Overview

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya

Join Adventure Alternative and the Moving Mountains Trust for a two week trip of a lifetime to Kenya, working on relevant, meaningful and hands-on projects developed by our charity in Kenya, Moving Mountains, as well as volunteering your time with children who benefit directly from our work in Western Kenya. There is also plenty of time to experience some more of Kenya’s diverse culture and abundant wildlife at Kakamega National Park and around Lake Naivasha.

We believe that this trip positively develops all who are involved, you will return home with a true appreciation for life in Africa and a great insight into how we believe developmental aid should work. The trip will be fully supported with a very special and incredibly lively team of experienced Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains staff (many of whom are former street children and beneficiaries of Moving Mountains) and give you the chance to live and work with children from incredibly difficult backgrounds in a developing country

This trip is really about people, and interacting with others in a friendly and equal way, learning from others irrespective of background, and helping people think about their values and opinions, and to show them Africa. Some of our work with the Moving Mountains Trust has been quite transformative, and in Western Kenya this includes dozens of children who have received individual sponsorship, the development and management of our Ulamba Children's Home and Community Village, numerous school development projects and the installation of bore-holes

We are not about perpetuating damaging stereotypes about volunteering in Africa, and we're not interested in marketing a 'save the world' message either. We have so many years of evidence and experience to back up our success story, and it's been one that has involved many people in Kenya over decades. Here's a great video example of how poverty and Africa and volunteering and fundraising have been marketed successfully over the years to create a stereotype that we all have to change: 

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya - travel and new friends

It is also a chance to travel, live independently in a foreign country, go on adventures and make a lot of new friends. Many volunteers we host report that their experience with us has been a defining one, giving them a direction in life and the motivation to do many things they may never have considered. For the Kenyans, who are very engaged with social media, they make new friends and keep in touch for a long time afterwards. Here's Beatrice talking about her life and dreams; she was sponsored originally by founder of Moving Mountains, Gavin Bate, and was a volunteer with our school trips but is now a nurse and one of our staff for both beneficiaries and volunteers.

Everyone gains a lot of self esteem and fulfilment, and we are careful to ensure that this experience is a responsible volunteering placement and does not fall into the trap of bad volunteering which has given this type of trip a bad name. Our experience has always been positive, and with more than twenty years working in the development sector and sending volunteers to Kenya, we believe we have a good model. This is Gavin talking about the ethics of the volunteering in Kenya and other countries, and how it came about with the company and the charity forming such a winning model of responsible tourism:

A lot of our volunteers are adults who are taking time out of work, or just looking for a good cause to lend their skills and motivation. We welcome people who can assist with a wide range of tasks to help the charity run effectively, help us with impact assessments, analysis and feedback, plus of course skilled tasks working with children, special needs individuals and families. Teachers are most welcome, we find they have been very inspirational both for the pupils and also the teachers in Kenya who love to have professional visitors come and share their knowledge. Here's a teacher from King Edwards School in Bath having a hilarious science lesson with the pupils at Wagwer Secondary School in Western Kenya:

We support lots of activities for our Kenyan beneficiaries which you can get involved in, for example Scout camps, sightseeing, camping, after school clubs, sports clubs and going to community events and church. The holistic approach is a lot of fun, very inspirational and accepts that the benefits are there for everyone. This volunteering trip in Kenya is not just about giving, but also learning and maturing and gaining a whole new life experience. 

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya - being a role model for the charity

Without doubt you will witness the strong links between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and the communities where you end up. As such, you will be an ambassador for both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and there will be many young people looking up to you as a role model. But lets not fall into the trap of thinking that being a Volunteer is going to Save Africa, here's a fun video to make sure we keep a perspective on things:

Actually, you may be surprised to find that the person who appears to be benefitting the most is you. The staff who work for MM and AA are all inspirational and motivated people, educated and passionate, and many of them came from very difficult backgrounds. Their life story will amaze you, and their natural positive attitude to life will mean that they will almost certainly become a role model to you as well. This video just about sums it all up, dreams are for everyone and in this film all these children who took part in a volunteering trip with Canadian students have prospered. Their message is an inspiring one for anyone, but if you take away the story it's still their innate motivation to help themselves is what really stands out:

Karibu Kenya!

