Sisi Kwa Sisi 'Africamp'
Sisi Kwa Sisi Camp
Help us run one of our famous Sisi Kwa Sisi (one to one) summer camps for Kenyan children who are beneficiaries of the charity. This is a chance to have a lot of fun working with the kids we support, running games and activities and some of the developmental programmes we operate with our staff.
For the kids, the camp is a central part of their year, a holiday to look forward to and make them feel part of the MM family and a chance to meet everyone. It's an important encouragement for them in school, plus it's safe and fun.
Camping in an area of woodland near Nairobi with facilities on-site, this event is an annual holiday for our beneficiaries aged from four to twenty four. Some will be children of beneficiaries who started being supported back in 1991. There will be children from all the schools we support and the Rescue Centre, an estimated 120 kids plus Kenyan staff and parents and supporters. Imagine an American style summer camp in Africa.
The camp runs from the Saturday 27th July to Sunday 4th August. Volunteers can arrive on Friday 26th and help with some of the preparation and then to meet the kids arriving.
We'd like to then take some of the children for a trek up Mount Kenya for five days from 5th to 9th August, and anyone wishing to join them will be very welcome! Or, if you'd like to do a safari or visit the coast down near Mombasa or go to Lamu then we can organise that too.
Activities during the camp include going on safaris to see animals (many Kenyan children have never an elephant or a giraffe), sports competitions, drama, music, campsite games and learning about bushcraft, walks and picnics in the Ngong hills, plus of course the job of cooking and making fires and campfire songs.
It's also a chance to help us work with the children in visualising their future and aspects of personal development through a scheme called the Tree of Life. There is a sports equivalent called the Team of Life. This intervention helps us help the children increase their sense of self worth and work towards a future through education and self-belief. Your interaction with the children is of great value, the children will be greatly influenced by your presence, compassion and support. We have reflection time and plenty of chances to spend time discussing dreams and plans, and giving encouragement.
Some of the older children are already in college and at university, they are on the cusp of getting jobs and starting careers. You can help advise them on creating a good portfolio or CV, setting up online profiles and managing job interviews. Not just that but you can assist with showing them the power and potential of the internet as they start to think of their vocations and possibilities.
The minimum target is 1500 pounds and 500 of this pays for your costs in country plus the running of the Sisi Kwa Sisi camp. The rest enables us to fund the salaries of our staff - social workers, counsellors, teachers, programme managers - and the cost of the education of the beneficiaries. We fund school fees, plus college and university costs.
Our aim is to get at least 20 volunteers to come out and fundraise for the total of 30,000. This will enable us to run the camp and also fund our staff and beneficiaries for the year. If we get more, which we always hope we will, then the money is used to expand the programme. In other words give more children an opportunity, and employ more staff and perhaps run health campaigns in schools.
Insight into Moving Mountains and avoiding stereotypes
This trip provides a great insight into how we run our developmental work in Kenya, and how long term programmes can provide such positive changes to people. The Kenyan staff will be your guides and show you everything from rescue centres to schools, clinics and homes. It is a chance to see how your fundraising is used on the ground and meet some inspiring people along the way, and hopefully make some lasting friends.
It is also an opportunity for you to interact with others in a friendly and equal way, learning from others irrespective of background, and helping people think about their values and opinions, and to see the flipside of Africa.
We are not about perpetuating damaging stereotypes about volunteering or aid in Africa, and we're not interested in marketing a 'save the world' message either. We have so many years of evidence and experience to back up our success story, and it's been one that has involved many people in Kenya over decades.
Travel and making new friends
It is also a chance to travel, go on an adventure and make new friends. Many volunteers we host report that their experience with us has been a defining one, giving them a direction in life and the motivation to do many things they may never have considered. For the Kenyans, who are very engaged with social media, they make new friends and keep in touch for a long time afterwards.
Here's Beatrice talking about her life and dreams; she was sponsored originally by founder of Moving Mountains, Gavin Bate, and was a volunteer with our school trips but is now a nurse and one of our staff for both beneficiaries and volunteers.
We are careful to ensure that this experience is a responsibly managed and with more than twenty years working in the development sector we believe we have a good model. We will require you to have a criminal record check since you'll be working with children, and we do ask that people respect both the laws of the country with respect to child protection and also our rules as a charity when on these camps.
- Rucksack or duffle, 65-90 litres (check airline for weight allowance)
- Small day pack, approx 20-25 litres (hand luggage for flight)
- 2 season sleeping bag and roll mat
- Clothing should be conservative and comfortable
- Jacket or fleece
- Good walking shoes & trainers, also flip flops or sandals
- Sunhat, sun glasses, sun cream, insect repellant, plasters
- Wash kit and travel towel
- Camera, phone, charger, moneybelt, notebooks etc
- Water bottle
We would advise lightweight and loose fitting, synthetic or a poly/cotton mix tend to be a little more comfortable and quicker drying. July in Nairobi can be quite cool in the evening and warm in the day.
What type of volunteers do we attract at Moving Mountains?
A lot of our volunteers are adults who are taking time out of work, or just looking for a good cause to lend their skills and motivation. Teachers are most welcome, we find they have been very inspirational both for the pupils and also the teachers in Kenya who love to have professional visitors come and share their knowledge. Here's a teacher from King Edwards School in Bath having a hilarious science lesson with the pupils at Wagwer Secondary School in Western Kenya:
The Sisi Kwa Sisi camps have been running for a long long time and have been a part of the lives of many of the Kenyan beneficiaries. Here are some of them talking about their dreams and how we help achieve them.
Sisi Kwa Sisi minimum fundraising target is £1500.00
£500.00 of this figure will go towards the cost of the camp which includes your costs - meals, camping, activities - plus all the costs for the children.
The balance of £1000.00 goes towards the charity paying for the educational costs of the beneficiaries and our staff - counsellors, teachers, social workers - for the year.
Since we are a registered charity, you can set up an online fundraising page on our Moving Mountains profile on BT MyDonate, and this enables you to take advantage of the Gift Aid scheme. Gift Aid adds 25p to every £1 donation from a UK tax payer. This means that the figure of £1500.00 is actually £1125.00 plus gift aid added to the donation, as long as it comes from a UK taxpayer.
- International air-fare to Nairobi - about £600.00 return in July (out of the UK)
- Travel Insurance
- Vaccinations & anti-malaria tablets
- Tourist Visa
- Personal costs (email, phone laundry, souvenirs, tips etc)