CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya

Short-Term Volunteering

Marianne Center Foundation

September 2020

Orientation date: 12 September 2020, 10:00 am
Start and End dates: 13 September - 30 September 2020
Safari dates: 9 - 11 September 2020
Theme:  Supporting young adults with mental disability 
No. of Volunteers: 5 - 12

Project Profile

People with mental disabilities in Kenya (approximately 2.9 million) face special challenges in their lives. Many Kenyans still associate people who have mental disabilities with witchcraft, and little has been done to combat this stigmatization. Most people with mental disabilities have mild to moderate mental retardation. However, they can learn and are capable of developing skills throughout their lives. They have a wide range of talents, which can possibly be discovered at any moment in their childhood. The major shortcomings of the current educational system for (young) adults with mental disabilities are that they are too old to be enrolled in a primary school, but mentally incapable of attending a normal secondary school. Because of that, the Marianne Centre Foundation started in the year 2010, focuses on people with mild to moderate mental disabilities, varying from Down Syndrome to Autism, from the age of 16 to 35 years. The training center for this group has given them and their parents hope for a better future. Currently, the center has 38 students. The students are divided into classes according to their abilities. The (young) adults are trained in basic life skills, vocational and income-generating activities. At the end of the training, their capabilities are assessed and efforts are made for them to be attached to an employer where they get the possibility to perform basic tasks.

The idea of this project is to make a difference in the life of young adults with special needs and disabilities, by making them self-reliant and by easing their integration into mainstream life without fear of stigmatization.


Kamirithu Village, Kiambu County of Kenya.

Workcamp activities

  • Taking part in the teaching of various subjects (mathematics, language, writing, drawing, gardening, sewing, beadwork, computer skills, and cleaning)
  • Organizing extra-curricular activities
  • General maintenance and cleaning of the center
  • Provision of guiding and counseling services to the students
  • Farm work

Arrival at the airport

CIVS will pick up volunteers taking part in this workcamp from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, and arrange their accommodation before and after the workcamp in a host family in the Buruburu area of Nairobi.

Accommodation and Sites of Interest

Accommodation will be at the project in this workcamp, and you must have your sleeping bag and mat. During the workcamp, volunteers will get food from locally available foodstuffs, and the volunteers will share the responsibility of preparing the food.

In this workcamp, volunteers can visit Lake Naivasha, Hells Gate, which is about a 1-hour drive from the project.

Camp fees

Volunteers participating in this project will be required to pay 265 Euros. This cost will include: -

  • Airport pick up upon arrival & Airport drop off after the workcamp
  • Up to 3 nights’ accommodation in Nairobi
  • Introduction to Kenyan life through a Nairobi City Centre tour before the workcamp
  • Workcamp Orientation at the CIVS office in Nairobi or the workcamp site
  • Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Workcamp facilitation and mentoring of volunteers by an experienced workcamp leader
  • Certificate of participation for the volunteer
  • All administrative costs

Safari option

CIVS organizes safaris to all the spectacular National Parks and touristic sites in Kenya, with the main attraction being Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Volunteers who wish to go on a safari should apply at least two weeks before arrival to enable us to make proper arrangements. The fee charged is all-inclusive of meals, transport, park entry, accommodation, and tour guiding.

Safari dates: 9 – 11 September 2020
Charges: 3-day Safari to Maasai Mara National Park, 340 Euro 

What to carry

Volunteers are required to bring the following items for the workcamp: mosquito net, torch/flashlight, toiletries, first-aid kit, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, working gloves, sandals, and sunscreen. In addition to those, volunteers can also carry the following items for interaction purposes: pictures of your country, old clothes that are no longer in use, toys, books, pens, etc. 

If you need more information or have questions, please contact us.

Center for International Voluntary Service (CIVS)
Phone: +254 (20) 780909, +254 (20) 786658
Mobile: +254 722 210968