Kenya volunteer roles
Our head office is situated in the Karen area of the city. We have projects and contacts in the city and a large number of our full time staff based here, and we always need assistance with administration of the NGO which includes book keeping, filing and correspondence.
Please read the page about volunteering options on the Moving Mountains page as well, because it is the charity which ultimately determines what any volunteer will be doing.
We are very interested in peer to peer learning, adult skills transfer and helping with non-examinable subjects in schools and helping the charity provide a supplemental addition to the academic learning provided by the teachers. A lot of this extra-curricular activity keeps the children active when they might otherwise be idle at home while their parents are out working. Mentoring, homework, conversational English and sports play a big part in any volunteer having a significant positive impact on a youngster.
Volunteering roles include:
- English club (debates and drama)
- School magazine
- Mathematics Club
- Science Club
- Music Club
- Working and assisting children with special needs and learning difficulties. This can only be for skilled volunteers in this area.
- Sports competitions, training and new activities, for example martial arts or dance or any interest that the volunteer has
- Adult IT classes - basic use of computers
- Basic literacy and numeracy for children who are part of a rehabilitation programme coming off the streets
- Helping to administer and run the rescue centre in Embu
- Providing data and feedback to the charity on all our beneficiaries
- Helping in the Early Child Development Centre in Western Kenya (only for selected volunteers with the right skills and experience)
- Helping in the residential home for children (only for selected volunteers with the right skills and experience)
- Renovation work in all areas where we run programmes, helping our work team to carry out essential maintenance and rebuilds
- Helping farmers in Solio with their crop gardens
- Free IT classes to the community and teaching about social media and how to use Google
- Helping young people with CVs, job interviews, looking for work and applying for work
- Helping the charity apply for grants
- Book keeping, filing and office administration in Nairobi
- Helping provide feedback for the UK funders which can be incorporated into the website
- Updating information on the website
- Helping to plan and develop new schemes and programmes
Volunteer roles in Kenya – school help, literacy, mentoring
School Help is all about giving assistance to the long term educational aims in Kenya, and it includes being a classroom assistant, literacy and numeracy programmes, reading clubs, sports and games and student mentoring. This is not taking away from other people’s employment; anything but, since part of the money you raised for Moving Mountains is going to the continual running of these programmes and the salaries of all our staff, like counsellors and social workers and even teachers.
Most of what you do is assisting with non-examinable subjects, and it is a governmental aim in Kenya to provide more of this to pupils but because of lack of resources, most schools find it hard to do. Therefore we are helping to fill a gap that is much needed, and part of your fundraising goes to the equipment for sports, crafts and music.
This programme is the part of the School Help concept which includes helping children to read, confidence with reading and writing, and articulating English in a colloquial way in order to help children with their studies and also become fluent in the language.
We work with several schools and this scheme is part of a wider remit to install libraries, bring reading books over, and promote reading clubs. These clubs can be run after school in order to keep children engaged, instead of going home alone while their parents are out working, which is a major influence towards them becoming street kids and getting lost in the city.
The literacy programme is both with groups and working one on one with individual children, and it is combined with a Homework Help programme and after-school sports and clubs to supplement the existing curriculum and assist the teachers in providing a balanced education to the children.
The benefit to this programme, apart from teaching children to read and write, is to contribute positively to somebody else’s life by becoming a role model and a mentor.
The literacy programme operates in different locations. We have an early child development school in the Ulamba Centre, where there are also two children’s homes which are run by Moving Mountains. Here there is an opportunity to work with very young children, plus help the children in the home who are aged from 6 to 16. This might be assisting with homework, organising games or games which promote the use of letters and words and vocabulary.
To help you understand better how to teach reading to your peers or to younger children, we like the Toe by Toe method developed by Keda Cowling, which has been used successfully by the Shannon Trust in prisons. We also use the resources available from the National Literacy Trust and Teaching to Read, and these can be downloaded for free.
At the same time as teaching others to read, you will also be learning to speak Swahili. This will be a skill you can take back home with you.
The programme will give you a chance to spend your time in-country with Kenyan peers. Also, you will be meeting and interacting with many other people, often younger children, who can benefit from spending time with you. We have counsellors to help these people with a direction in life, and you can assist with these sessions.
Mentoring builds confidence and will give you a chance to have life discussions and talk about your ambitions, your thoughts on careers, families and friends. You will soon find out that we are all the same in this respect, we all have good and bad things to chat about, and part of the reason for this trip is in understanding that. Being materially poor doesn’t mean you don’t think about the same things! It’s only by finding out for yourself can you properly understand what it means to be a global citizen.
Building up self-respect, respect for others and a sense of belonging is an important stage in life for everybody. We want to allow that to happen in a normal environment which is safe and fun and productive.
Moving Mountains is very often seen as a surrogate family for children who don’t have one, or who have grown up living in street gangs. Your role is to help Moving Mountains provide that sense of family and normality. We do this by committing to lifelong support. You can learn from our team of social workers and counsellors, and spend time with street kids in Embu, school children in western Kenya and Nairobi, IDPs (internally displaced people) in the camps at Solio, and some of our older beneficiaries who will be just like you, on the edge of a career and a future.
We have children’s homes and we run camps for children, we take them hiking, we help them join Scouts, and we treat them with discipline and love, just like any parent. But don’t think this is only about what you can give others, they will also give you something very fundamental, an understanding about society, about people, and about yourself.