Kenya volunteering activities
The projects and programmes you will be involved in have been long term development aims of Moving Mountains for many years. Moving Mountains Trust is a group of registered charities in the UK, Ireland, Kenya and Nepal. It also funds a large tree-planting project in Borneo, which is our carbon-offset initiative.
Every trip we run has some sort of link with the development of the community or village through Moving Mountains, since this was the reason that Gavin Bate started the company and the charity in the first place. It is very much an example of social enterprise, using tourism to create development and wealth. It also fits in with the criteria of Fair Trade Volunteering.
Embu - You will be working with Gilbert Njeru in eastern Kenya at our Rescue Centre for street children, and also with local Primary Schools, including Embu County Primary School, Urban Primary School and the rural Gatwe Primary School on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya. Gilbert has been with us for over a decade and has studied development at college, and he will arrange for you to spend time at these places plus also coaching the local Black Cats team and working with the street kids who visit the rescue centre. Accommodation can be provided in our Embu Guest House, or for larger groups at the Embu Scout Centre or in large safari tents on the site of one of the projects.
Siaya - You will be working at our Ulamba Children's Home with local staff and helping with the 20+ children at this community project in western Kenya, living in guest rooms or camping on the grounds attached to the Home. You could be spending your days in either the Early Child Development Unit (96 children), or one of the ten Primary / Secondary Schools which Moving Mountains has developed or is in the process of developing. Our presence here is very strong and we work alongside all the local authorities, so you will be welcome everywhere. If you're with a group the work may involve the refurbishment or development of one of the schools, and sometimes you will be helping in the classes, or helping at the deaf child unit, or running a camp for children who benefit from the work of Moving Mountains, or something as simple as peeling potatoes for the kids coming back to the orphanage from school. Each group will work in small units, going out each day to experience an aspect of the projects. Ulamba began over a decade ago and is still developing, thanks to Gap trips and our school trips.
Solio - in central Kenya, this is a vast area of land which was set aside for internally displaced people who had to rebuild their lives with nothing. MM works with the Kenyan Govt on a very long programme which essentially means building 7 villages for around 10,000 families, including water wells, schools, clinics, hostels for children and teachers, kitchens at the schools and housing. This is such a huge project that there is work here for decades and the Kenya trip will allow you to completely involve yourself in working with our own MM Community Action Team who are all employed to manage the contracts to give them.
Tigithi - Any visit to Solio will be combined with visits to Tigithi Primary, where we have now completed the renovation of this rural Primary School on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya. As a result the school has now gone from one of the worst performing schools in the area to being the top Government Primary School in the area, and further to this Moving Mountains Kenya has started to build the ‘Chris Morrone Kaimathaga Secondary School’ on the grounds of Tigithi to provide affordable and high quality secondary education to all the kids in the area.
Nairobi - Nairobi is the location of our central office and the heart of Moving Mountains Kenya. It is also home of the original Black Cats team, where there are now Junior and Senior teams as well as girls and boys teams all competing regularly and reaching out to all children in the slum areas of Nairobi. There will be plenty of opportunities to work with the Black Cats as well as our Community Health Workers in Kibera and the staff from Mama Fatuma Orphanage in Eastleigh. You’ll also be able to explore these slum areas and our supported Ushirika Clinic and Muthurwa Primary School along with our staff as they visit the families who are supported and benefit from Moving Mountains work.
Office and admin - All volunteers also help out with collecting data for the charity and helping with general administrative tasks like accounts, correspondence, filing and helping to manage the paperwork. This involves teaching the local people how to manage their committees and offices and also teaching IT skills on laptops. As a charity Moving Mountains needs to justify its expenditure to donors and to the Trustees, and part of your role will be to learn about managing a charity and learning about development skills.
Promotion and online - We also ask volunteers to help keep us online by writing blogs and helping the local NGO with social media posts, online campaigns and planning events like community health fairs.
Events - A lot of volunteers have many different interests which are incredibly useful in the areas where we work, and we try to ensure that people get to share and utilise those skills for the benefit of the community. This may be running an orchestra, a school play, a community healthcare event, a sports event, a local business doing carwashes, or a specific sport like basketball or judo. The children love it of course, but we very much want you to interact with the adults, so you could also run free IT training sessions for people who need to learn basic computer skills, English role playing events like job interviews and also helping with our social welfare staff who visit families and schools to help children perform better at school or college.
Mentoring - a lot of the people we support are in college or university and would greatly value time spent with you thinking and planning their next stages in life, which might include searching online for job opportunities or applying for courses or jobs, and thinking about the future. This is all very useful stuff that we take for granted but in many cases your assistance here could make the difference between success or failure, confidence or despair.