Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Placement review

Info for volunteers
We have various projects including solar cooking introduction (please read details on Projects section of website they are very simple and small units which will already be being used but it is ongoing to ensure the cooks are still using them properly), also solar energy panel kit production (details later). You can help with health & hygiene teaching (we are receiving a brief from AMREF on this).
If we have raised funds for computers you can help teach basic IT..
We are also talking about projects for sustainable development such as oil production from sunflowers or from local tree seeds, also dairy farming (cattle to provide milk) or goats, etc .. you will help with whatever is ongoing at the time.
You can teach at your own schedule and help with whatever stage current construction projects are at. You will be mentor, teacher, friend to the children, playing sports, singing, eating, not "caring" for them in terms of a nanny. You will help cook meals, in solar cookers hopefully, and to tidy up, any way you wish. Teach art, teach creatively, there are kenyan teachers to teach straight maths etc. you will take part in the lives of the children as a whole.
The best advice I can give you, is to have an open mind .. nothing is written in stone. AVIF does not operate regimented classes as in ESL positions around the world. This is more of an experience for you all.
You will pay your own costs but .. if you wish you can pay the orphanage certainly no more than $200 a month (each) for costs upfront (fuel for electricity generator at orphanage/ firewood / electric to charge phones / cameras etc. & for any meals you have with the children, any transportation you need and fuel for the vehicle.) This price will cover all costs except drinks, bearing in mind you will eat with the children.
You will probably buy your own food too if you do not like the standard meals of rice and beans or maize and ugali (green veg).
$200 is only EUR150, or £100 for a whole month of transportation, meals with the children, electricity. This is very reasonable. The actual costs you may incur may be less, but $200 will also cover a donation to the construction of the next building, improvements to the orphanage, etc.
If you prefer then you can simply pay out for your costs as you incur them, and make sure you have discussed this with your host first. i.e pay for all taxis, pay for all food .. but you will find that you are charged more if you are paying yourself, than a local ever will be (your hosts). Please bear in mind that some volunteers pay agencies to place them (and may pay $500-$1000) for this, part of which is donated to the orphanage. Other volunteers may pay fees and costs of $300-1000 per person per month for the experience.
We believe you have already paid enough to get to Kenya, and in the time you are devoting but you should NOT incur any costs on your hosts.
AVIF are only concerned in sustainable development .. giving your host money does not help the children, giving them a way to earn money continually will .. and by doing something that involves the children is even better.
Asante & salamu !
Alison Lowndes
Founder Trustee
VoIP & IM Skype : avif_volunteers_in_kenya
Member of the NCVO & DEA
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AVIF is a UK exempt charity able to claim GiftAid HMRC ref. XR99385