Our Medical Camp in Kenya is an overland adventure to the stunning rural setting of Nyanza Province in Western Kenya where we will run a free Medical Camp in one of the poorest regions of East Africa. The trip is in association with the Moving Mountains Trust who have been developing many sustainable projects in this beautiful part of the world well away from the traditional tourist trail. The trip finishes by experiencing some more of Kenya's diverse culture and wildlife on safari at Lake Naivasha, Hell's Gate National Park and the world famous Masai Mara Reserve.
Travelling to Western Kenya takes you out of the busy capital of Nairobi and along part of the Great Rift Valley before heading west through the tea plantations of Kericho, along the shores of Lake Victoria and finally the traditional rural homes of Western Kenya and across the Equator to reach our 'Ulamba' Children's Home and Community Village where we'll set up camp and settle in to the new surroundings.
The medical camp will run over 10 days and there will be other opportunities to gain experience in local clinics developed with the support of the Moving Mountains Trust and at the over-worked and under-funded Siaya District Hospital. There is also plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the Children's Home and experience sustainable development at our other charitable projects in the area.
This video describes a bit about the relationship between Adventure Alternative and the charity Moving Mountains from the founder Gavin Bate.
For this trip you don't need to be a fully qualified physician although we usually encourage groups to be mainly made up of 3rd year students. The programme is designed so that you are giving a valuable service but also gaining fantastic experience with the support of local Doctors and Dentists. We are not expecting you to be experts in any specific or even related fields, but we will expect you to come back with a great deal of knowledge at the end of it.
The most important characteristics you need are openness, willingness to learn and take part, enthusiasm, initiative and a sense of curiosity. Your experience simply as a person from another culture will give you an enormous amount to share with local people who perhaps have less opportunities than you. The trip can be emotional, and you will meet people whose lives seem almost impossible to live, but your interaction with them will help in ways you can't measure.
ADVENTURE ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT
We run our trips from a permanently staffed office in Nairobi and our team provide an excellent service. They know how to deal with medical emergencies and speak very good English. They are very attentive and after so many years have a good understanding of western needs. All transport across Kenya will be provided in private vehicles or overland safari trucks and accommodation will be provided in large safari tents.
MEDICAL CAMP IN KENYA COST £995.00
- All accommodation provided in safari tents at secure camps
- All transport provided in private safari vehicles or converted overland trucks
- All meals throughout the advertised itinerary (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and bottled water
- Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains staff who remain with you throughout itinerary
- National Park and Camping fees in Hell's Gate, Lake Naivasha and the Masai Mara
- Any tourist attractions visited on safari
- Personal project fundraising target; £750 per person, which is paid directly to our charity, Moving Mountains Trust, so you can set up online fundraising pages and claim gift aid
- International flight
- Vaccinations/medication required
- Personal travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as extra snacks, drinks, souvenirs, etc
All of our International Development Projects have been identified, researched, assessed, priced and approved by our charity Moving Mountains. All people going on this trip receive a clear breakdown of the projected outcomes and expenditure of the money which has been raised. Some of it is spent on the camp itself - medical supplies, Kenyan medical staff - and some of it goes on the long term sustainable projects that Moving Mountains Kenya are involved with.
Our local provider is Adventure Alternative Kenya. Adventure Alternative Kenya complies with UK tourism standards and will make all the necessary arrangements in advance to advertise the Medical Camp. They will also work with Moving Mountains Kenya with regards organisation of group stays, medical supplies and local Doctors and Dentists, meetings with local committees, communications between the UK office and Kenya, etc
MEDICAL CAMP IN KENYA - PRINCIPLES
INCLUSIVE AND RELEVANT
Our medical camps are open to anybody, and there is a clear understanding that any community event like this can only exist if there is a need that is identified by the local communities.
We have an equal opportunities policy and strict policies regarding child protection, and we are founding members of Fair Trade Volunteering movement.
We ensure that the emphasis on personal development and international development is balanced, and that this medical camp is always part of a long term aim which has been properly evidenced.
TRAINING AND PREPARATION
Our support includes training and preparation from dedicated staff in the UK, which ensures that your time with us is productive and enjoyable and effective. Our training staff are experienced in managing volunteer expectations, and have a background in development.
Every camp aims to achieve some kind of development impact which has been developed in partnership with a credible partner, in our case Moving Mountains which has twenty years of experience in social welfare, education and health in developing countries.
We analyse the processes of change that occur so that there is clear evidence for the need of events like this, and we use impact assessment ‘maps’ to try and define the developmental process.
We communicate with all relevant stakeholders and ensure that the placements are collectively agreed, for example with regional administrations and local Chief's and committees in the Siaya District.