 

Itinerary

FRIENDS OF MOVING MOUNTAINS KENYA - ITINERARY

The core dates cover a two week period, which starts with your arrival in Nairobi before transferring by road to Ulamba Children's Home in Western Kenya on the 2nd day. The 10 nights we spend in Western Kenya are based mainly at Ulamba, however there is an overnight camping safari to the majestic Kakamega National Park in the middle of this. The trip then starts to make it's way back to Nairobi but not before stopping on the shores of Lake Naivasha where we can cycle and walk alongside the plains animals at Hell's Gate National Park and enjoy some R&R with boat trips on Lake Naivasha, swimming at our camp and visits to Elsamere. 

 

Day Information
1 Arrive in Nairobi, where you will be met by a team from Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains who will remain with you throughout the entire trip. Transfer to a secure camp on the outskirts of Nairobi (next to Nairobi National Park) for a team briefing and staff introductions. Depending on arrival times we may have a chance to visit Kibera slum where Moving Mountains have developed Ushirika Community Clinic, which provides essential health care to the Kibera residents. Staff who grew up in Kibera can take you on a guided tour to experience life in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest slum (home to an estimated 1 million).
2

Start our journey to Western Kenya, which is a long but breathtaking journey north of Nairobi along part of the Great Rift Valley before heading west through the vast tea plantations of Kericho, past the shores of Lake Victoria and the traditional homesteads of rural Western Kenya to reach our Ulamba Children’s Home and Community Village in the Siaya District in the late afternoon.

Accommodation at Ulamba is dependent on the numbers but we have built 4 twin guest rooms and a guest house on the grounds of Ulamba over the years so it is likely that everyone will be in shared rooms throughout your time at Ulamba. The rooms are basic but comfortable and there are showers (cold water!) and one western toilet (the majority of the toilets at Ulamba are long drop, which are all part of the experience of Western Kenya!!)

3-6

Throughout your time volunteering in Western Kenya you are based primarily at Ulamba, where there are lots of opportunities for volunteering on-site at the orphanage (25+ kids live at Ulamba full-time) and we’ll build a detailed itinerary for these days on the lead up to the trip based on the personal preferences of the team. However, expect to be helping with the small farm, in the Early Child Development Centre (ECD/Nursery) and with all the daily jobs required to run a successful and happy living environment for the kids who call Ulamba home.

Activities during your time will also include helping the staff with food preparation and cooking (you’ll be expected to accompany the staff to the markets to buy the food from local traders), organising games, camp fires in the evening, day visits to local attractions, visits to the other schools and projects supported by Moving Mountains and home visits, it is an important aspect of the trip to be able to witness life in both urban slum communities and isolated rural homes and understand the different challenges that everyone below the poverty line face on a daily basis throughout Kenya.

We can also incorporate opportunities to teach and help in some of the schools that Moving Mountains has developed over the years (if you have an interest in Primary or Secondary teaching) and for those who are interested in a career in medicine we can arrange supervised experiences at Dophil Community Clinic where Moving Mountains built the operating theatre and have developed a long term friendship with the main Doctor, Dr Phil (who looks after all the medical needs of the children at Ulamba).

7-8

Overnight camping trip to Kakamega National Park which is home to more than 300 bird species and an overwhelming 400 species of butterfly. Mammals inside the Park include Squirrels, Bush bucks, Aardvarks, Porcupines and Giant Forest Hogs, as well as 7 different types of primate (including the endangered De Brazza monkey).

Other attractions include giant trees and spectacular waterfalls and a network of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy one of Kenya's most unique attractions. An early trek to the top of Lirhanda Hill (1,700m) to watch the sunrise over the forest is a must for any visitor.

