Organisations to Volunteer for in Kenya

View of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park, Kenya
View of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park, Kenya | Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash
Nandika Macharia

In Kenya, volunteer work can be life-changing, whether you are a professional or just seeking to explore the world and other cultures. Here are the top volunteer organisations that you can work with to enrich your volunteer vacation in Kenya.

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Kenya Rocha Conservation and Hope

A Rocha is one of the oldest marine-protected areas worldwide. The environment comprises of beaches, mangroves forests, coral reef, and sea grass beds. As a volunteer, you will be involved in various tasks, ranging from conservation efforts to joining the community in the cleaning of the Marine Park and beach. You will also be involved in collating data from scientific studies, assisting in administrative duties, teaching environmental studies, and welcoming guests. If you are interested in marine volunteering you should be a good long-distance swimmer, have experience with boats, and have scuba diving certification from an international facility.

Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara is home to the seventh wonder of the world, “the wildebeest migration.” It is a vast plain teeming with wildlife and lodges. For residents and international volunteers passionate about wildlife conservation and local community building, there is much to learn and contribute to as a volunteer. You will get to monitor lions, participate in conservation efforts and teach the local community about environmentalism. Part of your volunteer work will also entail preserving both the way of life of the Maasai community and their sustainable interaction with endangered species around them.

Youth Alive

This organization runs a volunteer program for teens and adults. Their programs are geared to help the needy communities in the country. Youth Alive volunteer programs last from two to 48 weeks and will provide you with a unique opportunity to make friends, boost your confidence, and make a lasting impact on a community. They begin by giving you language and culture lessons to give you an understanding of the communities you will be interacting with before you get the chance to work on any volunteer activities.

Kenya Wild life Service (KWS)

The scope of Kenya’s many National Game parks is vast, encompassing some amazing natural landscapes and flora and fauna, including endangered species. If you love nature, forestry, or veterinary work, volunteering with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will be an exceptional experience. You can come as part of organized foreign volunteers, as a foreign student, or as an individual international volunteer and interact with the wildlife officials and the animals, where you will work on conservancy efforts and rescue initiatives for endangered species.

Volunteer HQ

With a myriad of meaningful volunteer projects to choose from, Volunteer HQ allows you to have a cultural experience in Kenya while making a difference in communities for causes you care about. These range from women’s education to child work and teaching, just to name a few. The projects are strewn all over the country, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience in diverse communities in Kenya.

St. John Ambulance

Volunteer work for St. John Ambulance is for those who want to network and be a volunteer for life. Apart from having a passion for stepping up in times of disaster for search and rescue missions, you must be disciplined and willing to be subject to the Incident Command System. St. John school of first aid and safety trains more 14,000 people annually in first aid, firefighting, para-medicine, and disaster preparedness. Skills that you learn during the volunteer period will allow you to make a difference in your community during times of emergency need. It is a great option if you will be in the country for long periods of time, like in the case of exchange students or expatriates.

VSO International

Making a difference in eradicating poverty through volunteering is the mantra held by VSO international. This organization has been running national volunteer initiatives in Kenya since 1959. They welcome you to work together with them through your volunteering by learning and understanding the complex nature of poverty. You will have the chance to support initiatives that develop income-generating ventures in agriculture, weaving, and beadwork, empowering women and youth. Volunteers can also engage in outreach activities that bring help identifying hearing-impaired children, enabling them to access specialized treatment. VSO International focuses on 6 core areas in their volunteer work in Kenya: Youth unemployment and leadership, growing small business and entrepreneurship, education, health awareness raising, climate change, and supporting small businesses.

Kenya Museum Society (KMS)

The Kenya Museum Society is run by volunteers of many different nationalities who have one thing in common—an avid interest in Kenya. There is probably no better way to learn the in-depth history of a country and its people than to volunteer for either the Nairobi National Museum or the Karen Blixen Museum. You can be a volunteer guide after learning about the museums at the guide training and the Know Kenya Course. You can even give a tour in your language. Volunteers also get to nurture young minds with regard to loving and respecting nature.

SOS Children Villages

SOS Children’s Village is focused on ensuring that children are brought up in strong and caring families. Volunteers are highly valued here and there is always a place for them. If your passion is working with children in need and fostering strong family environments, an organization like SOS Children’s Villages will be an amazing volunteer experience for you.

United National Volunteer programme (UNV)

Launched in the 1970s, the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) programme was designed to contribute to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. The program is facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kenya. They support volunteerism and mobilizing volunteers to serve in UN agencies in various roles. You will get the opportunity to work on climate change and global warming, combating initiatives with communities on the ground, supporting efforts to counter violent extremism, or working with women in their communities to foster a culture of conservation of flora and fauna.

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