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Rieko Kenya

Health Intern

Migori County, Kenya

Interns partake in medical volunteering in either a facility-based, school-based, or community-based context depending on their interests and skill sets.

Rieko Kenya is a not-for-profit organization first established as a community-based organization in the year 2007 before acquiring its NGO registration status in 2010.  The organization’s goal is to alleviate poverty and to amplify the voice of the disadvantaged and “poor” communities in Kenya.

 
During the 30 years of the global HIV epidemic, an estimated 17 million children have lost one or both parents due to AIDS; 90 percent of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, 3.4 million children under age 15 are living with HIV.  Despite some decline in HIV adult prevalence worldwide and increasing access to treatment, the number of children affected by or vulnerable to HIV remains alarmingly high.
 
Kenya now has a growing number, of OVC. An estimated 2.4 million Kenyan children are orphans, who are under 18 years and have lost one or both parents as a result of death. Nearly two-thirds of the orphans in Kenya have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS. Also, the proportion is increasing, as it was approximately 16 percent of all children in Kenya in 2007 (Kenya Demographic Health Survey-KDHS 2003), compared to about 11 percent just five years earlier (Kenya Demographic Health Survey-KDHS 2002). In addition to orphans, there are increasing numbers of other "vulnerable children", who are also especially in need. The National AIDS Control Council (NACC) estimates that there are about 600,000 children who are not orphans but who are also particularly vulnerable because their parents are sick and are not able to adequately provide for their safety and development.
 
Nyanza province, where our projects take place, is leading in Kenya with the number of orphans taking almost 27%. This is highly attributable to the high HIV/AIDS death toll along the Lake Victoria basin and sugar-belt region (Nyatike,  Suna West, Suna-East, Awendo and Uriri sub-counties) targeted by this project. The lives of the local populace in these Sub-Counties have been threatened by the high death rate to HIV/AIDS-related diseases. 
 
It has been estimated that the scourge has led to an alarming increase in the number of orphans. A number of these orphans are themselves vulnerable or born with the virus and develop many opportunistic infections because of their status. They have special physical & psychological needs which may not be adequately met by the community which is already overburdened by oppression, poverty, disease, and hunger. This is particularly true in the sub-counties where few social support systems exist outside families and where basic social services are largely inadequate.
 
Children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS are frequently exposed to abuse; exploitation; violence (including gender-based violence (GBV); and family separation as a result of the epidemic’s effects. These exposures can further increase risks through adult life. While the relationship between GBV, violence against children, and HIV/AIDS is multifaceted, HIV can increase the likelihood of being exposed to violence and violent or forced sex, which increases the risk of HIV infection and other STDs.  Moreover, facing an increased risk of death, children whose parents have died due to HIV/AIDS also face stigmatization, rejection and a lack of love and care. They often suffer from emotional distress, malnutrition, labor exploitation, homelessness, a lack of health care, and poor or no access to education.
 
In Kenya the Water and sanitation situation is poor for a majority of people with, on the overall, approximately 57% (KIHBS 2005/2006) of households using water from sources considered safe.  Sustainable access to safe water is around 60% in the urban setting and drops to as low as 20% in the settlements of the urban poor where half of the urban population lives. With a population growth of up to 10% in the low-income urban settlements many ‘hot spots’ continue to develop in many towns and therefore sustainable access to safe water is declining. Sustainable access to safe water in the rural setting is estimated at 40%. Sanitation coverage countrywide is about 50%. Living conditions in the settlements of the urban poor are appalling due to the resulting unsanitary environment. Missing sanitary installations and uncontrolled disposal of excreta pollute the water sources from which most of the informal providers draw water. Vendors sell water of uncontrolled quality to consumers who have to spend hours to fetch it at prices that are often between 5 and 20 times the tariff applied to consumers with a metered water connection.
 
In all cases above, Nyatike sub-county falls in the middle of difficulties as the region becomes the worst affected.

We offer three different Health Volunteer Options- Facility Based, School-Based, and Community Health Medical Volunteering to address these issues.

Your opportunities

Each focus will have different day to day activities, all centered around the improvement of health services in Migori County, and for you to get personal exposure to tropical healthcare and rural medicine. Depending on requirements for your course, we are able to recommend different placements.


1. Medical Facility Volunteering

Our health facility programs take place in Migori County, where you have the option of either working on the shores of Lake Victoria with a primarily fishermen population, or near the Macalder gold mines. You have the choice of volunteering with a dispensary, medical center, or larger referral hospital, depending on your skills and interests. You can also specify to work with special populations given your skills and interests. Key populations served by the medical facilities in Migori County include people living with HIV (PLHIV), people living with disabilities, with leprosy, long-term illnesses (diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell anemia), and those who are economically disadvantaged.

