Volunteer with the Maasai tribe in Kenya with International Volunteer HQ today. IVHQ’s local staff in Kenya require volunteers NOW! IVHQ works with a team in Kenya to assist Maasai villages as they assimilate into the modern African way of living while still preserving the traditional Maasai culture and unique way of life. This extremely popular volunteer program offers both Teaching and Medical projects.
LOCATION OF MAASAI VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
IVHQ has volunteer placements in Kajiado north and Kajiado south. Kajiado north placements include, Kimuka, Olmaroroi and Saikeri . They lie on the leeward side of the Ngong Hills, 9kms from Ngong town and 30km west of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Kajiado south placements include Isinya, Iseuri and Nkoile. Kajiado District is an administrative district in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It has a population of 406,054 and an area of 21,903 km². The district borders Nairobi city and extends to the Kenya-Tanzania border further south.
START AND DURATION OF MAASAI VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Programs begin on the 1st and 15th of each month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods raning from 1 week to 6 months.
MAASAI VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program and have at least a high school education. All volunteers must provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Kenya. Volunteers participating on the Medical Project must have appropriate training and certification to be presented to IVHQ partner staff in Kenya no later that 4 weeks prior to arrival. It is also necessary to have a good level of general fitness. Due to the remote nature of the Maasai villages, there is much walking between institutions such as schools and clinics and home stays.
HOW MANY OTHER VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE?
Last year IVHQ placed over 100 volunteers on our Kenya - Maasai program, making makes us one of the most popular volunteer organizations in Maasailand, Kenya! Between 8 and 20 volunteers start on our Maasai program each month. What does this mean for you? More people to socialize with and travel with, more people to meet from different cultures, more people to volunteer with, more projects to work on, more staff support, better infrastructure for volunteers and lower fees!
KENYA - MAASAI VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIALS
MAASAI VOLUNTEER PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
With the introduction of free primary school education in Kenya, the Kenyan Government was faced with a dilemma; a large amount of students entitled to an education and not enough teachers to accommodate the large class sizes. The majority of schools are required by law to have at least one teacher per class, however, there are often up to 50 children in a class, so there is a great need for volunteers.
Teaching at a Maasai community school is an experience like no other. Giraffes, gazelles and dik-diks often wander freely around the school grounds and it is no big deal to have some wild animal burrow holes through the school fields overnight. Volunteers assist local teaching staff with daily Math, English, Science, Social Studies (Geography and History), Art and Physical Education classes, providing one-on-one attention to the children and sometimes relieving the teacher of a class or two per day. Volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on the Teaching project.
In Kenya, there are three terms per school year with breaks between these terms for the whole months of April, August and December. During these breaks, volunteers will be relocated outside of Maasai-land to an alternative project until school resumes. Volunteers also have the option to take a break, travel or engage in tourist activities, such as safari, over this time.
IVHQ EXAMPLE PLACEMENT: Kimuka Primary School
Located in the small Maasai village of Kimuka, this school has over 500 children ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old. Some children walk over 5 hours each day (to school and home) just to get a chance to go to school and yet there are only 7 teachers for these children. (Please note, this is just one of many schools on our program and is not necessarily the one you will be teaching at).
Life in a Maasai community is no different to other regions of Kenya and poverty has a significant impact on the quality of life that the Maasai people are able to enjoy. Due to the remote location of the Maasai communities and limited funds, there is a comparative lack of medical knowledge, supplies and education. This limits the care that can be provided to the rural and remote communities and means that the care that does exist is spread very thin among the wider community.The Maasai Medical Placement therefore encompasses a number of fields, and medical professionals are sorely needed.
Volunteer work includes many aspects and volunteers will need to be flexible and adaptable as, on any given day, they can be assisting with the running of a local health clinic, administering vaccinations, providing support to women during pregnancy, birth and after-care, outreaches to communities further afield, counseling, and HIV/AIDs awareness and education through campaigns and when possible, providing HIV/AIDs testing and treatment services. The clinics in which volunteers work have very basic equipment and facilities, volunteers are therefore required to be fully qualified doctors or nurses to participate on this project. If you have a particular skill or area of interest, please make a note of this in your application. All volunteers are required to present a copy of their qualifications and certificates, along with a letter of recommendation from a relevant medical professional (supervisor or employer) to our program partner at least 4 weeks prior to arrival in Kenya. We also recommend volunteering on this program for at least 2 weeks in order to adjust to the differences between African medical practices and your usual practices at home.
