Help to fight unemployment in rural areas of Kenya by teaching and mentoring highly motivated students in programming, webdesign, graphic design, animation, music or film
The Volunteer Program
Spend between one and three months in one of the most remote areas of East-Africa mentoring a team of young adults (aged 18-25) on their way to become entrepreneurs on the global digital market. Built up a relationship to bright African minds, and enable them to have a successful career, without having to leave their home region. It will be a live changing experience and you will receive free full board and lodging, so you have nothing to lose. Additionally, you can expect to work with a small, young, motivated and dynamic team with barely any hierarchies.
then this could be the ideal volunteer program for you!
Different Fields of Teaching
As part of the non-profit program Learning Lions you would dedicate your time to lead and support a small groups of 3 – 10 young adults in your specific area of expertise. We propose an instructor led “learning by doing” format but are eager to discuss the most effective way with you. Your ultimate goal will be to reduce the high unemployment rate in impoverished rural areas of Eastern Africa by teaching the selected “Lions” applicable ICT & media skills. Thanks to your dedication you will enable talented and motivated young adults to work and live a better life full of perspective in their region of origin.
You will be working with bright young minds coming from villages of the Turkana region (the poorest region in Kenya) aged between 18 and 25 years old. We select the students not based on their school grades, but using a two hour IQ test. Of 1000 participants we choose only the best 50 to become part of the program. Our only criteria is a good command of the English language and a high score in the IQ test. Many of them never had access to a computer before.
Location and Setup
We are starting to build an ICT-Center in Loropio (Kalimapus area) at the shores of Lake Turkana (Kenya) between Kalokol and Kataboi. At this center our “Lions” can live, learn, train and eventually become entrepreneurs in a campus-like environment that provides them with the best preconditions to make a successful career. We estimate completion in 2018. Until then we are successfully operating from our campus in Lodwar (Turkana County, Kenya). This means that until final completion of the ICT center you would be teaching and living (together with all the team) in Lodwar. You, as a teaching volunteer, would receive full board and lodging. You live and work within our center in Lodwar, you will have your own bedroom and the house offers basic sanitary facilities as well as a kitchen and a chill-out lounge. The Learning Lions program offers you the opportunity to live in one of the most remote regions in the world. The social environment and setting of our project is very young & friendly but it goes without saying that you will not live in luxurious conditions. We reassure you that it will be a life enriching experience for you from a professional and a personal point of view.
City Life and Travel Opportunities
Lodwar is a small city (~50 000 inahbitants) located in the northwest of Kenya and west of Lake Turkana. Most of its population is still following traditional living habits in relatively poor conditions. At the same time, the city is the bustling center of the region with two nightclubs, many bars and restaurants. It is approximately 2 hours away from the future ICT center.
As a volunteer, you might want to travel and do some sightseeing on the weekends. Lake Turkana, the world’s largest permanent alkaline desert lake located, is probably a must see. The lake is also called the Jade Sea because of its azure-green color. The key attraction is “Central Island” with its three crater lakes – Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake and Tilapia Lake and an active volcano. You might even be able to spot some wild animals such as elephants, lions, giraffes or antilopes at the South Turkana National Reserve.
What to Bring
Apart from your laptop, some light clothing (remember, it's hot up here) and good portion of motivation and curiosity, you should not need anything else. Of course, we are able to assist with any organizational matters in case of questions and will be in close contact once you have decided to join us.
A Typical Day
7:30 - Step out of the shower and look at your cloth. You will smile about the amout of cloth you brought you will never need. Due to the warm weather, you will wear shorts, t-shirts and sandals all the time.
8:30 - You would start your day with our daily morning meetings in which one of the Lions gives an inspiring speech or holds an informative presentation about his or her current work, political issues or any other relevant topic.
9:00 - 9:30 - You have the privelege to eat the delicious mandasi (local fried dough) together with some tea or coffee as a morning snack
9:30 - 12:30 - You will check how you Lions are delivering against there list of tasks and time commitments. You will give feedback on the quality of their work and project management ability.
12:30 - 13:00 - You can enjoy our freshly cooked local food (vegan friendly) in the shadow of the tree in our yard together with the team.
13:00 - 15:00 - You will help the lions to build up a portfolio of references showcasing their quality. This will set the foundation for their path to entrepreneurship and will help them to set up their own little business in a subsequent step.
15:00 - 17:30 - You will scan the international market for IT services and help to design our education program in a way that the preparation of Lions for these markets becomes ideal. You will create specific assignments for the Lions which help them improve their skills in the necessary domains.
18.30 - 19:30 - Dinner with the team, again outside. Accompanied by the amazing setting of the African sun, and later by candle light.
There is many possibilities for you evening planning. See --> Free Time Activity
Additionally, you might want to travel and do some sightseeing on the weekends:
There are several flights per day available from Nairobi to Lodwar with following companies: Fly 540, Safarilink and Skyward Express. You might also grab a bus, even though this could take a whole day of travel. Of course we are able to assist with any transportation or organizational matters in case of questions and will be in close contact once you have decided to join us.
Unfortunately Learning Lions will not be able to cover the travel costs for volunteers up to Lodwar as our policy strictly follows the approach to invest every $ only in the direct education of our Lions. Other volunteers managed to get funding through scholarships or donations for their travel expenses.
Once you arrive in Lodwar, we are happy to pick you up from the airport and get you started in our project.
We have our own kitchen staff cooking for us every day. On the weekends, we occasionally cook something together. Here, we might ask you to contribute some small amount of money (maybe 2$ per meal) to allow us to cook something more special than usual.