Arrive in Nairobi any time and make your way to the joining point hotel. Upon arrival look for information on your trip on the hotel bulletin board regarding the meeting time and briefing to be held on day two. Take today to wander the streets of central Nairobi, taking in old colonial architecture and the brightly coloured crowds to get a feel for Africa. The city’s best attraction is the National Museum, home to most of the great prehistoric finds made by the Leakey family in East Africa, from Ethiopia to the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It also has sections on wildlife, art, geology, local history and a snake park. West of the city, the suburb of Karen is named after Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa”. Her house is now the Karen Blixen Museum, complete with a garden and tea house, it tells the history of the famous author. Also in Karen is the African Butterfly Research Institute , a large magical greenhouse alive with native butterflies. South of Nairobi, in Langata, are a number of the city's best attractions. At the Giraffe Centre, you'll have the option of hand-feeding the rare Rothschild giraffes, plus embarking upon a nature walk with 160 species of bird. The Sheldrick Animal Orphanage cares for young, orphaned elephants. The Bomas of Kenya is a living open-air museum of the tribes of Kenya, including regular dance performances. The Nairobi National Park is just south of the city, and covers 114 sq km. It has over 400 bird species of and populations lions, leopards, and one of the country’s few thriving populations of black rhino. The name Nairobi is derived from the Masai word for cool waters, which the Masai people gave to a water hole known as Ewaso Nyirobi. In modern times, the sprawling, cosmopolitan city of Nairobi combines the first-world glamour of reflecting-glass skyscraper buildings with abject developing-world poverty. It originated in 1899 from a handful of shacks that marked the end of the railhead during the building of the Uganda railway. Due to big game hunting bringing tourists from Britain, the city expanded dramatically in the early 1900’s. A large number of British nationals settled in the area, prompting more growth and this angered both the Masai and Kikuyu people, as they were losing hunting ground due to the expansion of the city limits. The friction increased and, eventually led to the Mau Mau uprising, which saw Jomo Kenyatta, the future president jailed. Kenya was granted independence from Britain in 1963, with Nairobi as the capital. Apart from being Kenya’s capital and the main centre of government and commerce, Nairobi is the most significant city in East Africa and an important player on the pan-African stage. It is the diplomatic base for many counties in Africa, with its broad spectrum of international embassies and headquarters for the United Nations, multi-national companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and press correspondents. It’s also the center of the growing safari business of East Africa.
On Monday morning, you will be picked up from the Hotel Boulevard at approximately 7:00am and be transferred to to Limuru (approximately one hour). We have partnered with African Impact, an African-based facilitator of volunteer projects, as a way to provide travellers with an opportunity to give back and have a true cultural experience while helping out local communities at the same time. Here you will have your orientation of the projects over a cup of tea or coffee with your coordinators and have the opportunity to chat through the activities and confirm your timetable for the rest of the week. You will then spend the remainder of day at one of the projects helping out with current tasks.
For the next 4 days we have the opportunity to make a difference and experience life in the outskirts of Nairobi, where lives have been dramatically impacted by poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS. Volunteers get involved in various community projects namely Limuru children centre, mukeu special unit school and In His Image baby rescue centre. As the volunteers time is relatively short we initially place them in one focal project to ensure as much continuity and consistency as is possible and then have optional projects for day 6 and 7. There are over a million orphans in Kenya mainly due to AIDS, from which only 5% get any kind of support. There is a huge need for assistance in orphanages and childrens homes. We will visit an orphanage in Limuru, home to children that come from different backgrounds and that have been affected by disability, abuse, poverty or illness. These children are in desperate need of love and attention. Many of them are developmentally delayed and need extra attention in order to promote their development. The orphanage offers opportunities for us to become involved in daily activities including helping with teaching and organizing activities to promote the well being of the children. Another important role for volunteers is to assist the caregivers in their daily task of maintaining the home and cooking food while the children are at school. We may also be needed to do practical work, such as painting or building, in order to improve the orphanage and making it a better home for the children. No experience necessary.
On Saturday morning you have an opportunity to help out at ANGELS which is a baby rescue centre which is particularly understaffed on a Saturday. And with 8 babies the caregiver are desperate for an extra pair of hands. After lunch you will be transferred back to either downtown Nairobi or the airport to catch your departing flight.