Career break volunteer with business and commercial skills needed in Kenya
A career break volunteer opportunity exists for volunteers with commercial skills to lend their experience and knowledge to a broad range of community based projects that would welcome your support.
Watamu is a creative and ambitious east African coastal town, blessed with beautiful natural landscapes, a protected marine park and a small tourist trade. A number of local entrepreneurs, community groups and conservationists work on projects that seek to capitalise on these opportunities, developing projects that provide alternative and sustainable income sources for the local people, and/or protect the environment.
Initiatives include small scale production of virgin coconut oil, natural soap products, arts & crafts, honey production, recycling initiatives (including building houses from bottles), to dolphin and whale research and conservation, and conservation of the mangroves.
All of the projects coordinate through an umbrella association in Watamu that lends support where it can. But what this small community lacks is professional skills and technical knowledge, whether of book-keeping, marketing, social media or production. Together these small enterprises present an engaging volunteer placement opportunity for a career breaker who wants to adopt a different lifestyle and apply their skills to grass roots projects that would feel the benefit from a skills transfer.
Marketing, social media, accounting, creative, production or distribution skills could be a bonus to numerous projects. For example, a number of community projects would love to develop a social media strategy. Could you help develop one for them? Could you train a local to take this over after you leave? Could you even get this role funded by partnering with hotels and enterprises who would share in their skills? Could you create the most valuable type of legacy behind?
Do you have accounting skills that you could transfer to small community organisations – helping them understand the basics and getting them set up with a firm footing for the future?
Do you have specialist knowledge of how to build distribution channels for small producers, which would enable them to reach international markets?
This is a highly dynamic career break volunteer opportunity that requires a self-starter volunteer to approach this community with an open mind and create a role that will make the biggest difference. We will support you with all the introductions to make things happen, but the nature of your role will depend on your skills and ability to act entrepreneurially in a very different culture.
The role of a career break volunteer will vary greatly based on their commercial skills, experience, interests and flexibility.
You will initially need to meet and participate in as many projects as possible. You need to understand what they do, the limitations they face, their challenges and the opportunities. Only then can you create a plan on how to optimize the use of your time.
It is likely that you will be involved with multiple projects, as they are all small grass roots projects that need injections of support.
You are looking to transfer knowledge wherever possible, so training people will be a key part of what you do, whether on basic marketing principles, IT or accounting. The focus
This is a rare opportunity to make a lasting difference to multiple projects. Helping increase knowledge of how businesses work, transferring valuable commercial skills and perhaps even creating jobs and increasing incomes, could be the best legacy any volunteer could leave.
Read Lynn's account of her volunteer adventure in Kenya. A retired senior accountant by trade, Lynn took her passion and finance skills to Kenya where she helped train book-keeping skills to local enterprises
This is not a holiday! It’s an adventure, a learning experience and for me a once in a lifetime opportunity. If given the chance I would go back and do it all again, Student, Kenya