UNICEF estimates that approximately 2.3 million children in Kenya are orphans. Many of these children move in with relatives after the deaths of their parents. Orphans are often put to work, denied the opportunity to attend school, and suffer physical abuse. Many run away or are forced out of the house. These children turn to the street or an orphanage for refuge. ELI works with orphanages in Nakuru, Nairobi and the base of Mt. Kenya as well as with day centers for street children in Nakuru. These organizations all place a large emphasis on the education and empowerment of the children. Volunteers at these organizations will assist with the daily tasks such as feeding the children, making sure everyone is clean and clothed properly, leading activities, helping with homework, and other tasks. Volunteers with this program will become an important part of the children's day while they are working with the organizations and may leave a lasting impact on the lives of the children.
Kenya is an incredible country to experience. The country boasts some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world as well as a warm culture with a rich heritage. Participants stay with host families and are welcomed into the community and work with local organizations. Many of the programs are based in and around the city of Nakuru, a perfect base for a stay in Kenya. It is the fourth largest city in Kenya, located two and a half hours by bus northwest of Nairobi. The highlights of this rich farming area include the Menengai Crater, an extinct volcano from which you get stunning views of the famous Lake Nakuru as well as archeological sites of settlements that go back as much as 3000 years. But the greatest attraction here is Lake Nakuru National Park, second most visited park in Kenya and renowned for its astounding shallow soda lake, euphorbia and acacia forests, rocky cliffs and the huge variety of wild animals: lions, warthogs, buffaloes, gazelles, leopards, baboons, rhinos, hippos and dozens of species of birds. The city of Nakuru is home to lively bars, restaurants and cafes volunteers and interns can explore in their spare time.