“The conservation of natural resources or at least the sustainable management of these resources must be an important part of Kenya’s overall development plan. On the long term, it must eradicate poverty, malnutrition and underdevelopment in the country.”

Wangari Maathai, Kenya – 2004 Nobel Peace Prize

Make your free time count, join Sens Solidaires on a voluntary assignment to protect our global biodiversity! Many volunteers have already taken the plunge….. So don’t wait any longer and come and discover the joy of doing useful and responsible actions! Without being a humanitarian or development aid professional, everyone has a skill, professional or personal, useful to others.

Following the diagnosis of the needs of the Taita communities during our mission in February 2019 to Kenya, we are looking for volunteers. The purpose of the assignment is to monitor income-generating projects set up in CBOs to develop the production of recycled paper in elephant dung. You will also live a unique experience with local communities in magical places where you can meet wildlife. Don’t think anymore, look for flights for Kenya instead!

The locations of the first assignments: Shimba Hills Reserve

Created in 1968, the reserve covers an area of 19,251 hectares. This reserve is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. There are many elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, leopards, hyenas and especially the sable antelope.

The Sanctuary of Mwaluganje

In 1992, environmental protection groups (KWS, Forestry department, USAID, Eden Wildlife Trust…) convinced local people, after many negotiations, to lease their land for the creation of the Sanctuary. In exchange, the people were going to receive the money from the sanctuary’s entrance fees. The Sanctuary is adapted to the migration of the pachyderms thanks to the natural corridor crossed by the “Manolo” river which reduces conflicts with the populations and increases the habitat area of the pachyderms. The Mwaluganje Sanctuary is linked to the Shimba Hills Reserve.

Our base camp: The LUMO Sanctuary – Tsavo Park

LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1997, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the three ranches in the Taita Hills area which officially created the LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary. The region is rich in animal diversity with more than 102 animals of which 61 are large mammals and more than 350 species of birds have been recorded. Lumo is part of the historic elephant migration corridor connecting the Tsavo ecosystem to the Shimba Hills in the neighbouring Kwale County. The views are amazing from the lodge (Lion Bluff),  stretching to the mountains of Tanzania and Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the sanctuary, you can see the “Lion Rock” which delimits the Lumo and Sarova sanctuaries. Sarova is much smaller than Lumo. The particularity of Lumo is the Melanistic serval, a very rare black serval, visible only in a few places in East Africa. he sanctuary is located in Kenya, 380 km from Nairobi, 200 km from Mombasa and 51 km from Voi. Regarding the region’s geography, the highest mountains are the “Taita”, which can be climbed in half a day. In this region the first rainy season starts in March and finishes in May, and the second is from November to December. The warm season lasts from January to February, and from September to November. The sanctuary has no springs or rivers but has underground water, the population has to dig 80-meter-deep wells in order to retrieve drinking water.

The community of Lumo consists of 5 villages which are also the 5 villages closest to the sanctuary: Msorongo, Mwashoti, Maktau, Mwashuma and Bura. In total, about 2500 people live there. Tourism in this area is mainly composed of game drives but also of ecotourism with trekking, insect or tree spotting or patrolling with Rangers. The population lives mainly from agriculture and livestock. There are some small traders but they are in minority – tailors, grocer, mechanic ….

There are many conflicts between wildlife and humans in the area such as herds of cows encroaching on wildlife territory in the sanctuary. It is necessary to report the farmers who have become numerous and ward off the herds with the jeeps. There are no electric barriers to protect the villages, so elephants can enter the villages. It is very common for elephants to destroy villagers’ plantations. Following the passage of the elephants, there are no more crops, which is a problem for the villagers because they have nothing left to eat or sell.  When the villagers no longer have any crops, the government does not offer any compensations to the inhabitants so that they can continue to feed themselves. The second problem with elephants concern children. The majority of children have to walk about 4km to reach their school. The road is more than dangerous as they can encounter an elephant at any time and be charged by them. When elephants are on the road used by the children to go to school, they are forced to stay at home to avoid the risks. There are some solutions such as the electric barriers that surround the whole camp but not the surrounding villages. Although, barriers must be constantly restored since elephants regularly destroy them. Environmental threats in this area are the lack of rain and deforestation.

Make your free time count, join Sens Solidaires on a voluntary assignment to protect our global biodiversity! Many volunteers have already taken the plunge….. So don’t wait any longer and come and discover the joy of doing useful and responsible actions! Without being a humanitarian or development aid professional, everyone has a skill, professional or personal, useful to others.

