Currently, Arrive is offering volunteer placements in: (1) Uriri, Migori County, Kenya, and (2) Awaso, Maasailand, Kenya.
Arrive is dedicated to offering the best worthwhile, genuine, and cost-efficient volunteer experience in the world. The founders of Arrive believe every person is different and has different skills, and that those skills should be used in the volunteer project. Flexibility is essential when determining the best possible volunteer program for each individual volunteer. For example, soccer players can run free soccer clinics for local students and street children. Or, engineers can work on a variety of projects and even start new projects! For each special skill, there is a special volunteer project Arrive will work to create. However, most volunteers can choose a wide variety of volunteer activities that fall under one of the three pillars of volunteer work: Education, Health, and Community Development.
Education is vital to development. Arrive believes that education is critical to achieve progress. Helping in the education system directly puts the volunteer in touch with Kenya’s youth. Education is the only hope for many of these children to live a life not under the poverty line, and therefore is simply a vital part of Arrive’s volunteer programs. Education related volunteer programs include: academic (science, math, and English teaching), sports education, dance education, music education, counseling and so much more. Helping to improve the education system by being in the classroom to encourage and motivate students is invaluable.
Health is vital to survival yet is often forgone because of lack of money or accessible medication. Arrive believes in a proactive approach (where a volunteer can help teach people in the community about health hazards and how to avoid these hazards) and traditional medical help (for example, working in a medical clinic). There are many diseases in East Africa, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, ringworms, tuberculosis, and more. Luckily, most of these diseases can be completely prevented by education about the disease and proactive action, like ensuring mosquito nets for everyone. Other diseases can be cured with medication that costs under $1, but still the diseases go untreated due to lack of money. Even basic knowledge such as correct hair care can eliminate ringworms, and volunteers will help the local people with these issues. Volunteers can also work on clean water projects and other health related improvements.
Community development is essential to growth, both economic and social. By adding infrastructure that ensures clean water, for example, will greatly help the people who do not have access to clean water right now. Building homes, making roads, and other projects will enable the small rural communities to begin and sustain the growth they want. Each of these aspects is extremely important in improving the lives of local people and giving them hope and opportunity to progress in life. Volunteers can choose different programs based on what they see – Arrive encourages volunteers to help build the community in many ways.
Be sure to read the Past Volunteer Blogs and this helpful article as you deliberate on which type of volunteer experience is right for you and the local community! Feel free to ask us any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrive enthusiastically invites you to rural western Kenya to volunteer. The options and potential to help are limitless. To read blogs written by former Arrive volunteers, please click here. To see many photos of volunteers at work, please visit our Volunteer Photo Gallery. Below is a list of frequently asked questions:
Who can volunteer?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can volunteer. You can even volunteer in groups!
Will I need to learn a new language?
Most likely, no. If you are fluent in English, you will be able to communicate with most of the people in Kenya. Most Kenyans, even at a very young age, speak at least three languages: their tribal language, Swahili, and English. Most schools teach in English, and encourage students to speak it daily, because they know it is the most internationally understood language, .
Where will I be placed?
Currently, volunteers will most likely be placed at the Light Home of Hope in Uriri, Migori County, Kenya. If volunteers prefer a different location, special arrangements can be made.
What are accommodations and food like?
Accommodations have amenities meant to make the volunteer feel at home. Western-style toilets and hot showers are not common throughout western Kenya, but are available to volunteers. Food is a combination of traditional cuisine and basic American style. Meals can be made to a volunteer’s reasonable requests, but are limited by the local constraints. Volunteers stay with host families to fully embrace the culture of the region. These homes provide the volunteer with living conditions that exceed their own day-to-day standards.
Can I travel while I volunteer?
Yes, Arrive encourages travel as part of a worthwhile trip to Africa. Arrive can help organize activities in Nairobi (monkey park, Giraffe Center, and more), day trips (such as to the Lake Victoria), professional multi-day safaris to Maasai Mara, visits and extended trips to Maasai tribes, visits to other volunteer placements around Kenya, and even ascents of Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro (Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs must be booked in advance). ARRIVE works closely with Kilimanjaro Nature, a climbing company founded by expert climber Baraka Dalali. You can visit Kilimanjaro Nature at www.KilimanjaroNature.com. Arrive also works with the AME – Authentic Maasai Experience, a company founded Mr. Lenny Ole Amponi. The goal of AME is to show foreigners the true lifestyle of the famous Maasai people by having the guest live with the Maasai and take part in all aspects of the tribe’s culture.
