The Volunteer Trip is an unforgettable experience and an opportunity for those who support AFK to see the fruits of their efforts, meet our partners, see first-hand the needs of the Kenyan community and get to see the beauty of Kenya!
The trips are not your typical tourist experience. They are a humanitarian project for the benefit of the people of Kenya. They are not a restful vacation and you need to remember that you will be in the Developing World working in the trenches with your Kenyan counterparts.
On the trip, our days are long, the roads are rough, the food provides nourishment but not necessarily flavor, and the accommodations are clean and adequate but not always in perfect working order (i.e. elevators, showers, etc.). The working portion of the trip is not a luxury experience.
The working part of the trip is a direct response to the needs identified by our partners in Kenya; therefore it is not like a package tour that remains the same each year. The trip destinations, locations of service, amount of time spent and a great many other details are quite fluid.
During the working part of the trip, AFK schedules some sight-seeing activities, often including a day-long game drive at one of Kenya's national wildlife parks. This is dependent upon proximity and the partners that we will be visiting in any given year.
AFK realizes that many people want to see even more of the natural beauty that Kenya has to offer. Optional safari extensions (either before or after the working portion of the trip) are available. AFK can help with the initial plans and connect individuals with others who want to take similar trips and with the tour operators who make the actual travel arrangements. In contrast to the working portion of the trip, safari accommodations in Kenya are often quite luxurious.
The cost of the trip is variable from year to year and depends on the teams and locations inlcuding transportation costs. We are not able to fully anticipate the cost for an AFK trip but an expense of approximately $3,500 for air fare and hotel/transportation in Kenya is average, travelling from the east coast of the U.S. (not including any optional safari days). Price estimates based on double occupancy; single occupancy is available for an additional fee.
Flights may be arranged by us through our travel agent or you can make your own arrangements. Most years, for those traveling in the main group, we are able to arrange for "missionary" tickets which allow AFK travelers to carry an extra bag (we ask volunteers to carry supplies for our partners organizations). If you choose to make your own travel plans, please make sure to coordinate with us so that we can secure your arrival and transport to the hotel.
Our team works with our Kenyan partner professionals. AFK's medical missions have an emphasis on school and community health education. In addition to nurses, physicians, social workers/counselors, midwives and health educators, we are seeking dental professionals not for restorative work but to go in to the schools we serve to do dental health teaching to children and parents. We focus on public health issues and work with community health workers in providing training and education in relevant areas.
This team consists of individuals with experience and training in library and media center activities. Many have experience in various types of libraries and are familiar with cataloging and general library procedures. The team often has a mix of both professional and non-professional individual and we tailor our workshops and presentations to take advantage of the strengths and experience of those individuals. People on this team may be visiting libraries set up in previous years, setting up a libraries (moving books and or shelving), teaching various skills to librarians or library school students or doing a variety of professional development activities.
The team is made up of teachers, school support staff as well as counselors, school psychologists, school nurses and media specialists and pre-school and special education teachers. They work with their counterparts in Kenya and hold conferences, workshops and professional development programs. In addition, this team may also visit schools supported by AFK to monitor activities and encourage their progress.
This group is made up of individuals who have some specialized interest or expertise we could use. For example, we have had journalists who completed stories on the trip, engineers who have helped to set up solar water purifiers, sports coaches (soccer and baseball) who have set up tournaments, and credit union professionals who have given financial counseling and training to both individuals and institutions. AFK is always open to incorporating the unique skills and talents of our volunteers -- please let us know about yours!
In addition, members of the general team often help the other teams on days when extra hands are needed.
NOT ALL INDIVIDUALS WHO APPLY FOR TRAVEL WITH AFK ARE ACCEPTED. OUR VOLUNTEER TEAMS ARE CHOSEN ANNUALLY BASED ON THE NEEDS OF OUR PARTNERS, TEAM BALANCE AND COMPOSITION AND COMPATIBILITY WITH AFK'S GOALS.
Visas are obtained upon arrival in Kenyatta Airport.
Potential travelers are asked to fill out an application.
Once your application is sent to AFK, you will be contacted by the Team Leader to provide additional information and allow you to ask questions.
Based on the application and the above "informal interview", Team Leaders will build the team assignments and individuals will be notified of final approval.
The next AFK summer trip is tentavively scheduled to take place from late June through early July 2014 (approximately 2 weeks).
What to bring?
Summertime in North America is "winter" in Kenya so a sweater, fleece or light jacket and long pants are appropriate most days. One nice outfit is needed for ceremonial purposes. AFK Team Leaders will provide additional information for a detailed packing list. Travel issues and immunization information will also be given.
AFK will not take an individual under 21 years of age and traveling alone.
AFK will have a Board member or officer in the US with all contact information for the travelers and maintain contact with the teams in Kenya. All team leaders have cell phones with international calling access with them at all times.
AFK will remove a team member from the trip if they miss a scheduled deposit or balance payment since we do not have a travel fund and immediately forward travelers' monies to the travel agency or tour operator.
AFK reserves the right to disqualify a member of a team if false or incorrect credentials are submitted.
AFK is a non-sectarian organization without any religious affiliation or purpose. We are inclusive and encourage people of all faiths (or none at all) to join our teams.