It’s said that the most important thing you can give to a child is your time. That’s especially true for underprivileged children. Volunteer Teaching in Kenya is one of the best ways to experience local culture and make a significant impact in a short time. Even if you’ve never taught before, this project provides the perfect opportunity to help improve a child’s life and education.
Volunteer Teaching in Kenya
The Volunteer Teaching in Kenya project provides support to a underprivileged children’s school & orphanage in Kisumu, Kenya. The students range from age 4 to 15 and come from households struggling with poverty or are orphans who live at the educational center. The school also provides meals and clean drinking water for the students. Teaching volunteers assist the full-time staff comprised of local Kenyans.
The school day runs on a regular schedule, but the class(es) that volunteers teach can vary by day. Volunteers can decide to teach based on their own abilities and prior teaching experience is not necessary; just a dedication and a desire to make a difference in the lives of the children. You can teach physical education, computer literacy, or “creative arts”. Creative arts is a class where volunteers can teach nearly any subject you are interested in (that is age appropriate). The key is to be creative!
One look at the smiles on the students’ faces and you’ll immediately feel the impact of volunteers working on this project. Volunteers have the ability to directly influence students’ progress through additional attention and support. Teaching a single student or an entire class subjects that they have not yet been exposed to creates a lasting impression and motivation to continue learning.
To date, the school has impacted the lives of hundreds of students. Approximately 200 primary school students are currently enrolled, while many more have continued in their schooling. As of early 2018:
- 78 former students currently in high school
- 8 former students currently enrolled in university
- 7 former students completed university
There are two exceptional success stories to come out of this educational center as well. One girl graduated from medical school and is now a doctor living in Germany. One boy graduated from university and returned to the educational center as a teacher because he wanted to give back to the place that gave him the opportunity to succeed in life!
Caring for nearly 200 students is an incredible undertaking, especially with up to 40 living on-site. You can make an even greater impact at your teaching project by bringing donations of school supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.) or clothing or fundraising to help cover some of the costs of food, supplies, shoes, and clothing for the kids. Visit the Contact Us page to inquire for more details on how best to do so!
Room & Board
Your project fee for projects in Kenya covers your room and full board in the NGO’s volunteer house. It’s a beautiful, one-of-a-kind building that is both impressive and comfortable.
- Shared, single-sex dorm rooms (max. 2 per room) with shared washroom
- 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch, & dinner – some prepared by a cook, some self service)
- Filtered drinking water
- Hot water is available
- NGO volunteer coordinator lives in the house with volunteers for 24/7 support
As with all GOAT Volunteer projects, there are 2 primary fees associated with volunteering: the application fee paid to GOAT and the project fee paid directly to the NGO after they accept your application.
Included: Airport arrival & return transport • Pre-departure information & support • Shared room in a one-of-a-kind, sustainable volunteer house • 3 meals per day, plus snacks, fruit, tea, coffee, and filtered water • 24/7 volunteer on-site support
NOT Included: Flights • Vaccinations • Visas • Travel insurance • Local transport • Personal expenses • Bank/wire transfer fees
For custom lengths of stay not listed, please contact us for pricing.
All projects incur a $250 application fee. Please see the The Fine Print page for more information.
Special Considerations | Volunteer Teaching in Kenya
For special considerations regarding the project in Kenya, please visit the Kenya page.
Criminal Record Check
GOAT Volunteers requires a criminal record (background) check for all projects working with children. Inquire with your local police department to see if they offer this service (many do for free or a small fee). U.S. citizens can visit the U.S. Department of State website for additional information.
The criminal record check must be submitted to GOAT Volunteers after the prospective volunteer’s application is accepted and at least 30 days prior to the project start date.
Our NGO partner in Kenya for the teaching project requires an interview with all volunteer candidates prior to confirming their placement. The school/orphanage is very “family” oriented, so they want to ensure that all potential volunteers will be a good fit. The NGO team will want to speak with you via Skype, WhatsApp, or another method of phone/video conferencing. This call takes place after paying the application fee and before paying the project fee. If, for some reason, a volunteer candidate is rejected; the application fee will be refunded.
A Volunteer’s Perspective *Featured Project*
I had the great honor of volunteering with our Kenya NGO on their teaching project in February 2018. During those three weeks, I taught, lived with, played with, laughed with, and shared family dinners with an amazing group of young children.
This was my first time teaching a full class and it was equal parts challenging, fun, and rewarding. I taught them about animals from Africa and North America. Like most children, their attention varied, so they kept me on my toes. I found out very quickly that photos held their attention for a short while, but videos (especially of grizzly bears catching salmon & foxes diving headfirst into the snow) kept them much more engaged. Adding in activities like cheetah races, lion hunts, and serval jumps added an extra layer of fun for all of the classes!
As I want all potential volunteers to have an unfiltered, honest impression of volunteering on projects with our NGO partner, I’m sharing some highlights, challenges, surprises, and frustrations I experienced during my time in Kenya:
Highlight: Seeing an entire class of kids grinning ear-to-ear and asking questions while watching videos of animals from their home (Africa) and mine (North America).
Challenge: Maintaining order in the “classroom”. I don’t like teaching in an actual room, so I’d take the class out into the yard for class. Unfortunately, when other teachers & students were moving around, keeping the kids focused was not an easy task.
Surprise: The garden project really surprised me. It’s a garden project run by the NGO & school that the kids help out with. They grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables for both the school’s meals and to sell at the local market to raise money to buy other foods (depending on the size of the harvest).
Frustration: This project showed me how hard it is to be a teacher. While my previous teaching experience was limited to one-on-one tutoring sessions and one full class taught, this was 2 full classes per day. I found myself doubting my abilities and worrying that I wasn’t helping the kids learn effectively. Fortunately, the local team reminded me that by exposing the kids to new educational material and making it fun for them was the most important thing.