Volunteering at Esiarambatsi Health Center in April 2021

KVDA is recruiting volunteers for 2-week medical camp in Kenya to render experiential learning to medical students and practitioners worldwide

Esiarambatsi Health Centre is one of the health centres established in the wider Emuhaya district to cater for the medical needs of the local people in the community. It’s a community based health center which cares for mothers, children’s and also people living with HIV/AIDS. The centre also offers pre-and ante-natal cares to women. The local community is composed of the Luhya community which occupies the vast western Kenya region and the local people are hospitable and welcoming. HIV/AIDS is a major challenge in the local community that has resulted into many challenges that have had a negative impact on the socio-economic development of the community.
The health center is a community initiative that is currently run by the Ministry of health and has three nurses who work under a nursing officer in charge.
The center offers curative, preventative and promotion services.
Water is available from streams, rain water occasionally harvested and volunteers have the opportunity to learn to live in adversity and especially when Kenya grapples with the poverty challenge that is the single most obstacles to sustainable development.
The main objective of the project is to provide health care to the community using locally available resources.
The empowerment program reaches out to ensure that the local community is integrated into the day to day activities and the role of the volunteers is to play the role of the catalyst to re-activate the process.
Most community members are small scale farmers who are not even able to produce enough food to support their own families
AGE: Volunteers have to be at least 18 years old to participate in the work camp. There is no upper age limit`

• Volunteers will be picked up on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi by KVDA staff subject to provision of full flight details.
• The staff member will have a pager with the full names of the volunteer displayed at the international arrivals lounge at the airport
• In case of any challenges that could include delayed flights or any unforeseen delay by the person making the pickup, we advise the volunteer to make telephone contact and the volunteer should not take a taxi on their own from the airport as KVDA is responsible for airport transfers and KVDA will not be financially responsible in case a volunteer does not adhere to this regulation.
• At the end of the project, KVDA will make the transfer back to the airport from KVDA Residence in Karen Nairobi.

ORIENTATION: Orientation will be conducted on 6th March 2019 at the KVDA Residence in Nairobi and this will include team building and general information about Kenya and the project; plus, a visit to the expansive Kibera slums in Nairobi to enable the volunteer to grasp development challenges at the grassroots with the upsurge of urban poverty

Location: The project is located in Emuhaya District of the Western region of Kenya approximately eight hours drive from Nairobi city.
Nature of Work: Volunteers placed in this project will be involved in the following activities:
• Medical work in the dispensary such as registration of patients, giving out patients following the doctors’ description, observation and noting the progress of every patient, and cleanliness at the hospital.
• Family planning services, immunization, maternal and child health are some of the services offered at the project
• The volunteers will also be involved in awareness creation in the community to promote the sustainability of the livelihood among community members both in community forums and also in local schools. Moreover, volunteers placed in this project will engage the community members in a study topic: focus on public health and sanitation especially in the local schools to be able to develop a young generation that is equipped with information. Hence volunteers will be expected to work hand in hand with the hospital management to realize the goals of the placement in this project and thus enhance the capacity of the health facility.
• The volunteers will be assigned duties in the health facility by professional staff

Volunteers will work for six hours daily from Monday to Friday. They will work together with the local community members on the following activities:

• International voluntary service program
• Qualification: Necessary = High motivation to work with people, respect to local culture and rules
• The project will consist of volunteers from Kenya and the international community. This does not include members from the host community that will work alongside the team of volunteers.
• Desirable = language skills of English
• The volunteers will work together with members of the local community on specific tasks assigned.
• Emerging conflicts resolved will be resolve through consensus and utter determination to ensure tranquility and respect for value systems espoused by the community and participants in the project.
• This will ensure tolerance to divergent views and cultural phenomena that often ensue leading to culture shock.

• Gender equality implies a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. Equality between men and women exists when both sexes are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunities for financial independence through work or through setting up businesses; enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions.
• A critical aspect of promoting gender equality is the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives. Women's empowerment is vital to sustainable development and the realization of human rights for all.
• The project aims to empower the women to actively continue with the struggle to enhance their capacities and ultimately take the lead in community development. This takes cognizance of the fact that despite being overrun by pro-men cultural foundations, women remain the pillar of families and the most vulnerable gender in the current societal set-up.

Volunteers will be accommodated in a house provided by the local community with very modest living facilities. There is electricity connection and running water within the project.

