+44 (0)208 123 8702
Contact Us Search our World
Search Our Trips
Get Our Brochure
Got a Question?

Inspiring Futures - Nakuru Children’s Project in Kenya

Nakuru Children’s Project is an inspiring charity set up by ex Changing Worlds volunteers, Rebecca, Zoe and Annemarieke with the aim of improving education and relieving poverty for children in Nakuru, Kenya. The girls joined Changing Worlds on a volunteer teaching project in Nakuru in 2009 and, after falling in love with the children and the country decided to dedicate their time and effort to continue supporting this wonderful cause. Below we speak to the girls about their experience volunteering and the fantastic work of the charity.

1. Which Changing Worlds Project did you originally volunteer on and why did you originally decide to volunteer with Changing Worlds?
We first travelled to Kenya as teaching volunteers in 2009. Placed in a local government-run primary school, we instantly fell in love with the children we were teaching. They learnt in mud classrooms, with eighty children to one teacher, and approximately one in five kids didn’t eat more than one meal a day. Despite this, they were the most generous, loving and optimistic people we had ever met. They inspired us from the beginning.

We decided to volunteer with Changing Worlds largely because it was a non-profit organization. None of us liked the idea of a tourist company profiting from our desire to help, and it was brilliant knowing that the money we spent on the trip was going to the right places. It was also a small, very approachable organization that really gave us a lot of personal support, from the moment we signed up until we were working out in Kenya. 

As a non-native English speaker Annie liked the idea of going with a UK-based organisation so as to be able to speak English 24/7. This was a huge benefit in teaching English!

2. Tell us about your charity, the Nakuru Childrens Project. How does the work of the charity support the local community in Nakuru, Kenya?
We work in very close partnership with the primary school we volunteered at, where we run a free lunch programme, build classrooms and sponsor children to attend secondary school. All of these programmes are aimed at relieving poverty and improving education for children in the community.

Our food programme feeds 200 children every day, and for many of whom it’s the only meal they’ll eat. We give them a big, hot, nutritious lunch that helps them grow and learn happily and healthily. It also attracts children to stay in school, keeping them away from child labour, or running away to the streets to beg for food. We buy all our food from local farmers, and needy parents where possible, meaning all the money is invested back into the local community. We also employ three mothers as cooks, who were all previously unemployed and desperately struggling. Their employment means that they can rely on a good income to support their families with dignity.

We’ve constructed 6 classrooms to date, helping over 1000 children get a better education. More classrooms have meant children can move out of dangerous mud classes. These classrooms were cramped, dirty and risked their safety every time they came to school. We’ve also been able to split up large classes, allowing kids to learn in classes of 40, rather than 80, children. This has had an enormous impact on the quality of education and meant our primary school has soared to be one of the best performing public schools in the area!

Above: The roof of our 5th classroom being constructed by local builders. 

Finally, our sponsorship programme pays the fees for children who otherwise couldn’t afford to go to secondary school. This is a very personal programme where we keep a very close eye on the kids. We know their dreams, hopes, favourite subjects, worst subjects, family lives, and support them to do the best they can. This has unimaginable benefits for the child’s future: staying in school means a child has the chance to break free from the cycle of poverty. When children are forced out of school it ends in heartbreaking situations. We know children who have been pregnant and living on the streets at 15-years-old, addicted to drugs or alcohol, slaving away on a farm for pennies of pay, or selling themselves just to put food on the table. To give a child a path out of this kind of life is so transformative: our 43 sponsored children are so full of determination, hope, and want to grow up to help their community. Several children have even told us their sponsor has saved their life.  

It’s important to note that we couldn’t do any of the work we do without our on-ground, Kenyan, project managers. Like us, they volunteer their time to queue in the bank when 43 sets of school fees have to be paid (not a pleasant experience in Kenya!) and do the weekly shopping for the feeding programme. The love they have for the children is and has always been their driving force. We are so happy to share this passion with them as it’s gotten us and the school where we are today.

Above: Judy and Lavender, the first two girls we admitted into our sponsorship programme. They’re now in their third year of secondary school! Judy (left) wants to be a journalist or a surgeon when she leaves school, and Lavender (right) an accountant. 

3. How do you think your experience volunteering has contributed to the amazing work that the Nakuru Children’s Project does now?
If we had never volunteered, Nakuru Children’s Project wouldn’t have existed. We spent 6 months with our kids: teaching them, learning their games, watching them laugh as they tried to teach us their language, making us small gifts from anything they could find. We were inspired by their hope, and their hard work, and the hard work of the teachers at the school we volunteered at. Even now when we go back to manage our projects, we spend as long as possible volunteering as teachers so that we stay in touch with the kids and community we’re helping. Everything we’ve achieved has been through a partnership, and through a close relationship with the community. We want to know the names of the children we’re helping, to visit their families for a cup of tea, to be friends, teachers, sisters, mothers and daughters to them. We never want to just be the mzungu (white person in Swahili) who strolls in, decides what a community needs without consulting them, and leaves again. And it’s working: because our projects are led by the community and we mostly just provide the finances, it’s having an incredible impact.

Above: The kids helping out moving stones for what would be their new classroom! 

