With more than 1.6 million men, women and young people from all walks of life seeking to 'make a difference' at the same time as exploring the world and its challenges each year, who is there to help would-be volunteers to source a suitable project and ensure a safe trip which lives up to expectations?.
'Afrilink' is a brand new business based in Kenya offering volunteer placements in a range of not-for-profit settings throughout Kenya as well as packages including affordable accommodation and trips to well-known tourist hot spots.
The not-for-profit organisation places volunteers in a diverse range of settings (including schools and orphanages, HIV centres, hospitals and medical centres) primarily concerned with the welfare of underprivileged women and children.
With more than four years of experience, Afrilink provides 24 hours a day, seven days a week support to all its volunteers from the minute they decide to book until well after they have returned safely home. Personalised and experienced assistance is also offered for individuals wishing to set up charitable foundations locally.
Proprietor Lilian Marwa said: “Over the past five years we have raised thousands of dollars to help women and children in need. We've also helped more than 300 volunteers from all over the world to find rewarding placements in a wide range of not-for-profit settings. Now we're combining that experience with accommodation and tour options to provide the full package to clients.
“Our clients have the comfort of knowing that Afrilink staff are always available for assistance and advice both before, during and after a client's stay with us. A holiday with Afrilink is not just a vacation, it's a chance to make a long-term impact in the community of your choice - without the uncertainties that can plague some such trips.”
Afrilink offers volunteer placements helping in children's homes and orphanages, teaching in primary and secondary schools (including a specialised sport in schools programme), providing HIV education and homecare, running medical and health promotion clinics or helping to run women's education centres and refuge centres (including providing education and skills training).
Afrilink volunteers have access to a wide range of safe and affordable accommodation options including hostels, houses and home-stays across Kenya. The organisation also owns its own newly renovated home-stay property in Nakuru which provides comfortable accommodation for up to 10 people with five bedrooms (three with en-suite facilities), a spacious living area, laundry and kitchen.
Projects are all either in or around Nakuru which lies in the heart of Kenya's world famous Rift Valley and has its very own national park (Lake Nakuru Nation Park - famous for its birdlife especially flamingos and rare white rhinos) or Kisii in Western Kenya (about 300km from Nairobi). All packages include the option to visit local tourist hot spots including Lake Nakuru National Park, the world famous Masai Mara National Park, the Rift Valley soda lakes and the Menengai Crater.
*According to a study in 2008 by Tourism and Research Marketing
For more information about voluntourism placement and accommodation packages with Afrilink visit www.afrilink.co.ke