How long do I volunteer for?
The minimum length is one week, and we do not have a maximum lengths. most volunteers stay a minimum of two week.
How will people contact me?
When a volunteer arrives in Kenya, one option is to buy a Safaricom mobile phone. These cost about $20 U.S.D., plus an additional $10 U.S.D. per week for credits. From this phone, you can make calls and receive international calls as well. There are internet cafes in nearby cities, but if you bring a laptop you can also receive WiFi at our home in Uriri. However, a laptop is not necessary
What is a volunteer’s typical day?
On a weekday, a volunteer will wake up between 8:00AM and 9:00AM The volunteer will eat breakfast then go to his or her placement (medical clinic, school, etc), where they will work in the morning, take lunch, and continue in the afternoon until 3:00PM or 4:00PM. Upon arriving home, a volunteer may have free time, or the volunteer will need to complete chores such as washing clothes, tending to livestock, cooking, etc. Dinner is taken in late evening and anytime after dinner before bed is free time for the volunteer. Weekends are left up to the volunteer. Some weekends are spent relaxing and traveling while others are spent doing certain chores (retrieving drinking water, visiting the market, etc).
Can I extend my volunteer stay in Kenya?
It is very easy for volunteers to extend their stay if they wish. All arrangements can be done in Kenya. Volunteers will pay the same weekly cost, but volunteers will be responsible for changing their flights and extending travel insurance.
What if I don’t like my volunteer program?
The management of Arrive in Kenya will determine the most opportune volunteer placement for each individual volunteer by two factors: 1) what type of volunteer work the person plans to do, and 2) the personality of the person. If you do not like your placement, it is always possible to switch.
How much spending money will I need?
Volunteers will spend an average of $20 per week, but may want to bring more money incase they want to travel, purchase goods like a phone a souvenirs, occasionally eat out, or engage in other activities not included by Arrive.
Will I be working with other volunteers?
If other volunteers sign up with Arrive for the same time you do, then you are able to work with other volunteers. However, if you wish to work with just the native people of Kenya, that can also be arranged.
Are there volunteer group discounts?
Yes! If you come as a group of three or four volunteers, each volunteer gets a $15.00 (6.7%) discount on his or her weekly volunteer fee. If you come as a group of five or more volunteers, each volunteer gets a $25 (11%) discount on his or her weekly volunteer fee. Plus, you will pay less (per person) for extra safaris, travel, and other activities!
What about travel insurance, flights, vaccinations and visas?
Arrive in Kenya has experience when dealing with travel insurance, flight options, pre-trip vaccinations, and visas. Being there every step of the way to help each individual volunteer is included in the volunteer cost when you book a volunteer program with Arrive. When a volunteer commits to volunteering, a detailed checklist and instruction packet will be sent to him/her. Arrive requires that volunteers purchase travel insurance before their trip. Volunteers are responsible for arranging flights. Volunteers are responsible for receiving the proper vaccinations before their trip begins (volunteers will receive a list of needed vaccinations upon registration). Visas are available in advance or at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (for a surcharge of $10 USD), and are usually valid for a 3 month stay in Kenya.
How much does volunteering cost, and what exactly am I paying for?
Many volunteer organizations charge people a tremendous amount of money to volunteer. Some organizations charge up to $3,000 (U.S.D) per week! We at Arrive vow to keep our volunteer fees as low as possible. What’s more, the money volunteers pay either gets put back into the local community (for example, using the money to buy food for the volunteer to eat) or is used to support Arrive in Kenya and their volunteer programs. Arrive vows to keep the volunteer fee as low as possible because the founders realize the sacrifice volunteers make and the amazing impact they produce in Kenya. Of course, there are costs involved, but volunteers should know that most money they pay goes toward providing necessities while the volunteer is in Kenya, helping local people in need, and securing the future and continued success of Arrive. Volunteers must pay $225 per week. This includes:
- Volunteer projects – flexible programs fit to you!
