Volunteer Abroad in Nairobi

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Nairobi

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and one of the largest cities in all of Africa, is a fascinating and challenging place to volunteer abroad. Home to the main coordinating headquarters of the United Nations in Africa and the Middle East, there is an undeniable sense of global prominence that pervades the city. Yet, the fact that over half of Nairobi’s population resides in slums means that there are many social and economic problems that challenge the local people. Those who volunteer abroad in Nairobi will find that they truly have the power to make a difference and contribute to or create solutions to the city’s problems.

Volunteering in Nairobi

Along with a regional UN headquarters, there are a large number of international NGOs and nonprofits with a foothold in Nairobi. These organizations work closely with local community members to develop projects and programs that have the ability to make lasting change in a variety of social spheres.

Education is one of the most popular type of volunteering in Nairobi. Teaching English, science, math, or other life skills to underserved locals in Nairobi is a great way to provide them with life-changing knowledge and open their minds to future opportunities. Education volunteer placements in Nairobi are available at any educational level, from teaching young elementary school children to providing language lessons for adults.

Healthcare is another common volunteer placement in Nairobi for international volunteers. Future medical and public health professionals can gain valuable experience by helping to serve impoverished communities which would otherwise lack access to such resources. HIV education, general medical care, and raising community awareness are all examples of tasks you can engage in during a healthcare volunteering in Nairobi.

Volunteers who are interested in environmental volunteering will find plenty of placement opportunities in Nairobi as well. Nicknamed the “Safari Capital of the World,” Nairobi is the only capital city to actually be bordered by a major wildlife reserve (Nairobi National Park). Many local organizations are focused on sustainability and wildlife preservation in order to maintain a considerable “environmentally-friendly nature” to the city.

Life in Nairobi

Founded around the turn of the 20th century, Nairobi is actually quite a modern city. Most of Kenya’s wealthy population lives in the capital city, and the urban core is surrounded by several sprawling suburban communities. While a large percentage of the city’s population still lives in slums, due to poor urban planning, new housing projects are continuously being built to support the city’s burgeoning growth. Nairobi also happens to have the fourth largest economy in all of Africa.

As you would expect in such a regionally important and globally connected city, Nairobi is also extremely diverse. Many of Nairobi’s inhabitants have ancestors from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, and there are many different languages spoken throughout the city (although predominantly Swahili and English). Christianity and Islam both hold a significant presence in Nairobi as well.

Nairobi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in East Africa, and this in combination with an international orientation lessen the chances of volunteers feeling like outsiders. Still, those who volunteer in Nairobi can expect a fair dose of culture shock while adapting to the city, especially if they have never traveled to Africa. Life flows differently in Africa, Nairobi included, and adapting to and learning from your surroundings is part of what makes volunteering abroad such a valuable process.

Costs & Affordability

Kenya is a developing country, which means most daily expenses in Nairobi will be very affordable for volunteers from the industrialized world. The most expensive part of volunteering in Nairobi will be paying up front program fees, which typically cover many basic costs, such as housing, meals, and transportation. If your desired volunteer program in Nairobi is out of your price range, you can always try fundraising as a means to help cover the costs of your trip!

Accommodation & Visas

Accommodations may not be as luxurious as some individuals are used to, but nonetheless, volunteers will be made comfortable during their volunteer program in Nairobi. Homestays are the most popular option for most international volunteers, although some volunteer programs in Nairobi will be open to helping volunteers find their own housing in an apartment or flat.

Kenya recently instituted an e-Visa program for most countries outside of Africa, meaning that you can apply for the necessary visa documentation to volunteer in Nairobi over the internet. Usually your volunteer program provider will endorse you for the proper visa, but in the mean time you can find more information through GoAbroad’s Kenyan Embassy Directory.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Help Be the Change. Considering its social issues, including poverty, crime, and social inequality, locals in Nairobi have their work cut out for them as they attempt to progress and develop their city and lives. Individuals that are ready to volunteer in Nairobi and put in the time and effort needed to initiate positive change are a rare breed, and greatly needed for progress to happen.

Cultural Integration. Nairobi is reflective of the African continent in that it is a melting pot of many different cultures. Shedding your own prejudices and letting the city become your teacher is the key to a happy and rewarding experience volunteering in Nairobi.

The Wild. Not every city can boast a view of lions, giraffes, and rhinoceroses from its downtown streets. Kenya is one of the most popular safari destinations on the continent, and views of Nairobi National Park are more than present amidst Nairobi’s city skyline, which isn’t something you can find in just any city.

Read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Kenya.

Read More
Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in Nairobi


 Find Volunteer Programs in Nairobi Now


This listing has been saved 858 times

World's #1 Affordable Volunteer Programs. Trusted By 80,000+

IVHQ is the world's most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization with the largest range of top-rated programs, available in 40+ destinations year-round! We place over 18,000 volunteers abroad annually and have over 10 years experience in providing safe, impactful and affordable volunteer abroad programs. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day and the best safety re...


