Community Development Africa
This essential program works on a variety of projects to help Kenya’s refugees. After the results from the 2007 election, riots ensued throughout many parts of Kenya forcing over 600,000 families to flee from their homes in fear of their lives. Once the violence ended, too afraid to return to their homes, hundreds of thousands of civilians sought refuge on barren land across the country, in tiny tents donated by the UN. These people are better referred to as Settled Internally Displaced People (SIDP). Though the tents have since been replaced with more permanent dwellings, around 600 families still reside in the SIDP village Love Volunteers support through this project, which is located around 2 hours outside of Nairobi. Within the SIDP village itself there are many ongoing projects, all intended to better the lives of the inhabitants through sustainable education, employment and financial opportunities. Volunteers have the chance to teach at the school for the village children, continue the development of sustainability programs such as gardening, farming and water sanitation, work on construction projects - including a new community hall and medical clinic and erecting fencing - or even run small medical clinics for the people of the village.
Goals of this Project:
- Empower the refugees of Kenya
- Improve the future prospects of children and adults living in the camp through education, employment and financial initiatives
- Give the refugees a sense of hope for a brighter future
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
This wonderful program works directly with refugees in their camp to support them to achieve a better life. Volunteers assist on any number of projects that helps to empower refugees and enables them to help themselves in the future. Refugees will learn from volunteers’ skills and knowledge and use that to establish a better life for their families. There is plenty of flexibility here for volunteers to be involved in various parts of the program development, including fundraising activities, and a great opportunity to build relationships with those living in the village. Volunteers will learn a huge amount from these amazing people and see first-hand how a long-term refugee establishment works.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and could expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Teach children in the school
- Work on construction projects
- Work on sustainability projects
- Empower inhabitants through economic development projects
- Assist with medical care
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for people living in marginalized communities of Kenya. While this project is best suited to those pursuing a career in the fields of anthropology, social work, social entrepreneurship and/or economics, volunteers who simply wish to be involved in a more ‘varied’ project are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist and individual projects can often be tailored to suit the particular skills and interests or each participant. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost 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 SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week 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: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya (CODE: NBO)
Accommodation & Meals
During the working week, volunteers on this project are billeted with one of our wonderful local host families, who are conveniently located just minutes from the SIPD Village site. In most cases volunteers have a private room, but during busy periods you many need to share with other volunteers. The families are experienced in hosting international volunteers and will take very good care of you.
Staying with a local Kenyan family is a great way to be truly immersed in the local culture. All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have plenty of experience in hosting international volunteers. Plus, transport to and from the project site is provided daily (included in program fee).
On working days, volunteers are provided two meals (breakfast and dinner) on a daily basis while at their home stay house. Easy!
On the weekends, 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. This is a 2 hour drive away from the SIPD village where you stay during the week. Volunteers are provided with a comfortable shared bedroom and shared bathroom, 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. Wi-Fi 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!
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!
*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.