little Angels Orphanage) is better described as being a teaching placement than childcare, due to the nature of there being a school within the orphanage. With some fundraised money, we purchased school supplies, new uniforms, and a swing set for our orphanage, and sponsored a little girl at our home for two years. Though it is not expected for you to spend your money on donations and sponsorships, your money will likely go a very long way and creates a more long lasting impact for them.

Our weekends were spent doing different fun things. Because we were unable to return to Nairobi (that 10 hour bus ride wasn't going to happen twice) for the IVHQ affiliated safari, one of the NVS staff connected us to a safari to Tsavo East with Grand 5 Safari, which was so amazing. Mombasa placements are also quite close to Diani Beach, a major tourist spot and beautiful place to go relax, have a bite to eat or have a drink, and there is a store nearby to pick up anything you may need. I completely recommend taking at least one venture to Diani, which is about 30 minutes away by a matatu.

Our host family was so warm and welcoming, the food was great, and we had showers and a western toilet (bonus!). Overall, I would completely recommend Kenya, and especially Mombasa, as your volunteer trip. IVHQ and NVS have everything in place for you to have a fun, safe, and valuable time there.

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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bravo IVHQ

Being a first time traveller and first time volunteer i was very overwhelmed with this trip. But the amazing IVHQ staff eased my anxiety, comforting me and preparing me for a trip of a life time. The first day in half way through orientation everyone already feels like family, especially the IVHQ staff. James, Joe, Cleo and Chomlee accepted this stranger into their family. Joining in on singing and dancing. Now i was ready to embrace what kenya had to offer. Teaching at Blessed Hope Primary school I learned more about myself than i could have imagined. The kids were eager to learn always asking for more. At recess I ran and jumped more than I have in my 21 years of life. They made me feel like a kid again, teaching me their swahili songs and dances.

I have indulged in Kenyas culture, and food (being a picky eater) and loved every bit of it.
Thank you IVHQ for becoming my family, for showing my around Kenya planning trips, teaching me about Kenya's history and culture, Thank you for the experience allowing myself to grow and spread my wings. Thank you to the teachers for accepting me into their school, and thank you to the kids for being who they are, their smiles can light a dark room, can brighten up the world.
Kwaheri, for now.

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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ KENYA TRIP

On the 29th of December 2015 i embarked my journey to Kenya, 18 years of age I decided to challenge myself and travel alone to a foreign country. I arrived in Kenya after a long flight with a short stop over i arrived on the 31st, just in time for the new year celebrations! I was greeted at the airport by Joe, and IVHQ driver who made me feel more than welcome. We arrived safe in Kawagware, were i was greeted by a loving Kenyan family and fellow IVHQ Volunteers.

We had our orientation, were we were informed on the safety and what not to do, after a day of orientation we set out to seperate towns. Placed in Rironi, with the most caring loving host Mum, Winnie, for three weeks i would call this my home. On our first day Winnie walked me to my placement SADAI Childrens home, Where we were greeted by the most excitable loving children. The children’s home reached my exceptions beyond belief, Mumma and Aunty (Head of the Orphanage), were loving and took care of us. We played games, we had several donations for the children, Books, pencils, school equipment, sporting good ect, giving these to the children was the highlight of my experience, to see the happiness ton their faces, and the joy something so little can bring to their lives.
During my experience i became ill, and landed myself in hospital, needless not to say the support of the IVHQ staff was outstanding, getting me to the hospital and visiting me each day.
IVHQ runs programs such as City tours, Safari, these again were amazing, and at a good price considering what we did.

Being a cheaper volunteer program i was a little nervous coming into the experience, but the program reached my expectations and beyond.

overall this was an enjoyable experience that i would do over and over again if i would, not once did i feel unsafe, or uncomfortable. IVHQ exceeded my expectations of any Volunteer program.

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Sierra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

Thanks to the help from an amazing organization like IVHQ I can say that I have learned more about myself in one month than I have in the past 21 years. I can't say that I won't take the luxuries I have at home for granted anymore but I have a new appreciation for ALL that I have. I wish I could take these children home with me but they will always inhabit a special home in my heart. I thank them for showing me how to be happy with less than the minimum, sharing their contagious laughs and allowing me to love them. ASANTE SANA IVHQ !

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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kibera, Blessed Hope, and an unforgettable experience.

To anyone who is sitting at home or in their office reading this review and saying to themselves - "I really wish I could volunteer in Africa" - well, it is only a few clicks away, and IVHQ is the organization to make it happen. From the moment I registered with IVHQ they were brilliant to deal with, and the ease in which I completed the whole process really made me ask myself why I hadn't signed up to volunteer earlier.

Once I had arrived in Kenya, NVS, which is IVHQ's local partner organization, were equally great to deal with. Joe, James, Chomlee, and John were all lovely, genuine guys, and although they sometimes did run on "Kenyan time", I will forever be indebted to them for placing me at Blessed Hope Primary School.

Blessed Hope is located in Kibera slum, and the school is currently operating out of a leased church hall. The school is owned and operated by two of the most selfless and generous women I have ever encountered - Director Elsa and Teacher Garret. Their passion and commitment to the students at Blessed Hope was infectious, and I had never felt more motivated to help. I signed up for the Sports Education program with IVHQ, so I would take various classes to the show-grounds (dirt field) for about an hour each day to play soccer. To ensure I maximized my time while at Blessed Hope, I also taught Maths to the Standard 2 and 3 classes. As much fun as I had playing soccer with the children, I found the teaching aspect to be a lot more rewarding as I could constantly see and document the progress being made.

