About Volunteering at Future Hope
The school, which is an attractive complex, consists of 8 classrooms, dining hall, kitchen, library, Science lab, computer room, sick bay and toilet/shower block set in walled grounds with an exciting Adventure Playground, small football pitch and netball/ basketball/ volleyball court.
Future Hope Montessori School showing some of the classrooms, the new block built in 2013 and the toliets/shower
The Adventure Playground 'Climbing Wall' always a firm favourite.....and some of the swings
Future Hope is a very different beast from the Government schools that surround it. It is well maintained, secure and well resourced. It is situated on the outskirts of Vipingo Village, a small town of some 15,000 people. There are a limited number of ducas (local shops) selling phone credit, vegetables and basic necessities such as paraffin and Paracetamol!
Currently, Vipingo is still a rural area, however improved connections to neighbouring towns means that it is no longer isolated. With exposure to more tourists through the Vipingo Ridge Golf Course, situated some 10 minutes away, and recent volunteers at Future Hope, outsiders no longer hold the curiosity value they once did! Everyone should feel comfortable walking around the village during the day time. You will be welcomed in a friendly way and made to feel at home. It is however, not the UK, sensible precautions should always be taken wherever you are.
Vipingo Main Street
Why are we different?
All our children are affected by HIV in some way. They have either lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS or are themselves infected. They are all, however, destitute and come from some of the poorest families in the area. Many live with guardians who have neither the money nor the time for them, this makes school the core of their lives. It provides safety, consistency, care, warmth, happiness and fun; a unique place of education and stimulation.
To maintain the level of education excellence we have capped our number at 138 children in the school with a class maximum of 26, in stark contrast to the usual 100-120 per class in the government schools.
We are extremely fortunate to attract generous donors and sponsors which have enabled us to equip and maintain the school to a very high standard; this includes the new computer room, science lab and library. We are a Montessori school that still has to follow the Kenyan syllabus but which is enhanced wherever possible.
You will be living close to the school in basic but safe, comfortable accommodation. The room now has electricity enabling there to be a fan, mini fridge and hob. There is no running water…..however do not despair! The school is only 100 metres away which has both a shower, flush toilets and clothes hand washing facilities.
"Life in Vipingo is so simple and so beautiful. Women sitting in front of their houses, washing the dishes, children running around playing with footballs made out of plastic bags and cows randomly grassing in between the houses - this just creates a special atmosphere where you can almost smell the people's spirit in the air. "
Simple practical furniture in room with double bed
Your accommodation from the outside basic but clean
What your role will be
Your typical day will start at approximately 8.00am when on arrival at school you will help give the children their breakfast. The children arrive any time after 7.00am. Classes start at either 8.10 or 9.10 depending on whether you are a (KG1-3) or primary (Standard 1-8) assistant. The school day ends at 4.30pm at which point you will probably want to collapse with a large glass of wine, you are free to leave any time after 4.00pm!!
Your main duties will be to take focus reading groups, ICT, support the class teacher and on Wednesdays prepare and teach creative. In the afternoons you will be helping take PE and sports or indoor games if it’s raining. Your own personal timetable can be created on arrival to maximise your strengths and expertise.
"I didn’t have any teaching experience but was able to work closely with the Kenyan teachers under their guidance and help the children with their English and Maths in class, I worked with smaller groups of children on focused activities and got involved in all the outdoor activities and games."
All teaching is done in English but it helps to have a smattering of Kiswahili – we can help with that before you arrive and basic phrases will be included in your pre-welcome pack, which can be downloaded. Should you want to learn more then we can organize Swahili lessons in the afternoons.
Previous volunteers have enjoyed producing a school play; another, a fantastic integrated music project with Welsh schools; two of our first volunteers created a small adventure playground, whilst our American Peace Corps volunteer designed a gymnastic display for the Opening Day ceremony….although these were major projects, others have contributed in a significant way by teaching new skills such as singing, dancing, sport, reading and opening the children’s eyes to another way of life.
‘The Rabbit and the Well’ Produced and directed by 2 of our previous volunteers Hector Dyer and George Thrupp -February 2012
What you will gain from Volunteering with us?
- You will experience a completely different way of life
- You will interact with the local community and have an opportunity of learning Swahili
- Live an uncomplicated life in basic but comfortable accommodation
- Have a really rich and rewarding experience by learning more about the children from Future Hope and learn first-hand the sort of challenges they face on a daily basis
- You can work on our turtle conservation project
- For the last two weeks you can work as a volunteer up at Lions Bluff see http://www.lionsblufflodge.com working with the Lumo Conservancy and help protect a glorious unspoilt wilderness, teeming with game…..
