Teaching volunteers can work in both rural and urban areas of Kenya in community, government and orphanage schools. The presence of volunteers in these schools is beneficial in broadening the minds and horizons of the children and exposing them to native or fluent English speakers. Volunteers assist local teachers with daily classes in Math, English, Science, Social Studies (Geography and History), Art and Physical Education classes. Volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on the Teaching project.
In Kenya, there are three terms per school year with breaks between these terms for the whole months of April, August and December. During these breaks, volunteers can assist with holiday programs, participate on other projects, take a break, travel or engage in tourist activities, such as safari.
Due to the high incidences of poverty and illness, orphanages in Kenya can host 50 to 300 children at any one time and there is always a high demand for more volunteer assistance. Volunteers in Kenya work in a few different types of orphanages, some of which house and foster abandoned and orphaned children, some which have schools attached, and some where volunteers live at the orphanage full time. Each orphanage accommodates children of differing ages, but generally volunteers work with children from 3 to 16 years old.Orphanages are always busy, whether the children are at home or at school, and volunteers can help with all areas of daily activity, including cooking, cleaning, washing, caring, feeding, playing and entertaining.
The Sports Education project is designed for volunteers who wish to work with children in schools, but not necessarily spend all their time teaching in a classroom. Volunteers have the opportunity to assist in schools to broaden children’s knowledge of sport, through teaching “foreign” sports and games to the children and educating them on general fitness, health and wellbeing in addition to taking general lessons at the school. It is up to the volunteer to plan lessons and design the teaching of their sports program. Children are extremely enthusiastic and willing to learn, however past volunteers have found it important to be prepared if they are to teach the children foreign concepts and ideas (such as a new sport).
While football/soccer is extremely popular in Kenya, many volunteers have found it rewarding to teach the children other sports from the volunteer’s home country, such as baseball, basketball, cricket and rugby. If a volunteer wishes to do this, they must plan ahead and often bring the required materials and equipment themselves or have some extra money to buy in local stores and shopping centers.Volunteers do not need any previous teaching experience for this program, but it is important to note that volunteers may be required to teach other classes during the day, such as Math, English, Science or Social Studies (Geography and History).
Music is a universal language and spans all corners of the globe. In Kenya especially, music is best described as a pure and true representation of cultural richness by means of worship and devotion, celebration and mourning, and overall communal strengthening and enjoyment. Through music, people are able to see through the shroud of suffering and sorrow to a life worth living. Music is their passage to a better life, even if this better life lasts for only a few minutes of song.
The Music Education Program in Kenya is designed to give children the chance to let their voices and songs be heard. Volunteers on this project provide students with a basic understanding of musical theory (note reading, etc.) as well as instrument and vocal training. The project was set up by past VICODS volunteers as an extra-curricular after-school activity. Current classes include guitar, flute, keyboard and introduction to music. Singing is also popular among the children, and if volunteers have experience in singing or choir-directing, this can also be beneficial. There are also traditional music lessons where students can share and learn cultural and tribal songs from each other. It is also important to note that volunteers may be required to teach other classes during the day such as Math, English and Social Sciences (Geography and History).