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Volunteering In East Africa

December 14, 2012

Currently, East Africa is one of the parts of our world that is most in need for willing, skilled, and hard-working volunteers. With the current famine in the Horn of Africa and major instability in many East African countries, there are many volunteer operations that are currently searching for volunteers so that they can work to meet these needs.

East Africa: Diversity and Culture

This stunning and scenic land, rich with the culture of thousands of years, is an enormous and diverse expanse of land known for its animals, landscapes, and brilliant cultures. The climate of East Africa ranges from the dense mountain rainforests of Ethiopia and Rwanda to the dry lowlands of Kenya and is usually moderate and warm.

A volunteer with children, Creative Commons attribution

Much of East Africa borders the Indian Ocean and is thus influenced by El Nino rain seasons. Much of the coastal land in East Africa relies on fishing for its major source of industry, and other parts of East Africa engage in forestry and farming.

Projects in East Africa can vary from the health-related to environmental projects to community support projects. Many volunteer organizations use volunteers to help reinforce their work in East Africa through education, encouraging community involvement, and by assisting East African citizens in maintaining happy and sustainable lives.

>>Kenya Voluntary and Community Development Project:

This program was started with the goal of empowering youth and improving the overall quality of life in Kenyan communities. The organization uses volunteers to participate in the areas of health, education, and support to the local economy. Projects with KVCD can vary, as they work to place volunteers by their interests and where they are needed the most. Volunteer positions are available throughout Kenya in Bondo, Wagasu, Nairobi, and many other communities. Learn more about KVCD here.

>>Beacon of Hope Uganda:

Works to design and conduct programs that engage the community and “contribute to the welfare and social productivity of disadvantaged individuals and communities with an emphasis on children and youth.” BoHU assists with many problems in Uganda such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, hunger, access to clean drinking water, and the education of orphaned children. Through the education of communities and children, BoHU hopes to create the path for a better life for Uganda. Learn more about Beacon of Hope Uganda here.

>>SAIDIA Tanzania:

Recess in Moshi, Tanzania - Creative Commons attribution

Based at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the town of Moshi, this non-profit is made of a network of people who work for a sustainable future in Tanzania. Volunteer projects stress the importance of community development, sustainability, and public health. Volunteers often work with street children, environmental projects, organizational capacity building, and other areas where the communities need them the most. Learn more about SAIDIA Tanzania here.

>>Watamu Turtle Watch:

Works to conserve Kenyan marine resources through the rehabilitation of the sea turtle. Helping to teach the local community the importance of sustainable ocean use, Watamu works through education, community development, and the maintenance of their Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center. Volunteer work could range through any of these interests, with attention always paid to the future of Kenya and the “local ocean.” Learn more about Watamu Turtle Watch here.

Have you volunteered in East Africa? Post your recommendations and experiences below!