Gap year expedition in Kenya
Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.
How Gap year expedition in Kenya makes a difference
Winner in the Responsible Tourism Awards 2008, Best Volunteering Organisation category and Highly Commended in 2007, we own our ground operation, which means we have complete control over the sustainability and integrity of our projects and the quality of the experiences we provide. We additionally subsidise our philanthropic objectives through additional funds raised by our Charitable Trust to ensure our work has real and lasting tangible benefits to the communities in which we work.
Our camps act as a source of local industry and employment. 100% of fresh produce and project materials are sourced from sustainable local suppliers and skilled workers are employed from the surrounding communities to assist volunteers with project work. Group sizes are kept small to reduce any negative impact.
Accommodation styles will vary depending on your programme and camp location. However, all permanent accommodation is constructed using locally sourced materials and is in keeping with traditional styles. Temporary camps are designed to create as little impact on the environment and natural surroundings as possible.
Your participation on this expedition provides a significant contribution to indigenous communities, environment and wildlife. Achievements include the completion of a three-year programme at Makongeni Primary School, an area where over 60% of the community lives below the poverty line and few children have access to education. By improving learning facilities, providing better sanitation and clean drinking water, as well as offering 17 scholarships to enable children to progress on to secondary education, attendance has risen by 75%. In addition to this, incidences of water-borne diseases have been reduced for more than 500 families in the surrounding communities as a result of the clean water that has been provided.
Our initiatives in Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, which include producing Elephant dung paper using waste paper collected from major coastal hotels, have generated revenue for the community and provided protection for the animals. Your assistance in the vaccination of chickens and de-worming of goats will help to reduce poaching in the area and with your help we can build on our current achievement of planting nearly 100,000 trees to provide communities with firewood and building materials and to offset our carbon footprint.
Rukinga Sanctuary is a superb, privately run conservancy offering national and International visitors extraordinary experiences and activities. But more importantly, it has turned thousands of acres back to wildlife conservation from previously degraded and overgrazed landscapes, devoid of wildlife, and offered significant, tangible benefits to the local communities that live along its boundaries. Rukinga Sanctuary, and the projects run by Camp Tsavo and Wildlife Works have improved the productivity of the landscape and provided employment and financial support to thousands of families, as well as contributing to the preservation of Kenya’s natural and cultural heritage.
In short, our commitment to local people and the environment is not a by-product of our programmes but core to everything we do. All of our projects are developed and co-located in partnership with the local communities to ensure they (and their natural environment) receive tangible and long-lasting benefits.
The UK office is here to assist you with your booking and help you prepare for your trip. There is also a 24-hour emergency contact number that can be left with your relatives in case they need to contact you or us urgently.
We have established camps alongside rural villages and wildlife conservation areas where poverty levels are high and there is virtually no form of income beyond small-scale farming, to create critical cash economies in areas that would otherwise never benefit from tourism. Our projects have benefited over 30,000 people, providing communities with employment and better access to education and health care. Additionally, by establishing a charity to work alongside the business, we have provided increased support to numerous projects that are independent of our volunteer programmes.
...through Direct Employment:
Our workforce originates from the host country, including management positions. Training is offered as necessary
We are one of the largest employers of staff from the local regions in which we operate, employing over 150 permanent members of staff, with an additional 100-150 staff employed during the summer. Almost all our camp workforce originates from within that same community (within 30 km of camp)
We employ staff transparently, creating a diverse workforce in terms of gender, ethnicity, age and disability
We pay all our employees fairly and treat ethically, respecting International and/or national legal protection of employees
By working in areas where tourism is less established, we contribute to the even distribution of income and economic growth
Most of our fresh produce and project materials are source from sustainable, local supplies
...By Creating Business Enterprise and Eco-Tourism Ventures:
Most camps are established on community land where we pay rent and entrance fees
We have set up and are supporting many initiatives designed to generate an income within local communities such as elephant dung paper making, marine refuse recycling, biomass fuel production, home stay initiatives and several eco-tourism attractions
We encourage all our volunteers to buy locally made sustainable goods and we facilitate craft sales areas near our camps that showcase local products
We encourage volunteers to adopt a ‘fair price policy’ when purchasing local goods and souvenirs
...By Improving Educational Facilities and Teaching Assistance:
Many of our projects address poverty through the development and improvement of educational facilities for young people and adults. Since 2005 we have improved 30 schools across Africa and Asia and provide long-term assistance to the communities that we work with
We are providing schools with solar power, electricity as well as fully equipped libraries and ICT centres
We are sponsoring children to allow them to attend secondary school and also sponsoring the training and employment of teachers
We are building kindergartens to give children a head start in education
We continue to develop our Sport for Development programme in Africa as we recognise this as an important tool for social change
...By Improving Sanitation and Healthcare:
We reduce the incidences of water-borne diseases by developing several clean water initiatives to provide communities with safe drinking water. This includes the construction and installation of boreholes, wells, gravity-fed water collection, and water storage
We reduce the risk disease by installing proper sanitation facilities in schools and communities, such as flushing toilets and washbasins
Our healthcare programmes are designed to provide education and practical support for communities, tackling a range of issues including nutrition, childcare, parasitic prevention and treatment, sexual health and women’s health
...By Increasing Food Security:
Our ongoing veterinarian initiatives improve livestock welfare standards and ensure a good meat yield and better profits for local farmers
We support various aqua-culture projects thereby improving sustainable fish production
We are introducing permaculture farming into communities as a sustainable long-term solution to food production and self-sufficiency
We support feeding programmes for young children in the poorest areas of Kenya and Tanzania
Gap year expedition in Kenya