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Volunteering in Nairobi

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Zagreb, Croatia
posts: 25
reviews: 2
Volunteering in Nairobi

Hello to all,

I will be spending a couple of months in Nairobi for business – surely fantastic and a life-changing experience.

But the reason why I’m writing here is because my girlfriend will be coming with me. While there, she would like to use the opportunity to do something good and useful.

Therefore, could anyone please advise where could she apply for volunteering?

We have researched the web, as well as this forum and found only organizations that provide “full package”, mostly in rural areas of Kenya. As she would not require accommodation and, forgive my selectivity, it should be in Nairobi, we are looking for homes or associations in the city that could use any help: cleaning, cooking, teaching, etc.

She has a master’s degree in English language and literature, along with some experience in babysitting.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

16 replies to this topic
Naivasha, Kenya
posts: 868
reviews: 6
1. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

Please note, the conditions of the tourist visa that I assume that your girlfriend would get, prohibits ANY work, voluntary or paid, so it is a risk to 'go outside' the usual organisations and decide to do volutary work.

There are plenty of childrens homes, etc, in Nairobi that would probably welcome the help and which would probably not ask questions about your immigration status, especially for unpaid work, but it is important to be aware of the legal aspects.

If caught, Immigration can treat breaches of the visa conditions quite harshly.

Zagreb, Croatia
posts: 25
reviews: 2
2. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

Thank you for the warning Kileleshwa, I didn't think of the visa issues.

Do you know if there are any organizations that offer volunteer work without having to stay at their premises?

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 30
reviews: 6
3. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

Very good info Kileleshwa. Asante sana

Nairobi, Nairobi...
posts: 2
4. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

I have a suggestion of children's home where some still offer accommodation in their compounds.Here your wife can babysit the little kids.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 7
reviews: 1
5. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

Please think about the above suggestions before following through - Would your wife expect to be able to turn up to an orphanage at home (in your country) and volunteer without an qualifications? Promoting volunteering in orphanages is promoting exploitation of children. They shouldn't be exposed to transient intimate contact with strangers, they should be cared for with the same respect for their rights as we would show our children in the "West". Sanctioned, legitimate orphanages should be self sufficient and therefore able to employ trained staff, if they are advertising for volunteers you have to question the motivations behind this.

London, United...
posts: 990
6. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi


Whilst I sort of see where you are going with your argument, Kenya, and many Countries in Africa do not have the facilities that we have in the 'West', so the comparison is a little out of kilter and harsh.

There are numerous volunteer projects throughout Kenya that fill a very worthwhile function. Whilst there are many from the West who exploit everyone, by asking for assistance directly, they are just cutting out the profit made by these middle men if anything.

I think the biggest issue is taking away work from the locals myself!

London, United...
posts: 8
reviews: 6
7. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi


I hope it is not too late for my post, or that other travellers would find it useful.

I travelled to Kenya in October this year with my girlfriend and we had the same idea than you when planning the trip.

We travelled a bit around (safari, beach etc.) and while we stayed at a friend's home in Nairobi, we spent 2 days early October volunteering in a school who works with disadvantaged kids.

It was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to do something useful and meaningful while travelling in Kenya.

I had got the contact of the school via a work colleague who runs a charity focusing on Kenya. I contacted them and Peter Wakhisi, the head teacher, helped me organise the visit.

The school is the Barbara Jasinska Rise and Shine Academy, located in the Kawangware slums of Nairobi.

Slums life affects the students’ performance and education, so the objective of our visit was to encourage the students by organising some activities and assisting some classes.

We had also arranged some donations through our work before leaving, and the school material and games we brought were very appreciated and put in good use right away.

The children and teachers were very welcoming and thankful for our visit.

We wish we could have stayed longer!

In the meantime, they would be very happy to receive more travellers interested in giving a bit of their time and help for the children.

This is the school website with the contact details http://www.bjriseandshineacademy.com/

Feel free to contact me if you would like to know more details about my experience.


Toronto, Canada
posts: 35
8. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

HI there!!!! I volunteered last summer through IVHQ!!!!! there sister org in Nairobi Is NVS ! I highly reccomend them. NVS has placenents right in the city aswell as in KIbera!!!! If you have any questions for more details feel free to msg me. NVS is great they also have smalll excurions you can do tht would suit your budget... Safari in the Mara ( 3;4 nights) Out reach weekend ( Hellsgate National park, KCC Slum, great rift valley, and IDP Camp and the gioto garbage slum ) ( you hand out food).....

Toronto, Canada
posts: 35
9. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

NVS http://nevos.org/

here is the site to NVS

Naivasha, Kenya
posts: 868
reviews: 6
10. Re: Volunteering in Nairobi

i absolutely agree that getting involved in this kind of work. However, before recommending that other travellers volunteer, it should be noted that doing any kind of work, including voluntary work is strictly against the terms of the sngle entry visa.

If you wish to volunteer, then its probably better to go through one of the many organisations which arrange this, rather than making your own arrangements.

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