Please note, all Medical Placement volunteers are required to pay a one off temporary licence fee. The temporary licence fee for doctors is US$235 regardless of program duration and for nurses the fee is US$100 (for 1 week to 11 weeks) and US$200 (for 12 weeks to 24 weeks). This fee goes directly to the Kenyan Ministry of Health to obtain the temporary licence and will be included in the program fee quoted to you when applying for the program.
IVHQ EXAMPLE PLACMENT: Saikeri Medical Clinic
Located in the remote Maasai village of Saikeri approximately 2 hours from Nairobi, this clinic is the only medical establishment for miles servicing thousands of people. Because of this, a lot of the work here is basic first aid, however other work includes outpatient services, maternity services and HIV/AIDs testing and counselling. (Please note, this is just one of many clinics on our program and not necessarily the one you will be volunteering at).
KENYA MAASAI PROGRAM COSTS
One of the advantages of volunteering with IVHQ is our extremely affordable fees. Click here to see the program cost to volunteer in a Kenyan Maasai village and what you receive in exchange for your fees.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in a home stay, where they live with a local host family. We give your host family money from your program fee for support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a family; that way you can learn the Kenyan way of life, meet local people, eat local food and engage in local customs and traditions. Living conditions on our Maasai volunteer program are basic with most home stays having no running water or electricity, however despite the basic living conditions, volunteers are extremely well looked after and catered for by their host family. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers.
The Maasai eat three meals per a day. A typical lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice, sandwiches and fruit, while dinner usually sees traditional food such as ugali, chapatti, mboga and irio accompany the meat and vegetables. Breakfast is eaten in the morning, then lunch is served around 1 PM (or you can take a packed lunch if you wish to eat at your placement) and dinner is served at 7 to 8 PM. Bottled water is readily available in Kenya and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 liters per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please make a note of this in your application, so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Orientation will begin on the morning of the 1st or 15th of the month (dependent on your booking) and you will be picked up from your accommodation and taken to the orientation. Orientation will be conducted by our local staff in Nairobi and cover everything you need to know for your volunteering program in Kenya – Introduction to Kenya and Maasailand, Kenyan and Maasai Customs, Language Training (Kiswahili and Kimaasai), Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Kenya, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. Once orientation is complete, volunteers will be transported to their home stay in Maasailand and introduced to all relevant parties – host family members, other volunteers and placement staff.
First Day: On the first day of the volunteering placement, the volunteers will be escorted to the project and introduced to the staff at the project you will be working with.
Weekdays: While our programs are flexible and can be fitted to your requirements, an example of a typical day is as follows.
- Weekdays: While our programs are flexible and can be fitted to your requirements, an example of a typical day is as follows.
- 7.30AM Breakfast with the host family.
- 8.00AM Volunteer leaves home and is dropped/walks to the placement.
- 8.30AM-2.00PM Volunteer joins with the local staff and is given a duty roster and a plan for your work. There is usually a morning tea break and lunch break. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that the volunteer is working at.
- 2.00PM-5.00PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers have free time to spend as they wish. You may also want to spend time with the kids up to around 6.00PM.
- 8.30PM Dinner with the host family.
Weekends: During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Kenya and Eastern Africa. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield (i.e. Mombasa, Uganda or Tanzania) or to embark on a safari.
Kenya – Maasai Volunteer Fees
|Volunteer Period||Program Fee US$|
|1 Month (4 weeks)||550|
|2 Months (8 weeks)||930|
|3 Months (12 weeks)||1330|
|4 Months (16 weeks)||1600|
|5 Months (20 weeks)||1950|
|6 Months (24 weeks)||2320|
|To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $249 USD on top of the Program Fee.
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee (Refundable if you choose not to go*) – 24/7 support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – Airport pick up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer placement period, In-country 24/7 support and In-country administration costs.
What additional costs will I have?
Visa, flights, airport drop off at the conclusion of your program, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, souvenirs, trips or tours you do while in the country, spending money (volunteers in Kenya generally find US$30 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).