Overview

The Maasai people are one of the few remaining semi-nomadic ethnic groups in Africa, and as a volunteer in Kenya, you will learn about the fascinating Maasai way of life. You will make a positive impact by training community members to utilize these new farming methods, as well as assisting in educational workshops on hygiene, economic sustainability, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

You will work alongside the Maasai community helping them to gain access to better education, income generating activities, food security, and basic resources like water.  This program offers flexibility in the different projects offered, so you can really customize your time in Kenya.

Listen to what alumna Jenny Nimmo learned from this program:

How You Will Make a Difference

Project and initiatives in Maasailand are constantly changing, so it’s good to be flexible. You could be working with women’s groups, at a medical dispensary, or on general community projects like painting, building, and irrigation.

  • Help schools acquire necessary supplies
  • Help with construction/painting projects
  • Volunteer in the medical dispensary
  • Help with irrigation projects
  • Assist with workshops for women’s groups and school children
  • Assist women’s groups with finding new markets to sell their crafts
  • Organize youth sports
  • Help with chicken coop/organic farming

What Do our Alumni Say about the Program?

I ended up being the only volunteer for my whole trip. At first this fact was slightly off-putting, but I’ve come to learn that the times when I’m furthest out of my comfort zone are the times that I learn and grow the most. Although I had traveled and volunteered abroad before, the work ethic and heart in the Kenyan people, the raw beauty of Maasailand, and the character of the Jambo family never ceased to inspire me. The Kenyan staff members were extremely helpful! I deeply appreciated that the organization existed solely for the Maasai community and was intended to be operated by them.”Lisa Moran, three-time Greenheart travel volunteer

Program Dates

There can be up to ten volunteers at the project at any given time, but it is not uncommon to be the only volunteer. This project is ideal for volunteers looking for a true immersion experience abroad. Participants can choose the program length between 2-12 weeks. You should indicate this on your application. The program starts on Monday, but you should plan to arrive in Kenya on the Sunday before your start date.

Program Start Date Deadline to Apply
September 11, 2017 August 7, 2017
September 25, 2017 August 21, 2017
October 9, 2017 September 4, 2017
October 23, 2017 September 18, 2017
November 6, 2017 October 2, 2017
November 20, 2017 October 16, 2017
December 4, 2017 October 30, 2017
December 18, 2017 November 13, 2017

 

Costs

Program Fees

  • 2 weeks: $1,250
  • 4 weeks: $1,850
  • 6 weeks: $2,450
  • 8 weeks: $3,050
  • 10 weeks: $3,650
  • 12 weeks: $4,240

Please note, all prices are listed in USD

What’s Included:

  • Accommodations in the volunteer guest house
  • Airport pickup and drop off to/from Nairobi Airport
  • Culture & Etiquette guide book
  • Medical/Accident insurance
  • 24-hour emergency support
  • Pre-departure and arrival orientations
  • Personal assistance from a Greenheart Travel program manager and onsite volunteer staff
  • Certificate of Completion upon request for successful completion of the program
  • Greenheart Travel also donates a portion of your fee to offset the carbon footprint of your travels.

What’s Not Included:

  • Airfare to and from Kenya
  • Visa to Kenya
  • Food in Kenya
  • Spending money for souvenirs or activities

Accommodation

Volunteers stay in a volunteer house with 4 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a shower room (see photo below). You’ll need to buy your own food and prepare you meals in Kenya. Project staff will drive you to the grocery store once a week. The kitchen at the volunteer house has all the utensils you’ll need for basic cooking. Drinking water will also be provided for you.

Internet and Phone

Local cell phones are easy to obtain, but you also have access to a shared cell phone at the volunteer house. You will simply need to buy phone credits and load it onto the SIM card. The local staff will assist you with setting this up.

There is internet access at the volunteer house but you will need to buy your own internet credit just like with the cell phone. There is also a netbook available for your use.

Kenya_volunteer_house

 

FAQs

Is Kenya safe?

Maasai is a very safe part of Kenya. It is very rare to experience crime there. However, Nairobi and other cities in Kenya can be dangerous and we urge you to be extremely careful if you spend any time there. If you need to go to Nairobi, be sure to stay in the city center. You should always go with a program staff member and let the program Director know about your plans.

Prevention involves many “common sense” precautions such as staying on well-lit main roads, traveling in groups, not carrying very much money, and knowing where you’re going (or at least looking like you do- rather than looking lost).

Will there be a language barrier?

Most Kenyans will either speak Swahili or English, the two official languages of their country. Peri-urban and rural dwellers are less multilingual, with many in rural areas speaking only their native languages. Tribal languages, such as Maa spoken by the Massai, are commonplace in more remote areas. There is often somebody who can translate between multiple languages.

Is my program fee tax deductible?

Greenheart Travel is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, so a portion of your Volunteer Abroad program fee may be tax deductible. Contact us for more information. We recommend that you also consult with your tax professional to discuss your particular case, as application of tax laws can vary based on individual circumstances.

Can I apply with my friend/spouse/significant other?

Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and couples.

What vaccinations will I need?

When traveling to any destination, make sure your routine vaccines are up to date. Try to schedule an appointment with your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that you also get Hepatitis A, Polio, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid vaccine. These are diseases in which you contract due to contaminated food and water. There is also a risk of Malaria, so contact your doctor with any questions about the best prevention.

How much extra cash should I bring?

We suggest planning a budget that gives you room for souvenirs, sightseeing, exit tax, transportation not included in the fee, and anything you might forget. You can read up more on the currency exchange website to determine how much you will need.

Will I be able to travel on weekends?

Because there is no public transportation in Massailand, it is best to save your traveling and sightseeing for after your volunteer work is over. If you would like to travel on the weekends, talk with project staff about the easiest way to get to where you want to go, and make sure you’re not talking time away from volunteer work.

Is it safe to drink/eat there?

It is advised that you do not eat food sold on the streets, and avoid all raw or undercooked vegetables, meats, or fish in restaurants. You should be cautious when invited to eat with a Maasai family, although most of the time the food is fine to eat, check with a volunteer coordinator first. It is unsafe to drink tap water, so stick to bottled or boiled.

What if I have an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met. In some cases you may need to provide your own food.

What happens if I get sick while abroad?

You will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 2 weeks prior to your departure.

Volunteer as a Group

Want to share this life-changing experience with your family, friends or students? We take special care in putting together a customized itinerary for your group to ensure that you get the most well-rounded volunteer experience possible.

What kind of group are you?

  • A school or teacher looking for international experiences for groups of students
  • A service-based or religious organization
  • A business looking for unique team-building opportunities
  • A group of friends looking to get culturally immersed and have fun

Greenheart Travel combines significant service work with exciting excursions and cultural activities depending on your group’s needs. We can accommodate groups from 4-20 individuals with project lengths ranging from 1-4 weeks.

Benefits to traveling as a group:

  • For groups of 10 or more people, one person gets to go for free!
  • You’ll receive the same inclusions as our individual programs, like accommodation & airport transfer.
  • Includes exciting excursions like exploring the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Lamu Beach.

Take a look at our example itinerary below to see what your group could do with 2 weeks in Kenya!

Sample Itinerary for Kenya Group Volunteer Program

For customized group itineraries and pricing, please contact us at travelabroad@greenheart.org.