Help with a community school in Mfangano Island, Kenya



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  • Description


    I am Martin a passionate and professional journalist, from a certified institution in Kenya. I am 23 and having lost my parent, education to me was that dream deferred. My father, having passed on in 2001 and being the only breadwinner we had to be obliged to stay into close contact with poverty barely affording three meals a day and education became a secondary need to us. The struggles my mother made have made us reach this far. I can proudly say that today she is a happy woman looking at the success of her kids. We are a family of five, God fearing and humble Christians. The family is very happy and hospitable to guests.

    I come from Mfangano island in Lake Victoria, Homa Bay-Kenya. It is 65km2 in area and rises 1,694m to the top of the mountain. It has a population of over 30,000 people as per the census conducted in 2019. The island is covered with scenic green vegetation and is full of explicable features and activities. There are rock art paintings that try to define the culture and the history of the people living in Mfangano. The lake is surrounded with very peaceful and attractive beaches that allows both local and external tourists have a better view of Lake Victoria and the islands neighboring Mfangano. Uphill, is a sacred forest believed to be a shrine where the old used to perform traditional rituals. From the apex of the island that is accessible through hiking, you are able to see the neighboring countries and more islands in Lake Victoria.

    Having been born and bred in the island I am familiar with the history of the people living within the island. The main economic activity is fishing and partly agriculture for a few individuals. The history of the fish caught from the lake now and before has changed a lot. The number of fish has reduced and the blue economy has also snatched space from other fishermen due to aquaculture.
    Still trying to shift from a patriarchal society, the financial status of the people who are poverty stricken has forced even women to venture into fishing and even spend sleepless nights at the lake fishing. This has exposed several women to sexual harassment. This has left many women infected with Sexually transmitted diseases.
    Mfangano is in the world map as one of the most affected areas with HIV/AIDS. This is due to the influx of strangers who come to seek fishing jobs here and the fact that our elders
    did not invest much in education. Children have lost their parents especially the male who die either of HIV or pneumonic infections due to the cold they face at night. This has left several widows in the island without giving them any ray of hope for the future of their families.

    It is said education is the key but it seems the key is expensive and unlocking the poverty from the society has become difficult. Parents can barely afford the cost of education for their kids alongside family needs since their income can barely surpass $100 USD per month. The lighting they use to study at home is poor and therefore limits their study time to school hours only. Many girls have resorted to sell their bodies in order to get certain necessities like sanitary towels and even clothing. This is a factor exposing them to a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
    Other school basic needs like books, uniforms and shoes have turned to secondary needs to most families. Children go to school in torn uniforms and some even bare feet. Overpopulation and inadequate facilities has seen them squeeze themselves in the few desks they have since they are all scramble for education.
    Having gone through this kind of life, I have devoted my life to serving the less fortunate together with my family. We currently support a few students to help them realize their dreams through paying school fees, donating uniforms and even school shoes.
    A modern library has also been constructed and is in the process of being fully equipped with digital materials and books to help the children get resources for study. We also help pay their school fees to ensure they are not sent home.
    Even though all this happens we wish to extend the support to a larger community but financial constraints can’t allow us. We would wish to start donating sanitary towels and school equipment like desks, chairs and to schools so that we can reduce the vulnerability and the risks that expose the children to infectious diseases. We would also wish to add more resources to the library to enable vast research whenever a student is studying.
    Provision of farm equipment to help the community not only depend on fishing activities would help a great deal. This will increase the family income and reduce dependency ratio. We can use this opportunity to help the volunteer learn farm work and other activities.
    You will also get a chance to learn our local languages and take part in recreational activities like swimming, boat riding, sun rise and sunset viewing, fishing and hiking. We offer free accommodation and food in exchange for the support you offer to the community.
    I therefore welcome any well-wisher, volunteer or sponsor who feels touched to change a life and make the children in Mfangano realize their dreams. All are welcome to support these projects. God bless you.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The travelers will learn more about the culture and history of the community since I'm a journalist and have more information. They can also learn the languages, do some hiking, boat riding, farming, viewing the sunrise and sunset, African traditional cooking, swimming in Lake Victoria, touring and playing other games.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    while having cultural exchange, the volunteers can help restore the education of the girl child by providing school uniforms, sanitary towels and even school fees. You are also welcome to help decongest the sitting arrangement by providing chairs and desks for the schools that have inadequate facilities. Provision of learning materials like textbooks and other stationary is also welcome.

    We can help support different families with farming equipment which can enable them provide for their own and sell the surplus to see that we reduce over dependency in the community. This can be achieved through educating the community on the importance of organic farming and providing farm equipment in small groups that will support their work.

    ICT and Internet Provision.
    The world is becoming revitalized and schools are becoming digital due to technology. Providing computers and training lessons for the students is welcome. This way students will avoid walking long distances to seek such services.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Swahili (Kiswahili): Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    There is total security and safety of the guests and the property at home. The buildings are permanent with well suited comfortable beds which allows good sleep. All guests are guaranteed free accommodation and food which is offered three times a day with tea breaks or coffee. We have washrooms that are shared by the family members and guests only which are also maintained and cleaned regularly. The guests can also engage in African traditional preparation of their meals as as part of learning our culture. The guests can also take part in the house chores and property maintenance if they wish. All types of dietary is offered.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I hope the volunteer enjoys boat riding when traveling or use a ferry or water bus.
    My vision is to help the needy children not to drop out of school a dream I had since childhood since I am a victim of academic suffering. I need to see people living around me having a better life than mine so we can grow as a society.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    3-5 hrs daily

Host ref number: 771126917126