Supporting an orphanage school in Nairobi

Kenya (K21) | View map
PRICE FROM
£187 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months
MINIMUM DURATION
1 month

Volunteer to give teaching assistance and recreational programs in this successful orphanage school

  • Volunteer to help teach in this vibrant and energetic orhpanage school
  • Volunteers support teachers and lead sports and recreation activities
  • Get involved in all aspects of running this popular school for the poorest of children
  • Make this a meaningful part of your African adventure
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Project summary

A busy, colourful and industrious project, the success and culture of this orphanage school reflects the strength, determination and vision of the founder Regina.

Their mission is to be “Committed to building children Spiritually, Physically, Academically & Socially”

The orphanage school had a very humble beginning, starting in 2007 as a pre-school for 16 children. It remains a low income project with no public funding, surviving only from donations, but the resourcefulness and management skills of Regina means this is now a successful school providing 460 children with education, 96 of whom are resident.

The quoted aspiration is that this continuing success will one day result in the opening of the first slum University in Nairobi, and given the current success this looks quite possible.

The premises are well maintained and the school has a small library and even a computer room with 6 PCs. The age group is 7-18, mixed boys and girls, working in 13 different classes, supported by 14 teachers.

Volunteers do not typically lead classes, but are used to supplement the local teaching staff and offer the children more individual time and support with their work. The biggest requirement of volunteers is to help run extra-curricular activities, whether that is sports, drama, arts & crafts, music, games, as well as providing the resident children with homework support.

This is suitable for those wanting to volunteer abroad as part of a gap year, or volunteers with ambition or experience of working with children and teaching who want to experience working in Kenya.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Volunteers offer teaching support to both primary and secondary school children, according to their experience and ambitions and as agreed with the head teacher. Volunteers will have the support of local staff to help them make the best contribution, in the areas needing their help the most.

The local staff do not have the capacity to provide extra-curricular activities, ones that stimulate the minds and tease out the talents of the children. Volunteers are therefore encouraged to lead sports and recreational activities, including sports, arts, music, dance, games, as well as homework clubs for the resident children. You will have the full backing of Regina, so it is an opportunity for you to develop workshops or classes in activities that make the best of your own talents.

As a developing project, there are always other activities to get involved with in running the orphanage, whether helping with cleaning and cooking, minor maintenance projects, or helping with the administration and fundraising if you have experience you can bring to bear.

How you can make a difference

The resource limits of the orphanage mean the children are offered a reasonable education but with no cultural or sporting opportunities outside of those the volunteers provide. Creativity is missing from the usual curriculum.

In addition to teaching support, volunteers running recreational activities therefore bring an added dimension to the school lives of these children, stimulating interests that so many children in more developed countries take for granted. You will help discover new talents in them, as well as yourself.

What is distinctive about this project:

This project is a real success story. It gives volunteers a perspective of a developing slum school in central Nairobi, showing how vision and resourcefulness can make a real difference in even the most challenging circumstances. Working with the inspiring Regina, you will have the ability to tailor your experience to make the biggest impact in a structured and ambitious environment, while helping the most needy children of urban Nairobi.

Blue Tiger Features:

This is a unique orphanage school; an island of colour, ambition and hope in one of the poorest parts of town. The children and staff work in basic and simple conditions, but do so with a determination that undeniably brings results. Volunteers are able to contribute to this success, broadening the spectrum of activities and talents to be mastered.

Volunteers should not mistake this hive of activity as lacking a need for them. Volunteers need to be focused on making a difference and be able to work autonomously on programmes that they create under the direction of Regina.

Season:

The school closes April, Aug and Dec but they still have the 100 live-in children for this period.

Languages:

English is prevalent, but learning basic Swahili will be a help and a courtesy.

Experience required:

Teaching experience is not required as you will primarily be assisting the local teachers. Prepare plenty of ideas for extra-curricular activities. You do not need to be an expert at drama, sport or arts. You will be filling in a vacuum and it is likely your modest efforts, based on your home-country experience, will delight them and surprise yourself.

Good to know:

The school location is in a poor area of town and this should heighten a general awareness for personal security. Volunteers will live in the family home of Beatrice, our local Outreach International coordinator who lives in the affluent Karen district of Nairobi.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks20 weeks6 months
£1,250£1,750£2,250£2,750£3,250£3,750

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations
NOTE: Lessons in Swahili can be arranged at an extra cost.

Things to see and do

  • Go safari
  • Mount Kenya
  • Elephant Orphanage
  • Giraffe Sanctuary
Beatrice Waweru

Country co-ordinator

Beatrice Waweru

Beatrice has a BA in Library and Information Science from Makerere University in Kenya. She has spent much of her career setting up libraries and information centres for various institutes. She is currently studying Counselling and Psychology at Amani University and has been involved in the welfare of children at several orphanages in Nairobi. Beatrice joined our team in 2011. She lives in Nairobi with her husband and three children and uses her family homes to accommodate volunteers in Nairobi.

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