For this program you’ll find yourself in the vibrant, active city of Mombasa full of fascinating things to see and do and a captivating history of East Africa to learn.
Your role will be to work with the impoverished children in the city’s Bombolulu Slum planning and executing physical education lessons and other activities. Your work will be complemented by extra-curricular sports clubs and lessons as well as the opportunity to teach in various other subjects.
As training on lesson planning, class management and interactive strategy is provided at the start of your program, no previous experience is necessary to participate. You will also be presented with the opportunity to experience Kenya’s culture and community activities on a daily basis, truly immersing yourself in your surroundings.
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This program offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the program for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
GVI is real volunteering
Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.
Your working week will run Monday-Friday from about 8:00am-4:00pm. During this time you will focus on managing PE classes and other sports activities at the children center. During your time out of the classroom you will be planning your next lesson or supporting others with their efforts as well as individualized tutoring.
The provided accommodation will be shared in a dormitory style with the other volunteers, with basic amenities such as running water, electricity and easy access to local shops and internet cafes.
You are free to relax or explore on weekends. Be sure to check out the white sands of Diani Beach, go on a safari in the Shimba Hills, or even sail by dhow to Kisite Marine Park to observe active marine life such as dolphins.
In supporting the staff at the local children centers you are improving elementary education and personal development for the disadvantaged children who would otherwise go without. This is the main aim of the program. Daily responsibilities include:
- Assisting and leading PE classes
- Running extra-curricular (after school) sports lessons
- Introducing new sports to encourage participation across gender and ability
- Organizing sports camps and tournaments
You also have the option to teach in other subjects such as literacy, numeracy and environmental education.
One of the many reasons we focus on sport education here is to provide the children with an outlet for cooperative play, to promote teamwork and sportsmanship, to refine gross motor skills and to build the children’s confidence self-esteem – not to mention it’s healthy and really fun!
How this project makes a difference:
Our local partners run children’s centre’s providing education for hundreds of disadvantaged children from Mombasa's slums, helping to keep them off the streets, away from crime, substance abuse and exploitation, and providing a route out of poverty. Sport helps children build confidence, it supports their physical and emotional development and it can be used as a platform for outreach on social issues.
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Mombasa field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Kenya!
Included Side Trips
Volunteers will be taken on a guided tour of the city’s “Old Town”. The Old Town is well known for its ancient buildings, spice market, ornately carved doors and windows, extravagant art designs and shops that sell antique and popular Kenyan souvenirs. The streets are too narrow to accommodate most vehicles so walking tours are the perfect way to be introduced to this fascinating location.
Optional Side Trips
Please note these additional side trips are not included in the program but can be easily organised on the ground after arrival.
Enjoy a boat trip in Mombasa Marine Park, where you can snorkel or dive to Indian Ocean coral reefs. Just make sure to keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins! An amazing day trip is to Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, a community reserve in the hills near Shimba where game drives will bring you close to herds of protected African elephants. You can also see how the community turn elephant dung into recycled paper products for sale to tourists as an income generating scheme.
Similarly, you can visit Haller Park in Mombasa, an ecological restoration project that offers opportunities to get close to giraffe, hippopotamus, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile and the giant Aldabra tortoise.
For something longer than a day, you should consider an overnight trip to Shimba Hills National Reserve, home to African elephants, buffalo, giraffe, warthog and Kenya’s only breeding population of sable antelope. Over a weekend, a popular destination is the lively tourist beach resort of Diani or the quieter, more tranquil Tiwi beach. Further down the coast is Shimoni, home to GVI’s marine and wildlife expedition, where you can take a traditional dhow boat trip to the Kisite National Park to view dolphins and snorkel or dive Kenya’s finest coral reefs. Shimoni is also home to coastal forest that is part of a Global Biodiversity Hotspot and one of Kenya’s most important populations of the beautiful but vulnerable Angolan black and white colobus monkey.
The community-based eco-tourism Slave Cave Tour in Shimoni village allows you to explore the natural caves that are currently home to bat colonies but over the years have served as a refuge for local people during tribal clashes, and as a slave holding pen en-route to markets in Zanzibar.
Further Travel Opportunities
Kenya is a large and extremely diverse country in terms of both culture and nature. Over three to four days you can undertake a safari that takes in the vast Tsavo East and West National Parks, or the famous Amboseli or Maasai Mara National Parks, all home to incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. You can journey further up Kenya’s coastline to visit Watamu and Malindi home to the Gedi Ruins and Arabuko Sokoke Forest National Park. Or for something less active, try Lamu Island, a tranquil getaway, steeped in Swahili history, tradition and culture.
Even further afield in Kenya including Lakes Naivasha and Victoria and national parks such as Nakuru, Hell’s Gate and Samburu. Our operations lie close to the Tanzanian border and onward travel here offers some of Africa’s most famous names; the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Mt Kilimanjaro and the Zanzibar Islands.
Summary...spoilt for choice!
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes