About the HIV Program
Volunteers play an essential role in supporting this program deliver essential services relating to the massive HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya. The mission of this program is to educate children and adults on HIV/AIDS to reduce the infection rate, and to support those affected by the disease. Health workers in Kenya are under great pressure, given the unprecedented surge in the number of HIV/AIDS patients. Volunteers are needed to assist with the huge task at hand. A volunteer who elects to take on a placement on this HIV/AIDS program is taking part in the efforts to mount an effective response in meeting the needs of target communities. Volunteers will find their service includes visits to the slums of Nairobi with the purpose of delivering vital supplies of food, medicine, as well as providing basic medical care. HIV/AIDS volunteers help reduce the spread of HIV by raising awareness and promoting access to medical care. They also foster compassion in the community for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as giving emotional support.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential care to people affected by HIV/AIDS and their families in Nairobi
- Reduce the infection rate and improve the future prospects of the population through education
- Give infected people quality care, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
Volunteers on this program play an essential role in helping to care for those affected by HIV/AIDS and in working to reduce and eventually eradicate the disease from the community. From providing medical care to those infected, to helping to care for families and orphans who now live in extreme poverty due to the diseases impact on families and the community, volunteers will find they at working right at the heart of Africa’s HIV/AIDS issue. Volunteers in Kenya participate in schemes to educate and counsel the community, schools and individuals and visit HIV/AIDS clinics and help meet the needs of children orphaned by the disease. All volunteers joining this project will spend the first part of their placement undertaking a customized HIV training course which is designed to not only improve their own knowledge and skills, but to vastly increase the impact they can have while participating on this program.
The course lasts two weeks. Week one consists of theory whereby the volunteer/student learns about the epidemiology of HIV, the prevalence of HIV in Kenya, about prevention of HIV and about its far-reaching social implications. In addition, the tutor will teach volunteers how to test and counsel people. The first week ends with a written exam.
During the second week the volunteers are supervised at a local clinic where they practice testing and counselling patients (minimum amount is 6 patients per student). After completing this practical section, the volunteer will be officially registered as an HIV counselor and will receive a nationally recognized certificate that allows them to work as an HIV counselor in Kenya.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Participate in an intensive 2-week HIV/AIDS support course
- Support those living with HIV/AIDS through medical and other care (providing food etc)
- Educate adults and children on HIV/AIDS
- Support children orphaned by the disease and families affected by loss due to HIV/AIDS
This program offers an amazing opportunity for suitable applicants who are 18 years and over to work alongside qualified medical professionals and gain first-hand insight into the Kenyan healthcare system. It is open to those with experience and/or education in the field of medicine, as well as med-school and pre-med students. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with patients and staff, though this is not a pre-requisite. Naturally, all applicants must also have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Situated on the Nairobi River, the city of Nairobi is not only the largest and fastest growing city in Kenya, but with a population of three million plus, it is also one of the largest in Africa. Nairobi is known as the ‘city in the sun’, but its more enthusiastic fans proudly call it the ‘green city in the sun’. Among the cities in Africa, Nairobi has carved a niche in terms of cultural diversity and heritage so even if you are on a short stay, there will be something for you to do here!
The Nairobi city centre is relatively small at just 1 kilometre square, making it easy to get around on foot. Be sure to visit the National museum which is right in the city, and get a glimpse of Kenya’s cultural and prehistoric wealth. While there, consider visiting the Snake Park, which is within the same grounds. For souvenirs, stop and shop at the City Market and the famous Maasai Markets.
The city is filled with many things to do during the day and the night. Visitors can have their pick from numerous safaris (wildlife, cultural, sport, adventure, scenic and specialist), ecotourism tours, restaurants, culture, shopping and entertainment. Volunteers can simply talk to the local project team about weekend Safaris and trips to Hells Gate (see ‘Additional Info’ section!).
