African Orphanage
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FAQ's - For volunteers

 
Where is African Orphanage?

African Orphanage located in a rural village of ithanga, 95km from Nairobi towards Mount Kenya.

 
Which Airport would I land?

Your flight will land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi Kenya, East Africa. You will be welcomed at the airport by African Orphanage staff. If it is too late (after 5:00pm) to travel to African Orphanage center, overnight accommodations will be arranged in Nairobi. Early the next day you will be driven to Mithini. This will take about 2 hours.

 

Where would I be living?

You will be staying in mithini at the orphanage compound with children, staff and other volunteers. This will afford you the opportunity to get to know the Kenyan culture quite closely as well as the cultures of the other volunteers that may be serving at the same time you stay.

 

Am I required to pay for the program?

Yes! Volunteers are required to commit a fee that caters for expenses of their meals, housing and support for our community projects. This is payable online or in cash upon arrival in Kenya or you can wire the money directly to our bank account. Kindly inquire directly about the volunteer program costs.

 
What types of food will I be eating?

Food- A large variety of foods will be available. These include chapattis (delicious burrito like bread), Ugali (a white corn stiff porridge a staple), Githeri (beans and maize), and a range of East Africa vegetables and fruits (mango, pineapple, bananas and more). Chai (African Tea will be plenty). Delicious nyama choma (roast beef or mutton) is also available at nearby towns of kenol and Thika.

 

Can I drink the water?

The water used by the orphanage is natural from a borehole and is very clean and safe to consume. Bottled water is also available at nearby shopping center.

 
Is the orphanage safe?

Yes, Mithini is generally safe; however volunteers are advised to be accompanied by a member of staff if they have to be out after nightfall.
Nairobi, like other big cities is less safe and it is advised not to be at night alone. Take care with your money and belongings. The orphanage has company trained guards.

 
What work will I be doing?

The type of work you are involved with will be dependent on your interests, abilities, level of experience as well as your comfort levels.
One of the advantages of the African Orphanage program is that you are not limited to one job role and will have the opportunity to ‘sample’ other roles during your placement. To become involved in another project simply inform a member of staff who will happily make any necessary arrangements.  We offer flexible work schedule where you can split your time between working on our projects and exploring other parts of Kenya.

 

Is there electricity, should I bring my cell phone/laptop?

The orphanage is powered by solar and has power converters, so you are able to charge electrical items, such as phones, laptop, cameras, rechargeable batteries, etc.

 
Do I need a visa, where do I get one at?

Yes you will need a visa. We recommend volunteers to get visitors’ visas to come to the orphanage. This normally is a 3 months renewable VISA. This is pretty simple to get at the airport in Nairobi with your passport. It currently costs $50.00.

 
Airport Transfers and Orientation

Upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (airport code: NBO) in Nairobi, you will proceed through immigration and customs officials. One of our friendly staff will be waiting for you inside international arrivals’ hall. Look for a sign with your name on it. Beware of other people pursuing to sell you a ride.

 

How long will I be staying?

You can volunteer for as little as one week and still get rewarding experience, but you can also stay for a maximum of three months in one project.

 

What language is spoken in Kenya?

Kiswahili and English are the major languages spoken, most Kenyans speak at least some English.

 

How many volunteers are at the African Orphanage at one time?

This is difficult to answer, it depends on the situation. In the past we have had between 1 and 10 volunteers at one time.

 
What is the weather like in Mithini?

The weather in Mithini is usually pleasant and sunny. We (Africans) tend to think its cold when it gets below 65 f. Night temperatures can go to 50 F. The rainy season is march and October.

 

What types of clothes/items should I bring?

Dress is casual, women wear pants or capris (shorts are not usually worn). Sneakers and flip flops are a must. A light jacket and long and short sleeve T shirts are needed. Pack light you can get your laundry done here inexpensively. Female volunteers limit the wear of bikini tops, halter necks, midriff tops and short skirts. However we also advice that male volunteers wear a shirt/singlet (i.e. not topless) and wear knee length shorts.
A hat to protect you from the sun and sunglasses & sunscreen would help.

 

What do I do if I have a medical emergency?

In case of illness or any emergency, we have a contact of local doctor who has a clinic at mithini.
Medicines are readily available at pharmacies in Thika however it is advisable that volunteers bring their own first aid kit
It is recommended you have travellers’ health insurance when you leave your country. We suggest purchasing on-line www.TripTithe.com

 

Which vaccinations do I require?

With regard to vaccinations, volunteers require the following prior to travel to Kenya:
• Yellow Fever
• Diphtheria
• Polio
• Tetanus
• Typhoid
• Hepatitis
A listing of recommended vaccines can be located on the website www. kenya.gov
Volunteers will also require anti-malaria medication.

 
 

P.O. Box 36899-00200, Nairobi, Kenya. Email: info@volunteerafricanorphanage.org Tel/Fax: +254 713 147310