Kenya's population is hugely affected by the struggles of HIV/AIDS, poverty and unemployment.There are therefore, countless possibilities to impact lives, such as through our work in local orphanages, schools, and hospitals.
Medical, Orphanage And Hospital Volunteering, Kenya Limuru, in the lush hilly outskirts of Nairobi
Find out what it's really like to volunteer in Kenya with us, read Lydia's blog live from the project here.
Kenya's health care and provision suffers as much as any other public service sector in the country. Whilst structures are in place for an effective heath service, there is an enormous deficit in terms of staff and resources. Which is why the volunteers' help is very much appreciated by the nurses and doctors we do volunteer work with.
As a volunteer you will spend Fridays either doing a volunteer Limuru market challenge (like a treasure hunt) or a group activity at one of our community project. The other four days you will be very much involved in your medical placement, acquiring and sharing knowledge and skills and having the chance to build relationships.
Your medical background will determine your placement at the various public health centres or hospital. If you have no medical background at all, you will be placed at one of the orphanages, pre-schools or community projects.
PCEA Kikuyu Mission Hospital
This is a large general hospital that offers medical care to the community regardless of whether they can afford their treatment or not. The hospital is therefore buzzing with patients, and doctors attend to around 350 patients a day. It is a great environment for volunteers to work in who are wishing to undertake a medical elective, however an extra administration fees is to be paid to the hospital, which is about 50USD for normal volunteers and 100USD for elective students (Placement duration of 4-6 weeks). 4 week placement being the minimum length in the Hospital.
This hospital is particularly well-known for its specialized eye unit. It has a variety of departments and wards that volunteers can get involved in, such as the maternity ward, orthopedics, the HIV and diabetic clinic, theatre/surgery, nursing and emergency care. Unless volunteers are qualified, licensed and have received approval from the Kenyan medical board before arrival, involvement is limited to observation, for this reason volunteers will only be placed in this Hospital upon request.
Karuri Hospital - Solely for qualified healthcare practitioners
Karuri is a small government hospital with an out-patient unit, dental unit and maternity unit. The maternity unit consists of a delivery room and ward, family planning, mother and child clinic and antenatal clinic. Karuri also has a small lab that volunteers can get involved in. The hospital is also slowly phasing in a community outreach program that involves bringing basic healthcare to people that aren’t able to get to hospital. At Karuri volunteers have great opportunities to get involved in all units as well as, if the opportunity arises, preparing and presenting workshops for staff or patients.
Public Health Centres
African Impact medical volunteers are able to get involved in various departments and gain much experience under the supervision of a local qualified health professional. Opportunities for involvement include laboratory, maternity, pediatric and child-care unit, comprehensive care clinic (HIV & TB patients), counselling, orthopaedics, administration, outpatient care and pharmacy.
There are a host of opportunities to gain medical experience, learn from health professionals. The exposure to medical care in an African country is certainly an eye-opener.
Orphanages and Pre-school Teaching in Limuru
There are over a million orphans in Kenya mainly due to AIDS, of which only 5 % get any kind of support. There is a huge need for assisting orphanages, children’s homes and pre-schools in the local community.
There are several orphanages and centres for vulnerable children in Limuru that we are involved with. These children come from backgrounds that have been affected by HIV/AIDS, abuse, poverty or illness. These children are in need of love and attention. Many of them are developmentally delayed and need extra attention in order to promote their development. The children's ages range mainly between 4 and 15 years.
The orphanages offer opportunities to become involved in:
• Helping with the teaching of the children, and helping to develop better learning materials and lesson plans.
• General care such as cooking for the children's meals or organising sports and play activities to promote the well being of the children.
• Building/improving the facilities to make it feel more like home for the children: by painting pictures on the walls etc. Some of the orphanages we partner with are building to expand and improve their facilities. Your pair of hands will be greatly appreciated in this practical work.
• Assisting orphanage workers in offering moral support and guidance to the children, training of basic life skills and any activities for various rehabilitative programmes in the orphanages.
• Creating and teaching the children various arts and sport activities that make creative use of their time and hone their hidden skills and talents!
The kids are very energetic and will gladly challenge you to a game of basketball or soccer. You will have a chance to make a huge impact on these children's lives by spending time with them, and contributing to their learning and development.
Our focus is on responsible volunteering, particularly when it comes to vulnterable or orphaned children. We have worked with our charity, The Happy Africa Foundation, to create a set of protocols and guidelines we adhere to strictly when dealing with local communities. We encourage you to view our Child Protection Policy on our website.
What is the minimum stay?
Where exactly is it?
Limuru, in the lush hilly outskirts of Nairobi
What will I be doing?
Impact communities in and around Nairobi through medical and community programmes
- Gain medical experience under the supervision of qualified doctors and nurses. Please note this is only applicable to those due to study or currently studying medicine or qualified in a medical field suited to the Hospitals needs and requirements.
- Assist in various orphanages in Limuru, by helping with improving or enhancing the actual facilities as well as becoming involved in teaching and caring for the children
- Get a glimpse of life in the slums of Nairobi and have the opportunity to make a difference in a poor and desperate community
- Get a taste of the Kenyan culture; learn a bit of Swahili!
- Make friends for life
- A great platform to experience some of the finest safari destinations on the continent
- Project Fee: this entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with. This project fee facilitates funding for items such as building materials, equipment, supplies, foodstuffs, etc. Project fees are also used to buy vehicles and equipment as well as for developing new housing for volunteers to provide for the expansion of the project.
- All airport transfers from Nairobi Airport upon your arrival and departure
- Orientation program
- All daily transfers to and from your projects during your stay
- Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day at Brackenhurst Baptist International Centre, Limuru
- Weekly laundry service during your stay
- Assistance in your projects by various African Impact staff and volunteer coordinators. Full support from African Impact and your coordinator throughout your time on your Limuru placement
The project cost excludes:
- Personal travel insurance for the duration of your placement which must include cover for repatriation
- All transport by air or bus to Nairobi
- All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
- Email/Internet and telephone calls
- Soft drinks, wines an spirits
- All visas for border crossings
- Any excursions over and above your planned itinerary in Kenya e.g. Safari in the Masai Mara, etc.
- Transportation that is not related to the project
Upon your arrival in Nairobi you will be met by an African Impact representative, who will escort you to your new 'home'. Once you have settled in, you will be briefed on the itinerary of the orientation program.
You will be orientated to the area that you will be living in, as well as be shown the areas that you will be volunteering in. In the next few days, you will visit the project sites and be introduced to the relevant projects, key people and volunteer coordinators that you will be working closely with.
You will receive relevant information about common diseases & illnesses that you will probably come into contact with (e.g. HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria etc.)
Throughout your stay at your placement you will have the support and guidance of experienced field-workers and coordinators. They are part of our greater African Impact support team, and will provide you with competent 24-hour field support and assistance.
Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on health of potential participant.