While Kenya boasts beautiful landscapes, it has a complicated past and natural psyche. This coastal region is awash with luxurious beaches, wild animals, national parks and lake fishing. You’ll find yourself in the county of Kisumu, right next to Lake Victoria, in the small town of Muhoroni where you’ll experience the kindness of the Kenyans.
Kenya is stepping into the future. You can help with this process by volunteering in one of the many projects available in the town of Muhoroni, which lies 30 kilometers to the east of Kisumu city. It is mostly inhabited by the Luo tribe with a population of around 120,000 people almost entirely depending on subsistence farming (though there are 3 sugar factories). The people of Muhoroni are always warm and welcoming and the smiles on their faces tell it all. Muhoroni has a warm weather of about 25 Celsius all year round.
As a volunteer, you will have the excitement to gain an even deeper understanding and appreciation of a foreign land and culture through humanitarian service, language and intercultural training, and exploration.
Depending on the numbers of volunteers and the project currently most needed, you will be assigned to one of the following:
Help build a home for a family in need.
This program is the most popular in our community-based programs. Many families live in huts made of mud (soil) walls and have grass thatched roofs. These weak structures can wear out easily with time, get blown away by winds and leak during the rainy season. Grass thatched huts are also generally single roomed and shared with children as well as a cooking area. Even the privileged families with houses have rusted corrugated iron sheets which often leak.
Many families suffer from diseases such as pneumonia, coughs due to cold nights. We work with such families to upgrade them from a grass thatched shelter to iron roofed homes with 3 large rooms comfortable enough to provide a family with a simple privacy. Those with already worn out and eroded iron roofs are also upgraded to the modern type which does not rust nor corrode, even in rainy seasons.
‘Water for Life’
Clean and safe water is nearly impossible to find. Mothers search for it in vain and children gather dirty water when nothing else is available. As they do, hope is lost when inevitable sickness and poverty follow. Working closely with these communities, listening to their needs and providing much-needed water solutions will be a fulfilling experience to a volunteer. Our desire is to see more schools and communities have access to clean and safe water. Borehole drilling is quite scientific, but volunteers are welcome to help with building water ways and lay pipes with concrete to families who need water. They will do this with the help of local plumbers.
Many schools in our community are in deplorable conditions and they have long been neglected. Children must learn in classrooms with crumbling walls, floors with cracks and stone seats due to lack of desks. Be part of this community and help refurbish such schools and help keep the children safe while in school to enhance their learning atmosphere and chance for a better future.
Projects vary depending on the number of volunteers, which projects were finished (or not) with the prior group, what priorities have changed, weather conditions, which supplies are available, and often the interest and fitness level of the volunteers. For these reasons, specific projects are often not fixed until the week prior to your arrival and can even change upon arrival.
We welcome you to work with us on these meaningful projects!
FOOD AND LODGING
You will be settled together in a lovely renovated guest house which includes hot running water, flushing toilet and WIFI. Additional services can be arranged.
There are 6 bedrooms with twin beds so two people can stay in one room, and 12 people can stay in total at any given time. However, with a larger group, accommodation will be arranged at hotels which have capacities to accommodate larger groups. Information will be provided in such situations. Hotel rates will remain the same as those of the guest house.
Kenyan food is typically continental and comprised of chicken, eggs, pork, beef, vegetables, lentils, beans and served with chapati, bread, rice and Ugali. Breakfast and dinner will be served at your accommodations and lunch will be served at the project site.
LEISURE AND ACTIVITIES
You can enjoy a boat ride around Lake Victoria where you can see hippos swimming, visit the Equator Line, Kisumu Museum and Impala Sanctuary. Our coordinator will introduce you to the local culture of the Luo tribe as well as invite volunteers to participate in an optional church service. Many volunteers chose to participate in a 2-3 day safari to the expansive Masai Mara Game Reserve known for its famous Wildebeest Migration after the program (paid for separately and at additional cost to a for-profit separate venture). Volunteers are encouraged to take this time off, cool off and experience what the Kenyan nature can provide!
Please inform us ahead of time if you are interested in the safari so we can prepare the necessary arrangements.
ARRANGING YOUR AIRFARE
There are no direct flights to Kisumu International Airport, so you will have to land in JKIA-Nairobi, then connect and arrive to Kisumu in the morning/afternoon hours. This is perfect for pick-up. We meet the volunteers at the airport passenger arrivals and there we will hold a PAGER with a Globe Aware sign.
All inland transportation will be provided to and from the program activities. It’s about 20 minutes’ drive to the accommodations and depending on the work site, at most 30 minutes from the accommodation. There is pickup and drop off to the airport
Return flights should be from JKIA-Nairobi if you do the Safari to Masai Mara, otherwise, you can book your return flight from Kisumu.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
No vaccinations are required but you can check with your personal doctor. The Aga Khan hospital and the Nairobi Hospital are the private, major hospitals available in Kisumu.
Volunteers are advised to stay together as a team and always consult us in case of any other needs/interests.