Fighting HIV/AIDS and Poverty
Improving Education and Healthcare

Volunteer Fees & Dates

1. How much are the Volunteer Fees and what do they include?

The Volunteer Fees for one month per person are $1,500 USD. This includes pick-up at the Nairobi Airport (if you do a safari), program materials and expenses, program transport (such as vehicle repair and gas), salaries for the Kenyan staff, and Room and Board. Volunteers receive three meals a day, seven days a week while on the farm. Volunteers are housed in our four-person volunteer huts located on what used to be a sugarcane farm in the heart of rural Africa . This “sugarcane farm” now contains a primary school, public library and clinic (all built and funded by volunteers and local community members). Not included in this fee are airplane tickets, bus ticket from Nairobi to Bungoma ($20-25 USD), safari fees, leisure travel, souvenirs, and food/drink outside of the home stay. However, we do have a discount arrangement with a good and reliable safari company for your Safari and leisure travel needs.

2. How are these Fees distributed?

Volunteer Fee Distribution (one month): $1,500 USD

 

USD

UK Pounds (GBP)

· Room & Board

$350

£210

· Salary Fee for Kenyan Workers

$400

£240

· Program Fee

$750

£450

Total Fees (one month)

$1,500 USD

£900

Note: When wiring money from a country other than the US or UK , please make sure you wire enough money that will convert into the Kenya Shilling amount listed above. Check the exchange rate for your local currency on the internet or at a bank.

3. Are the fees the same for additional months/weeks, if I wish to stay longer?

The fees remain the same for people wishing to extend their stay past one month and may do so but extensions will be calculated on a monthly rate of $1500:

 

4. What is the minimum length of stay required for a volunteer?

Although we do not strictly prohibit shorter stays, we do request that our volunteers are able to offer at least one month of voluntary services. Things in Kenya happen at a very different pace than in the Western world. It can take some time for a volunteer to travel to the farm, settle in, become accustomed to the lifestyle, learn their schedule, and understand their role. If a volunteer stays for only two weeks, most of their time will be spent getting settled in and little time will be left during which they can make a contribution. We want every volunteer to feel that their time in Kenya was put to good use and that they had adequate time to make an impact. Traveling around the world to try to “make a difference” is a big commitment and it is important that everyone feel they accomplished this desire. The preferred length of trip for a volunteer’s first visit is 6-8 weeks.

Occasionally we will allow for a shorter stay than one month, but this is handled on a case by case basis. We understand that it can sometimes be difficult for doctors to take a full month off. Therefore, doctors can come for a three week period. We have volunteer placements available 12 months a year and volunteers are able to choose their exact arrival and departure dates.

5. Is there a maximum stay for volunteers?
Yes. We allow maximum stays of 3 months for a volunteer placement. Volunteer Kenya does not have external funding and therefore, the running of the programs depends on the program fees provided by volunteers, as do the salary fees. The extension rates listed above have been established to help those volunteers who wish to stay a bit longer, to ease the financial burden. However, these fees are not necessarily enough to allow the programs to run for long-term stays.

Life in Kenya is difficult and very different from what most of our volunteers have ever experienced. Kenya is a developing country and most of the people we interact with are living in extreme poverty. Volunteers will need to adjust to living in conditions that can be very foreign to them. No running water. No electricity. Lizards, mice, and cockroaches for roommates. This can be a tough change for many people.

A visiting mzungu (non-Kenyan/”white”) can be seen as an opportunity by some. This means that volunteers are likely to be approached by locals in need of food, money, staples, etc. and that many people will see them as a chance to get out of Kenya or to receive support money for themselves, their families, or their “organization”. It can be difficult to make people understand that not every person from the Western world has an unlimited supply of money available to them. Coupled with the differences in culture and the rustic lifestyle, these demands can become trying for volunteers and are compounded the longer a volunteer is in Kenya

6. Do I pay my volunteer fees before I arrive in Kenya?
Yes. Previously, we had volunteers pay their Volunteer Fees and Room & Board upon arrival in Kabula , Kenya . However, we have now changed the procedure and require that volunteers wire their money prior to arrival in Kenya . Wiring the money is safer for the volunteer because you do not have to carry around a large sum of money as you travel to Kenya . It will also be cheaper since you won’t need to use the ATMs numerous times (and associated fees) and you will get a better exchange rate by wiring the fees. It is also much easier for our staff in Kenya . Now that we have so many volunteers arriving and departing each month, it has become difficult to keep track of the finances. By wiring volunteer fees ahead of time, we can also ensure that all preparations are made prior to your arrival in Kenya . However, our philosophy of having 100% of all Volunteer Fees and donations sent and used directly in Kenya still stands. We do NOT keep any of the Volunteer fee money in the US . Please note that none of this money is used in the US to pay for marketing, overhead, or fundraising expenses. All International Coordination Staff members in the US work on a part-time, unpaid basis via an email network.

Volunteers Fees and Room & Board are required to be wired to the ICODEI bank account 10-14 days prior to your arrival in Kenya . Most banks can do international wire transfers for you and they typically charge around $30. You will need to pay for this $30 USD wire fee in addition to the Fees you owe. The account information for wiring the funds will be sent to you once your placement is confirmed. Please do not wire your fees until 10-14 days before you leave. We don’t want your money to get there too early in case you have to cancel your trip at the last minute or if you decide to delay your trip to another month.

7. Do you have any discount arrangements with a safari company?
Due to the volume of volunteers we have coming to Kenya each year, we have worked out a special deal with a good and reliable Safari company so that our volunteers (who are usually on a tight budget) can go on a safari at a reduced rate. For $600 USD, volunteers can take a 3-day safari in the Masaii Mara National Reserve, one of Africa ’s most popular safari destinations. The $600 ($300 USD per day) fee includes transportation to and from Nairobi and all accommodations and meals while on safari. Volunteers going on a safari also get a free night stay at Upper Hill hostel in Nairobi when they first arrive in Kenya and free pick-up at the Nairobi airport. Almost all of our volunteers take advantage of this great opportunity. All arrangements and payment for the safari is handled directly between the volunteer and the Safari company, which can be done either before or after you arrive in Kenya . Most volunteers wait to book the safari until they arrive in Kenya and typically go on the safari at the end of their trip. You do not need to book the safari during your first days in Nairobi . You can communicate with the Safari company while you are volunteering in Kabula and make arrangements then.

8. Can I do fundraising in order to raise money from donors to pay for my Volunteer Fees and Room & Board? If so, are these tax-deductible donations?
Yes to both. You can do fundraising, collect donations, and have those be credited against the Volunteer Fees you owe. Volunteer Kenya is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit charity in the US and can therefore receive tax-deductible donations. If you are in the US and want your donors to get the tax deduction, they need to make the checks payable to Volunteer Kenya. If you are outside of the US , you will have to check with your own tax authorities on this. You may be able to get a tax deduction from wiring money to ICODEI in Kenya since it is a charitable organization. However, this is something that you need to look into on your own. We have fundraising marketing material that we send to all confirmed volunteers.

9. Are any of the Volunteer Fees used to pay for international overhead expenses or U.S. employees?
No! None of this money is used in the U.S. to pay for marketing, overhead, or fundraising expenses. All International Coordination Staff members in the U.S. work on a part-time, unpaid basis via an email network. They personally pay for the small overhead costs we have in the US. 100% of the Volunteer Fees and donations we receive go directly to Kenya to support our programs there. This has been a core belief of our organization since we started in 1998, and we do not plan to change this.