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volunteering couple,50,s.

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west midlands
posts: 248
reviews: 67
volunteering couple,50,s.

thinking of volunteering 2014,looking for ideas,organisations,mainly,orphanage,food,work,looked at international volunteers,would prefer to possible support smaller ,local,places,with some free time, for kibera,slum and some weekend sightseeing,would go for 2 weeks,any tips hints would be welcome,would be ok to stop at orphanage.anyones experience would be most welcome,thanks,

shamba25
posts: 202
reviews: 6
1. Re: volunteering couple,50,s.

Hi - Firstly it is a really nice thought thinking of others first to volunteer your holiday time, BUT & please do not let me put you or anyone else off, a lot of hard work researching & soul searching needs to go into it first. 1 of the questions you need to ask is why you want to volunteer, what are you expecting & what do you have to offer? Im sure a lot ,- Most of the international organisations will look at job professions, teacher, nurses etc -. Currently the foreign office is recomending not to travel to Kibera, I know 12 months is a long time away & things change.. may I suggest if this is something that you are serious about that you look further a field from Nairobi , maybe upland or on the coast, there are many known & respected posters on here, Val H, Asifiwe to name but a few, who are already involved on the ground & im sure will advise & help direct you. Maybe start to get involved now with one of these groups first - I have been involved in the past with Footprints Kenya - then decide. Volunteering is worthwhile &rewarding, im sure most people will say they get more out of it than they put in - but it is something you have to be committed too -

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,478
reviews: 90
2. Re: volunteering couple,50,s.

Not to dissuade you, but I would agree with Shamba that you need to go some strong research and soul,searching as to,why you are wanting to volunteer, and what you have to offer. Though my experience is more in Tanzania, I learned very quickly that though I had skills to offer and train, the four weeks I had was barely enough to get a working relationship started, understand even some of the challenges of the project, and change your mindset and all your problem solving skills to a developing country's reality.

Also, there are the extra costs ($350 - 500US) for the volunteer working permit and finding an established NGO that won't charge you an arm and a leg for the privilege of helping out.

I note from your travel history on TA, which may not be complete, that there is no current developing country travel. Though I commend your generous hearts, I would hesitate to recommend Kibera or slums as a starting point. It is vast, can be violent, and will be a very rude awakening.

I, btw, did my first volunteer trip at 54. Never to old to start, but be very clear and informed. Good luck.

west midlands
posts: 248
reviews: 67
3. Re: volunteering couple,50,s.

thank you for your fabulous ,time and replies.so far,thankyou.

manchester, United...
posts: 947
reviews: 44
4. Re: volunteering couple,50,s.

Rather than repeat what has been said about volunteering recently you might want to check out this thread.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g294207-i9695-k6…

Although you are hoping to volunteer for more than a day, much of what has been said applies to two week stints.

I would add a couple of other things to think about. Volunteering at an orphanage can be very distressing for the children. They get attached to you and then you leave.....a constant stream of volunteers is very unsettling. Now when we vist the orphanage I support, we are there in the capacity of (honoured) visitors not volunteers. It puts a whole different emphasis on our visits and the children get great pleasure out of looking after us and entertaining us and showing us their home.

One other thing - you really can't volunteer in Kibera. The Foreign Office advise against all but essential travel to low income areas in Nairobi including slums. If you choose to ignore this advice your insurance would probably be invalid.

I'm sorry if I sound very negative but, as others have said, you really need to do that research and be aware that "voluntourism" is big business and brings with it many many problems.

Good luck.

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,463
reviews: 2
5. Re: volunteering couple,50,s.

2 weeks is not very long really!! We have had visitors for that time and there are things they can do - building houses, protecting springs etc.

You've been given a lot of good advice here.

As for age - not a problem. I'm much older than you, but am not a volunteer!

Do you want to do this as part of a holiday? If so, make that clear!

6. Re: volunteering couple,50,s.

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