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MANDO offers internships for young professionals and those studying at university or recently graduated. Internships are meant to equip the next cohort of policy researchers and activists with professional skills necessary to develop their careers.

Q&A

What does MANDO offer?

  • the opportunity to work with some of the most informed and distinctive African-focused development activists
  • a strong introduction to the professional life and business of an NGO, learning to contribute to both policy research and implementation
  • the opportunity to define and undertake research related to MANDO programs and develop this into publishable material, with our guidance
  • an opportunity to meet researchers and activists from across Africa, develop networking connections and attend conferences, seminars and other events on behalf of MANDO
  • reference for future employment and responding to reference requests after you have left

What experience do I need?
Professional experience is not required. What IS needed is enthusiasm and an interest in human rights and social justice in Africa. We normally expect a prospective intern to have studied or currently be studying for a bachelor’s degree or have some form of experience or knowledge of Africa or African issues. 
Interns need to be computer literate (email, internet and Microsoft software).

What kind of volunteer work could I do?
Volunteer opportunities are in teaching, agriculture, primary healthcare and micro-finance programs. Wherever possible, volunteer placements will be tailored to the needs of the volunteer.

Is there any time of the year when I can’t volunteer?
Volunteers are able to participate in the Kenya program all year round. For the teaching program, however, school holidays run during April, August, and December/early January. Volunteers can work during school holidays if the majority of their placement is during the school term. These volunteers need to come prepared to volunteer in the children's program during holiday times or any other program undertaken by MANDO.

When will I know specific details on my placement?
Details of your placement are determined several weeks before you arrive. Whenever possible, we will see that requests and specific needs are met with regard to both the volunteer and the needs of the community.

Where will I be located?
There are two program locations – either at Kiserian or Eremit Maasai communities in Kajiado 80 km south-west of Nairobi, consiered suburbs of Nairobi

Tell me more about flying into Kenya
Volunteers will fly into Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and will be met on arrival by a member of our team.

When do I need to arrive in Kenya?
The Kenya program has two volunteer intakes per month, on the 1st and the 15th. Volunteers fly into Nairobi and should arrive the day before, so they are ready to take part in a training program on these dates. Accommodation can be arranged for you if you arrive earlier than the day before orientation begins. You will need to pay your own expenses for any time you stay in Kenya outside of training and volunteer time.

How do I get to the projects?
Orientation is in Kiserian. Volunteers will then be transferred to their program areas at the conclusion of training. This cost is included in the program fee.

Tell me more about accommodations
You will stay either in a Kenyan Maasai manyatta or on a site near the volunteer placement. Host families have all been carefully selected to provide you with a safe family environment and an insight into Kenyan life.

How to adapt technologically?
Electricity is available for charging phones using solar sources at Maasai villages. You will need adapters which wewill discuss later in the enrollment process.

I have relatives/friends in Kenya; Can I live with them while volunteering?

It depends with the volunteer work schedule. We encourage all volunteers to stay in accommodations arranged by MANDO. This encourages focus on the project and provides the opportunity to stay with other volunteers.

Do you make provisions for special diets?
It is possible for special arrangements to be made if you have a vegetarian diet or other special dietary requirements.

Are there holidays or festivals I should be aware of when traveling?
There are many festivals in Kenya. You most likely will be invited to celebrate with everyone.

What age do I need to be to volunteer?
You must be 18 years or older. There is no upper limit; we only require that volunteers are in good health.

What immunizations/vaccinations will I need?
Suggestied ones are below. Please consult with your medical professional or travel specialist.

  • hepatitis A & B
  • polio
  • typhoid
  • yellow fever
  • diphtheria and tetanus
  • rabies
  • meningitis
  • cholera
  • malaria (needs to be closely discussed with doctor)
  • tuberculosis
Do I need to speak English?
Yes. Kenya's two main languages are English and Swahili. Even if you may be hopelessly lost in the bush, you probably will be able to find someone who speaks English. It is useful for volunteers to have a working knowledge of Swahili, especially outside the urban areas and in remote parts of the country.

Can I bring my family?
Volunteers are welcome to bring family members. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Partners need to complete a separate application if they wish to take part in the program.

How safe is it to volunteer in Kenya?
Kenya has a democratic electoral process and a stable economy. Political rallies such as those held in Nairobi and Kisumu in January 2008 and, before that in July 2004, have become violent, however, and crime has increased. Travel advisories recommend that visitors exercise a high degree of caution, with some even recommending avoiding non-essential travel. While in Kenya, visitors should avoid rallies or demonstrations and stay aware of the current situation as the details and dates of rallies may change.
Most volunteers will be accommodated in a home stay situation. The host families have all been carefully selected to provide you with a safe family environment and an insight into Kenyan life. As in many countries, foreigners are perceived as wealthy in Kenya. Although the people are generally warm and friendly towards foreigners, as well as appreciative of the work done by volunteers, not every individual is the same. We work extremely hard to ensure you are placed in safe environments while volunteering, and security policies are in place to achieve this. However, as in any situation at home or abroad, there is no way to erase all potential threats.