INTEGRATING WITH THE COMMUNITY
The living arrangements for the camp ensures that volunteers develop a real insight into the lives of the community, which includes visiting homes, shopping locally, cooking local recipes, travelling on local transport and using community facilities like the early child development centres and attending community events.
LONG TERM COMMITMENT
During the trip there is always opportunity to meet and share your experience with staff who can help with evaluations and reflection, helping to build on the skills and knowledge and experience being gained. One of the biggest aims of the programme is to encourage people to engage in society on their return and take part in many incentives to promote global healthcare solutions.
ROLE MODEL AT THE MEDICAL CAMP IN KENYA
Without doubt you will witness the strong links between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and the communities that you are placed in. As such, you will be an ambassador for both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and there will be many young people looking up to you as a role model.
You will not be expected to be a visiting Doctor who sees patients although sometimes of course misunderstanding occurs, we recommend you discuss clearly with the supervisor what you can and can't do, and also make it clear to patients that they are being seen by a student and not a qualified Doctor.
Read our paper on Ethics of a Medical Elective to see more. This takes communication and an ethical attitude from us to make sure your time in-country is not misused.
THE PROMISE TO MOVING MOUNTAINS
Adventure Alternative works with the Moving Mountains Trust which operates NGOs in Kenya and Nepal and carries out many long term projects and programmes.
'MM' was started by Gavin Bate during many years working in aid work and development, and 'AA' is the company that provides revenue and investment for many of them to become financially self-sufficient.
This relationship between company and charity began in 1991 and our medical programme has sprung from the relationships we have with the medical authorities and the communities which you will visit.
We run long term ongoing medical programmes with Moving Mountains, and also at the request of local communities and hospitals. We have worked with medical authorities in many locations to ensure ongoing continuity as well as medical co-operation with other aspects of our work, for example the children’s homes we build and run, and the satellite private clinics which serve smaller remote communities and take some of the burden off under-funded Government hospitals.
MEDICAL CAMP IN KENYA ITINERARY
The core dates cover a 19 day period, which starts with your arrival in Nairobi. The second day is a travel day to Western Kenya before spending a total of 11 days based at Ulamba Children's Home on the Medical Camp. Day 14 is a travel day back to Lake Naivasha to start the safari, with a full day to explore Hell's Gate National Park and Lake Naivasha before heading to the Masai Mara for a 3 day/2 night safari in this world renowned National Reserve. We'll be back in Nairobi on the evening of day 18, ready for departures/onward travel on day 19.
|1||Arrive in Nairobi where you will be met by a team from Adventure Alternative Kenya and Moving Mountains Kenya, transfer to secure camp on the outskirts of Nairobi (near Nairobi National Park) for introductions, trip briefing and some R&R|
|2||Early morning start in private vehicles to reach Ulamba Children's Home in Western Kenya late afternoon where we'll set up camp on the grounds of Ulamba Children's Home and Community Village. It is a long but enjoyable drive along part of the Great Rift Valley, past the tea plantations of Kericho and Lake Victoria and the traditional homes and small farms of rural Western Kenya. Meet the Ulamba kids and the Children's Home staff in the evening|
|3||Day to visit some of the Moving Mountains projects in the area, as well as visiting some rural homes to give yourself a good insight in to life in Western Kenya and introduce you to some of the difficulties faced by the local community. Meet local Doctors, Dentists and Medical Staff who will be working with you on the Medical Camp and final preparations for the camp starting on the following day.|
|4-13||10 day Medical Clinic which will be largely based at Ulamba, however there will also be opportunities to get experience in local clinics and hospitals. The clinic will start on day 4 and finish on day 13 with an evening celebration with all the staff, kids and volunteers at Ulamba|
|14||Travel day from Ulamba to Lake Naivasha where we set up camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha|
|15||Day to explore Hell's Gate National Park where you can walk, cycle or drive among the plains animals, and walk down in to the gorge to see the steaming waterfalls and hot streams. We'll also take an early morning or evening boat trip on to Lake Naivasha to see the diving Fish Eagle's and the wallowing Hippo|
|16-18||3 day/2 night safari to the world famous Masai Mara, one of the few locations in Africa where you have a good chance of seeing the 'Big 5' on the same day. Probably most famous for the ‘Great migration’ that tends to come through the Mara at the end of June and throughout July, the Reserve has an abundance of wildlife all year round. Travel back towards Nairobi mid-morning on day 18|
|19||An afternoon or evening departure will give you the chance to visit the likes of David Sheldricks Wildlife Trust and the Giraffe Centre but we can accommodate departures at any time on this date. We can also help you with any optional add ons at this stage, such as climbs on Mt Kenya or to the 'Roof of Africa' on Kilimanjaro, advice on beach travel, extended safari's or volunteering on other Moving Mountains projects around Kenya|
Accommodation throughout will be provided in comfortable and spacious safari tents.
