Maasai Teaching Volunteer Program in Kenya
Inspired to be a Teaching volunteer in Kenya - Maasai? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to assist in classes in rural Maasailand where wild giraffes and gazelles often wander freely across the school grounds. There is a high demand for volunteer support due to large class sizes and a shortage of teachers. Volunteers can gain teaching experience and help to reduce the workload of local teachers by providing one-to-one assistance for students who need it and relieving the teacher of a class or two each day.
- Programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month
- Affordable fees from AU$418 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Teach students and help overworked teachers in large rural classes
Have an immersive cultural experience in the African heartland
Live with a local family in remote Maasailand
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
With the introduction of free elementary school education in Kenya, the government was faced with a dilemma: a larger number of students with access to education and not enough teachers to accommodate growing class sizes. The majority of Maasai schools are required by law to have at least one teacher per class, however low teacher numbers mean there can be between 50 and 75 children in one class.
The Maasai Teaching project is based about two - three hours south-west of Nairobi in rural Maasailand. As a Teaching volunteer you’ll be based in local schools, helping teachers to manage large classes and delivering a better quality education to students between 4 and 15 years old. Teaching duties include:
- Assisting with lessons in all conventional school subjects
- Tutoring students and providing extra one-on-one assistance
- Relieving the teacher of a class or two per day.
Please note, this project is not available during the school holidays. If you apply for the Teaching - Maasai project during this time, you will be switched to either the Sports Education or Women’s Education projects.
School holidays 2022:
- March 5th - April 24th
- May 26th - May 27th
- July 4th - July 10th
- August 11th - August 12th
- September 19th - September 23rd
- November 28th - January 20th 2023
Why do Teaching volunteering in Maasai with IVHQ?
When you volunteer in Maasai you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving educational outcomes for Maasai children
- Helping students grow and learn
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining teaching experience
- Immersing yourself in Kenya’s diverse culture
- Discovering the natural beauty of rural Kenya
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Kenya photo gallery
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”The Maasai lend so much unique beauty to the world. Their way of living is immensely unique to many cultures across the planet, and they have so much knowledge to extend to each of us; knowledge that couldn't be found elsewhere! My favorite moment was spending time with the children and watching them sing! I could listen to them sing forever.”
Read reviews from Teaching volunteers in MaasaiSee more reviews
This project is set in rural Maasailand. Placements are remote and the nearest town may be up to an hour away, but you’ll have the rare chance to see wildlife roaming freely across the landscape.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the 1st and 15th of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Nairobi the day before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are travelling in Kenya prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Nairobi the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our local team in Nairobi. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Kenya – an introduction to Kenya, Kenyan customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Kenya, and an 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 socialising. Once your orientation is complete, you will be transported to your homestay and introduced to your host family.
Volunteer schedule example
You will be escorted to your placement by a member of your homestay family or another volunteer and introduced to the placement staff.
You may have a morning or afternoon shift, or both, and can expect to work a minimum of 3 hours, Monday through Friday. Work and hours at the placement are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at, but a typical volunteer day would be as follows:
|7:30 AM||Breakfast with the host family|
|8:30 AM - 2:00 PM||Volunteers travel to their placements and meet with the placement staff. There is usually a morning tea break and lunch break.|
|2:00 - 5:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to their homestays, go sightseeing or do some shopping.|
|7:00 - 8:00 PM||Dinner with the host family|
During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Nairobi, wider Kenya and Eastern Africa. Sunday is a religious day of rest. If you wish, you can accompany your host family to their local church, as a Kenyan church service is a unique and special experience for many volunteers.
In Nairobi you’ll have the opportunity to get up close to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants and giraffes, visit the Nairobi National Park, shop at the many markets and malls, learn about Kenya’s history at museums, or tour Nairobi city, the Kibera Slum, the Maasailands, or the Bomas cultural centre.
Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield including to Mombasa, Uganda or Tanzania, or to embark on a safari.
Accommodation and WiFi
Please note you will spend your first day in Nairobi for project orientation, before being transferred to your placement location.
You’ll be accommodated in a homestay with a local family where living is basic but authentic. Homestays in Maasai do not have electricity or running water and in these locations you can expect to find squat/pit toilets and bucket showers. This is a unique opportunity to fully immerse yourself in a rural African community and live like the locals do.
Our local team gives your host family a fee for your support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a host family, and you’ll have a unique opportunity to learn about the Maasai way of life, meet local people, try local food, speak the local language and engage in local customs and traditions.
WiFi can be difficult to access in Maasai, so it’s recommended you purchase a local SIM card with data during your program orientation in Nairobi.
The wide range of Kenyan tribes, ethnicities and cultures are reflected in the diversity of the local cuisine. Volunteers are provided with three meals a day which are served at the accommodation and tend to be rich in carbohydrates.
Breakfast is served around 7am and generally consists of chai tea, toast, fruit and sometimes mandazi - African donuts. A typical lunch can include vegetables with rice, occasional meat and fruit and is served around 1pm. If you are not returning home from your placement for lunch, you will need to pack your own lunch in the morning. Dinner is usually served around 8pm and usually includes traditional food, such as ugali, a cornmeal porridge; mboga, a vegetable dish; irio, mashed potatoes with peas and corn; meat and vegetables.
Tap water is not safe to drink in Kenya, though bottled water is readily available. Volunteers typically drink around half a gallon, or two litres per day, which adds up to cost around US$10 a week.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please make a note on your application so arrangements can be made. However, it is important that volunteers should not expect to eat as they normally do at home.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||AU$418 Equivalent to AU$60/day|
|2 weeks||AU$598 Equivalent to AU$43/day|
|3 weeks||AU$777 Equivalent to AU$37/day|
|4 weeks||AU$957 Equivalent to AU$35/day|
|5 weeks||AU$1136 Equivalent to AU$33/day|
|6 weeks||AU$1316 Equivalent to AU$32/day|
|8 weeks||AU$1675 Equivalent to AU$30/day|
|10 weeks||AU$2034 Equivalent to AU$30/day|
|12 weeks||AU$2393 Equivalent to AU$29/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of AU$447 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, public transport to and from your placement each day, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Kenya generally find US$50-100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Languages||Swahili and English|
|Currency||Kenyan Shilling (KES)|
Weather and climate
Kenya enjoys a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country. As Nairobi is close to the equator the weather does not vary much. The summer months, from December to February are warm with temperatures ranging between 30°C and 14°C. June is usually the coldest month, with temperatures averaging between 13°C and 22°C.