We organize volunteer missions four times a year (two in winter and two in summer)

Be aware that the exact nature of the work you are going to do will depend on the needs and priorities requested by the Sanctuary, the school and the communities. As a volunteer, it is important to remain flexible and keep in mind that sometimes priorities and/or emergencies can arise and therefore your duties can change quickly. But for some volunteers and depending on your skills, your tasks will be defined before leaving.

Example of a programme…

Day 1: Transfer from the airport to the LUMO Sanctuary – Lunch – Introduction to the base camp, presentation of the team and the programme and dinner.

Day 2: In the morning, after discussing the safety recommendations concerning the wildlife (which roam freely in the area), training on wildlife observation. Followed by a meeting with the local adviser and a visit of the local community, schools and committees involved in the project.

Day 3-6: Volunteer programme: 4 enriching days by participating in our development programme.

Weekend: Free time – under the advice of the coordinator, you will be able to visit the Sanctuaries (information on the behavior of the Pachyderms and the threats facing this amazing animal); Tsavo Park, the largest African park managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (observing wildlife: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, zebras, gazelles, hippos, birds, etc.); Amboseli Park at the foot of Kilimanjaro or visit the Pacific coast in Mombasa; without forgetting discovering indigenous customs and traditions.

Day 09 -13: Voluntary programme: the last days to complete the development programme with the communities.

Day 14: Departure from the Community and transfer to the airport .

Health: You just have to be in a good physical shape. A medical certificate from your doctor will be requested.

Skills: Depending on your skill sets, we will assign you one of our missions but none of the activities require a special level of qualification. Mastering the English language is an advantage. We value your commitment and your well-being. If you are interested, we organise one-to-one interviews and then pre-departure training,

Please contact for more information: contact@sensolidaire.org

Example of projects with some partners and the Kenya Wildlife Service

2005: Visitors Centre, Campsite, EDP Factory – Construction of the visitor centre, camp site and  construction of the Elephant Paper Workshop.

2006: Installation of signage – Help install the signage for the Sanctuary to encourage more visitors to come.

2007: Environmental education – Continuation of the primary school project, environmental awareness through the creation of innovative activities.

2008: Wildlife census

2010: Reforestation

2013:  Training in the production of Recycled Paper in Elephant Dung at the Lumo Sanctuary

2014: Establishment of the twinning with the Maktau School

2015: Deworming campaign for domestic livestock

2016: Diagnosis for the installation of the permaculture vegetable garden in the Maktau School

2017: Wildlife census and reforestation

2018-19: Training of the Taita and Masai students in the production of recycled paper in elephant dung

Cost of a voluntary mission (excluding airfare):

   1500 EUROS + 25 EUROS OF MEMBERSHIP, THUS 610 EUROS AFTER TAX DEDUCTION (only applies for French tax payers).

Mission fees are tax deductible. Article 200 and 238 bis of the general tax code.

The duration of the mission: 10, 15 days to 1 month maximum.

During your volunteer mission, SAS takes care of the transfer from the airport to the sanctuary, supervision during the mission with the communities, overnight stays, meals morning, noon and evening and local transport.

The approximate ancillary costs of the mission: airfare (600 euros), visa (40 euros), vaccinations and compulsory medicines (100 euros). These fees attached to the mission are tax deductible. SAS organises mandatory pre-departure day training either remotely or in our offices. The training is provided by graduates in international solidarity (Humanitaire Institut Bioforce Lyon).

We organize short-term missions to allow effective immersion on the community projects entrusted to you. Then it is up to you to extend your stay to discover the country. You are responsible for the costs of the activities on the day of rest, you have to count around 100 euros to enter the sanctuaries with a private car and an experienced local guide.

Think about your refund or/and repatriation insurance.

Please contact us for any further information. Wish you a good preparation for the mission!

Delphine Thibaut
Phone: 06 73 76 60 13
contact@sensolidaire.org

Formality:

You will need your valid passport (with more than 6 months).

Advice for airlines to find the best prices: 

Swiss+, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines.

Health:

Compulsory yellow fever vaccine, anti-malarial treatment should be prescribed by your treating physician, your usual medications, sunscreen, sunglasses, a local disinfectant, a medication for intestinal problems, a multipurpose antibiotic, eye drops, a painkiller, bandages, water purification tablets. Mosquito repellent.

BASE CAMP

TAITA HILLS SANCTUARY – TSAVO

Assignment in the LUMO Sanctuary, located near the Tsavo Park, Africa’s largest wildlife park. We work closely with the rangers and security guards: patrols (detection and removal of traps set by poachers), wildlife observation and counting, construction of water wells, watering, deforming. Intervention in schools, development of income-generating activities and permaculture project.