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Teaching Volunteer Program in Kenya - Nairobi

Teaching Volunteer Program in Kenya - Nairobi

Excited to be a volunteer Teacher in Kenya? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching project empowers volunteers to assist in schools in Nairobi and the surrounding area. Classes can be large and under-resourced so having volunteers available makes a genuine difference both to the pressure on local teachers and the education students receive. Volunteers also gain teaching experience while helping to broaden the horizons of students and providing valuable exposure to the English language.

Highlights:
  • Programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month
  • Affordable fees from AU$603 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Volunteer in schools around low-income areas and villages

  • Discover Kenya’s diverse and beautiful landscapes

  • Experience daily life in Nairobi by staying with a local family

Key information

Improve access to quality education
Based in schools in and around Nairobi
Homestay accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$603 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Take a weekend safari trip
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Aspiring teachers as well as volunteers with an interest in education and supporting youth development opportunities in disadvantaged communities. You don’t need to be a qualified teacher as volunteers work under the supervision of local staff. However, we encourage you to come prepared by completing relevant training, such as a TEFL course.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Classes at schools in Kenya can be large and under-resourced. Teaching volunteers provide invaluable support by lightening the load for local staff and contributing to the education of the students. International volunteers are sought after as teachers for their ability to introduce different languages, cultures and ideas to students who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to learn about them.

As a Teaching volunteer you can be based in either community schools or government schools, where you’ll assist local teachers with lessons in a range of subjects including:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Art
  • Physical Education.

Volunteers with experience can also lead their own classes and you’ll also help outside the classroom, providing support with preparing and serving meals, supervising the children during break times and providing assistance in other areas of the school.

School holidays 2024: Please note, this project is not available during the school holidays. If you apply for this project during school holidays, you will be switched to either Sports Education or Women’s Education. If you apply for this project during a half-term break, you will have these days free to explore the local area, embark on a safari, or another other tour/excursion.

  • February 29th - March 1st (half-term break)
  • April 8th - 28th (school holidays)
  • June 20th - 21st (half-term break)
  • August 5th - 25th (school holidays)
  • October 24th - Dec 15th (national exams & end of year break)
  • December 15th - program closes for 2024
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Teaching volunteering in Nairobi with IVHQ?

When you volunteer on the Teaching project in Kenya you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged students
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Learning about Kenya’s education system
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself in Kenya’s diverse culture

Volunteer requirements

  • 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.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

SM
Sarah Macdonald
22 Feb 2024

I'm so, so grateful for my time volunteering in Kenya. After feeling a bit stuck and lacking that spark in my heart, I decided to sign up to go to Kenya... It's been a dream of mine to do a trip like this since I was 16 (I'm 39 now). I'm so glad I did!! I was, of course, nervous before going, but once I arrived and was greeted by the local team, all of those nerves melted away and I was able to immerse myself in the experience. The entire experience was eye opening, humbling, heart warming, and wonderful. That spark I was seeking has certainly been ignited and I can't wait to volunteer more and find more ways I can help. Thank you IVHQ for providing such a professional and safe avenue for this kind of experience!

To anyone hesitant, those are normal feelings. There's always nerves and fear when stepping into something you've never done. But the only way to experience the great things in life is to feel the fear and step out and do it anyway! Great things never come out of comfort zones. Go for it and book the trip... you absolutely won't regret it!

...
VW
Vivian Wong
25 Jul 2023

I loved the program checklist on the MyIVHQ profile which felt personable, easy to navigate, and helped me prepare for my volunteering trip. The local team were amazing, thoroughly professional, attentive, and ensured we were well looked after and safe during my time there. My accommodation was comfortable and my host family was very welcoming and lovely. The meals were absolutely delicious and cooked with a lot of love and care. I have gained new life-long friends and contacts in Kenya for when I visit there again. I have learned a lot about their culture and their way of living. It has also taught me a lot about myself and I am so very grateful for this experience. My advice would be to not hesitate, go book that trip, and make the best memories because it's rare to get an experience like this!

...
XJ
Xhulia Jasimi
24 Sep 2022

The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was being in an environment I had never been before. I had the opportunity to experience, what I had only seen in the TV. I weighted and compared the differences of Nairobi and the life there, and my country. I gained a whole new perspective of what is happening outside.