Nairobi National Park, just outside Nairobi, is home to large herds of Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Hippo, Rhino and even bird-life (over 400 species). Also in the park is the Nairobi Animal Shelter. Nairobi is a fantastic place to visit and an even better place to volunteer!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every TUESDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 4 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Nairobi volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to the volunteer house accommodation where they will join a full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in Kenya. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: TUESDAY
- Program Departure Day: TUESDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya (CODE: NBO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program are accommodated within a large and spacious volunteer house, located in a safe and convenient suburb of Kikuyu within a short commute to all the main attractions of this fascinating city. Volunteers are provided with a comfortable shared bedroom and shared bathroom (including hot showers), separated by gender, and thanks to the variety and popularity of this program location, they will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with other like-minded people from around the world. Linen is provided. Wifi is available onsite, though service may not be as reliable as most are accustomed to at home. As with most parts of Africa, laundry facilities are basic and most volunteers simply use the services of a local laundromat.
While the accommodation is basic, this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings. The volunteer house is well managed by the local team and there is an onsite ‘house mama’ to look after volunteers. A perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Nairobi!
The public transport widely used in Nairobi are vans called 'Matatus' these are often over crowded but very cheap, and an authentic experience.
Volunteers are provided 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner) at the volunteer house during the working week and 3 meals are provided if you are at your accommodation during weekends. Lunch is not included during the working week but is often be taken at small cafes or restaurants where you can try cheap and tasty local food. You are also free to buy bread and other snacks. The meals provided are mostly vegetarian, local cuisine. Conveniently, there is also a fridge and basic cooking facilities if volunteers would occasionally like to prepare their own meals. Easy!
For those who prefer, in some cases we can arrange accommodation with a host family who are experienced in hosting international volunteers. The host family accommodations will involve shared bedrooms and bathrooms. Please keep in mind that in some of the more rural areas bathrooms will consist of squat toilets and bucket showers. Although most families have running water, hot water is still uncommon among local families in Kenya.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Safaris and Excursions for Volunteers
During your time in Kenya, why not use the opportunity to explore the country! If you're looking for an authentic adventure that takes you ‘off-the-beaten-track’, you can take an excursion directly with our local partner organization. As a Love Volunteer, not only will you get an excellent price, but every time you take a trip with them, a portion of the fee is donated to one of our development projects!
Here is some of the options available to volunteers:
Maasai Mara Safari: The ultimate safari experience with the chance to see the Big 5 - lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant, leopard - you can be assured of three days of fun that you will never forget! US$390 (prices subject to change).
Mt Long’onot: If you’re up for a challenge and love to hike, Mt Long’onot is the adventure for you - make it to the top and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Great Rift Valley and Hell’s Gate. US$100 (prices subject to change).
Hell’s Gate National Park: Fancy cycling through the land that inspired The Lion King? From cycling to hiking, swimming to sailing, the Hell’s Gate tour promises action-packed day for the adventure seekers. US$130 (prices subject to change).
Animal City Tour: Animal lovers rejoice - this is the perfect wildlife experience just for you. Visiting four different animal parks in just one day, you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and giraffes! US$55 (prices subject to change).
Watamu Coast Tour (1-week): Escape from the city with a week of relaxation, sun and fun on Kenya’s beautiful coast. You’ll have the opportunity to take a snorkelling trip and get inches away from beautiful wild dolphins. On your final day, a trip to Mombasa is on the cards before returning to Nairobi, chilled and fulfilled. US$350 (prices subject to change).
Kilimanjaro (1-week): Taking the top spot on almost every thrill seeker’s bucket list, Kilimanjaro is for the brave and mighty. On this eight-day trip, you will depart from Nairobi ready to conquer the mountain - and you will return a champion. US$1,500 (prices subject to change).
There’s also plenty to do in the city in your down time - from taking in the stunning views of Nairobi at the top of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre to stocking up on souvenirs at the Maasai market. We can guarantee you won’t be bored on your days off!
*Special rates available to Love Volunteers alumni only. Bookings are made directly with the local team after a place on the program has been confirmed. Spaces subject to availability.