Food Security & Farming

Experience rural Kenya with IVI volunteers. This unique project will allow you to assist on local farms, learning how they practice sustainable farming through both traditional and hydroponic methods. Work alongside local Kenyan farmers in the rural countryside! Tasks can include work on avocado, mango, macadamia, coffee and tea farms. You may also get the chance to help with livestock such as: cows, goats, pigs and poultry. You will learn about soil-less farming and other methods, participating in a truly authentic project in Kenya!

photos https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B7SgKrmiC0oweTVObHRlTUhYdVE

 

Program Description

Agriculture is the main economic support of Kenya, as well as the primary income source for numerous households throughout the country. Many areas in Kenya are struggling with issues of food security, so this project is designed to tackle these issues using various farming methods.

You will assist local farmers who not only need to feed their own families and earn a living, but who are also trying to share the knowledge they have gained, to keep the farming culture flourishing and running successfully.

Gatanga is village where the local people spend their days harvesting fruits, vegetables and coffee, as well as taking care of their livestock and children.

On this project you’ll get an authentic and unique view of the Kenyan countryside, by living amongst the locals and assisting villagers out on their farms.

Your daily tasks might include:

  • Cutting the grass and cleaning the areas around the farm
  • Planting, weeding, watering, picking fruits
  • Helping farmers with their livestock
  • Educating on various community needs
  • Gaining knowledge on using nutrient rich water for soil-less farming (hydroponic farming)

Get hands on and practical experience with local farmers who will teach you worthwhile new skills. This is an exciting opportunity to genuinely become immersed in a different culture and lifestyle.

Program Duration & Availability

Min duration (weeks):1

Aims & Objectives

  • Learn about local Kenyan agricultural practices
  • Assist and help the local farming community by getting hands on
  • Opportunity for community engagement and cultural immersion

Schedule

Monday to Friday

You will volunteer for around 4-6 hours per day on the farm, with a break for lunch. The tasks you will help with depend greatly upon the season and the priority of needs at the time. Activities will vary depending upon your own knowledge, skills and ability. A typical day might look like:

  • Breakfast
  • Assisting farmers on the farm/plantation
  • Lunch
  • Assisting farmers on the farm/plantation
  • Dinner

Additional Equipment/ Clothing

  • Modest clothing – long sleeves and long trousers give the best protection when working outdoors, clothing needs to cover knees and shoulders
  • Please bring work gloves, work shoes or boots, a water bottle, hat and sun protection.

Location

Gatanga Village will be your new home and allows an incredible opportunity to experience an authentic, rural Kenya. Close by is the industrial town of Thika, where you will be able to find any supplies you need. Nairobi is just over an hour away by car so can easily be visited for weekend nights out and sightseeing. You can also explore many of the natural areas nearby Gatanga, for example, Fourteen Falls, a set of powerful waterfalls.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

Your accommodation will be at our volunteer house in Gatanga Village.  All volunteers are asked to be environmentally aware and use all resources with restraint, particularly water, paper and electricity. There are occasional power and water cuts during the day (this will just add to your experience of living like a local!). The accommodation is very simple but comfortable and with all of the necessities you will need while here.

You will have all meals provided and rooms cleaned on the weekends. You will be expected to clean up after yourself and play your role in keeping the accommodation neat and tidy. The volunteer house is not far from the local Police station and a short walk to markets and shops. Please be aware that smoking is not accepted in public areas or even within the sight of local children and officials. Please refrain from smoking in these public places. The local dress is quite conservative. Small shorts, miniskirts and sleeveless tops are not considered appropriate to wear in the village. Women in particular should cover shoulders and knees.

*Please be advised that in the event of an excess number of volunteers, we may use other accommodation houses in the area that will meet a similar standard to the main accommodation.

Available Room Types

Standard Room
All meals includedYes *
Free beveragesYes **
Persons per room2-4
Wifi in public areasYes
Laundry facilitiesYes ***
Safety boxNo
Lockable roomsYes
Hot showerYes
Private bathroomNo
Bed linenYes
TowelsNo

*   3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
**  Drinking Water is provided
*** Limited – expect to hand wash or pay for launder services

Food Arrangements

Your daily meals will consist of mainly Kenyan cuisine, which will be of vegetables, potatoes, eggs, bread, pancakes (commonly known as “chapati”) and fruits such as oranges, bananas and avocados.

Facilities

Thika town is located a 30-minute drive away from the volunteer house and is packed with supermarkets, shops, ATMs, local markets and good restaurants. You have a choice of local transport available in Thika, such as bicycle and motorbike taxis, van taxis and buses. The local minibuses called “matatus” are very tightly packed but a great way to experience local culture. They can be found near the local market during the day and can drop you off in Thika town. The bus station in Thika is the base for many tour companies, departing on tours and day trips to various parts of Kenya.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On your first Monday in Gatanga, you will join our orientation day. This is an important day to help you become familiar with your surroundings, as well as learning about the local customs. Your program will continue like usual from Tuesday and throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule

  • Introduction meeting, General/ house rules, Setting Expectations, Advice on Health and Safety and handling of documents.
  • Kenyan Do’s and Don’ts, Introduction to Kenyan culture & history and Swahili Language Lessons.
  • You will be shown around the house, local area and where you can find nearby shops. This is where you can buy a local SIM card if required.
  • Lunch
  • Tour to a Coffee Factory
  • Hike to a local Waterfall

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the project.

Sights & Surroundings

During your free time, there are many places to explore in the surrounding areas. For example, you can visit the Fourteen Falls in Thika, go trekking up to Mount Kenya (a stunning snow-capped peak), visit the gorgeous Mombasa beach or head out on a weekend of sightseeing in Nakuru or Nairobi and explore the national parks.

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