VSO has been in Kenya since 1959. Our work there today is managed by VSO Jitolee, an independent Kenyan-registered NGO, working as part of the global VSO federation. Through promoting volunteering and volunteerism, we fight poverty and enhance the participation of disadvantaged members of the society.
In Kenya, we work through volunteers who are placed with strategic partners in 20 counties. They work at local, national, regional and pan-African levels, in areas of education, health and secure livelihoods.
We also work within the wider east African region to support VSO regional programmes targeting women, youth and disabled people, with a focus in disability, health and secure livelihoods. Gender and inclusion, climate change and advocacy are cross-cutting themes in all our work.
National volunteering has been integrated in all our work as a key way to promote active citizenship and empower people, especially youth, to understand and drive the development of their own communities.
Our international volunteer recruitment programme creates and offers unique opportunities for east and southern African nationals to share their skills and make a difference in the global society.
We support local organisations to strengthen linkages with the government, microfinance institutions and private sector to access resources. Volunteers with skills in organisational development, finance, microfinance, resource mobilisation, business development and communications support organisations at this level. Local networks are also strengthened to address the local level.
Disability and education
VSO Jitolee has over the years worked in the disability sector and played a major role in policy development on the rights of persons with disabilities in Kenya. Our partnerships with the Ministry of Education, through the Education Assessment and Resource Centres has enabled us to work in schools and community based rehabilitation services in increasing access to education for children with disabilities.
We aim to improve:
- the quality of community services provided jointly by institutions and partners
- the involvement of disabled people – especially women and their families in sustainable economic activities
- provide access to relevant information and services on HIV and AIDS for disabled people
- improve access to education for youth and children with disabilities
- the enactment and implementation of disability-friendly policies and legislations.
Our main objectives in the health programme are to strengthen the management capacity of the health systems and information at the local, county and national level. This helps vulnerable and marginalised populations receive appropriate and accessible quality healthcare and service.
We also hope to increase access to quality healthcare, information and services by delivering integrated interventions in the following areas:
- maternal, child, and newborn health
- family planning and sexual reproductive health
- HIV prevention and control
- water supply and sanitation
VSO works to improve access to markets, training, microcredit and other support services. We also link our partners to microfinance institutions for financial services as well as lobbying and advocating for reforms and enabling laws that support the microfinance sector in Kenya.
We aim to:
- increase the number of youth, women, people infected with HIV and AIDS and disabled people accessing microfinance services
- improve capacities for the poor in enterprise development
- build partner organisations’ ability to lobby for laws, policies and regulations that will improve the livelihoods of informal sector workers
- enhance capacity and knowledge of organisations on markets, e-marketing, market research and market chain analysis
- initiate strategies focusing on environmental management and affects of climate change to development.
Youth volunteering in Kenya
People aged 18-25 can apply to do fully-funded placements lasting three months in a number of developing countries, including Kenya, through the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.
We have ICS projects in Nanyuki, Machakos and Loitokitok. Volunteers from the UK and Kenya work with young people and people with disabilities to support community projects around sustainable incomes, agriculture and increasing active citizenship. For example, in Machakos the volunteers created kitchen gardens in schools to generate food and income. They also worked alongside the Kenya Red Cross to plan and deliver an event for World Aids Day.
Find out about International Citizen Sevice.
Get in touch with VSO Kenya at:
VSO Jitolee, Timau Plaza 5th Floor, Argwings Kodhek Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Find out about volunteering
By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?