...
AM
Alexis Martin
15 Dec 2021

I’ve been following IVHQ since I was in college (I.e almost 10 years) due to their range of programs and countries they offered and the positive reviews I saw but I never had the time to do it. Finally due to covid, I had some flexibility and I decided to book. This was my first volunteer trip abroad and will not be my last. IVHQ definitely exceeded my expectation for my teaching program. The program and the checklist prepared me if not over prepared me (which I like personally) to be ready for my trip mentally and physically which I understood bc depending on where your program is located determines your accommodations, and they all vary per what you may require. I enjoyed all of it. My host family was so nice and fun. They had two small boys that every night for dinner me and my roommates got a good kick out of before bed. The teachers and kids at my school were so welcoming and inquisitive. I wanted to do nothing but immerse myself farther into the culture the longer I stayed. The safari and meeting the Masai tribe are a must. And lastly, I was lucky enough to have like minded roommates and volunteers around me to do my journey with. I could’ve have asked for a better experience and I’m already excited to book my next trip.

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MM
Maximilian Millington
10 Nov 2021

I feel like it was the best decision I’ve made in my life. At first I was a bit nervous, but after just staying at my accommodation for one night I already felt like I was at home. In the same way the school I volunteered at made me feel like I was part of it in a very short amount of time. I even regret not being able to stay any longer, and so I can only recommend this program to everyone!

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AM
Austin Mazlish
17 Aug 2021

Spending time at school with the kids I taught and getting to know my host family were the best parts of the trip.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit
Volunteer Abroad in Kenya with IVHQ

Location

Nairobi is home to IVHQ’s Kenya program. The capital city of Kenya is a dynamic, diverse metropolis known for its natural beauty and wildlife safaris. Volunteer projects are set in and around Nairobi and the Kibera Slum which is home to hundreds of thousands of people living below the poverty line. Volunteers can help by providing support to local initiatives designed to improve their quality of life and access to basic essentials.

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, a member of the local team will greet you at the airport and bring you to temporary volunteer housing in Mlolongo, just a short drive from the airport in Nairobi, where you will spend the night before your orientation and before being transported to your homestay. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are traveling in Kenya prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up overland in Nairobi the day before your program orientation

Orientation is hosted by our local team in Nairobi 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 socializing. Once your orientation is complete, you will be transported to your homestay and introduced to your host family.

Volunteer schedule example

First day

You will be escorted to your placement by a member of your homestay family or another volunteer and introduced to the placement staff.

Weekdays

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

Weekends

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

Volunteers are accommodated in homestays with local families who have been​ ​approved by our local ​team in Kenya. Volunteers can expect to share a bedroom​ ​​with two to four other volunteers of the same gender.

Bedrooms have single or bunk beds and bedding is provided. Living is comfortable and most homestays have electricity,​ ​running water and western bathrooms. It is important to note that​ ​there are often power outages and water shortages​, and ​​volunteers need to be prepared to have the occasional bucket shower and periods of time without power.​ Some rural homestays​ do not have electricity or running water and in these locations you​ ​​can expect to find​ ​squat/pit toilets​ and bucket showers.

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​ ​Kenyan way of life, meet local people, try local food, speak the local language and​ ​engage in local customs and traditions​.​​

WiFi can be accessed from local cafes and restaurants within walking distance of most homestays in Nairobi.

Meals

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 7 am and generally consists of chai tea, coffee, toast, fruit and sometimes mandazi - African donuts. A typical lunch can include vegetables and lentils with rice, occasional meat and fruit 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 8 pm and typically 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 liters per day, which costs around US$15 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.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week AU$603 Equivalent to AU$86/day
2 weeks AU$829 Equivalent to AU$59/day
3 weeks AU$1054 Equivalent to AU$50/day
4 weeks AU$1280 Equivalent to AU$46/day
5 weeks AU$1505 Equivalent to AU$43/day
6 weeks AU$1731 Equivalent to AU$41/day
8 weeks AU$2182 Equivalent to AU$39/day
10 weeks AU$2633 Equivalent to AU$38/day
12 weeks AU$3084 Equivalent to AU$37/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$529) 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$150-200 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Check what's required to visit Kenya

Safety and support with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Nairobi
Population 52.57 million
Languages Swahili and English
Currency Kenyan Shilling (KES)
Time zone UTC+03:00

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.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!