Most Affordable Kenya Volunteer Programs in 5+ Locations from $270

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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.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects Available in Kenya:

  • Teaching
  • Childcare Work
  • Sports Education
  • Music Education
  • Special Needs
  • Women’s Education

Highlights

  • Programs available year-round, starting the 1st and 15th of every month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Highly affordable program fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Community-driven projects focused on supporting local needs and delivering sustainable positive impacts
  • Superior support services both pre-departure and while volunteering
  • Free online volunteer training for all IVHQ volunteers
  • Between 30 and 60 IVHQ volunteers start in Kenya each month
  • Weekends are free to explore Kenya with fellow volunteers - go on Safari and more!

Questions & Answers

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

Reviews

93%
based on 31 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9
Showing 16 - 30 of 31
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Jessica
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Sierra
10/10

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 !

Yes, I recommend
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Michael
10/10

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

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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Daniela
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
Murphy
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.

Yes, I recommend
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Sara
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend
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Marte
10/10

A great experience in Kenya

This was the best company for me. It was affordable, showed me greatly how my experience would be, the local staff is amazing (and the host mums!) and the help there was needed. Kenya is an amazing place to do your volunteering, the smiles and appreciation given from teachers, children, students and locals are overwhelming, and you feel you're time there was appreciated. The local staff will go out of their way to make it the best time for you as well!

How can this program be improved?
More information about projects and help that can be done before arrival.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Marte, Thanks for the small insight into your time in Kenya. It's awesome to hear that you felt supported by the amazing staff in country. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope that you will join us on another program soon!

Yes, I recommend
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Danielle
10/10

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! :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Danielle, Thanks for the recommendation. We are stoked to hear that you had such a positive experience volunteering in Teaching on our Kenya program. We hope to see you on another IVHQ volunteer trip soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Tina
10/10

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 can 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.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - 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.

Yes, I recommend
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April
8/10

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 can 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.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - 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.

Yes, I recommend
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nicolette.rae
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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C
8/10

Great value

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

Yes, I recommend
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Jake.morgen13
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Ray
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Domonique
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend

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Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...