Thank you for your interest in Volunteering with Springs of Hope Foundation
Project: Kijiji Mission, Nakuru, Kenya (Google-Maps)
If you are interested in volunteering please read all of the following information carefully. It should answer most of your questions but please do not hesitate to contact us for more information!
Booking your stay
All volunteers are welcome to stay in a room that we have on-site. However, we have a limited number of spaces available for volunteers and many more requests than we can accommodate. In fairness to the other potential volunteers please confirm your dates as far ahead as possible and notify us immediately if your travel plans change.
We have accommodations for volunteers. All rooms are comfortable with electricity, hot showers and a European toilet. Depending on the number of volunteers, you may be sharing accommodation.
We request that you make a donation of at least $70.00 US Dollars per week, per person ($10.00 a day).
All are welcome to come and volunteer, however almost all of our volunteers hold a fundraiser among friends and family, at work, church, etc prior to visiting us. Your donation is to cover our costs for food, board, water and electricity etc. As we rely 100% on donations to run the vocational training center, your donations are also a critical means of support for our very important work.
Your donation includes accommodation and 3 meals per day (Kenyan style). Eating out is at an extra cost to you.
Please reconfirm and make final payment for your accommodation at least two weeks prior to your arrival.
Please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months. If it expires in less than 6 months you will be turned away at the airport.
You will need a Kenyan visitor’s visa which is valid for 3 months. You have 2 options:
The benefit of having your visa before you arrive is no waiting in line to get one which can sometimes take up to 1 hour.
Plus they will only accept US dollars or EURO, no credit cards or Kenyan currency.
Once you arrive in Kenya you will need to advise immigration what the purpose of your visit is. DO NOT make note that you are working but just advise that you are on holiday 'visiting' as you require a work visa if you intend to work in Kenya.
The address of our home for you to note down when you are applying for the visa is: Kijiji Mission, Milimani Neighborhood, Nakuru.
Arrival by Airplane
The airport you need to fly into is 'Nairobi Kenyatta International Airport' – NBO.
Please avoid arriving into Nairobi on a Friday or Saturday as it is absolute CHAOS on those days and arranging a pick up will be close to impossible. It is recommended that you allow us to arrange airport pick up prior to arrival.
A taxi from Nairobi to Nakuru costs approximately U.S. $80.00 (Kenyan Shillings 8,000). Nakuru is approximately a three hour drive from Nairobi. With enough advance notice we can help you to arrange taxi pick up at the airport, transportation to the hostel in Nairobi if you arrive at night and transportation to Nakuru.
Please note, we suggest you fly into Nairobi in DAYLIGHT or you will need to stay overnight in Nairobi and pay for a hotel as it is not safe to travel at night. The only exception is if your flight is arriving after midnight as some airlines offer. Around 2 AM is the best time to arrive if you wish to travel directly to Nakuru by private taxi as there is very little traffic on the roads. Some volunteers choose to catch public transportation from downtown Nairobi to Nakuru. I can provide additional information if you choose this option.
Sometimes volunteers can get permission to take extra luggage by contacting the airline that you have booked with. All you have to do is phone the airline and say that you are going to Kijiji Mission to do volunteer work and that you need extra luggage to donate used laptops, children's clothing, shoes, school supplies etc and then get written permission from them. (not all airlines co-operate).
Make sure you keep it with your passport and airline ticket so you have proof of permission. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com for a list of what we are most in need of at the moment.
Immunization is entirely up to the individual. Most doctors will recommend Malaria, Yellow Fever and a few others. Contact your GP regarding the current Health Department recommendations.
These should include:
NO SMOKING, ALCOHOL, DRUGS OR ABUSIVE LANGUAGE WILL BE ALLOWED WHILE IN THE PRESENCE OF CHILDREN OR STAFF.
People are always writing to me asking what they can expect a day to be like and it is hard to say as it varies so much.
You might have additional ideas… We are looking forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration with you.
Cash & Currency Exchange
I suggest you bring just a small amount of US dollars for when you first arrive (perhaps $200 in $10.00 notes) you might need some of that cash in order to pay for your visa.
If your local bank has enough prior notice they should be able to arrange to have Kenyan Shillings available for you.
The only money you can convert easily is US dollars so don't bring any other money hoping the banks will convert it, they may but they will probably say no.
Credit / Debit Cards
I personally carry two ATM cards from two different accounts at my overseas bank.
It’s always a good backup to withdraw approximately 40,000 Kenyan Shillings when you first arrive at the airport. This way your bank will know that you have arrived in a new country and you will have some cash for food, taxis, etc.
[Even though I notify my bank in advance that I will be traveling in Africa, they always want to “protect my security” by cutting off access to my money until I contact them via email and prove my identity. I bank with a small bank in the US that can be reached by email if I have a problem or Skype if I’m really having a problem with ATM withdrawals.
I recommend that you make sure your bank clearly understands that you will be making withdrawals in the countries you will be visiting. I’ve also had my ATM card “stuck” in the ATM machine on a Friday evening, which makes it very inconvenient when heading out on a safari for a few days.]
So, the bottom line is….If you can, bring at least two ATM cards.
Travellers Checks cannot be cashed in
Do not bring travelers checks as you will not be able to cash them.
Nakuru is becoming a very cosmopolitan town. I wouldn’t worry about having access to our basic Western needs. Good quality, over the counter toiletries and medication are readily available at large grocery chain stores and reputable pharmacies in town.
I suggest you bring a pair of runners in case you like walking or running. Flip Flops/Crocs and maybe a pair of sandals.
There is no need to pack too many clothes as you end up wearing the same thing most of the time.
We are on the Equator, which is often misleading. We are at approximately 8,000 ft altitude. Early mornings and after sunset can be very chilly. Please bring warm clothing for mornings and evenings. I also recommend that you bring 2 casual/dressy outfits, i.e. skirt and modest top, or dress in case you wish to come to church or are invited to other cultural functions. Bring a waterproof jacket and a flashlight (I never leave home without one)
You do NOT need to bring mosquito nets or bedding.
Once in Kenya, do not worry, you can be contacted! There are cyber cafes in Nakuru that are VERY cheap. I personally bring my laptop with me and purchase a prepaid Safaricom USB dongle. I like the convenience of having very cheap access to the internet and the ability to work on my laptop wherever I am while traveling within country.
If you have a tri band phone that will work in Europe/UK then it will work here in Kenya (as long as it is not locked to a provider) you can bring your phone and buy an African sim card once here. These are approximately $2 to purchase. You can text and receive texts very cheaply and I find this is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. They can call you and you can call them but this is usually very expensive.
If you have 3G on your phone you will be able to connect to internet if you get a safaricom SIM card.
I strongly urge you to take time out during your time with us to visit some of the amazing game parks in our beautiful part of the world. If you book your safari in Nakuru after your arrival it will cost a fraction of what you will be expected to pay through an overseas travel agency. I have a couple of local, reputable travel agencies that I am more than happy to recommend. I also have several that I am certainly NOT happy to recommend.