Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: RURAL MEDICAL CENTRE
LOCATION: GATANGA VILLAGE, KENYA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 18+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: MEDICAL BACKGROUND, MEDICAL STUDENT OR RELATED DISCIPLINE
PROJECT COSTS: From US$325 P/WEEK + APPLICATION FEE
There are some government-owned health care centres and hospitals in the smaller villages but unfortunately, they are often understaffed, with limited equipment and facilities.
Your role will be to shadow and work alongside the local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. Depending on the needs at the time, you will be placed at either a district hospital or a small health care centre. The tasks you will be given will greatly depend on your prior experience, skills and ability.
Gatanga Village, located about 1.5 hours by car from Nairobi is your new home while on this placement.This is a quiet village setting which is very safe and accommodating. You’ll find the locals will welcome you with open arms. Here, you will have an incredible opportunity to experience the authentic, rural Kenya. Thika town is located only 20-30 minutes drive away and here there are many restaurants, banks, supermarkets etc. In this region you’ll also find the famous Fourteen Falls, a powerful set of waterfalls and stunning natural beauty.
- Gain valuable work experience shadowing professionals
- Exchange knowledge and work practices with Kenyan nurses and doctors
- Interact with the local community through service-based communications
Food & Accommodation
Your new home will be at the volunteer guest in Gatanga Village, Kenya. The accommodation is very simple but comfortable and with all the necessities such as lockable rooms, bed linen, hot shower, western style toilets, fresh clean drinking water, laundry facilities (at a small fee) and WiFI in common areas. (Although most volunteers will purchase a pre-paid SIM at Nairobi to use with their personal device. The rooms sleep between 2-4 persons per room with a shared bathroom.
Daily meals consist of mainly Kenyan cuisine, which includes vegetables, potatoes, eggs, bread, pancakes (commonly known as ‘chapati’ and fruits such as avocado, organge & banana. Traditional kenyan meals are often based on corn, potatoes and beans. A staple and popular dish is Ugali, a porridge made out of maize. Irio, is a blend of corn, potatoes and beans dipped into meat or vegetable stews.
You will be provided 3 meals per day on the weekdays, and 2 meals per day on weekends.
If you are an inspiring medical student or already have experience in a medical/ related field, then this would be a great fit for you. Where applicable it can also count towards university credits and offers great first hand working experience in hospitals overseas.
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Complimentary Arrival Transfer
An arrival airport transfer is included in the cost of your program fee for arrivals on Saturday or Sunday.
For Saturday arrivals, a transfer is included free of charge, but you will have to pay for an additional nights accommodation at US$50 p/night including meals. For transfers outside of standard times, a transfer can be arranged for approx US$40.
Arriving by Plane
There are four meeting times as follows:
Option A – Saturday 10:00am
Option B – Saturday 2:00pm
Option C – Sunday 10:00am
Option D – Sunday 2:00pm
Kenya Airways fly daily between Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Kisumu and Nairobi. Another popular airline is Air Kenya, which flies regularly between Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Meru, Nanyuki and Samburu.
Kenya has a large bus network between many of the country’s popular destinations but be advised that roads will be bumpy. For safety reasons, we highly advise to use the long-distance buses during daytime only, as crime increases after dark.
Minivans, locally known as “matatus” are another way to get around for short and medium distance journeys. Taking a matatu is a fantastic way to experience the real Kenya and you will often find them decorated in bright and fascinating colours. You can flag down a matatu from the side of the road and nowadays routes and schedules are provided on Google Maps, making it much easier to get around.
The train in Kenya is often named the “Lunatic Express”. It travels between Nairobi and Mombasa three times a week. It is without a doubt a unique experience to travel by train and see the local Kenyan way of life as you pass by. Do be aware that trains have a bad reputation for being extremely slow, often with delays. If you have time on your hands though, this can be a great way to experience the country.
Monday to Friday
You will spend up to five hours volunteering at the hospital with a break for lunch. A typical day would be:
- Assisting/ shadowing professionals at the local centre/hospital
- Assisting/ shadowing professionals at the local centre/hospital
During your free time after hours and on weekends, 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 amazing Mombasa beach or head out on a weekend of sightseeing in Nakura or Nairobi and explore national parks rich with native African wildlife.
See the below ‘Weekends & extra tours’ slider for more info on things to do in the area.
- A medical background or related work experience is required for this project – Nursing and medical students are welcome to apply
- Modest clothing – You must have your knees and shoulders covered, expect to wear scrubs and/or other appropriate clothing for medical staff.
- Surgical gloves, appropriate closed-toe shoes, scrubs, coats and masks for yourself.
- Feel free to bring along additional material or supplies that could be beneficial for your project.
Kenya is a stunning country, featuring almost every terrain and climate from desert, beach, cities and forests.
There is something for every traveler here, particularly for wildlife lovers. It has over 40 National parks throughout the country and holds the some of the world’s most loved and endangered animals. Here you will find lions, leopards, elephants, hippos and so much more! Kenya is famous for its incredible safaris, which are the countries main source of tourism.
Also well known is the semi nomadic Maasai tribe- a hugely symbolic tribe known for its colourful adornments and traditional clothing. Kenya is a nature lovers paradise, with a visit to the Great Rift Valley being a must. For those who enjoy a gentler pace then Kenya also offers some beautiful beaches, its coast stretching almost 80,000 kilometres.
The beach is also sunny for most of the year! The capital, Nairobi is the fifth largest city in Africa, with unique vibes and a vibrant nightlife. This bustling and cosmopolitan city will throw you into Kenyan way of life and be an interesting eye opener.
Kenya is a huge country with its climate changing from tropical along the coast, to arid in the northern regions and then mild inland temperatures.
Kenya receives a large amount of sunshine year-round but generally, the hottest months are between February and March while the coldest months are July to mid-August. The “long rains” start from March to June, while the “short rains” are between October and December.
Due to Kenya being a major hub for migration over the years, it has now become one of the most culturally diverse countries with many different languages spoken.
There are over 40 different ethnic groups in Kenya, including Luo, Kamba, Maasai and more. Each have their own of mother tongue, although Swahili remains the most widely spoken language. You will also find ethnic groups from European, Arab, Indian and Pakistani, who migrated to the country in the 19th century.
Religions such as Christianity and Islam are widely spread, however many local people still believe in the ancestral world, where the dead have a bearing on the living. Today, the majority of Kenya’s culture, dress, music and food has taken strong influence from other parts of Africa, India, Europe and the United States.
In certain parts of the country however, many local communities hold onto their traditional lifestyle and customs. They still wear the clothes, animal skins and jewellery as they did centuries before. Many remote tribes remain completely isolated and indigenous.
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IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.
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