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Kisii, Kenya

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A woman tends to her child at a mud-and-daub house in Athiru, Kenya.
Country Profile


November 20–December 1

Have you ever thought about spending Thanksgiving somewhere between the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria? Or just getting off the beaten path? If so, then take advantage of this Habitat build to Kenya and make your next holiday a day on, not a day off. Working alongside a team of local builders and community members, this is the ideal service learning opportunity.

We will be traveling to and working in Kisii in the southwestern region Nyanza, home to Abagusii tribe. The area has a cool and wet climate which is favorable for producing tea, bananas, maize, beans and vegetables.

Habitat for humanity Kenya began operating in Kisii since 2000, serving 710 families to date, with 554 benefiting from full houses and 156 families benefiting from incremental housing.

About Kenya
The beauty of Kenya’s scenic western highlands and Lake Victoria basin sharply contrasts the daily struggle for survival that many Kenyans face. In recent decades, government-induced reforms have helped improve economic conditions, but an estimated 42 percent of Kenyans still live below the poverty line and 50 percent of its citizens are unemployed.

Kenya is known for its successful agricultural production and for its breathtaking scenery and wildlife. However, frequent political violence has marred many efforts to help the people of Kenya. Thankfully, Habitat for Humanity has maintained a favorable presence in the country since Habitat Kenya was formed in 1982.

About Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Habitat Kenya operates through 41 active affiliates. In rural areas, most families live in mud-and-daub houses with thatch roofs. Though picturesque, these houses are difficult to maintain and provide a breeding ground for insects, termites and rodents. Habitat is building houses in Kenya by utilizing the resources available in local areas, constructing with timber and stabilized soil bricks, depending on the location.

To combat inflation, Habitat Kenya homeowner families pay back their monthly no-profit mortgages based upon the current price of cement—typically one bag of cement per month. This ensures Habitat Kenya’s Revolving Fund for Humanity is continuously used to build even more homes for more families. For more information, visit Kenya’s country profile or read the HFH Kenya Web site at www.hfhkenya.or.ke.

Types of construction for volunteers
All Habitat Kenya-sponsored houses have masonry walls, concrete floors and foundation slabs, as well as corrugated iron-sheet roofs. The houses are built with either fired brick, stabilized soil block or rough stone.

Itinerary
Day 1, November 20
: Depart from home.
Day 2, November 21
: Travel day; arrive by evening; greeted by HFH Kenya staff and transported to dinner and overnight stay at a Nairobi guesthouse.
Day 3, November 22
: Breakfast at guesthouse; orientation; travel to HFH Kenya project site; welcome and introduction; dinner at team’s bed-and-breakfast guesthouse.
Days 4–9, November 23–28 (Work days)
: Breakfast at the guesthouse each morning; build from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.; lunch on site; free time after work to clean up and have team activities.
Day 10, November 29
: Attend a local church service; engage in a local cultural activity (varies based on project location).
Day 11, November 30
: Travel to Nairobi; free time and team dinner with HFH Kenya staff; overnight in Nairobi guesthouse.
Day 12, December 1
: Depart for home.

Accommodations
Teams traveling to Kenya will spend their first and last nights at a Nairobi guesthouse. Throughout the rest of the trip, basic lodging will be in a community center with outside bathroom facilities. A sleeping bag will be needed. Dinners will be provided within the community each night, with lunch, snacks and water provided daily on the build site.

Trip cost
$1,750, plus roundtrip air fare to Nairobi.
Trip cost includes: donation to the Habitat host program and HFHI; meals; accommodations; transport (excluding trip participant air fare); medical emergency evacuation and trip cancellation insurance; some local cultural activities and team coordination and orientation materials. The team leader’s trip cost and estimated air fare may be included in the trip budget. The trip cost does not include trip participant air fare, R&R activities or visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).

Team leader
Sheila Crowley is a seasoned team leader; she has built all over the world with Habitat. This will be her sixteenth build and first build in Kenya. Sheila is a former Peace Corps volunteer who can truly attest that Global Village builds are incredible opportunities for cross-cultural exchange, to learn about Habitat and its impact on global development and to participate in a rewarding and transformational experience. Sheila is hoping to recruit a team of fun-loving, flexible, adventurous folks to build this Thanksgiving on the African continent.

If interested in this GV trip and for more information, contact Sheila at scrowley@habitat.org


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