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.
- Programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month
- Affordable fees from $375 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
This program is ideal for:
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:
- 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
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
- 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
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
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
Read reviews from Teaching volunteers in Nairobi
”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. Th...e 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!” read more
Read reviews from Teaching volunteers in Nairobi
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
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 center.
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.
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.
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||$375 Equivalent to $54/day|
|2 weeks||$515 Equivalent to $37/day|
|3 weeks||$655 Equivalent to $31/day|
|4 weeks||$795 Equivalent to $28/day|
|5 weeks||$935 Equivalent to $27/day|
|6 weeks||$1,075 Equivalent to $26/day|
|8 weeks||$1,355 Equivalent to $24/day|
|10 weeks||$1,635 Equivalent to $23/day|
|12 weeks||$1,915 Equivalent to $23/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 Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- 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
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.
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.