Come Join Us In Kenya!
Are you looking for a unique and rewarding experience?
Do you want to provide sight-saving eye care to people in Kenya?
If so, joining us on a SeeKenya trip might be just what you're looking for!
Why is SeeKenya's work so important?
Over 95% of Kenyans live without access to eye care according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Let that sink in. Over 95%. Children are struggling to see the backboard in class and get an education. Grandparents cannot see their newest grandchild. Adults are unable to keep working to provide for their family.
In the UK, it's easy to get high-quality eye care treatment. This is not the case in Kenya. And that's why we exist.
In Kenya too many people's lives are unnecessarily limited by blindness or impaired vision, simply because the eye care they need isn't available. Shockingly, 80% of visual impairment is preventable or treatable.
That's where we - and you - come in. Through twice yearly clinics, SeeKenya provides trustworthy, high quality and life-improving eye care to prevent blindness, restore sight and improve eye health.
Would you like to join us?
You can find out about our trips and what they involve in our FAQ's below, or by downloading our information sheet.
If you have any further questions or would like a volunteer application form, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What does a SeeKenya trip consist of?A SeeKenya trip is a life-changing and rewarding experience! Each trip consists of a team of up to 15 UK volunteers and optometrists, led by our SeeKenya trustees. We are joined in Kenya by our charity partners, Edfri International, run by Edward and Fridah Buria, plus a team of Kenyan volunteers. We love working with them! Together we run clinics for around eight days, seeing around 1,000 patients in total. The clinics provide eye heath screening, refractive eye tests, prescription glasses, sunglasses and medication where required - and you will help with this! Training is provided for all our volunteers. Each trip is fully planned and arranged by SeeKenya, including flights, insurance, accommodation and meals for each trip. Excitingly, we also offer a safari trip as part of your time in Kenya. This is an incredible opportunity to see some magnificent wildlife up close and personal, and potentially tick the 'Big Five' off your safari bucket list. It's also a chance for some R&R and time to bond with your fellow volunteers. No trip to Kenya would be complete without an experience of Kenyan church on Sunday. We're proud of our partnership with Kambakia Christian Centre led by Ed and Fridah Buria, and it's their church we attend. For some volunteers this is the highlight of their trip - it's easy to see why. They are full of joy and excited to welcome us as their guests. It's a real honour to be a part of their church community!
How long are the trips and when are they?Our trips are normally for 14 days, leaving at the weekend returning a fortnight later. Typically we run two trips a year, around September and March. This includes time for training, 8 days of running the clinics, travelling, church and some downtime.
Will I be given training?We don't require our volunteers to have any eye care experience - full training is provided. If you already have some training or are an optometrist, we'd love to hear from you! We expect our team members to attend training sessions ahead of the trip. These are normally just one day or two evenings depending on schedules, but they're a chance to meet the rest of the team, ask any questions you might have and learn more about the essential work you'll be doing. These sessions take place in Burgess Hill in West Sussex (RH15 9LR). We do understand that it might not be feasible for everyone to attend in-person. If this is the case, we invite you to join us via livestream so you won't miss out. If it's your first trip with us, we'd also love to meet you! Please make every effort to attend the training in-person. If you're unable to attend, we will arrange a separate meeting with you prior to the trip. SAFEGUARDING SeeKenya is committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and expects all volunteers and staff to do the same. All volunteers involved in clinics trips will need to undergo a full DBS enhanced check and safeguarding training.
How much does a trip cost?Our trip fees are currently set at £1,500. This includes everything other than the following; A VISA (costing approximately £35) Any immunisations you may need (please book an appointment with your GP or local travel clinic to arrange for these) Anti-malarials (depending on the type you choose to get, they can be purchased from a travel clinic or ASDA) Spending money! £100 is plenty for this, but it gives you the chance to return with a memory or two, or a gift for a loved one. You can pay in a lump sum or in instalments. However, we do require an initial deposit of £700 once flights have been booked and once you've confirmed you're coming. At this stage the payment is non-refundable. The remaining balance must be paid 8 weeks before travelling, unless a payment plan or JustGiving page is agreed with SeeKenya. There are lots of ways you can fundraise for a SeeKenya trip. Check out our fundraising page for ideas and inspiration, or set up a JustGiving page if you're asking friends or family to support you - do contact us if you'd like help to set up a page.
What's the accommodation like?During our time in Meru, we are guests of Kambakia Christian Centre, the base of our charity partner, Edfri International. It is basic, but it is clean with wonderful housekeepers who cook and take care of us. Sleeping arrangements are either in individuals or shared rooms with your own toilets. Just as a heads up, sometimes the water supply is unreliable and hot showers are not a guarantee. But it is important to remember that by Kenyan standards our living arrangements are very luxurious, and we are grateful for the love they show us.
How can I keep supporting SeeKenya when I'm home in the UK?What a great question - we're so glad you asked! There are so many ways you can spread the word about the life changing work of SeeKenya. From engaging with us on our social media, to taking on an ultramarathon or sponsored 5km to donating your birthday. The work of SeeKenya continues long after the trips end. We have a long-term vision of building a permanent clinic at Isiome clinic, and for that we need to be sustainable in our efforts to bring this dream to life. Without eye care, millions are limited in their ability to help themselves, their families and their communities to thrive. Eye care may seem like a small part in helping people help themselves out of poverty, but it is part of a much bigger picture. If you believe in our vision and mission, we are asking you to join us in this great adventure of bringing life- changing sight to thousands in Kenya. We'd love to hear your ideas about how you might get involved - and we'd appreciate every volunteer to commit to doing one thing for SeeKenya upon your return. Check out this blog article for some tips and tricks.
What is SeeKenya's story?SeeKenya works in partnership with Edfri International, born from our relationship with the King's Church Mid-Sussex. SeeKenya has been an established charity for over 10 years. It all began when our co-founder Pete Marson, a qualified optometrist, visited Kenya for the first time and was deeply moved by what he saw. He encountered first-hand the the widespread poverty, and the devastating effect of a total lack of eye-care treatment. He came back changed, and determined to make a difference. Fast-forward more than a decade, we've served thousands of people and set a solid foundation for change to come. Meet the team here.
What is SeeKenya's long-term vision?Ever since SeeKenya began in 2010, our vision has been to create a place for the community to come and receive excellent eye care services, and to establish a permanent eye care clinic. Our bi-annual clinics currently see around 2,400 people – which is no mean feat! Nonetheless, with a full- time, permanent clinic working with 5 optometrists, we could see up to 21,600 patients, serving Northern Kenya region. While we will never turn away someone who needs our help, at times our hands are tied because of the limitations on us as a small charity. As a result, plans and building works are currently underway to establish a permanent eye care clinic at Isiome Hope Centre. Until this is completed, the twice-yearly clinics will continue running - which is where you come in. Find out more about our permanent clinic plans.
Do I need to be a Christian to come on a trip?We are a Christian charity and our faith underpins everything we do at SeeKenya. However there is no requirement for our volunteers to be a Christian to come on a trip. We do ask that you are sympathetic and willing to attend church as part of the experience as we believe in doing everything as a team while we're in Meru, which includes attending Kambakia church. We promise it will be an experience like no other!
How physically fit do I need to be?We have had volunteers join us from 18 years old up to volunteers in their 80's! Our clinics are very busy and we often leave our accommodation at 8am and don't return until late afternoon. We therefore do require you to be able to manage this although you can take breaks during the day. Please note: Due to the layout of the Kenyan buildings and accommodation, there is very little wheelchair accessible facilities. If you would like to discuss any of the above further, please email us at email@example.com