Volunteer Abroad in Kenya

291 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Kenya

Performing Arts Abroad

Contribute your performance skills to help others expand their abilities through programs created by Performing Arts Abroad. While helping the youth of Kenya gain a better understanding of the basic concepts surrounding theater, music, and dance, volunteers can discover the beauty of Kenya and learn to appreciate its traditions, customs, and norms.

Performing Arts Abroad
Affordable Volunteering in Kenya: Costs from USD 270

International Volunteer HQ offers low cost volunteering programs in Kenya. Participants can work in the Maasai tribal communities or in Nairobi and its surrounding areas. They can choose to contribute to HIV/Aids programs, Teaching English, Medical placements, Music projects, Orphanage work, Sports Education, and Women’s Education campaigns.

International Volunteer HQ
Lend a hand in Kenya with Love Volunteers

Enlighten the lives of local Kenyans through Love Volunteers, a non-profit international organization. This philanthropic program is open to participants from all over the world who are passionate about helping others. Community Development, HIV/ AIDS Program, and Orphanage Assistance are three of the many volunteer program options offered by Love Volunteers in Kenya.

Love Volunteers
Global Volunteer Network

Situated on the island of Mombasa in Kenya, participants have the chance to gain more knowledge of dolphins and dolphin conservation in this program. Global Volunteer Network allows volunteers to conduct survey work, collecting population and distribution data of marine mammals, while developing a deeper comprehension of the local marine ecosystem. In order to qualify, participants must be at l...

Global Volunteer Network
ELI-Experiential Learning International

Journey to Kenya on a volunteer program from ELI - Experiential Learning International and experience teaching English and other subjects to children at primary or secondary schools and working with organizations that educate orphans and street children in Nairobi and Nakuru, and work with the Kenya Voluntary Development Association in projects focusing on HIV, sanitation, and women's issues.

ELI
Global Vision International

Join Global Vision International (GVI) for volunteer service programs in Kenya. Participants get the chance to immerse in Kenyan culture, work with international team-mates, make a difference in a disadvantaged community, and explore amazing local sites.

GVI
Volunteer in Kenya with Frontier

Travel to Kenya with Frontier. Volunteers can work with children with disabilities, join community outreach programs, or assist local teachers. Participants live and work in the cities of Mombasa or Nairobi, and some rural areas. Program fees include meals and accommodation, and participants even get the chance to earn a TEFL certificate for free.

Frontier
Volunteering Programs with Projects Abroad

Volunteers can explore the safari paradise that is Kenya through programs with Projects Abroad. A wide selection of volunteer placements are offered to international participants interested in working in Kenya, including Community Development, Education, and Youth Development. All participants live in the city of Nakuru and get to know the Kenyan way of life.

Volunteer in Kenya Starting at USD200 Only

There are nearly ten programs that individuals may choose from upon deciding to go to Kenya with Volunteering Solutions. They may partake in volunteer placements which involves teaching basic English skills, assisting in medical clinics and hospitals, and working with children in an orphanage. Programs are conducted in one of five locations including Mombasa, Nairobi, and Nakuru.

Volunteer and Travel in Kenya with Kaya

Venture to Kenya by becoming a volunteer with Kaya Responsible Travel. Participants can help in providing various services, such as rural medical assistance, teaching and community outreach, and HIV/AIDS awareness in an orphanage in Nairobi. Volunteers may visit a Masai Mara Tribe, go on a safari in Masai Mari, or climb Mount Kenya. Eighteen year old participants from around the world are welco...

Global Enterprise Fellowships in Kenya

"For us this is mature global development." - Lord Michael Hastings, Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, KPMG As featured in the Financial Times, Virgin.com and the Guardian - Balloon Kenya is an award winning social enterprise defeating poverty through enterprise, not aid. We team up passionate young people from around the world with budding Kenyan entrepreneurs to create and scale exciti...

