Is teaching children in Kenya right for me?
This project is perfect for anyone who enjoys working with children, and wants to help those in need. This is also a great way to add teaching work experience in Kenya to your CV, which could help your future career.
You’ll work as an assistant to a local teacher at a public school. As you develop confidence and prove your capability to the teacher, you may also be able to lead your own classes.
No teaching experience? No problem! On your arrival in Nanyuki, you’ll receive a full induction from Projects Abroad staff. You’ll have support from local teachers, and you also have access to our online database to get ideas. Your supervisor is also available to answer your questions and provide guidance. In addition, we also run regular workshops for all Teaching and Care volunteers. You can exchange ideas and discuss challenges during these sessions.
Please note that you need to have intermediate English skills to join this project.
The project runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time from a minimum of two weeks. We encourage you to stay longer, so you can have a bigger impact at your school.
What will I do at my volunteer Teaching Placement in Kenya?
You’ll work with children at public primary schools. You’ll get involved with the following activities:
- Improve the English levels of the students through fun and interactive lessons
- Assist with extracurricular activities such as sport, music, and art class
- Help provide teachers with extra classroom support
- Improve the safety and cleanliness of the learning environment
As a volunteer teaching in Kenya, your work will focus on the following areas:
Improve the English levels of the students’ through fun and interactive lessons
In Kenya, English is one of the official languages. This makes it an important skill for children to learn from a young age.
You will help encourage children to practice speaking English, and develop their confidence. Get the children speaking by role playing a story, use fun gestures in English songs, or teach a rhyme to help get them comfortable with challenging sounds and words. You’ll gain invaluable working experience in the classroom as a volunteer teaching English in Kenya.
Assist with extracurricular activities such as sport, music, and art class
You also have the opportunity to teach different subjects like maths, creative arts, science, social studies, and physical education (sports). You can also get involved with extracurricular activities such as art and drama.
Let us know if you are interested in these options, and want to know. It’s best to speak to us directly before you go, so we can match you to the school that will be the best fit for you.
Help provide teachers with extra classroom support
Formal schooling at public primary schools is free for all children in Kenya. This came into effect in 2003. Since then, there have been a larger number of students’ at desks, with pencils in hand, ready to learn! This also means that local teachers need extra support to cope with the large numbers of students’ in their classes.
Your role will be to support the teacher, and help struggling students during class. You can also be an extra pair of eyes during a test.
Improve the safety and cleanliness of the learning environment
You will help make sure that students’ at your school know about the importance of practicing good hygiene every day. You’ll encourage them to brush their teeth and wash their hands regularly.
By introducing routines and teaching them the importance of these practices, you will be able to help children avoid health problems. You’ll also assist with hygiene lessons during outreaches organised by Projects Abroad.
Where will I be working in Kenya?
As a volunteer teaching in Kenya, you will be placed in a delightful town called Nanyuki. The peaceful setting is in close proximity to the country’s highest mountain, Mount Kenya. Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is a 3.5 hour drive away from Nanyuki. It’s perfect for a weekend visit.
You will work at a public primary school. Public schools in Kenya are overcrowded, with a ratio of one teacher to 45 students’. This is why we send volunteers to support the work teachers do. You will also notice that infrastructure at your school is quite old, and and they lack resources. You’ll have to think out of the box and use the minimal resources available to you when teaching.
Your weekends and free time should be used to explore Kenya. Take a trip to Ol Pajeta Conservancy and try spot wildlife, or place either foot over the Equator line! You can also relax at a stunning beach on the coast in Mombasa.
A typical day on the Teaching Project in Kenya
Each day you’ll eat breakfast with your host family, and spend time with them before your day of teaching begins. Dressed smartly, you’ll travel to your school using transport organised by Projects Abroad.
A typical day at a school in Kenya begins at 8am and ends around 4pm, Monday to Friday. You may have shorter days depending on your schedule.
On arrival at your primary school, you’ll either lesson plan with a fellow teacher, or you’ll head straight into the classroom to begin classes. In the beginning, you’ll support the teacher during English lessons. As you gain more experience, you may be asked to take the lead.
You can make English fun by singing songs, chanting the ABCs, or role playing a story. Do all of this to get your young students’ speaking and gaining confidence with English.
During lunch, you’ll eat a packed lunch from your host family. Use this time to play with your students’, or sit with teachers and get to know them. This is also the perfect time to ask teachers questions about the education system in Kenya, or how you can improve your teaching methods.
Weekends and free time in Kenya are yours. You can get together with other volunteers to climb Mount Kenya. You can also plan a trip to the capital, Nairobi, for a day of souvenir shopping and food tasting.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of this project is to provide Kenyan children and teachers with educational support as you teach English.
In 2003, Kenya made great strides towards ensuring that all children have a chance to access their right to an education. In that year, children were finally able to attend public primary schools for free. However, with a large influx of young students, public schools and staff are feeling the pressure. Classrooms are overcrowded, and there are too many students for teachers.
This is where you are needed. At your volunteer teaching placement in Kenya, you will offer local teachers additional support in the classroom, while gaining teaching work experience. You will also help your students’ gain confidence with speaking English. You’ll also focus on improving the safety and cleanliness of the classrooms. This could be something as simple as giving a classroom a fresh coat of paint.
To ensure the work we do positively benefits the community, you'll work toward these long term, sustainable goals:
- Improve English levels
- Improve the safety and cleanliness standards of the learning environment
- Encourage learning through creativity
Help us work towards these goals by volunteering as a teacher in Kenya.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Volunteering in Kenya is the perfect opportunity to explore this extraordinary country. With such a vast array of different activities, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to fill your evenings and weekends.
A trip to East Africa wouldn’t be complete without a safari. You can see wildlife like elephants, lions, and even the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, as you explore the savannahs.
Our projects are based in Nanyuki, which is known as the gateway to Mount Kenya. With this majestic mountain on your doorstep, it’s worth taking a day to hike around the base.
You can spend evenings at buzzing restaurants, listening to live music and trying some of the local dishes. Kenya also has must-see markets, with bright textiles and hand carved sculptures.
You can spend your free time exploring independently or travel with a group. With so many volunteers joining us throughout the year, you’re sure to make some new friends and travel buddies during your trip.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Kenya
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