"Harambee" – volunteering with Brighter Communities Worldwide is an experience of a lifetime – working together with local communities in Kenya.

Volunteering overseas

In Kenya

Do you like to travel? Do you care about people? Do you love a challenge? Do you like to step outside of your comfort zone and experience something new? Do you care about global development and wonder why in some parts of the world people have to struggle hard just to survive? Have you always wanted to do something about it?

If the answer is yes, then your time – your energy – your skills – your motivation and your enquiring mind could make a difference to people’s lives in Kenya this year.

Londiani is a town and a sub-county in Kenya. The communities there face many challenges in their daily lives. Brighter Communities Worldwide are an Irish registered charity (CHY 16505) who have been working with these communities and supporting them in their efforts since 2002.

People are at the heart of what the work is about. The aim is to create better futures by providing an environment of support, skills and knowledge that local people can work with and focus on their needs especially around better health, improved opportunities for education, clean water and economic empowerment.

Throughout the year, staff and volunteers in Kenya work on community development programmes on the ground which are tackling these issues. The Brighter Communities Worldwide volunteer programme provides you with the opportunity to add to the work being done by stepping on board with these communities. Work alongside them in a spirit of partnership, share your skills and your knowledge with them, gain a unique insight into the problems and solutions of living in an area so different to your part of the world.

Harambee is a Swahili word which means ‘working together’ and this is what volunteering with Brighter Communities Worldwide is all about. Each year, there are usually two Harambee’s from Ireland – one in July and another in November. Harambee provides a short-term volunteer placement opportunity for two or three weeks in Kenya along with a training programme around it to enhance the experience and help prepare you for it. Not enough time to change the world but enough time to change your way of looking at it. This is a chance to use your skills to help make changes to peoples’ lives and to explore hands on for yourself an understanding of global development issues. It is also an opportunity to learn new skills.

The work done on Harambee varies depending on what the community are working on at the time but it is always based on supporting the main areas of health, education, clean water and economic empowerment. For example –

  • Volunteers help with facilitating community based courses for example – Wilderness First Aid; Business trainings; Lifeskills Peer Education and Maternal Health Courses.
  • They work in schools on the Healthy Schools Programme with students and teachers who are making school a healthier place to be by educating on health issues and building washrooms and latrines.
  • They work with the Public Health office on Outreach clinics which provide vaccination and health checks for people living far from health clinics and hospitals.
  • They work with local community health workers to make homes a healthier place to be by making improvements like installing smokeless stoves.

Information on each specific Harambee will have more details of the work to be undertaken click here.

Go with an open mind, a flexible nature and a willingness to help. Share the experience with team mates who start out as strangers and become close friends and local people who will amaze you with their positive attitude, perseverance and ingenuity. Come home with a wealth of memories, a personally enriching experience and a whole new perspective on life.

For information on current schedules, costs, fundraising targets, selection process and application forms click here.

Click here further information on Harambee 2018.

Comhlamh Volunteer Charter

Brighter Communities Worldwide are signatories to the Comhlamh Volunteer Charter which is a guide for people who are going to volunteer overseas in developing countries. It sets out seven principles that aim to encourage responsible, responsive international volunteering. Each of these principles contains a list of questions to help you make sure that you have thought about the issues raised, and to ensure that you know why they are important.

The Comhlamh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies

Brighter Communities Worldwide is a signatory of the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies. The Code is a set of standards for organisations involved in facilitating international volunteer placements in the global south.

The focus of the Code is to ensure overseas volunteering has a positive impact for the three main stakeholders: the volunteer, the sending agency and the local project and community.

The Code has been developed in close consultation with Irish volunteer sending agencies, returned volunteers and with a range of partners that host international volunteers. It is based on the values of sustainable development, solidarity and partnership.

As signatories to the Code, Brighter Communities Worldwide conducts an annual self-audit of our compliance and every 3 years we undertake a desk-based review.  Following our 2017 desk-based review, we were referred to the Comhlamh Recognition Panel who is tasked with the responsibility of conferring the Core Indicators and Comprehensive Compliance awards and we were awarded Comprehensive Compliance standard for the second time.  This means that we have all core indicators and at least 85% of all indicators in place for our international volunteer programmes. Comprehensive Compliance status is the highest award for quality responsible volunteering programmes available to Irish international volunteer sending agencies.

Find out more here »

If you feel we are not adhering to the Code please contact us admin@brightercommunities.org or info@comhlamh.org.

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…and find out what other volunteers think

Check out what volunteers have said on our YouTube channel – link to you tube volunteer testimonials. Read the fascinating accounts on the blog from volunteers on the ground in Kenya during the July and November Harambee months.

And if, after all that, you’re still interested in working with us, then we’re very interested in working with you.