- You will get to meet Monty Shadow, the school cat…..
- ….and most importantly you will be able to make a real difference to some of Kenya’s poorest and most deprived children and change their lives for the better….but it’s not a one way street it will change your outlook on life for ever.
Who are we looking for?
Do you fit the bill? Provided you can speak good English, are healthy, over 18 and under 70 we would love to hear from you. Teachers and those experienced in working with children are particularly welcome but it is not a prerequisite.
Our volunteer programme is in its early stages and, as such, we do need resourceful, independent individuals who can stand on their own two feet. But don’t panic there will always be help at hand to guide and support where necessary. Your input will be greatly appreciated and all feedback taken on board. You can make a difference not only to the school but also to future volunteers.
This project is NOT suitable for single girls under 21 and it’s always MUCH more fun if you come with a mate! We strongly recommend you come in pairs if this is your first experience away from home.
Minimum age 18 - ONLY if in pairs of either sex or mixed
21+ suitable for confident, independent individuals
Minimum duration 4 weeks with optional extension
Included in our package:
- Secure, simple, single accommodation (double bed can sleep a couple) and now NEW for 2014 electricity, fan and mini fridge!
- Locking door and security grill
- Parrafin lamp (for occasional power cuts!)
- Water tank in room
- Electric hot plates and utensils for cooking
- Use of school shower and flushing toilets
- Clothes washing facilities at the school
- Breakfast/Lunch at school
- Airport transfer
- Welcome/Arrival pack – emailed after confirmation of placement
- Useful phrases in Swahili - emailed
- Map showing restaurants, ATM, supermarkets etc
- Information on hygiene and medical information on HIV
- Village orientation
- Nominated English speaking support person who will be on tap to help you in any way possible and to accompany you to the supermarket, some 20 minutes away, at the beginning
- School T shirt with logo, which you can keep as a souvenir
- Telephone SIM card – please bring old, unlocked mobile
8-4 daily (except Wednesday)
Wednesday afternoon off
- Travel Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Inoculations – see health care section
- CRB Check – this takes about six weeks. Please apply for this well in advance
- Supper and food at weekends
- Spending money
- Lions Bluff – see additional information
- Mobile top-up cards
Placement Dates and Costs 2017
August 29th -
January 2nd 2018
*Enquire for SPECIAL discount for room sharing with a friend*
+ £20 non- refundable registration fee
So why should you pay to volunteer?
If you are giving up your time to volunteer, why give up your money too? Firstly, because it actually costs the Vipingo Village Fund money to host volunteers at the school! The Vipingo Village Fund reserves the volunteers’ accommodation 12 months a year, which guarantees a steady income for the owner of the block and gives you a place to live! Your breakfast and lunch is included and then there is maintenance, running costs for the shower and toilet facilities at the school, water pump, volunteer bicycles, and more. Lastly, as a non-profit organization, any extra from your contribution goes directly to supporting the school to keep the children educated, clothed, fed and generally looked after.
Paying Your Deposit and Balance
Once you have received and accepted a volunteer placement, confirmation of which will sent to you by email, you will be required to pay the non-refundable deposit of £250 to secure your place, which will be put towards the total payable. The balance for the period of your stay is payable at least four weeks before departure. If your departure is within four weeks of acceptance, then the total figure is payable immediately. Please pay The Vipingo Village Fund Barclays Bank plc, The Vipingo Village Fund A/C No 00532894, Sort Code 20-02-62
NB We will not accept any volunteers until the full amount has been received and cleared by the bank four weeks before departure. How you raise this money is down to you. If you do want to use your volunteering experience as an opportunity to fundraise, and we really hope you do, have a look at our Fund Raising page to learn how!
IMPORTANT! Refund Policy
The deposit of £250 + £20 registration fee is non-refundable.
As it is very difficult for us to fill volunteer places at short notice if you cancel prior to starting your placement we require 4 weeks notice. We can only refund any money already paid in excess of 8 weeks from cancellation of the volunteer placement. We regret that once you have begun your placement no refunds are available except in exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of the Trustees of the Vipingo Village Fund. Please remember that nearly all of the money you pay for your placement goes directly towards running our charitable projects in Vipingo, Kenya.
Please see our Refund Policy above.
Fill in our Application Form NB: To register please transfer £20 to The Vipingo Village Fund Barclays Bank plc, The Vipingo Village Fund, A/C No 00532894, Sort Code 20-02-62 (non-refundable if we cannot place you, otherwise this will be deducted from the total owing)