Why join us in Kenya…
FREE Safari if you join us for 12 weeks or more
Wildlife, beaches and amazing people!
Immerse yourself in rural Kenya – don’t be a tourist
We have our own Kenya representative – we never rely on a 3rd party
Experience of operating gap year programs since 1993
Travel independently in East Africa with 24/7 support
Want to know more about a Gap Year in Kenya?
Gap Year Kenya: Program Summary
Accommodation: Self catered AV houses with other volunteers; shop in the markets, cook your own food – this is your chance to be independent!
Dates: You can go for as long as you like, whenever you like! Or join a scheduled group departure. Projects start and end in Ukunda.
Explore further: Beaches, Safari, Rafting, Bungee, Trekking
About the program
Briefing & Orientation
You will need to fly into Ukunda, where your Kenya-based AV representative will meet you on arrival. You will head straight to your orientation course for a chance to settle in, unwind after the hectic few days leading up to your departure and get to know the other volunteers. The orientation course is important for making sure you’re fully prepared when you arrive in your school. The course will be led by the AV in country representative, giving you a chance to get to know them too and will cover the following:
- History, customs and culture of Kenya and its people
- Safety, health and security
- Advice on communicating with your students and structuring English or sports sessions
- Some language training in Kiswahili
- The education system in Kenya
The orientation course for the Gap Year Kenya Program takes place close to the beach so you will definitely have the chance to relax and enjoy the location! At the end of the orientation course you will be ready to start your village experience and settle in to your new home, but remember they’re never more than a phone call away if you need them!
What you do each day is down to you, however, two days with AV in Kenya are rarely the same! If you have chosen to spend some time in the classroom all lessons are taught in English and the schools appreciate help in English, maths, science, art, drama, music and computers (if they have them). It would be extremely helpful for you to spend time with students who have been left behind at the back of the class, helping them to read, write and speak English in smaller groups. You can run your sessions in pairs or on your own. Outside of this you will spend time planning for lessons or for your one to one sessions, and may have homework to mark!
For those doing sports coaching you can run all the PE lessons and arrange sports clubs. PE lessons may involve big classes and little equipment, a game of tag or duck, duck goose are great for their simple rules and mass participation, in general they are a good test of your initiative and resourcefulness. Sports clubs involving football, rugby, athletics, rounders, volley ball, cricket and netball are all actively encouraged – however you can also teach new games. Many AV volunteers arrange fixtures or tournaments between the different AV schools or an inter school sports day.
Outside of the classroom or on the sports field, you can make a big impact by running after-school clubs – these have included debating, reading, French, modern dance, art, music or drama. In the past, AV volunteers have run talent shows, produced school newsletters and magazines, and even started a choir. You might choose to brighten up classrooms by painting or decorating the walls with educational murals from the alphabet and numbers to world maps and the solar system – let your imagination run wild and leave your mark!
Each day you can spend time socialising in the staff-room, usually over a cup of chai (sweet tea) or lunch. This is a great chance to get to know your fellow teachers and learn more about them. They will be keen to learn more about your life at home whilst you can practice your Kiswahili! The teachers will be on hand to show you round and advise on where to shop, the nearest internet café etc. They will also be a good link into other work within the community, with the potential for helping at medical clinics or community centres depending on where you are and how much you want to do outside of your responsibilities in the school.
At weekends and on public holidays you can stay in the village or travel further afield. You may want to continue work on projects you have started, such as painting a classroom or revamping the desks and chairs and playground equipment or run an inter school sports competition. Alternatively you can head to Ukunda or Diani to do some shopping, catch up on news from home at an internet café or meet up with other AV volunteers and travel to see other parts of Kenya. You could also go to Shimba Hills game reserve or Kisite Marine Park – there is plenty to do on the Kenyan coast!
In Kenya you will live in designated AV houses with fellow volunteers. An important part of the AV experience is living in local accommodation, shopping at the local markets, being invited to fellow teachers’ houses as well as entertaining the teachers or fellow AVs in the evenings.
The house itself will have a bedroom(s), a communal/cooking area and somewhere to wash. You will have running water and a flushing toilet but expect electricity to be intermittent. Whatever house you get, you will grow to love it and soon feel very much at home! We encourage independence and so you won’t have someone cooking for you and looking after you – it’s a chance to step up and take responsibility for yourself.
You will be given a food allowance and will be expected to shop at the local markets and cook for yourself. Again, this is the best way of getting to know people, being involved in the community and gaining the best possible understanding of living there – you are not a bystander watching from afar.
24/7 AV representative support: Whilst not living with you full time the AV representative is never far away and there whenever you need them. They can be contacted by phone 24/7 and will visit you during your project.
As your project comes to an end AV offers you the chance to stay on for an additional 4 weeks of independent travel time, to ensure a good balance of volunteer work and travel. Kenya and other parts of East Africa have lots of exciting and beautiful places to explore which you won’t get a chance to do in your weekends alone.
From our experience traveling is often when problems occur, from lost passports to getting ill – that’s why we offer this extra travel time to ensure that you experience as much as possible but with the continued 24/7 support from us whilst you do so. It’s up to you, the only rule is that you don’t travel by yourself. If 4 weeks isn’t enough and you are staying on a bit longer in Africa, don’t worry because “Once an AV, always an AV!”
Dates & Costs
Travel whenever you like, for as long as you like.
Create your own customized trip, or join a scheduled group departure – the choice is yours. See our Group Program Dates & Costs for full details or contact us if you’re looking for something customized.
Next group departures:
October 2021 (exact date to be confirmed)
7th January 2022
22nd April 2022
8th July 2022
What can you do in Kenya?
Go on Safari
Get up close to amazing animals on Safari in Kenya. See Giraffe, Zebra, Lions and more…
Enjoy white sandy beaches
Make the most of the beach side location of our Kenya program and relax in crystal clear waters
Whether you want to go out on a boat, go snorkelling, kayaking, surfing, the possibilities are endless
Take a wild ride
Travel in unexpected ways during your Gap Year in Kenya!
Kenya – my home for 6 months. I fell in love with the place, the people and the life, as anybody who has been to Africa will understand.Danielle, Kenya Gap Year Program
One of the most incredible experiences of my life. The children changed my outlook on life and I will forever hold Kenya close to my heart.
“Jambo! I look forward to welcoming you to Kenya and supporting you during your time on AV. The best part of my role for AV is seeing how volunteers develop new skills over such a short period of time”Grace
At Africa & Asia Venture (AV) we believe in a different type of gap year travel.
Where there’s adventure and excitement but also where you find your second home.
Where you don’t just look at the scenery, you become part of the community.
It’s more than travel.
It’s a different way to see the world.
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