Dear KVCDP, On behalf of the 13 pre-medical students from Texas A&M University, I would like to thank you all for providing us with such a wonderful opportunity.The community members, administration,hospital/clinic
When you volunteer in Kenya, you are giving something back to the Kenyan Communities by lending a helping hand to people and the Oganization that is in need of your support. Volunteer in Kenya and Challenge Yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW ARE THE PEOPLE IN KENYA?
Live and experience the real kenyan way of life in a rural African village. Kenyans are friendly, social, warm, polite, open, and welcoming especially to visitors. It is an experience one would live to remember where everyone wants to greet you even when they dont know you. Its all in the culture.
HOW IS THE CLIMATE IN KENYA?
Generally the days are pleasantly warm and the nights are cool. Kenya lies directly on the equator and elevations vary. In some areas, nights can be chilly. In the northern region, days are quite hot, but the coast is hot and humid. There are two rainy seasons, the long rains in April and May and the short rains in November and December. The hottest periods are from January to March and September to November. The coldest months are in June, July, and the beginning of August. Average temperatures in Kenya are 25 celcious, in general it is not humid and is therefore very tolerable.
WHAT ARE THE BEST TIMES TO VOLUNTEER IN SCHOOLS?
Depending on your village placement. The dates may vary, Be sure to confirm the exact school session dates prior to purchasing your airfare.
Term 1-Early January till Early April
Term 2-Early May till Early August
Term 3-Early September till Late Nov
HOW DO I GET TO THE PROJECT?
The volunteers will be met at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by one of our staff, get transferred to our arranged accommodation for an overnight stay. Orientation will follow the next day prior to depature in a shared shuttle to the project location.
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT TO VOLUNTEER?
Volunteers minimum age is 18 years and above. Anyone below the age of 18 and above 10 should be accompanied by a guardian or a parent or must have the recommendation letter from the teacher, parent or guardian before arrival.
DO I NEED ANY QUALIFICATION TO VOLUNTEER ?
Open to anyone. However, (Specialized skills and expertise such as medical knowledge and health sciences, teachers and any field that requires professionalism will be used accordingly). Otherwise all you need is patience, sense of perspective, resourcefulness, creativity, cultural sensitivity as well as the support of the KVCDP staffs in resolving any difficulty.
WHAT TYPE OF ORIENTATION DO I GET BEFORE DEPARTURE?
Volunteers are provided with a comprehensive information and a personalized travel guidance.
A packge which includes:-
-Tips for Travel Arrangements
- Health & Immunization
- Arrival & Survival
- Culture &
- Tour Guides/Safaris
DO I NEED TO BE FLUENT IN ENGLISH?
Yes, it is useful to speak English. Kenya's main languages are Kiswahili and English, and especially in rural areas which is very remote you will learn the language of the people living in that community like greetings and other frequently used words.
HOW IS THE SECURY IN THE AREA?
We ensure adequate physical and emotional security as Kenya is one of the safest countries in East Africa. It is a home away from home, feeling the people's hospitality, lift up spirits, Help in burying the holes and giving hope for life.
OTHER SAFETY ISSUES
-There is real poverty in Kenya and you are likely to be more fortunate than most local people you meet. Living in an unfamiliar environment with limited understanding of culture, language and being taken as a well-off can put you at risk. Many volunteers experience varying degrees of unwanted attention and misused for ones own benefit. Be sure to take some precautions such as:
- Keep your personal documents in a safe lockable place.
- Avoid walking alone at night.
- Do not carry a lot of cash with you.
- Do not expose your equipments.
- Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
More will be discussed at your orientation upon arrival.
It is good to follow local etiquette while in the community. Female volunteers need to wear pants and/or long skirts. However, approach it with cultural sensitivity in mind and you will be fine. Please enquire when you are not sure what is and is not appropriate.
IS IT SAFE TO DRINK LOCAL WATER ?
It is generally recommended that you drink bottled water during your travelling but while at the placement you can take a well treated water or boil your drinking water.
ARE WE ABLE TO DO ANY TOUR?
Volunteering is quite intensive and volunteers are advised to take short breaks during their volunteer time to do sightseeing e.g. kit-mikai, Traditional home set up, Boat-Riding etc. Kenya is the most beautiful country with lots of adventures and landscape one would want to explore before returning home. For low cost tours we recommend http://www.africahomeadventure.com that can always be helpful in organizing safari packages in both Kenya & Tanzania at affordable rates. It is affiliated with the Enchoro Wildlife Camp Masai Mara http://www.enchorowildlifecamp.com which caters for budget accommodation for travellers and 5% of the campany proceeds goes along to support our development programs in western Kenya.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION/MEALS LIKE IN KENYA?
The accommocations in each village vary . Volunteers can stay with host families, rented rooms hostel/hotel or at the community resource center. There are provisions for beds, mattresses bed sheets and mosquito nets. The bathroom facilities range from pit latrines to flush toilets. Bathing may consist of either a bucket or a basin of water.
Kenyan villages rely on a simple, largely vegetarian diet. A national dish called Ugali, which is cornmeal cooked with water and flour either maize or millet to a consistency like thick mashed potatos. Beans, rice, potatoes, and green vegetables (e.g., kales) are also important to the African diet. Sometimes, meat from goats, chicken, or cows are included. You may find fish near Lake Victoria. Fresh fruit (e.g., banana, watermelon, pineapple, mango -- depending on the season) are abundant as well.
WILL I HAVE E-MAIL ACCESS WHILE IN KENYA ?
E-mail access is not available in the villages; however, you will be able to find an internet cafe in most nearby towns. Depending on the village you are volunteering in, you may need to travel up to 1 hour to reach one.
DO THE VILLAGERS IN KENYA SPEAK ENGLISH ?
English is considered the official language, while Kiswahili is the national language. In addition, there are over 42 ethnic languages also spoken in Kenya. Although local schools are taught in English, you will find that the villagers will mainly speak their native languages, such as Dholuo, Luhya, or Maasai. Volunteers give villagers an opportunity to practice their English while at the same time they will likely want to teach you their language.
Although it is not essential to learn the native languages, it is extremely useful and appreciated if you make an effort to learn the basics.