Whether you’re asking yourself why you should volunteer in Kenya, or you’re already hooked on the idea and just need to figure out how to go about volunteering there - research is always a great place to start. Kenya is a popular travel destination, and for good reasons: from tropical beaches with mesmerizing coral reefs and marine life, Kenya is home to wildlife and wilderness unlike anywhere else (wait until you see your first cheetah!). The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, is considered to be one of Africa’s most dynamic and thriving cities - a culmination of unbelievable nature, culture and political heritage.
When looking for volunteering opportunities in Kenya, understanding how to search for organizations is crucial because the organization you will end up volunteering with will set the tone for much of your journey. For this reason, it is best to plan ahead so that once you embark on your travels - you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
Once you’ve read a bit about Kenya’s (super) interesting history, culture, and politics - try and find an area you’re specifically interested in. Like many other cases, here you can also start by defining whether you’re interested in a rural or urban volunteering experience and setting?
The metropolis of Nairobi and its urban sister Mombasa together host NGOs and charity operations which focus on countless different causes. Western Africa is moving towards social change, and you can find its reflection with the many organizations working throughout the cities - so by choosing between the two, you’re work can have a huge impact.
But if you are interested in a more rural experience, Kenya’s developed environmental volunteering operation includes educational programs, construction, water sustainability, unique wildlife conservation, and marine life preservation.
Other than that, and in both urban and rural locations, you can find volunteering opportunities in key issues that are related to poverty and HIV/AIDS struggles. As these are critical concerns for a large part of Kenya’s population, choosing to contribute in either of these fields can be immensely important. Working as a teacher in a local school can provide you with important skills, not to mention an amazing chance to learn another language (dropping a few lines in Swahili? Pshhh). Kenya’s healthcare volunteering ranges between outreach educational programs to medical volunteering.
With the rural areas being primarily affected by poverty and lack of sustainable education, those who choose to focus on the impoverished rural areas can find incredible opportunities to make an impact.