9-11 Back at Ulamba to continue with your time volunteering with the kids who call Ulamba home. Our hope is that your time in Ulamba will show you a new world and give you the chance to live and work with children from some of the harshest and poorest backgrounds. Perhaps for the first time, many of the team will come face to face with poverty and witness first hand how hard people work just to get by. They will also see how people are so happy and friendly - it's a humbling and wonderful experience to help out with a Moving Mountains project in an area of Kenya that truly needs the support and to see first hand what it means to really tackle aid in Africa.
12 Early start to reach Kericho for lunch before continuing on to Lake Naivasha where we will set up camp at Fish Eagle Camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha. The camp has an outdoor swimming pool and the Hippo from Lake Naivasha regularly come up to graze at night (behind an electric fence!)
13 Day to visit Hells Gate National Park where you can walk, cycle or drive amongst the plains animals (there are no resident Big Cats) and stop at the entrance to the gorge and walk down to see the steaming waterfalls and hot streams. This geothermal area provides much of the electricity for Nairobi and there are two walks to do, one is about 1 hour and the other is 3-4 hours. Hells Gate is regarded as the most scenic of all the Parks and is where a lot of the film ‘Tomb Raider’ was shot. Second night camping on the shores of Lake Naivasha.
14 After a morning boat trip on Lake Naivasha to search for the wallowing Hippo and a visit to Elsamere, the former home of the late Joy Adamson who, together with her husband George, became world famous for their pioneering conservation work and relationship with the lioness Elsa (Born Free) you’ll have the afternoon for some R&R before returning to Nairobi in the late afternoon/early evening for our final night in Kenya.
15 An afternoon or evening flight out of Kenya will allow us to spend the morning at the Giraffe Centre and Sheldricks Wildlife Trust.

Cost

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya - Cost: £995

All of our International Development Projects have been identified, researched, assessed, priced and approved by our charity Moving Mountains. The next stage of the process is project implementation and for this we need people to help us firstly raise the funds to cover the costs of project development and then assist with implementation on the ground, which is what all our International Development trips aim to achieve.

INCLUDES
  • Adventure Alternative UK organisation of your trip
  • Adventure Alternative Kenya staffing and ground logistics
  • All internal transport to and from project, on safari and airport transfers in private vehicles
  • Accommodation, either in AA guest houses or walk-in safari tents
  • All meals and bottled water in-country (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • All National Park fees and permits/Camping fees.
  • All activities in the itinerary
  • All payments and donations made to host communities and individuals from the trip fee
  • Security provided on the project site
  • Group camping (tents provided) and cooking equipment
EXCLUDES
  • Moving Mountains fundraising target; minimum of £300 per person. This is paid directly to our charity so you can set up online fundraising pages and claim gift aid.
  • International air-fare
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Vaccinations & anti-malaria tablets
  • Tourist Visa
  • Personal costs (email, phone laundry, souvenirs, tips etc)

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya - Fundraising aim

Aside from the expedition cost paid to Adventure Alternative all participants are required to raise a minimum of £300 for the Moving Mountains Trust. This amount fund the cost of developing and managing Ulamba Children's Home, Moving Mountains Kenya staff, and all our other supported projects, communities and individuals in Kenya.

Here is a video which shows you the sorts of projects that the money supports. You will see there is a lot of history behind some of the social problems, and our vision is always long term:

Fundraising for charity allows you to use sites like MyDonate and Justgiving where you can set up a personal fundraising page to take advantage of the Gift Aid scheme. Gift Aid adds 25p to every £1 donation from a UK tax payer.

NB: The expedition fee, which is payable to Adventure Alternative cannot be paid using MyDonate or Justgiving.