Depending on your expertise and training level, we will help you to decide an appropriate placement. Typically all volunteers will undergo an initial orientation with the clinic staff, to shadow the workflow and learn local techniques. You will then work independently with patients according to your comfort level. General responsibilities include taking rounds, prescribing and distributing basic medicines, dressing wounds, and assisting with births. A key aspect of volunteer support is working with PLHIV, monitoring patient health and behavior as they undergo stages of treatment, encouraging adherence, and providing emotional support.

2. School Health Volunteering

Health volunteering is not limited to facility-based support only. We know that education is an integral aspect of driving behavioral change, and therefore outreach programs have been an important part of our work to date. As a school health volunteer, you will work with children, implementing outreach and lessons about important health topics. Rieko Kenya operates under a peer education model- we believe that children can act as peer educators to their friends and family once they are equipped with appropriate knowledge. Children can make a difference in their family lives with knowledge about nutrition, current HIV treatment information, water and sanitation knowledge, or even basic personal health skills. 

We work with multiple schools in the Migori County area, including children from disadvantaged backgrounds, orphaned or with disabilities, in both primary and secondary schools. After orientation, your placement will include visiting schools daily, working with children, and monitoring responses to your lessons. We are happy to help you choose a focus area, develop your curriculum, and provide mentors for your teaching placement, or allow you to design your own programs based on your own expertise and comfort level.

3. Community Health Volunteering 
Community Health projects act in conjunction with existing facilities to expand the state of health for the population. Current community health projects include water and sanitation programs, immunizations, HIV prevention and education, general health workshops, and family planning outreach. These projects allow you to immerse yourself in a community development project, speak and work with local community members, and facilitate driving change in healthcare standards in our communities.
All of our projects take place in Migori County. Depending on the timeframe of your proposed volunteer stay and your skills, specific project location can range from villages on the shores of Lake Victoria to the rural highlands. Most of our community health projects serve rural populations and will not be located in Migori Town, where Rieko Kenya head offices are located. 
We recommend 8 weeks minimum stay to work on a community health project, up to one year. However much time you are able to commit can be accommodated by our staff, we look forward to welcoming you to our team!




Typical day

Depending on your chosen Health Volunteering area, your day to day activities will vary. For all placements, you will typically work Monday to Friday, and have weekends at your own leisure. Rieko Kenya is happy to assist organizing day trips and excursions to the beautiful surrounding natural areas.

Details on Arrival

We are able to coordinate your arrival from whichever port is most convenient for you. Kisumu Airport is the closest airport to Migori, and is a 3 hour's drive away. Transport from Nairobi can also be coordinated for volunteers.


Our Rieko team is happy to help you plan your arrival itinerary and ensure a comfortable arrival. We welcome you to Migori County!

Free-time activities

Migori County has beautiful natural areas, with the shores of Lake Victoria close by and many natural hikes in the region. Travel to neighbouring areas of Kenya, some of Kenya's many national parks, or to our  beaches can be easily coordinated. These make for great weekend excursions. We are happy to discuss more of these with you.

Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

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 (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
Additional Education in Medicine Recommended at University or High School level
Required Documents
CV, Letter of Intent/Interest and References
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We welcome anyone with a background and interest in health, rural or tropical medicine. For Facility-Based Medical Volunteering, we recommend applicants have technical medical expertise. We recommend anyone with an interest and background in teaching to apply as a School Health or Community Health Volunteer. Regardless of your chosen area, we will ensure appropriate mentorship and training for your placement by a local mentor based on your expertise and comfort level.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Rieko Kenya are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Rieko Kenya .
Services by Rieko Kenya

Our Fees Include Transport (local transfers), food, accommodation, orientation, local 24hour support, and integration into the project.

Our fees do not include flights, vaccinations, insurance, or visa costs. Rieko Kenya will provide support through the Visa application process as required.

Airport Pickup at Kisumu Airport

Usually from Kisumu is the most convenient option.

For those arriving to the International Airport in Nairobi, we advise that our volunteers fly to Kisumu where we can arrange for pickup. We can equally assist arranging for transport to Migori from Nairobi by road for our volunteers should they prefer this option.

Accommodation
We offer several different accommodation options according to your preferences. Prices are indicated based on staying with a host family, however a shared volunteer house and hotel options are also available.
Guest Family Guesthouse Hotel
Food & Beverages
Authentic Kenyan cuisine is included for our volunteers staying with a host family or in a hotel. For those staying in a shared volunteer house, kitchen amenities are also available for volunteers to prepare their own food.
Internet Access
Good 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 Kisumu Airport (KIS) in Kisumu. 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)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,431.00
5 weeks
$1,650.00
6 weeks
$1,740.00
7 weeks
$1,970.00
8 weeks
$2,027.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,613.00
Average fees
$288.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Migori County/Kenya between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Rieko Kenya 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 Rieko Kenya during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Africa Eastern Africa Kenya Migori County, Rieko Kenya Riziki Plaza Building Ground Floor
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