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Ecologia Youth Trust

Grassroots Community Support

Meru, Kenya

Volunteer at a home for orphaned children and sustainable community project, empowering women, eco-agriculture, and immerse yourself in Kenyan life and culture.


Ecologia Youth Trust along with our partner International Peace Initiatives (IPI), offers safe and meaningful volunteer opportunities, perfect for energetic, self-motivated volunteers. Use your skills to help enhance the lives of disadvantaged children, empower young mothers, and learn about the daily issues affecting local Kenyan communities. 

The issue:

Despite some economic progress, an estimated 46% of Kenyans live in poverty. Children, as is often the case in poor countries, are the most affected. The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Kenya is a shocking 6.3%, one of the highest figures in the world. Over a million children have been orphaned due to AIDS.

The solution:

We are working in partnership with International Peace Initiatives (IPI), an organisation based in Meru County, Kenya which is particularly focussed on improving the future of local vulnerable children. We are currently supporting them in:

  • Providing funding for the running of Kithoka Amani Community Home (KACH), which cares for 30 local vulnerable children whilst allowing them to maintain close ties to their families and friends.
  • Helping HIV positive mothers provide a better future for their families by training them in skills such as craft and food making so that they can earn a decent income without having to do physically demanding manual labour, and if their children are at KACH, even resume the care of their children in the future.
  • Training communities in organic agriculture.

Based at Kithoka Amani Community Home in Kenya's Meru County, a child-centered, community-based home to around 30 orphaned and vulnerable children, your efforts will make a genuine difference to their lives. Alongside their children's home and organic farm, IPI is working from the grassroots up to build community capacity to effectively respond to the challenges of disease, poverty, climate change, stigma, discrimination and violence through skills-training workshops, community-led campaigns and advocacy. 

What is the volunteers role?

Depending on your interests and experience, the work you will do could include one or a combination of any of the following:

  • Caring for the children who live at KACH.
  • Assisting with women’s skills-training workshops.
  • Working on IPI’s organic farm, learning about permaculture and sustainable agriculture.
  • Assisting with lessons at local schools.
  • Constructing eco-buildings at IPI’s new Tiriji Eco-Centre.

This is your chance to be part of an exciting, innovative program while gaining practical experience of cutting-edge development work in the field.

More about the location:


The KACH Centre is surrounded by substantial vegetable gardens and a small organic farm with goats, chickens, pigs - all part of IPI’s commitment to sustainability. They produce almost all the food they need to feed the 30 children at KACH and the staff who work there, and are developing an overall permaculture approach to sustainable living as a demonstration to the local community. Solar panels provide electricity for KACH, and a biogas installation provides cooking fuel. In addition, at their nearby Tiriji Eco-Conference Centre they are building accommodation with eco features such as composting toilets, rainwater harvesting systems, solar-powered electricity and organic gardens. 


What is expected from the volunteers, and what can the volunteers expect?


KACH appeals to a volunteer who is open-minded and open hearted. Someone who loves children and living in the community. Someone who loves to play and to go with the flow. Whilst you will of course be given substantial support when you first arrive, IPI needs a person who is independent and who does not need a rigid programme, but who can be flexible, proactive and easygoing with whatever experience might throw at them. KACH is a place of ‘finding who you are’, hence they want volunteers who can look inwards for answers in relation to what comes up for them while in Meru. They want people who can talk openly, trust that together it is possible to make a difference in the world, and that each individual has their own contribution to make. They are not looking for ‘experts’ in the traditional manner, rather they are looking for partners, people who wish to explore opportunities for building and transforming relationships across cultural and ethnic divides. 

Typical day

There is no typical day, and the activities that you will take part in will depend upon both the needs of the community and the skills / experience of the volunteer.

However, generally you can assume that you will be participating in community activities between Monday to Saturday including some (but not all) evenings, with some afternoons off as well. Sundays are free.

Each day could include any of the following activities:

  • Caring for the children who live at KACH.
  • Assisting with women’s skills-training workshops.
  • Working on IPI’s organic farm, learning about permaculture and sustainable agriculture.
  • Assisting with lessons at local schools.
  • Constructing eco-buildings at IPI’s new Tiriji Eco-Centre.


Details on Arrival

Volunteers are welcome throughout the year. Flights should be arranged to arrive and leave on Wednesdays.

Transport from Nairobi airport to Meru and back will be provided.


Free-time activities

Opportunities to visit Meru, a busy town with a great market place; visit local waterfalls and places of natural beauty; Mount Kenya is nearby for hiking; optional safari opportunity. 

Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at Complete High School level
Required Documents
Ecologia's Introductory Questionnaire
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
no special skills required, but interest in children is important.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 09:00 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Ecologia Youth Trust are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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We refund your fees if Ecologia Youth Trust cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Ecologia Youth Trust.
Services by Ecologia Youth Trust

These fees include:

  • Transport from Nairobi airport to Meru and back.
  • Orientation and ongoing volunteer support.
  • Accommodation.
  • Meals.
  • Local transport in Meru, when the volunteer has free time.


Volunteers are encouraged to engage in fundraising activities before their placement. This enables IPI to be sustainable, to give the children a home, a good education, food and clothing. In return fundraising boost volunteers confidence and allows them to hone organisation and presentation skills that will be useful in their professional careers. Ecologia Youth Trust provides support in the form of a Fundraising pack full of tips and advice, and from our Volunteers Coordinator in Scotland.  


Airport Pickup at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Volunteers are met at Nairobi airport and transported by car 250 miles to Meru, to the IPI Centre. They will be returned to the airport on their way home

Accommodation

If KACH has a room free, you will stay there. If not, you will be housed in one of the guesthouses at the eco-centre, which is just a few minutes walk from KACH. If there are other volunteers at the same time as you, you will stay with them. Most rooms are shared but there are a few single rooms. At KACH there are showers and indoor flush toilets, and at the eco-centre the guest houses have outdoor eco-toilets. The eco-centre near KACH is totally safe.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Meals are served communally, breakfast, lunch and supper, and served in the communal dining room. Be prepared to try everything! Kenyan cuisine is very tasty, but quite different to what you will be used to and often ingredients you have never seen before. All very wholesome. Staple meals are soup, rice, pasta or potatoes with vegetables, fish, chicken or meat. Home-grown salads and vegetables are on the tables every day. Fresh milk is usually kept for the children, and sugary tea or instant coffee are served after every meal. If you like ground coffee, you’ll need to buy it yourself or bring it with you. 

Meals do include meat although vegetarians are catered for. Alcoholic drinks are not allowed on the premises. 

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Kenya.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Kenya provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Kenya you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Kenya.
Costs (Prices in USD)
8 weeks (min. stay)
$1,960.00
9 weeks
$2,009.00
10 weeks
$2,057.00
11 weeks
$2,106.00
15 weeks
$2,300.00
23 weeks
$2,689.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$4,000.00
Average fees
$163.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Meru/Kenya between 8 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Ecologia Youth Trust will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Kenya.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Ecologia Youth Trust during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Africa Eastern Africa Kenya Meru, International Peace Initiatives
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