 

Kit List

FRIENDS OF MOVING MOUNTAINS KENYA - KIT LIST

  • Rucksack or duffle, 65-90 litres (check airline for weight allowance)
  • Small day pack, approx 20-25 litres (hand luggage for flight)
  • Sleeping Bag (2 season is ideal - a liner is useful for when it is too hot)
  • Sleeping Mat or Therm-A-Rest
  • Clothing should be conservative and comfortable
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Warm fleece or hoodie for the evenings
  • Good walking shoes/trainers (particularly for visit to Kakamega National Park)
  • Flip flops/sandals
  • Wide brim sunhat
  • Sun glasses with good UV protection
  • Sun cream - with a high UVA protection
  • Wash kit and travel towel
  • Camera - plus charger unit
  • Mobile phone - an old model which is unlocked
  • Torch/Head torch - LED are best
  • Money belt - to conceal cash, passports, etc
  • Personal first aid kit
  • 1 litre aluminium water bottle (helps to keep water cool)
  • Insect repellent
  • Country guide book (optional)
  • Local language phrasebook (optional)
  • Notebook, stationery, pens

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya - Additional Kit Information

Mosquito nets are built in to the doors of our walk-in safari tents however you may wish the added protection that a mosquito net can provide (nets can be purchased in Kenya or before you travel).

For sleeping you will need a bag and a mat, and do take along a liner made out of cotton to keep the bag clean and to sleep in if it gets too hot.

Don't take your most expensive stuff and leave expensive watches and things at home if you can. Take an old mobile phone for example and be careful with expensive things like ipods and cameras. Keep your money somewhere safe in a moneybelt. Do not bring large wads of notes with you, if you take sterling cash then make sure they are Bank of England notes, not regional notes eg Northern Irish or Scottish notes.

No need to bring cutlery etc, we have all that for you in Nairobi.

Also don't forget:
Your passport - valid for at least six months beyond the return date.
Insurance - comprehensive travel and medical insurance cover.
Immunisation booklet - with details of all the jabs you've had.
Photocopy of your passport (kept seperately from your passport).
List of emergency telephone numbers - to cancel/call insurers, credit/debit cards.
Tickets and itinerary - remember to leave copies of these with friends or family.
Money - a mixture of some cash and credit/debit card.
List of useful contact numbers - such as British Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.

Friends of Moving Mountains Kenya - Clothing Suggestions

Clothing is very much a personal preference though we would advise lightweight and loose fitting, synthetic or a poly/cotton mix tend to be a little more comfortable and quicker drying.

Take a selection of normal and old clothes, and remember you can wash everything while in Kenya, and you can buy pretty much anything you need in the markets and shops. In fact most of the clothing which we throw away here ends up in the street markets in Nairobi, so you can go there and buy them all back again! Take a jacket or fleece for cooler evenings, and remember to take a selection of short and long sleeved items, so you've got cover from the sun and protection from biting insects in the evening.

Females will have to dress conservatively in public and especially in schools and the children's home. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn, shoulders should remain covered and legs covered to the knee at least, particularly outside Nairobi.

Why Us

  • We are driven by good intentions and not just good practise; our trips work with professional bodies that work full time in the field of international development.
  • We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits.
  • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company has promoted sustainable development since 1995, and it is still growing!
  • We work with Moving Mountains which is tightly linked with the company, and provides relevant long term programmes and projects that benefit the host communities.
  • Financial security guaranteed as Adventure Alternative is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and has secured financial bonding with AmTrust Europe and complies with all the legal requirements for a tour company.
  • We are members of Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
  • Our staff only work for Adventure Alternative or Moving Mountains.
  • We use low cost sustainable technologies and a business model which incentivises a local NGO.
  • We have independent research to evaluate and assess the projects we run.
  • We have credibility because our projects are not all self-regulated, but assessed in a collaborative process that involves many stakeholders such as the community leaders, the NGO staff and the regulatory bodies in-country.
  • We have progressive ideas about the structural determinants of poverty and the implementation of 'clever aid' to create sustainable benefits.
  • We don't take people's jobs, we use these trips to invest in people.
  • We fulfil the criteria of Fair Trade Volunteering.
  • Our projects and programmes determine the trip, not the other way around.
  • We believe in what we do, and we have the experience to carry it out.
  • We are independently assessed by the Young Explorers Trust to comply with the British Standard 8848 for organising and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside the UK.

Photos

Dates and Booking
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Key Information
  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Numbers 20
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Accommodation Camping/Guest Rooms
Moving Mountains
Kenya information
More Information