Volunteers will have the opportunity for excursions:
• There are possibilities for group excursion during the work camp and especially over the weekends and these will be done at an extra cost borne by the volunteer.
• Such excursions should be organized in consultation with the community leaders and the KVDA project facilitator will play a key role.
• It should also be noted that majority of Kenyan volunteers are either students or youths out of school and may not have money for such excursions and volunteers from other nations have no obligation to pay for those who do not have money. This issue should be handled with care so as to avoid possible conflict that would be injurious to harmonious relations among volunteers.
• National Heritage: Kenya is a home of the 8 wonders of the world synonymous with the unique phenomenon that happens once a year with the migration of the wild beast from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania through the Mara River to Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. Likewise, Shimba Hills National Reserve at the Coast of Kenya offers variety of wild animals that include Giraffes, Impala, Warthog, Baboons, Sykes monkeys, Sable Antelope, Elephants e.t.c. The volunteers have the possibility of visiting Lake Victoria, Kakamega forest, the famous crying stone and Kogelo village that is the birthplace of the father of the current USA President Barrack Obama situated 70 Kms away from the project site.

Drug and substance abuse in is a major hindrance to development. All categories of the population, from the youth to the old, men to women are affected. There is for instance widespread abuse of cannabis Sativa. Recently the use of Mandraz and morphine derivatives by students is on the increase. Chang’aa drinking and tobacco smoking is also on the increase among the youth. This has impacted negatively on education, social behaviour and health. It has also led to low levels of engagement in positive economic activities.

While in the project placement:
 The volunteers will prepare meals in turns
 KVDA will provide foodstuffs based on what is available on the local market
 There will be variety and volunteers are encouraged to carry some of their indigenous foodstuffs that would be useful during the cultural days designated for various nationalities.

 Kenya Shillings is the common currency used in Kenya with denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and the largest denomination of 1000
 One Euro currently is exchanging at over Kshs. 100 per Euro
 Exchange rate against the US Dollar and Euro fluctuates
 Volunteers are advised against Travellers Cheques in Kenya as the Kenyan financial institutions do not honour them due to persistent fraud.
 Kindly beware that it is expensive to change your money at the Airport
 You will be advised by KVDA at the most convenient Forex Bureau where you can change your money with good value.
 Do not carry with you large denominations as this can expose you to robbery as is the case in major cities in the world.

• KVDA will provide a facilitator whose role will be to offer guidance to the volunteers
• For a work camp to fully draw spontaneous experiences, KVDA puts emphasis on facilitation as opposed to leadership in its technical context.
• Conflicts are resolved by consensus and there is no officialdom and manipulation that are products of conventional leadership.
• Teamwork is encouraged

• Working clothes, light clothes during working hours and warm clothes especially during camp fire.
• Gloves
• Mosquito net and mosquitoes’ repellent
• Musical instrument {optional}
• Sleeping bag, mat and a pillow.
• Torch or flash light
• Water purifiers {optional}.
• Personal effects {i.e. soap, toothpaste, toiletries}
• National flag of your country
• Meals you will prepare to be shared among the participants during the cultural nights from your country.
• Donations in form of books or learning materials appropriate for Primary school children, toys, balls e.t.c, are welcome.
• A happy and positive attitude.

Volunteers from other cultures who are participating in this project are advised to come with an open mind and to be highly flexible to avoid falling prey into guilty traps that could easily dehumanize. Over-industrial development and globalization have deprived the Industrialized World of human contact and happiness and the less industrialized World has the moral obligation to offer guidance. North-South cultural, socio-economic, political imbalances should not be the basis for inter-cultural tolerance and understanding.

There are more fears today in the world than never before and the situation has been complicated by the thorny issue of terrorism that remains a major drawback to efforts to accelerate sustainable development. This has led to some foreign Governments to issue negative travel advisories against their citizens from travelling to Kenya with perceptions that Kenya was insecure and vulnerable to terror attacks. KVDA reiterates that Kenya is calm and safe and just like any other county in the world, every visitor should be conversant with safety and security measures and the challenges experienced within the Eastern African region like the Somalia conflict should not be used to generalize on the issue of security in Kenya.

Volunteers should seek guidance from KVDA on extra curriculum activities they wish to undertake while in Kenya and always have the courtesy to share with KVDA information about their involvement in Kenya as volunteers and later as Travelers.

It is forbidden for volunteers from other countries to ride a bike, motor cycle or a car while serving on KVDA projects. This measure may seem extreme but is meant to safeguard the safety of the volunteers while in Kenya.

KVDA puts more emphasis on personal safety and precaution, advising volunteers to regularly liaise with KVDA on every move they make within the country and it should be noted that Kenya has in the recent past received negative media attention due to its foreign policy and especially the recent military incursion into Somalia by the Kenyan military in pursuit of the terrorists who have run down Somalia since 1992.

There are positive results coming out of the fight against terrorism in the East African region and concerted efforts are needed to ensure that issues of terrorism are eliminated as nations dedicated themselves towards enhancing the “culture of peace”.

The local community enjoys great cultural heritage and are averse to permissive customs that would compromise their dignity. Female volunteers should beware that wearing shorts and trousers, as this would expose them and depict them negatively out of cultural misrepresentation. It is also important to note that the project will be hosted in the urban setting and this to a big extend makes the dress code more liberal.

