Arrive enthusiastically invites you to rural western Kenya to volunteer. The options and potential to help are limitless. Make sure to view our Volunteer Photo Gallery and Accommodations 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. Latrines and hot showers 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 in the volunteer house to fully embrace the culture of the region. These accommodations provide the volunteer with living conditions that exceed their own day-to-day standards.
Can I travel while I volunteer?
Yes, Arrive encourages responsible 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. Check out the many excursions and safaris that Arrive offers by visiting our Excursions Page.
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 weeks.
How will people contact me?
You will be able to connect to our WiFi when staying with us using your phone, laptop, tablet, or other device. Another 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 (or your own phone with a Safaricom SIM card), you can make calls and receive international calls as well.
What is a volunteer’s typical day?
Everyday is different, and it looks different for each volunteer. For example, you could do the following activities (and much, much more) each day: Morning: - Wake up between 7:00AM and 9:00AM - Go for a run or hike around the beautiful hills and farms - Eat breakfast - Go to a placement (medical clinic, school, etc.) Afternoon: - Hang out with the kids during their lunch/recess - Have lunch - Go into surrounding towns - Help with making lunch or other chores (washing clothes, tending to livestock, etc.) - Work on individual project Evening: - Sunset hike up our mountain for a beautiful end-of-day view - Visit the local market - Have dinner (with other volunteers or the kids) - Help the kids with homework - Play legos, color, make bracelets, watch a movie, make a campfire, and so so much more! Weekends: Up to you! 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 (link in the additional volunteer material Arrive will send you by email) or at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport upon arrival, and are valid for a 30 days - 3 month stay in Kenya (depending on the visa type).
How do i get to uriri?
The two options are: fly into Nairobi JKIA (NBO) and take a bus ($15) or taxi ($300) to Arrive (9-10 hours), or connect in Nairobi JKIA and fly into Kisumu (KIS) and take a bus ($6) or taxi ($110) to Arrive (3 hours). If you would like an Arrive representative to meet you at the airport and/or organize private transportation at an additional fee, please contact us for details.
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, hot shower, WiFi.
Food – three meals per day. Most volunteers take an active role in helping to prepare meals, and ARRIVE promises there will be more than enough food
This does NOT include:
Travel insurance, Flights, Pre-trip vaccinations, alcohol, excursions.
(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).
How can I contact Arrive for more information?
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.
Past Volunteer Blogs
Below are blogs written by former Arrive volunteers. Click on their name to read their blog.