17.03.2020 Statement on International Volunteering in 2020 and COVID-19
As an organisation, we are in unchartered territory along with the rest of the world as we respond to the threat posed by COVID-19. The health and safety of our volunteers, staff and the communities that we work with is our number one priority at this time. We are guided by the governments in Ireland and in Kenya, the HSE and the Ministry of Health.
Regretfully we have taken the decision to cancel our international Harambee volunteer projects this year – the first cases of the COVID-19 virus were announced in Kenya this weekend and the President has announced similar safeguarding measures as what we now have in Ireland – in the coming week all schools in Kenya will close; there are restrictions to public gatherings in place and all travel is suspended for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported coronavirus cases.
None of us know how long these measures will be in place but at this stage we know it will be months not weeks before things start to get back to normal. There will be huge disruption to the delivery of our programmes, aside from the threat to the health of our staff, partners and the communities with whom we work. Reducing and dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 is our priority now. We stand in solidarity with the communities we work with in Kenya and we will be doing all that we can to support them through this time.
We want to thank you for your interest in our Harambee volunteer project and for your support – cancellation for 2020 is more than disappointing but we feel it is the most responsible and safest course of action. We would like to ask you to please consider travelling with us in 2021 instead – consider this a postponement of your plans rather than a cancellation. All being well, we would be very happy to welcome you to Kenya next year.
We are now facing an unprecedented challenge to our income in 2020 as fundraising plans will be severely impacted. We will be sharing plans for online appeals in the coming weeks and if you can support them with donations and by sharing them with those friends and contacts who would have supported your fundraising efforts this year we would be very grateful. Please follow us on social media for updates – we are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on 086 8744612. Stay safe and stay healthy and keep up the handwashing.
Volunteer overseas with us!
Join us in 2020 when there will be two overseas volunteer projects:
June 2020 – closing date 29/02/2020
- 2 week option – June 6th to 20th
- 3 week option – June 6th to 27th
November 2020 – closing date 30/04/2020
- 2 week option Oct 31st to Nov 14th
- 3 week option Oct 31st to Nov 21st
What do we call our overseas volunteer projects?
Harambee! A Swahili word which means ‘working together’ and this is what our volunteer projects are all about – working together with local staff and volunteers in Kenya. The projects happen twice a year during June/July and during October/November and volunteers take part as teams.
What do volunteers do in Kenya?
Volunteers support the community development programmes that Brighter Communities Worldwide operate in Kenya in partnership with the local communities. These programmes are based on the needs of the people and focus on improving health, access to clean water, better education and increasing household incomes.
Our programmes require the support of volunteers to run effectively and efficiently throughout the year and overseas volunteers add extra capacity to the local Kenyan volunteer base as they work alongside them in delivery of various programmes.
Volunteer roles include –
- Team facilitation of community based courses in Lifeskills; Remote Emergency Care; Business trainings.
- Delivering Healthy schools workshops
- Installing smokeless stoves
- Training guides and porter on a sustainable tourism trekking route project
- Building the capacity of local volunteers & staff through individual volunteer skills sharing e.g . teaching; IT; medical; trekking.
Don’t worry if you think you don’t have the skills for the above, we will provide you with all the training you need and draw on your existing skills and develop new ones.
You’ll be inspired by the local people, their positive attitude and perseverance. Teammates start out as strangers and become close friends.
How much does it cost?
Personal cost – includes training expenses, flights, food, accomodation & transport in Kenya.
- 3 week project - €2,250
- 2 week project - €2,000
Fundraising cost - a minimum of €1,000 - this is a target each volunteer commits to raising before the project and it goes to the community development programmes in Kenya.