About the local hosting organization
The Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF) is an officially registered technical training institution NO. MOHEST/PC/1361 and Non-government organization (NGO).
It is situated in Juja off – Thika highway, near Ndarugo Motel.
KIOF launched its first activities in 1987 (The Farmers Training and Extension Programme), which aimed at bringing the awareness of the challenges associated with conventional chemical farming (fertilizers and pesticides)
The advantages of environmentally – sound-farming methods, appropriate to small-scale farmers led to widespread public interest in the programme. Numerous requests were received from development organizations in Eastern Africa for training in organic farming. After the initial strong growth, KIOF found that there was necessity to verifying some of the organic methods adopted by farmers. KIOF therefore started looking into opportunities for on-farm trials and research so as to supply relevant back up data. A Programme to incorporate youth training in organic agriculture was launched in 1995. This led to an Organic Agriculture Certificate course with the aim of assisting the youth to develop careers in Organic farming. A diploma programme was launched in 2004 and the Certificate Stream gradually phased out. The Diploma Programme takes 2 years of theoretical and practical learning. Due to the growing interest in this field and high demand for profession knowledge in organic agriculture, KIOF launched a 2-year Distance Learning Diploma program in 2006.
About the volunteer work
Organic farms and gardens have been operating years in many countries and climates. By reviving and developing sound husbandry practices they have shown that it is possible to combine good yields with high quality produce, lasting soil fertility and improved overall environment. The Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF) aims at making this experience available to all farmers and other stakeholders. KIOF connects itself especially with the small – scale farmers who make up the majority of the farming community in Kenya. It is the small – scale farmers who are, in effect, the care takers of the natural environment. KIOF wants to stimulate better management of the environment by starting with sound agricultural principles on the farm. KIOF organizes training sessions for groups of farmers: women groups, youth and other CBOs in the rural areas. KIOF comes into contact with these groups through various organizations, churches, government institutions and individuals. WHY ORGANIC AGRICULTURE? A problem in today’s agriculture is the need for cash. This need moves the nation as a whole and especially the farmer into cash crop farming. Most of which are non – food crops. The family food production is often neglected. This leads to poorer diets and poorer health of the farming community. The remedy for this situation is organic farming. A JOINT STUDENT EXCHANGE KIOF, is a long term training institution partnering with Rural Community in Development (RUCID) which is Uganda specialized in formal training in organic agriculture, community mobilization, processing and marketing of organic products (both local and export markets) Scope The nature of KOIF/RUCID collaboration include: I. Joint programs for school leavers and rural youth in training organic agriculture at certificate and Diploma levels. II. Awarding Certificates and Diplomas III. Exchange of students to Kenya and Mityana, Uganda. IV. Exposure to Biomedicine Medicinal herbs, product value addition and organic export marketing.
Students who participate in this program experience “hands on” learning situations in:
I. Organic production methods in crops and animal husbandry.
II. Organic products processing, value addition, and certification.
III. Organic packaging and marketing both locally and internationally. Students get a rare opportunity of doing their studies in both Uganda and Kenya. Students Learn to travel across the Kenyan borders and gain cultured experience of other communities
Volunteers will work for six hours daily from Monday to Friday. They will work together with the local community members on the following activities:
- Volunteers will be assigned tasks to work on the farm and this will include office and field work
Volunteers will stay in the institute’s dormitories that are shared with the students and there is electricity and water connection to the institute. Volunteers have an obligation to climb down the level of the people with the aim of exposure to development challenges.
KVDA will provide foodstuffs and volunteers will cook their own meals in turns. Water is available from springs and it is recommended that drinking water should be boiled or medicated. Mineral water available at supermarkets is also recommended. The Government policy to install ICT in primary schools has seen connectivity to the national power grid for most educational institutions in Kenya and this makes it easy for volunteers to use electric appliances while at the project.
Furthermore, we invite you to bring typical food, spices, drinks, games and music from your country (for an intercultural evening) – and a lot of motivation!
About the project locationJuja in Kiambu County of Central Kenya situated 70 Kilometers away from Nairobi city The volunteers will be spoilt for choice between the spectacular sites of interest within Nairobi and the outskirts of Nairobi and specifically central Kenya region
About the leisure activities possible
KVDA offers educational tours to spectacular sites including the renowned Maasai Mara Game Reserve at separate fees. Please contact us for specific tour information.
English is the language of the work camp. There will be a possibility of learning Kiswahili and other international and local languages as cultural diversity is a major component in international service.
Do show an active interest in learning about the life in the community, and be open-minded especially with the cultural difference in the community - Do and try to be yourself despite the difference you may have with the community members e.g. going to church etc. - Do keep promises e.g. visiting someone’s home or family they will be waiting for you and may get disappointed if you fail them. - Do not make it difficult for future volunteers by giving out a lot of gifts or money. This is not the role of volunteers and we don’t want the community to rely or depend on you and neither should they perceive volunteers in this negative way. - Always be cautious and nurture true friendship in your endeavour to support the needy. - Do uphold the principles of volunteerism. - Do live in accordance with the Laws of Kenya and KVDA regulations - Do work alongside the local community members/project staffs /institution in the spirit of complementary support and co-operation. - Do not get disappointed if things do not work out, remember change is a gradual process and every bit of impact will go a long way in make a difference for the community. - Remember it’s all about learning from each other and not basically helping the local people.
What to carry? This is outlined in the detailed info sheet and includes, sleeping bag and mat, toiletries, torch/flashlight, sandals, mosquito net, national flag from your country, among others.
About the meeting point
The port of entry to Kenya is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and airport pick up will be done on provision of full flight details. The volunteers will be taken to KVDA Residence in Karen for accommodation that has highly subsidized rates.
Orientation will be done on 16th June 2018 at KVDA Residence in Nairobi and the team will leave for the project on the morning of 17th June 2018
Extra info about the project
The project participation fees that is all-inclusive for the 3-weeks workcamp is 300€ (project preparation cycle, return transfers from the airport and the project, KVDA administration, orientation, certificate of participation, project coordination, facilitation, evaluation and monitoring).
Not covered: excursion activities, local travel while in the community, personal effects, needs and wants.