The fact is further compounded by the reality that members of the local community are religious and the elderly could easily misinterpret the intentions of the volunteers due to inappropriate dressing that does not conform to the local culture. Ladies are advised to wear skirts or long dresses and avoid as much as possible long trousers or shorts that could send wrong signals.

In addition, male volunteers should be cautious against exposing their bare chests or wearing revealing shorts as this would be an affront to the local culture.

Do’s and Don’ts of volunteering
• Do and try learning some basic Kiswahili. Even greeting will be high appreciated.
• Do show an active interest in learning about the life in the community, and be open-minded especially with the cultural difference in the community.
• Do and try to be yourself despite the difference you may have with the community members e.g. going to church etc.
• Do keep promises e.g. visiting someone’s home or family they will be waiting for you and may get disappointed if you fail them.
• Do not make it difficult for future volunteers by giving out a lot of gifts or money. This is not the role of volunteers and we don’t want the community to rely or depend on you and neither should they perceive volunteers in this negative way.
• Always be cautious and nurture true friendship in your endeavour to support the needy.
• Do uphold the principles of volunteerism.
• Do live in accordance with the Laws of Kenya and KVDA regulations
• Do work alongside the local community members/project staff /institution in the spirit of complementation and co-operation.
• Do not get disappointed if things do not work out, remember change is a gradual process and every bit of impact will go a long way in make a difference for the community.
• Remember it is all about learning from each other and not basically helping the local people.

Every community in Kenya has its own unique culture as seen during cultural rites of passage like traditional marriages; etc., where traditional dances are performed to colour the event. Famous traditional dance that have a strong and capitalizing impact to the community; Volunteers are advised to interact with the community so as they be able experience this culture and even try to be part of the community.

KVDA as a developmental organization invests heavily in development education, empowerment and capacity building via its philosophy of “DEVELOPMENT AGAINST DEPENDENCE”, we discourage communities from always being at the receiving end of development programmes but strive to employ own strategies to achieve true development and restore their own cherished human dignity.

Human centred development is the key focus of KVDA intervention strategies and KVDA has the commitment to mobilize resources in partnership with development partners. KVDA will ensure that the right procedures and systems are in place and development should not be a tool of the “haves” to suppress the “have-nots”.

Donations in the form of books, cloths and pens for the children or even sporting tools like balls. Please feel free in case you may require more information on a specific area that interest you and persuaded to support a long-term project.

KVDA advises volunteers to seek for information from the right source and openly raise issues that are burning to avoid speculation that could compromise their dignity. KVDA as the host organization is well placed to guide and advise volunteers on real situation in Kenya and we caution our guests against falling prey to “cheap” offers e.g. hotels, tours etc, for when a deal is too good think twice; Kindly trust KVDA to assist you during your stay in Kenya and have a memorable fulfilling stay.

KVDA organizes special educational tours to spectacular places of interest at a cost of Euro 350 for the 3-day package i.e. 3-days Maasai Mara tour. The cost is all-inclusive for accommodation, meals and transport. KVDA provides a guide. Educational tour is optional and motivated to offer unique opportunity for our volunteers, spectacular that what tourism offers. Education tour trips are scheduled before and after the work camp, volunteers’ interest in taking part in the educational tour should communicate so as preparations can be made of the same. A pictorial illustration of the KVDA educational tours will be sent to you on a separate cover and it is important to make advance booking.

Below are the contact telephone numbers for KVDA staff that can be reached for assistance should need arise: +254721650357

WORK CAMP ACTIVITY COST: € 300 per volunteer payable to KVDA that includes return airport transfers, workcamp food and administration, orientation and transport to and from the project.

What the costs include:
• Project preparation and coordination
• Return transfers from the airport and the project
• Communication
• Certificate of participation at the end of the project
• KVDA Administration
• Meals and accommodation
• Project evaluation and monitoring

What is not included in the cost?
The following costs are NOT included hence the volunteers are expected to cater for them:

• Flight tickets
• Travel Insurance
• Visa costs
• Accommodation before and after the project
• Cost of drinks like soda, beer, mineral water etc
• Excursions and sight seeing
• Local travelling while at the project

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We're looking for:
5 more partners
from Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries, Southern Mediterranean countries, Partner Countries Neighbouring the EU, Eastern Partnership countries, Other countries in the world
Deadline for this partner request:

Contact person: Oneka Munanairi


Phone: +254721650357

E-mail: info@kvdakenya.org

Website: http://www.kvdakenya.org

Skype: munanairi.1



Project overview

Volunteering at Esiarambatsi Health Center in April 2021 is a project by
Kenya Voluntary Development Association
taking place
from 2020-04-06 till 2021-04-20
and is focusing on:
  • Gender equality
  • Health
  • Volunteering

Short URL to this project:


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