- Homestay-with beds, mattresses, a western-style toilet, and hot shower
- Food – most volunteers take an active role in helping to prepare meals, and ARRIVE promises there will be more than enough food
- 24/7 support
This does NOT include:
- Travel insurance
- Pre-trip vaccinations
- Extras like safaris or outreaches
(For an extra $100 (+ $20 for every additional volunteer) fee we will meet the volunteer at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and transport the volunteer, via public bus, to Uriri. While the trip is only 200 miles, it takes approximately 6-7 hours. For a fee of $380 we will meet the volunteer at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi with a private car that will take us quicker and more safely to Uriri).
Joren, from Canada, says: Communication with Brian was very easy, he replied quickly and answered any questions and did a good job at answering questions I had not even considered…Brian helped me organize my trip and was very accommodating. For instance I was interested in volunteering with local hospitals while I was there and he easily had that arranged for me.
During my time at Arrive I really enjoyed getting to know the kids. From building staircases, to teaching at school, and working in the local hospital, my time was very well spent and enjoyed…I really enjoyed it when Brian showed us around Kisii and introduce us to some of the street kids; it was very eye opening and informative and gave a very real reason as to why we rescue these kids and where they come from. It is incredible to see the children at Arrive and realise that they were once in these streets as well; it really fuels a passion to help out by any means possible.
There are plenty of activities to do outside of helping out at Arrive like going on a safari to Hell’s Gate national park, golfing in Kisii, going on a Massaii hunt (which unfortunately did not work out for me timing wise), and even the chance to dip down into Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I really enjoyed my stay at Arrive, accommodations were spectacular; each morning I’d wake up and walk out among the banana trees, right next to the sugar cane field. There are even hot showers if you prefer, though washing down in the river is also a really cool experience. If you really want a cultural experience of Kenya outside of anything touristy, and would like to help out a good cause and gain life long friendship and experiences, then I would very highly recommend volunteering with Arrive. I made that choice a few years ago and it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I continually think of the kids there and enjoy receiving updates via social media. Ever since I left I’ve wanted to go back to Arrive and will most likely be there again in the near future.
Tali, from The Philippines, says: Volunteering with Arrive was one of the best experiences of my life. Though I only stayed for a month, it completely changed my perspective of life and the way I live it. I realized how lucky I am and as cheesy as it sounds, I now try not to waste a second of it. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of those kids, the ones that are now happy and healthy but also those that are still living on the streets, hungry, cold, helpless. I will continue to do what I can to make a difference in their lives. Everything went smoothly, from when I first learned about Arrive until I left Kenya. I flew to Kenya with one of Arrive’s board members and was picked up my Brian at the airport. I had a comfortable bed to sleep in, hot water to shower in and every meal was taken care of. I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. I learned so much from my trip, lessons I will cherish forever.
Jake, from California (USA), says: I will never be able to come up with strong enough words to describe my experience with Arrive in Kenya. They have changed the way I look at life and I am forever grateful to the entire Arrive family for opening my eyes to how much good there is in the world. Anyone who truly wants to make a difference, Arrive in Kenya will help you do just that.
Rebeca, from Costa Rica, says: One of my biggest dreams was to volunteer in Kenya with a childrens organization. My parents used to live in Kenya and when I went there to visit them, I felt in love with that country. One year ago I started looking for an organization to help, and then I found Arrive. It caught my attention, because the work they do is amazing, the stories they tell are heartbreaking but at the same time so full of hope and love. I wrote them and Brian answered me. We started communicating and building my dream at the same time, I was so excited. There where emails back and forth for almost a year.
My life has changed forever, I want to believe I’m a better person now after my visit there and I’m really thankful that you guys make my dream come true. As I wrote before, I miss the kids and my family in Uriri very much, and I hope that we will meet again soon.
Joanna, from New York (USA), says: I spent just under three months with Arrive in Kenya during the summer of 2014. My time in Kenya re-energized me and gave me a new passion and focus when I returned to the US. I developed new language skills, friendships, and a love of and appreciation for Kenyan culture. Being able to join such an active and vibrant community helped me to expand my comfort zone and contribute as much as possible to Arrive’s mission during my short stay. All of the kids – whether street kids, former street kids or local school-aged kids – were overwhelmingly kind, energetic, and loving despite the obstacles they have had to overcome at such young ages. The professionalism, flexibility, and community that Arrive creates allow volunteers to contribute to the Arrive mission and get the personal experiences that they’re looking for when they come to Kenya. That environment let my fellow volunteers and I build lasting relationships and we all want to go back as soon as possible.
Past Volunteer Blogs
Below are blogs written by current/former Arrive volunteers. Click on their name to read their blog.