Are you looking for an opportunity to satisfy your sense of adventure, while making a real difference in the lives of others? Do you have some time off over Thanksgiving, and want to spend it doing something truly meaningful? If so, this trip might just be for you!
We’ll spend our time building a home, while also building a sense of community among our team and getting to know others in the community in which we’ll be working. All that is required is a great attitude, the ability to adapt and be flexible and a willingness to experience new things. We are seeking to create an open-minded, hard-working and enthusiastic team willing to spend their personal time making a difference. No previous construction skills or experience required.
A woman tends to her child at a mud-and-daub house in Athiru, Kenya. Kenya country profile
Kenya is known for its successful agricultural production and for its breathtaking scenery and wildlife. The beauty of Kenya’s scenic western highlands and Lake Victoria basin, however, sharply contrast the daily struggle for survival that many Kenyans face. Frequent political violence has marred many efforts to help the people of Kenya. In recent decades, government-induced reforms have improved economic conditions, but an estimated 42 percent of Kenyans still live below the poverty line, and 50 percent of its citizens are unemployed.
About Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Habitat for Humanity has maintained a favorable presence in the country since Habitat Kenya was formed in 1982. Habitat Kenya operates through over 80 active community groups.
In rural areas, most families live in mud-and-daub houses with thatch roofs. These houses are difficult to maintain and provide a breeding ground for insects, termites and rodents. Habitat is building houses in Kenya by using the resources available in local areas, constructing with timber, stone or stabilized soil bricks, depending on the location.
Types of construction for volunteers
All Habitat Kenya sponsored houses have masonry walls, concrete floors and foundation slabs and corrugated iron-sheet roofs. The houses are built with fired brick, stabilized soil block or rough stone.
Day 1, typically Saturday: Depart from home.
Day 2, Sunday: Travel day; arrive by evening; greeted by HFH Kenya staff and transported to dinner and overnight stay at a Nairobi guesthouse.
Day 3, Monday: Breakfast at guesthouse; orientation; travel to HFH Kenya project site; welcome and introduction; dinner at team’s bed-and-breakfast guesthouse.
Days 4–8, Tuesday–Saturday (workdays): Breakfast at the guesthouse each morning; build from 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up and have team activities.
Day 9, Sunday: Attend a local church service; engage in a local cultural activity (varies based on project location).
Day 10, Monday: Build in the morning; lunch at the build site; farewell ceremony in the afternoon.
Day 11, Tuesday: Travel to Nairobi; free time and team dinner with HFH Kenya staff; overnight in Nairobi guesthouse.
Day 12, Wednesday: Depart for home.
Teams traveling to Kenya will spend their first and last nights at a Nairobi guesthouse. Throughout the rest of the trip, team members will stay at modest bed-and-breakfast guesthouses at their project location, with double-occupancy rooms. Dinners will be provided at the guesthouse each night, with lunch, snacks and water provided daily on the build site.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
Karen Bychowski is a native of Chicago, but is often found on a plane or in an airport as she travels frequently for both work and play. She is a management consultant by day, specializing in talent strategy, change management and learning and collaboration, and a passionate volunteer in her spare time. She has participated in numerous service trips, including multiple trips to Oklahoma and Mississippi as part of Habitat for Humanity, as well as Guatemala. In addition, Karen lived in Kenya from 2007-2008 working with a nonprofit, and led a GV trip there in October 2011. If you are interested in learning more about this trip, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.