How many volunteers are there on site at the same time?
This depends on how many people volunteer at any one time. Generally you are placed with one to three other volunteers at your project depending on other sign-ups. Some placements have fewer volunteers in general, so you may be the only volunteer assigned. Note that due to variation in volunteer numbers, we are unable to confirm the number of volunteers until closer to your placement start date.

What is the course content of the orientation?
Orientation takes place during two days in Nairobi or Kiserian. Volunteers are given a general introduction to Swahili language and a cultural orientation.

What hours am I expected to take part in the program?
Volunteers work between four and six hours per day, five days a week. Weekends and school holidays are free time.

Is there the opportunity to take classes such as language or more cultural while on the program?
Yes. You should discuss this with our team if you are interested in using spare time to participate in activities outside of the program.

Are we able to do any sightseeing?
Volunteers staying six weeks or more are welcome to take short breaks. We recognize that volunteering can be quite intensive. There are often other volunteers who want to explore also; we ask that you wait until you are at least two weeks into your placement before planning a trip. If you plan to volunteer for less than six weeks, please arrange sightseeing trips before or after your time with MANDO so as not to interrupt your work. You may like to travel to meet up with other volunteers and join in local festivities and explore your local surroundings. Safaris are a popular activity for many volunteers. MANDO is able to help you organize safari packages at competitive and special rates. We ask that if you wish to take a break from volunteering that you give our partner organization advance notice.

What clothing is appropriate?
Considering the temperature, we recommend light colored, cotton clothing that modestly covers your body (knee-length or longer). Along with comfortable, sturdy footwear, a pair of sandals for light walking is also recommended. Don't forget sunglasses and a hat.

What resources will be available?
In most cases resources are limited. You may like to take donations of goods with you to distribute or use in the program. If you do choose to fundraise or donate items, please consult the list of suggested items in the program guide you will receive . We recommend purchasing items in Kenya as transport can be difficult and expensive.

Who organizes my visa for my volunteer placement?
A visa can be obtained through a travel agent or independently before arriving in Kenya or for citizens of most countries, this can be obtained at the airport upon arrival. Details in our program guide includes links to Kenyan embassies throughout the world.

Do I need travel insurance?
All MANDO volunteers must have insurance which can be through the provider of choice. As some policies do not cover volunteering, you should check whether you are covered during your placement.

Costs
If your application is successful and you are accepted, we get to work organizing your placement. You don't have to pay us anything before arrival. It is an honor for us to do this as you have chosen MANDO and the communities we serve for your volunteer work.

2-week placement: 365£/US $470
three weeks: 450£/$580
1 month: 537£/690
five weeks: 613£/$790
six weeks: 656£/$845
seven weeks: 784£/$1010
two months: 870£/$1120
(request longer term amounts)

These fees go directly back into the project you are involved with for items such as building materials, supplies, food vehicles and equipment. Contributions over and above these rates are welcome and encouraged.

What you get

Pre-trip

  • all the support you need from our experienced volunteer coordinator including unlimited phone and email access
  • an online resource guide covering country backgrounding, details on your placement, travel links, visa application and much more
  • pre-departure support from your program specialist

In Kenya

  • transfers to and from Niarobi International Airport
  • stay-over in Karen wildebeest eco camp if necesary (for those who arrive late at night)
  • full board and lodging
  • orientation
  • weekly laundry service
  • all project-related transportation and equipment
  • 24/7 in-country support and guidance from the project management team + 24-hour emergency line
  • Kenyan SIM card to be returned at the end of your stay

Post trip

  • debriefing and opportunity to provide feedback
  • access to MANDO alerts including future internship/opportunities
  • letter of completion attesting to volunteer service

Not included

Flights to and from Nairobi, medical insurance (including repatriation), visas, vaccinations, items of a personal nature such as souvenirs, gifts, extra food.

We recommend you allow a weekly budget of US $50 for your other expenses such as bottled water, lunch, personal items, beverages and entertainment.

You can apply at any time, but it’s best to apply two to three months before you would like to start. We will send further details on your placement with information on how to prepare for your trip abroad. More information about accommodations and financial requirements can be obtain upon request.

More information here.

Read about one person's experience.

More about Kenya

 
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