GoEco - Volunteer Abroad in Kenya

GoEco offers volunteers the chance to dicover Kenya’s natural beauty while working on projects that help the underprivileged communities. Participants can help out at orphanages and local schools and provide education to the children, work on healthcare projects, or assist in local conservation efforts for the benefit of monkeys. They can also take advantage of the country’s pristine beaches wh...

Elective Abroad: Organizing Electives Overseas

Volunteer in Kenya with Elective Abroad Inc. With nearly 20 fun-filled volunteer program choices to select from, participants can find an opportunity that suits their preferences. The wide range of volunteer types include Environmental Conservation, Deaf Education, and Human Rights. Programs usually last for five to eight weeks.

Volunteer Abroad in Kenya with A Broader View!

Experience a meaningful volunteering program in Kenya with A Broader View. Participants can choose from a wide array of projects including teaching in local schools as well as medical and health assistance programs. Placements are open in Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru and Nanyuki.

With the local children outside Grandsons of Abraham school in Mombasa.

How to Volunteer Abroad in Kenya

The Melting Pot Of Old And New

Wherever you’ve been in the world, nowhere is quite like Africa. It’s a melting pot of old and new and Kenya is the epitome of this description as a heady combination of original culture and Western advancement. Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, is a surge of movement. Everything goes at 100 miles an hour but, somehow, very little seems to happen.

Geography & Demographics

Kenya is a combination of many different civilizations and, while Nairobi has established itself as one of the most prominent political and financial cities in Africa, the country is an abundance of different communities representing vastly differing practicing societies. When trying to stereotype Kenya, its residents, habitats, practices and traditions, it’s very difficult to pinpoint particular characteristics of such a diversity-rich nation.

What is certain is that is it famous as a wildlife and natural savannah with the country itself being named after Africa’s second highest mountain, Mount Kenya. The country also lays claim to the world’s largest tropical and second largest saltwater lake, Lake Victoria, which it shares with Uganda and Tanzania.One of the most famous, and spectacular, sights in Kenya is the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Although covering only approximately one-nineteenth of the 9,700 square miles of the Mara-Serengeti EcoSystem, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is 583 square miles of sensational ecological beauty. Those visiting it are given a glimpse of the fantastic circle of life that the Mara’s wildlife inhabitants undertake and a peek into the life of the semi-nomadic, yet extremely friendly, Maasi tribe.

Kenya straddles the equator with approximately half of the country located in the Northern Hemisphere and half in the Southern Hemisphere. The majority of the land is surrounded by neighbouring countries: Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, and Somalia to the northeast. However, the South East borders the Indian Ocean, as does the country’s second largest city, Mombasa, which provides access to beautiful beaches and stunning ocean views. The largest city is Nairobi with over 3 million of the country’s 44 million people occupying the capital city. Kenya is a multi-ethnic state and has over 42 ethnic communities within its borders and its diverse population comprises most major racial, ethnic and linguistic groups found in Africa.

Kenya is hot. Unless you’re planning to escape the sun at the top of one of the country’s sometimes snow-covered mountains, you are going to feel the heat. What kind of heat depends on where you are in the country: if you go to the coast, you’ll experience a tropical style with rainfall and swings in temperature throughout the day. Further inland the weather system becomes more arid with little rainfall and temperature readings depending largely on the time of day.

Despite lying over the equator, Kenya has a southern hemisphere seasonal pattern with its warmest summer months between February and March and its coolest winter months in July and August. However, the variation in temperature is slight.

In an annual cycle, Nairobi (representative of the Central Highlands region) reaches temperature highs of 26 Celsius (79 Fahrenheit) and lows of 21 Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) during the day and highs of 14 Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) and lows of 11 Celsius (52 Fahrenheit) at night. During the same twelve months, Mombasa (representative of the coastal region) sees temperature highs of 31 Celsius (88 Fahrenheit) and lows of 27 Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) in the daytime and nighttime winter month highs of 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) and lows of 22 Celsius (71 Fahrenheit). Whatever time of the year you go, you’ll need to include sun protection in your suitcase.

