Visiting Volunteers, Jambo!

Jambo! Thank you very much for your interest in becoming a visiting volunteer with Rise Up Society. We believe volunteers are a vital part of achieving our goals for Kenya and our visiting volunteers play key roles in a number of areas, such as:

  • Building
  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Language practice
  • Art Projects at schools
  • Teaching
  • Removing jiggers

Rise Up Society hopes that your volunteer experience with us will be a rewarding one. The following information will give you details about the roles and responsibilities of a visiting volunteer. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. And again, welcome and thank you because we could not do what we do without our supporters and volunteers!

Volunteering hours expected 4 - 7 hours daily on weekdays.

We try to keep things on schedule, but this is Kenya and sometimes plans change. Please be flexible when it comes to timing, length of drive, duration of how long we are in the field, or roles assigned. We do our best to follow the plan, but please come willing to be flexible and willing to help wherever you are needed.

Health Requirements

Before arriving in Kenya, make sure you have adequate medical insurance that covers emergency hospital treatment for medical and accidental risks and medical evacuation and repatriation costs.

We ask that you provide Rise Up Society with insurance details, emergency contact details and any medical issues that we need to be aware of.

You must bring all essential medication with you and bring sufficient supplies for the duration of your stay.

It is not uncommon for people to have a bout of diarrhea in the first few days in Kenya. We advise you to bring an anti-diarrhea medication with you. There are many diseases in Kenya, including Malaria and Typhoid, so it is essential you meet with your doctor before you leave, to arrange vaccinations.

All vaccinations must be taken at least 2 weeks before arrival. This allows your immunity levels to accept and adapt to the vaccinations, so please do not leave them to the last minute.

The following inoculations are mandatory requirements and must be must be up to date:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis A and B (up to date)
  • Meningitis
  • Typhoid (up to date)
  • Measles, mumps and rubella(up to date)

Malaria is very prevalent and is a high risk in Kenya. Prophylactic medications are recommended. Please check with your doctor to make sure that you are taking the most suitable malaria preventative treatment. It is essential that you have up to date medical advice. The most effective prevention for malaria is taking your prophylaxis without fail, wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks to keep skin covered and using insect repellent at all times.

Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (where you may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats.

Arrival

If you have already obtained your Visa before you arrive in Kenya, entry into the airport to collect your bags is fairly simple. If you obtain your Visa on arrival into Kenya, you will need £30.00 or $49.26USD to pay at the immigration desk. You will be asked to show your passport along with the cash and wait for your passport to be stamped. If you are asked for the purpose of your trip to Kenya, you may simply reply that you are a tourist. You will then be handed a receipt, your passport will be handed back to you and you will then be free to enter Kenya.

Departure

On departure from Kenya there are no departure taxes, so simply make sure you have everything you need to take home, including the memories of making new friends and helping to make a difference in the world.

Money

The local currency is Kenyan Shillings which can be difficult to obtain outside of Kenya. There are cash dispensing facilities at the airport and you will have an opportunity to withdraw cash locally. Please be sure that you bring sufficient money and access to money with you for your stay. Please do not put Rise Up Society management and staff in a difficult situation by asking to borrow money. All requests to borrow money will be refused.

Rise Up Society is not responsible for any cost or expense related to your trip including, but not limited to, flights, visa, insurance, vaccinations, accommodations, or meals.

Clothing

These should be practical and easy to wash and dry (just in case).

There are lots of biting insects in Kenya, especially in the evenings, so we recommend that you wear long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, long pants, long socks and insect repellent.

Because you will be in rural Kenya, you will not find that women dress modestly. We suggest that ladies do not wear low cut dresses or tops, strapless or spaghetti strap dresses or tops. Also, ladies may want to be sure that dresses or skirts are at least knee length to adhere to local cultural modesty.

If you are going to the field to dig jiggers, you will want to wear lightweight long pants and long sleeve shirts or T-shirts.

We also recommend that you bring a hat to shade you from the sun, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Sandals are appropriate, but for digging jiggers you may want to wear tennis shoes or walking boots or any comfortable closed-toe shoes.

If you wear glasses, it is a good idea to bring a spare pair, just in case you lose one pair.

Although it is a tropical climate, nights can get chilly, so we recommend that you bring a jacket, sweater or sweatshirt.

It is advisable to leave all jewelry at home

Personal Belongings

Unfortunately thefts can occur anywhere, so you should take care of your personal belongings and do not leave things unattended. Make sure that your room is locked when you are not there. Some accommodations have safes in the room.

Rise Up Society is not responsible for loss or theft of visiting volunteer personal property.

Communication

Communication in Kenya is generally good, and there are some areas in town with Wi-Fi. You will be able to use your mobile phone in Kenya, but you might want to arrange an international plan with you cellular carrier before you arrive because international roaming fees can be very expensive. If your carrier does not have an international plan or a temporary international plan, you may be able to purchase a Kenyan SIM card.

Safety and Security

If you are in town, you need to be very aware of your personal. To help ensure that your trip is without incident, we suggest:

  • Never go out without letting someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • If you go out to socialize, do not go out alone. Volunteers do so at their own risk. Rise Up Society cannot be held responsible.
  • Do not get into any taxi alone, especially at night.
  • While in public, you will need to keep all money and expensive items such as cell phones, laptops, iPods cameras etc. out of sight.
  • Wherever you travel in Kenya you must take your passport with you. The police sometimes stop and search for no reason and if you do not have it with you, you will be liable to a fine. Rise Up Society cannot be held responsible for such fines

Expectation of Visiting Volunteer Behavior

Visiting Volunteers must respect the rights, dignity, culture and religion of communities where they are assisting.

  • It is very important that both Rise Up Society staff and visiting volunteers maintain professional relationships. Visiting volunteers must maintain appropriate boundaries with staff, villagers and security guards. It is incredibly disruptive for workers, volunteers and the program if relationships are anything but professional.
  • Volunteers are not allowed to drink alcohol during working hours.
  • Volunteers who are under the influence of drugs at any time of the day or night will be asked to leave immediately. Using, buying or distributing illegal drugs (including marijuana) or any other controlled substances is illegal and is strictly prohibited and any such activity will result in immediate dismissal of the visiting volunteer.
  • Visiting volunteers are discouraged from smoking while working with Rise Up Society, but those volunteers who must smoke are to be shown designated smoking areas by a Rise Up Society employee. Employees will remind volunteers to dispose of matches and cigarettes carefully, particularly in the dry season.
  • Rise Up Society will not be involved in making travel arrangements. It will be the responsibility of the visiting volunteer to arrange for flights, taxis, busses, and hotel accommodations. However, any transportation to and from Rise Up Society field projects will be arranged by or provided by Rise Up Society.
  • Rise Up Society will not be able to assist if any local laws are broken by a visiting volunteer.

For more information chat with us or leave us a message.