This listing has been saved 9 times

Kenya - Masai Mara Lion and Wildlife Conservation

The incredible attraction of the famous migration over the Masai Mara has brought with it some conflict in competition for resources such as predator's praying on local livestock, and the Masai people not being as involved in the tourism project as would be hoped. The aims of this project are to ensure that the Mara remains a valuable source of income for the country and to increase local commu...


This listing has been saved 296 times

Volunteer Abroad & Make a REAL Difference - From US$175!

Find our Why More and More People are Choosing to Become a Love Volunteer! Love Volunteers is the most affordable way to volunteer and help local communities in developing countries! Why are we cheaper than other organisations? Firstly, we are just a handful of passionate people working hard to help volunteers and local communities around the world. We don't have huge overheads - no company ...


This listing has been saved 7 times

Volunteer Work at an Orphanage | Kenya | 2018

Working with the children is a rewarding experience for volunteers and this is one of our most popular programs in Kenya. Under this program, our volunteers work with the existing staff to take care of the children in orphanages. The work in a children's home involves feeding, dressing and keeping the kids active within the homes. Other tasks include cleaning the homes as well as cooking. If yo...


This listing has been saved 37 times

Internships and Volunteer Programs in Africa

Volunteering in Africa takes you one step further than the average tourist into the true character of this unique continent. To us, volunteering is a two-way thing. It’s not only about the hands-on help and skills that volunteers bring, but also about what this magnificent continent, its warm people and amazing wildlife can give volunteers in return. African Impact is a multi-award winnin...


Kenya Orphanage in Nairobi

Kenya is a land of intense beauty, epic landscapes, fascinating tribes and exuberant communities. Magnificent wildlife roam across vast Rift Valley plains, white sand beaches fringe the turquoise Indian Ocean and ancient tribal communities practice traditional customs little changed since the dawn of time. All these combine to provide a destination of unparalleled appeal and fascination. Tra...


This listing has been saved 113 times

Intern & Volunteer Abroad: from USD180

CrossContinental offers affordable intern abroad, volunteer abroad, culture/language immersion programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Gain hands-on experience, improve your resume, enhance cultural understanding, and build global network. Stay with a host family for culture and language immersion. Affordable program fees start from only USD180 (accommodation & meals included). These vo...


This listing has been saved 11 times

Volunteer Teaching in Kenya

As in many countries, the Kenyan school system is facing many challenges including limited resources, overcrowding and lack of qualified teachers. Volunteers can work at a primary or secondary school in Nakuru. Volunteers will assist by teaching English and other subjects. Volunteers must be prepared for the challenge of working in schools with very limited materials and resources but must also...


This listing has been saved 2 times

Theatre for Social Change in Kenya

As you work with Kenyan performing artists in the slums of Nairobi, you will begin to understand the unique role of theater in East African urban society. Spend time teaching workshops in schools and to after school groups, attend theater performances around the city, and help with the administration of a vibrant and thriving theater group (when they are meeting regularly). This volunteer exper...


This listing has been saved 2 times

Kenya Nairobi Child Care, Teaching, HIV Awareness, Medical Health Care Programs Volunteer

* Child Care Assistance Volunteer in a local children's center or orphanage which provide meals and basic education for abandoned children ages 3yrs-15yrs. Orphanage projects are located in the Dagoretti, Kibera, and Kangemi neighborhoods. Some of the children are orphans, some have been abandoned, but most are local children that need assistance since their parents are unable to provide for t...


This listing has been saved 77 times

Volunteer World: Best Volunteer Abroad Programs Worldwide

Looking to apply your talent and expertise to a good cause? Find a program that matches your interests and skills through Volunteer World! We are the largest volunteer abroad comparison platform around the globe, enabling you to seek and compare offers from major travel agencies as well as smaller grassroots NGOs and local specialists in more than 80 countries. All these with just one click! ...


Volunteer with Children in Kenya

Global Dental is excited by its partnership with the Kikuyu Hospital Dental Clinic, located in the hills outside of Nairobi, Kenya. We will be working at a fully equipped clinic built in 2006. Following each clinic, volunteers may choose to participate in a four day safari in renowned Maasai Mara National Park. Picturesque acacia trees surround the hospital compound that is home to our dental...


Global Electives Port Ltd. Medical Internship

Our team has seen this need and we offer an overseas elective placement program to foreign students, volunteers, and professionals to neglected regions. Spend a few weeks or months with poor people of our world who desperately require medical assistance. Walk into your elective with a smile, an open mind, and good intentions and you will leave planting new seeds of hope and the possibility of i...


KVCDP - Medical Health Program in Kenya

Join the health program organized by KVCDP and gain an insight into the health issues and challenges facing developing countries, particularly in Kenya. Non-governmental and government organizations run numerous maternity clinics, private and children’s hospitals, health facilities, alternative medicine clinics, and HIV/AIDS wards in several small rural village and towns. As a volunteer in t...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Physical Therapy/Pre-PT Internships Abroad

International Medical Aid (IMA) allows individuals who are motivated to practice physical therapy or chiropractic to explore the profession in an international setting. This once-in-a-lifetime mentorship by dedicated Physical Therapy or Chiropractic staff creates hands-on programs that accommodate the knowledge and backgrounds of each volunteer. Volunteers have the opportunity to work in a vari...