Food & Culture

Kenya has two official languages: Swahili and English, the latter a result of British Colonial rule which agreed independence with the country in 1963. However, as previously mentioned, the country has a rich variance in cultures and communities and, as such Kenya is estimated to have 69 different languages. The official currency is the Kenya Shilling. Kenya is a fundamentally religious country and over 70 percent of its inhabitants are Christians.

Kenya is an abundance of collective cultures and it therefore struggles with national symbols of food, dress, and music. In bigger cities, food from around the world has seeped into the country and numerous Western fast food chains and Western-style meals are readily available. Kenyan staple food is maize which forms the basis of several traditional foods, such as ugali and sukuma often served with meat.  

If you’re lucky enough to find a bar or restaurant on the second floor of a building in Nairobi, take a moment to look at the scene below you. A normal road infrastructure will be laid out, complete with traffic lights, signs and directions. However, amongst the inanimate object order, there will be complete chaos. Vehicles from all directions demand to go where they want to go immediately and a mass of metal horn honking will have created congestion that no-one can get out of. It’s a fantastic sight and lays open the fabulous juxtapositions of this wonderful country and its overwhelmingly traditional yet diverse culture.

Things to Do

Activities for tourists in Kenya center around the natural beauty at their disposal. Safaris and trekking are big attractions in major cities and there is no telling how far and for how long you will be tailed by a local businessman desperate for a sale. Equally, there is an abundance of activities exploiting the advantages of the coast, from scuba diving and sailing to marine park visiting.

Volunteering in Kenya

Volunteering Abroad in Kenya is a unique experience and, if you’ve volunteered in any other continent, you may be slightly surprised that anything actually gets done. With that in mind, it is clear that their system works for them so it’s very important not to get too frustrated with the way the organisations run their business and stick to helping through their own methods. You have gone to Kenya to help, not to criticise.

Accommodation depends on the area in Kenya in which you volunteer. In the bigger cities, such as Mombasa, you might find yourself in a volunteer shared house: dormitory-styled living in house surroundings. However, if you travel to an indigenous community, such as the Maasai tribe, you may get the opportunity of a homestay.

It is important to point out that you must not expect five star, three star, or even one star accommodation. As a volunteer you are going to a project or community that is asking for help on a monetary and time-centric basis from people all over the world. The comfort of the volunteers is not the priority of those supplying the housing in the sense that they cannot provide you what they don’t have themselves. The best advice is to buckle down and deal with it. It won’t kill you; if anything it will add to your experience of what Kenya is all about. 

Of course, with wildlife wonders such as the Maasai Mara, there are opportunities for conservation volunteer work: collecting data and assisting with research on the local animals. However, predominantly, most organisations want help teaching children. There are a range of different situations in which to teach Kenyan children. You can work with kids who are helped off the streets by local organisations and need to be gently encouraged into education.

Alternatively, there are opportunities to spend time with tribes outside of mainstream Kenya and help their youngsters get an educational start in life. Deprived areas of Kenya, whose schools are simply too overwhelmed with children and strapped for cash, often require teaching volunteers. Sometimes placements just want people to play with the youngsters and make them laugh. Creativity is encouraged and teaching experience is not essential: organisations are often happy to have people there who want to help and make a difference.

Obviously, visas vary depending on your nationality and the length of your stay and requirements are subject to change at any time. However, for most native-English speaking countries, a tourist visa can be obtained upon arrival in the country and will last for up to 90 days. Please check this before travelling.

If you can open your mind, abandon your expectations and prepare yourself for anything, the fun, laughter and enjoyment you will get out of volunteering in Kenya will be limitless.

Charlotte Court

Charlotte is a travel enthusiast, having explored South East Asia, volunteered in Africa, travelled by train through Europe and lived and worked for a year in South Korea. She is also a features writer, having written for a number of British publications, and a playwright, with a number of plays performed in her home county, Yorkshire and a selection published through Lazy Bee Scripts. She chronicles her journeys, experiences, and published pieces on her blog.