After school had finished on most days, I would sit down with Director Elsa to review our 'urgent project list' for Blessed Hope. With the help of the NVS team, it was hugely satisfying to be able to complete all of the projects on that list while I was in Kenya. My focus has now shifted to raising enough money to purchase land in Kibera for Blessed Hope to establish a permanent base. (I will add the link to our fundraising page at the end of my review for anyone who is interested in checking it out)

As my placement was located in Kibera, I spent the duration of my time in Kenya staying at the main volunteer house with Miriam and Sarah as my hosts. Again, I can't say enough positive things about my experience here. Miriam and Sarah were both extremely caring and considerate, and they were always available to help volunteers in whatever way was needed. Sure, we endured some difficulties at the house from time to time with water and electricity, but isn't that the kind of experience you're prepared for when going to Africa?? I never once felt like my safety was in danger while at the house or at any other time during my placement, and I will really miss walking through the slum everyday. It is a very grounding experience.

I'll wrap this up by telling a story from my Standard 3 Maths class - as I was setting homework during my first week at Blessed Hope, one of my students asked me if I could give a prize to the student who scores the highest. I said to him that I'd collate the weekly homework results and then give a prize to whoever had the best overall performance. I asked him what he wanted the prize to be - Lollies? Snacks? Things a typical 9 year old child might want. He replied, "a pencil".

These children want to learn, and they want to have a chance to succeed in life. They are rarely without a smile on their faces, and in the short time that I spent in Kenya, I can honestly say that they changed my perspective on life. I would recommend the Kenya program to anyone who is considering it.

Sincerely,
Michael

www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/blessedhope

What would you improve about this program?
I would incorporate a Kibera slum tour into the program orientation on arrival in Nairobi. I believe the slum is important for all volunteers to see, and currently, volunteers that are placed outside of Nairobi sometimes do not get another chance to visit it due to travel arrangements etc.
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Daniela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My days in Maasailand

Volunteering in Kenya was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had the opportunity to teach English in a Maasai community and the two weeks that I spent there were absolutely amazing. The family made me feel at home since the very first day that I arrived. I learned about their culture and traditions, their language, their food and many other things. I was very lucky because in my placement I had the opportunity to begin my day teaching English to children at Olmaroroi school, and to end it by teaching adults at Ewangan (a night-school program started by former volunteers). Both, kids and adults were eager to learn. It was just the perfect combination!
The IVHQ staff were very helpful since I started planning my trip and the local staff were always making sure that we were comfortable and happy. I had the chance to travel around a bit with some other volunteers which made the experience even more complete.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. The only thing I regret is not having stayed for a longer period...

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Daniela, It's great to hear from you. Thank you for sharing a little from your time in Kenya. Great to hear you had such a positive experience. We hope to have you back on another IVHQ program soon.

Murphy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Volunteering in Kenya for NVS

The local staff were great from the get go. I had no problems with my airport pickup.
Orientation was thorough and I met the entire team with a warm welcome.
Because of the conflict that has happened in the past and media portrayal in Nairobi Kenya, there was less and less volunteers compared to other African Countries Ive been to. But after being there and working in the Nairobi for 2 weeks I felt completely safe and would highly recommend Kenya for volunteering. The locals do really appreciate our help and there are some dire living standards right amongst the rich and classy that need attention in terms of livingstandards, medical aid and most importantly, education.
My placement was right in the biggest slum in Africa, Kibera and it was at New Beginnings Special needs school. I enjoyed every minute of it and felt I was doing my part in making the student smile and bringing a different vibe and learning experience for the students.

What would you improve about this program?
The main volunteer house could be in a more secure safe location or have a security guard stationed at the house.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Murphy, Thanks for your review and recommendations. It's great to hear that you felt supported by our fantastic team in Kenya from the minute the you arrived in Nairobi. Great to have you as an IVHQer and we hope to have you back on another program again soon.

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Sara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Make a difference!

Wow! What a rewarding experience my volunteer work has been. I opted to volunteer in Kenya as a teacher and was placed at a primary school in a struggling Nairobi neighbourhood.

Everyone - from the local NVS staff, to the principal and teachers at the school to the adorable kids - touched my heart and soul to the core. In the process of teaching others, I came out rich with life lessons and memories that to this day puts a huge smile on my face. It has opened up my heart!

My suggestion to anyone considering to volunteer is DO IT. But come prepared. Do your research beforehand, take time to complete the IVHQ modules and read the brochure. You will by the end of it have a realistic idea of what to expect and how to go about your volunteer work the best way possible.

My volunteer work in Kenya truly triggered a passion in me. Even upon my return back home, I started a fundraising campaign to raise funds to set-up a scholarship program for my beautiful and bright students in Kenya. And with that, I have promised them to return and set everything up on the spot. And I can't wait, to see their wide smiles and joyful spirits again!

To check out my fundraising, here is the link: https://www.youcaring.com/students-at-bright-star-primary-s…

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Sara, thank you for your review. It really sounds like you had the best time in Kenya! IVHQ are so happy that you came out of the program with valuable life lessons and amazing memories! Thanks for being an IVHQer, we hope that you join us again soon!