Kenya volunteer options
There are a number of options for volunteering in Kenya with Moving Mountains, and we will help to structure a suggested itinerary with you, based on your interests, local needs and an appropriate match of skills.
Below are the different locations in which Moving Mountains is working in Kenya, and below that are some of the activities and options that you can incorporate in to a volunteering placement. You will not necessarily be restricted to one project all day every day, though we do prefer that you remain in one area of Kenya for the duration of your volunteering, this allows you to fully immerse yourself in the volunteering and provides maximum benefit to the work of Moving Mountains in Kenya.
Moving Mountains Kenya volunteer options
Ulamba Orphanage and Community Village is located in rural Western Kenya, the orphanage is one part of a wider plan to bring education and support to an entire community, which includes 7 different schools in the District, Siaya District Hospital and Dophil community Clinic, and on the grounds of Ulamba; an Early Child Development Centre (Nursery!), Community Centre, Community Bore Hole, Volunteer Guest Houses and small farm.
The Orphanage itself is currently home to 40+ children of all ages under the care of our staff and a local committee. Moving Mountains provides the funding to run the orphanage and to ensure that the children have everything that they may need, from school uniforms to new shoes and games to stationery for school but our aim is to make it financially self-sufficient through selling milk, growing crops and taking an income from the guesthouses.
In Embu our main priority is the high number of street children in the area and we have a Rescue Centre which provides meals on a daily basis for all the kids as well as providing free education classes, toilets and washing facilities and maybe most importantly of all, a safe and welcoming environment where the kids can receive advice, encouragement, support and medical help.
We have a number of real success stories among these boys and girls with a large number getting back in to the education process, returning to their families, setting up successful businesses, moving in to homes and joining our ‘Black Cats’ Football Club where they realise their value to society and are given the spring board to get away from the dangerous life on the streets. We also support and develop a number of slum and rural schools in the area and the local school for children with special needs.
Nairobi is where Moving Mountains started with their support of Muthurwa Primary School in the Industrial Slums and the children who were living on the streets in this area. Things have developed since then and we run our flag-ship ‘Black Cats’ Football Club in Nairobi with girls and boys, junior and senior teams competing in a variety of cups and competitions across Kenya.
We also work in Sub Saharan Africa’s largest slum Kibera, where we have developed and support Ushirika Community Clinic. Ushirika is also the base for our HIV/Aids Community Outreach program with a team of health workers and volunteers working daily in the slum to provide medical and nutritional assistance and counselling to families and individuals affected with HIV/Aids. We also work with 2 schools in the slum.
Solio is an area in central Kenya, close to Mount Kenya, and is currently home to an estimated 10,000 internally displaced families (who were evicted from the slopes of Mt Kenya and the Aberdares as part of a Government environmental project) spread out over seven separate villages. By the end of 2008, 4 acre plots had been allocated to every family and new communities were becoming established. However, lack of funding, irrigation and adverse weather conditions made subsistence farming very difficult.
Moving Mountains is working on a number of long term projects in the Solio villages, including building and developing schools, homes, health facilities and the provision of clean and accessible water for everyone. We’ve also started to support a few individual children and families who are in urgent need of support.
Tigithi is an area on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, near the small town of Naro Moru and a short drive from Solio Villages and our work here started with the complete re-development of the local Primary School in 2008. That development has since finished and now provides a safe and comfortable environment for the children to learn and as a result Tigithi Primary has climbed the schools league table from one of the worst performing in the area to the top public Primary School in the region, all in just over two years.
As a result of this, Moving Mountains agreed with the local committee and the Ministry for Education in Kenya to help build a Secondary School on the grounds of Tigithi Primary which will provide quality, affordable Secondary education for all the children in the area. The Secondary opened its doors in January of 2013 with a Form 1 intake and will continue taking students at the start of each school year until it has the full four forms in January 2016.
The following is a list of the different volunteering options, some of the options are restricted to certain areas where Moving Mountains work but most can be incorporated in to all locations.
• Classroom Assistant in an Early Child Development Centre (or ECD/Nursery!). Most of the schools which we work with have pre-school classes which run in the morning and in Western Kenya we run our own ECD on the grounds of Ulamba Orphanage and Community Village
• Sports Development with our ‘Black Cats’ Sports Clubs - The Black Cats are well established in Nairobi, Embu and Western Kenya, and we are looking to develop the program in the Solio Villages, though this is in the early stages and as such experience would be preferred if you want to be involved in the Solio program.
• School sports and games - Introduce new and exciting options to physical education classes at supported Moving Mountains Schools, and organise inter-school competitions and sports days with our Moving Mountains Kenya staff
• Classroom helper - Immerse yourself in schools supported by Moving Mountains and work with existing teachers preparing lessons and teaching classes
• One to one tuition with special needs children. Again, all area’s have children with special needs who need help in the classroom, with homework, exam preparation, etc. In Embu we have helped to develop the local Special Needs School but all locations need support with their special needs kids.
• Volunteer at the Kayieye School for the Deaf in Western Kenya, experience is a must!
• Volunteer support at an Orphanage - The two orphanages supported by Moving Mountains are Mama Fatuma in Nairobi and Ulamba Orphanage in Western Kenya - Support staff with all the general jobs which need done on a day to day basis.
• Volunteer on our street children outreach programme at the Embu Rescue Centre where you volunteer with full time staff to make a difference to the lives of boys and girls who face a life on the streets; teach about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, safe sex, health and nutrition and build up a trust and working relationship with children from all ages who will look to you as a mentor. Challenging but very rewarding.
• Food preparation and cooking - This becomes a part of most volunteers life, whether that is helping the Ulamba Orphanage staff to feed 40+ kids, the Embu Rescue Centre staff cook for 100+ kids or one of the schools in Solio who could be preparing lunches for 200+ kids!
• Marketing & Social Media - Get involved with how the world views Moving Mountains and get involved with our full time staff in Kenya promoting the work we are doing through blogs, Facebook and other social media tools. We encourage everyone to get involved with this at some level.
• Community Development - Support of full time staff in Kenya on specific health awareness and community outreach work. This covers a variety of options, everything from basic health talks in rural villages on basic hygiene to accompanying local mid-wives on pre and post-natal care home visits.
• Music clubs - Embu has a well established music club within Embu County Primary School with keyboards, recorders, guitars, etc donated by Moving Mountains but most schools will have clubs with local instruments, music is a big part of Kenyans lives.
• Other School Clubs - These play a big part in the day of a Kenyan School and there are a variety of Clubs to get involved with during school times and after school; including Art, Debating, Drama, Maths, English, Science, etc. You may also be able to introduce clubs at schools where there are no existing facilities
• Help to find the next kid with that special talent... This is something which has helped to form the backbone of our charity and company. Our staff work with volunteers to find exceptional children in parts of Kenya where encouragement, support and opportunities may be lacking! Over the years we have helped kids graced with a natural football ability get scholarships in Colleges or supported children who perform well in Primary through Secondary and College/University... Some of whom end up working part-time or full-time with Adventure Alternative or directly and in-directly with Moving Mountains in Kenya.
• Adult Classes in a variety of subjects which can again be incorporated in to all locations which we are working in, however we have an existing program at the Rescue Centre in Embu and a community hall at Ulamba in Western Kenya which is perfect for setting up the same.