Food will be plentiful and of a high standard. On travel days it tends to be lighter pic-nic lunches but dinners will be cooked, and a mix of both local dishes and western dishes. Expect to try the stable diet of ugali with vegetable stews, lots of potatoes, rice and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Bottled water will also be provided throughout the trip, as well as tea, coffee, juice, etc.
There will be electricity in most locations, and we'll have generators for back up but be aware that we will not be able to provide for lots of people with different gadgets, phones, ipads, etc. In Western Kenya they experience frequent power cuts and the generators cannot charge at the same speed as normal sockets.
MEDICAL CAMP IN KENYA - WHY US
This trip has been entirely thought out in terms of the local people and the impact upon them, and the benefit they can gain from having visitors like you. It’s not just a tourist trail, it really is an unusual adventure which is part of a wider ongoing initiative to improve the quality of life of people in this rural part of Western Kenya.
In that respect the trip falls within all the categories of the FairTrade Volunteering trademark, the visit is about making a positive impact on the people who live there. A similar medical programme has been running in the lower Solu-Khumbu region in the mountains of Nepal for several years now and is well established in the community, and we have annual progress reports which prove that event is having a positive impact on healthcare in the region, especially alongside our other aims to provide clean water, a permanent health post and primary healthcare education in the schools.The camps in Kenya will hopefully grow to have the same sort of impact.
We run our trips in East Africa from permanently staffed offices in both Nairobi and Moshi (Tanzania) and our dedicated team provide an excellent service. Many of the staff are former street children and beneficiaries who were supported throughout their childhood by our charity Moving Mountains. Most have been have been involved with both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains for well over a decade, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and mountaineer Gavin Bate.
They know how to deal with medical emergencies and speak very good English. They are very attentive and after so many years have a good understanding of western needs.
MEDICAL CAMP IN KENYA - HISTORY
Although this is our first Medical Camp in Kenya we have a long history of running successful Medical Camps in Nepal, and we have been providing very popular placements for Medical Elective students across Kenya for over a decade. This part of Western Kenya has also had dozens of teams visit the area to take part in 'Developmental Aid' projects at Primary and Secondary Schools, Medical clinics and hospitals, water projects and the development of our very own 'Ulamba' Children's Home and Community Village.
Our regeneration projects in Western Kenya is the implementation of a long-term development plan focused around the rural communities of the Siaya Dstrict. Overall enhancement of quality of life and sustainability of the community has so far been achieved via investment in infrastructure, education and healthcare as well as training and reliable employment.
Aside from the more obvious physical and material elements, one of the main achievements has been the rejuvenation of a community far from the traditional tourist trail which saw little benefit from the tens of thousands of people that arrive in Kenya every year. Through improvements in sanitation, schooling, employment and future prospects the communities have started to see the benefits from the years of investment.
The sustained close links of Adventure Alternative to the area has provided locals with a reliable and ethical source of employment and training. Throughout the course of many years, Adventure Alternative has been running school and university trips, volunteer and gap year placements, medical electives and unique safari's. These have brought in charitable donations and also a reliable revenue stream.
So far the physical achievements in Western Kenya include:
- Construction and management of our Ulamba Children's Home
- The maintenance of the community bore-hole at Ulamba as well as installing and maintaining numerous other bore-holes in a variety of locations in the Siaya District
- The development and management of the Early Child Development Centre (or Nursery!) on the site of Ulamba
- The construction of guest rooms and a guest house at Ulamba, as well as starting a small farm and renovating the community centre which all help to bring a regular income to the Children's Home
- Complete re-development of numerous schools in the area, including Wagwer Primary, Wagwer Secondary, Kumuok Primary, Wagai Primary, Nyasidhi Primary, Barkatado Primary, Barkawandu Primary, Malunga Primary and Kayeiye Primary.
- Support and development of Dophil Community Clinic and support given to Siaya District Hospital
Other initiatives include
- Continual care of dozens of children who come through Ulamba Children's Home
- Funding provided for extra teachers in the schools we develop, at least until a point when the Government puts more investment in (this tends to happen shortly after the re-development of schools)
- Individual sponsorship and support given to dozens of school children in the region
- Our 'Black Cats' sports club has now started in Western Kenya after the success of both the Nairobi and Embu clubs
- Supporting community cooperative programmes for wealth generation
Visit the Moving Mountains website for more information on our work in Kenya and beyond.