Requirements for Volunteers at St Charles Lwanga Children’s Centre
There is a real need for volunteer help.  Interested individuals can assist in a number of areas.  Help with construction, sponsorship of children, gardening, tutoring, sports training, providing emotional support, and teaching vocational skills (especially tailoring, computer and carpentry), and teaching everyday practical skills to those with learning difficulties.
Volunteers should be at least 18 years of age, and have an interest in helping others.  A good understanding of English is important (as the curriculum is in English).  Experience in tutoring is helpful.  We appreciate volunteers who have the ability to show initiative (seeing the needs and then trying to meet them) rather than having to be told each little thing to do.  It is a requirement at all institutions working with children for volunteers to provide a certificate from their home country showing they do not have a criminal record that relates to their behaviour towards children.

Food and Accommodation:
Volunteers will be provided with the same food as that provided for the boarding children.  The diet is mostly vegetarian, with a lot of red beans and greens, eaten with maize in different forms (githeri, ugali).  While the food is very nutritious, volunteers who are not used to eating it, may wish to buy foods that they are more familiar with, from their own funds.
Accommodation will be provided either at the Children’s Centre or at the convent nearby.  Accommodation is simple but adequate.

Location:
We are located in Ruai, on the outskirts of Nairobi, about 15km east of the city center.  We are fortunate to be surrounded by farmland this close to the city.

Directions:
Travel east until you are on the Kangundo Road (Kayole).  Continue on this road for 15-20 minutes until you reach an overpass called the Ruai-bypass.  Turn left at the bypass.  One kilometre down you will see a small road with a sign for St. Joseph’s.  Turn right on this road.  We are the first large complex on the left.
If taking public transport, take the number 38 matatu from town and alight at Ruai bypass.  You can take a motorbike taxi from there or walk (it’s a long walk if you’re carrying bags).

Costs:
We ask that you pay sh.4,000/week {40dollrs}or sh.15,000/month {120dollars}while you stay with us.  This covers the cost of your food and accommodation and also provides a little bit of money to go towards funding the project.  If you feel this amount would be difficult for you to pay, please let us know and we could consider reducing it.  But we also hope that you appreciate it’s much less than the cost of staying at hotels, and we hope that volunteering with us will be an enjoyable cultural experience that will enrich your stay in Kenya.

Health Issues:
Consult a doctor about immunizations prior to leaving your home country.  Unfortunately, if you do fall sick while staying with us, you will need to cover the cost of health care yourself.  Nairobi has some very good quality hospitals, but they can be expensive.  So you may want to consider health insurance.  Our kitchen staff can boil drinking water for you during your stay so that you can be sure of having safe water to drink.  We advise you bring plenty of insect repellent and a small first aid kit.

Behaviour:
Our centre is a Christian institution and we hope that you will respect our moral standards while you stay with us.  Be aware that in some parts of Kenya rates of HIV infection can be as high as 15%.

Length of stay:
Volunteers who stay longer end up being the most helpful to us.  As such we ask that volunteers stay for a period of at least two weeks.  Longer stays are also welcome.  If you wish to come and go, please give us plenty of advance warning, so we can plan accordingly.

Best time to volunteer:
School holidays fall in the months of April, August and December.  Ideally volunteers should come on other months, though if that is not possible. let us know, and we may be able to find something for you to do that does not involve the children so much.

Things you might like to bring for the children:
Nice second hand clothing (for teenagers, modest clothing if for girls), books, sports equipment, arts and crafts, pens, pencils and other stationery.
Before you come, please let us know what your specific interest is in volunteering, i.e. what skills you are most interested in teaching the children.
Make your arrangements with us well in advance as we cannot guarantee we will have space for you if you turn up unannounced.