4. What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering overseas?
Do it. Volunteering completely changed our lives for the better. We forged life-long friendships with each other and with Kenyan friends, and we had the time of our lives doing it. We were given a very wise piece of advice before we left the UK: an ex-volunteer told us “it will be more difficult to leave Kenya than it was to leave England”. We didn’t believe him at the time because we were 18-years-old, scared of missing our family and friends and thinking that six months seems an incredibly long time to spend in a country you’ve never even visited before. But the Kenyan community and our wonderful host mother took us in as one of their own and it was incredibly difficult to leave again.

The most important thing to remember is that what you put into the experience is what you’ll get back out. Take advantage of all opportunities, and remember what you’re there to do: help. If helping doesn’t look like you think it should, suck up your fears and do it anyway. Listen to the local community about what they really need. Be open: try to learn local ways and adapt. Don’t judge anything immediately because it’s different. Don’t listen to the travel advice telling you not to eat fruits off the street and venture off to places not described in guide books – they’re usually the best! Make friends with local people, chat to them and learn from them. Don’t do anything that’s taking a job away from a local person. Do your research, because there’s a lot of dodgy projects out there, and a lot of amazing ones. Finally, enjoy yourself and make the most of it – we’d love to relive it!   

Above: Matt (sponsorship co-ordinator) with Zoe, Annemarieke and Rebecca (founders) and Beatrice and Dorcas (the cooks for our food programme). 

To find out more about the wonderful work of Nakuru Children’s Project, check out their website. http://www.nakuruchildrensproject.org.uk

If you would like to volunteer in Kenya on the Changing Worlds care work project then click here.






Quick Question

Female Male

  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Samantha Platt , Sports, Canada
  • "I am extremely passionate about this project and being a professional photographer, meant I could teach a wide range of skills to the kids".
    Remy Whiting , Art & Craft, South Africa
  • "Having the in-country contacts to work on my own photography stories was perfect. Thanks to all involved".
    James Burton , Art & Craft, South Africa
  • "This law internship gave me a unique perspective on law in Africa and has certainly widened my options within the law field".
    Andy Smith , Business & Law, Ghana
  • "Thanks to all the Ghana team for making this law internship happen for me. Such an amazing experience and Ghanaians are sooo friendly."
    Jemma Mansfield , Business & Law, Ghana
  • "It was so interesting working into the law sector in Ghana and getting this experience. Such a great way to spend my summer doing something totally different."
    Mark Fulton , Business & Law, Ghana
  • "Costa Rica is such a wonderful country and being able to help out on the care work project with the children was such a privilege."
    Lara Gillard , Care Work, Costa Rica
  • "The whole team in Costa Rica were awesome and really helped me make the most our of my time there both on the care work project and showing me the adventures of the country."
    Tom Smith , Care Work, Costa Rica
  • "This placement gave me the mix of helping young children and also experiencing a totally different culture. My Spanish has really improved too."
    Kiki Jones , Care Work, Costa Rica
  • "I am studying in animal welfare and this placement was perfect in getting real life experience relevant to my career".
    Gordon Bennell , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
  • "The whole experience was fantastic from the staff at the rescue centre, to Andy and his family. Thank you for looking after me so well."
    Ruth Eales , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
  • Fab way to start my week, our guide was awesome and gave us so many tips. Met an amazing group of people and the team in the office really help you sort your time out after you've finished the first week. Would really recommend to solo travellers.
    Emma Lowton , Adventure, New Zealand
  • On arrival, I felt as unprepared as can be, knowing no one, having no plans nor ideas of how to get along in New Zealand really. The in-country team did it all for me. Organise my trip. Booking it. Coming from experienced backpackers you know what's going on and getting to know awesome people from all around the world and maybe even some mates to travel with.
    Sean Neitzel , Adventure, New Zealand
  • Had the best time travelling around New Zealand. The team made it possible and can sort everything out for you with no problem. I would highly recommend them and will definitely be using them for my next adventure.
    Annie Frances Pritchard , Adventure, New Zealand
  • The opportunity to coach and nurture the next generation of sportsmen and women in Costa Rica was an opportunity that I couldn't give up, and I am so glad that I didn't! I had a great time and made some lifelong friends!
    Jack Johnston , Teaching, Costa Rica
  • I had a such an inspiring and life changing experience coaching in Costa Rica. The kids had such an appetite for coaching and their enthusiasm was infectious. My fellow coaches and I worked well as a team and I developed some truly great friends as a result.
    Charlie Blaken , Teaching, Costa Rica
  • What a Blast! I can honestly say that I could not have had a better time in Costa Rica as I did. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and up for a laugh, all making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone, and might even come back at some point in the near future!
    Danny McVey , Teaching, Costa Rica
  • I had a really great time in Costa Rica, honing my Spanish linguistic skills, and I really improved over the 2 weeks that I spent out there. I would like to thank all of the in-country staff for all the effort they put in, it was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
    Lewis Worthington , Languages, Costa Rica
  • This has been by far the most rewarding holiday I have been on. I'll be the first to admit that the idea of an educational holiday didn't at first appeal to me, but the improvements I made in the four weeks I spent out there means that my confidence in my Spanish has improved immensely.
    Charlie Jones , Languages, Costa Rica
  • Costa Rica is not only a truly stunning country with welcoming, hospitable people, but it is also where I conquered my 'phobia' of speaking Spanish, and for this I am incredibly grateful. Such a rewarding and exhilarating experience in a wonderful country.
    Max Foster , Languages, Costa Rica

Brochure Request

Changing Worlds Blog

Special Offers and Deals


Paid Work

Adventure Tours

Courses and Qualifications


Flexi Travel

Back to Top