Can I be involved in KOP, even if I can’t come to Kenya? Yes you can! KOP runs lots of events throughout the year, fundraising, information events and socials. Last year 10 Warwick students who weren’t going to Kenya cycled from London to Paris, raising over £1000 for the Kenyan Orphan Project. KOP also hosts events where key speakers in international development come to talk at Warwick. Every year KOP runs a national conference, discussing relevant topics and giving us all a chance to have a party! KOP can get you into festivals for free! Last year KOP was at Glastonbury and The Big Chill festival.
How many times a year will KOP Warwick meet up? We will have an introduction to KOP meeting in October. In November we will have a meeting for new joiners, where we will discuss the project and fundraising, then in January we’ll meet again to discuss how fundraising is going. Mostly importantly, in May someone from KOP head office will come to Warwick for our pre-departure meeting.
Throughout the year we may have some additional meetings to discuss fundraising and of course we’ll have brilliant socials! How much does KOP cost? We don’t want costs to prevent people taking part in the project, so please speak to one of us if you are unsure about how you might fund yourself and can offer advice.
£375 for programme costs, which includes accommodation, food, security and transfers whilst with KOP. About £600 for return flights to Kenya £800 per person, fundraising target, which we will help you raise throughout the year (we have always exceeded this target in the past!) £30 for your Kenyan visa £60-150 for your vaccinations, depending on what you need Spending money while you’re there
What happens if I’m struggling to make my fundraising target? Don’t panic. There is lots of help and support available from the KOP Warwick team, so keep us in the loop while you are fundraising and we’re sure that with the ideas and experience we have you’ll be sure to reach your target. We’ve never failed yet!
Where can I apply to get help funding my trip to Kenya? There are several funds that you can apply to. KOP can’t guarantee that you will get the funding, but we can help you apply. Your old school and local rotary clubs are good places to approach. Often, in return for a presentation after your trip they will contribute towards your expenses. The Lord Rootes Memorial Fund will donate money for an innovative and creative one-off group or individual project. This may be an interesting fundraising event that you organise or a creative project that you arrange to run alongside KOP while you are in Kenya. Visit www.go.warwick.ac.uk/lordrootes to find out more. The opportunity fund provides bursaries to clubs and societies to help fund extra-curricular activities, for more information visit www.warwick.ac.uk/go/opportunityfund. Medical students can apply to The Dean’s Fund for grants up to £250, for more information visit www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/med/study/ugr/mbchb/student_support/funding/deansfund.
How much money should I take? If you are staying for 2 weeks with KOP then you will need to buy water everyday, lunch some days and drinks/souvenirs if you fancy. You may also want to buy a SIM card and credit for a mobile phone (will save you lots of money)
For about 2 litres of bottled water you will need around 100-200 Ksh (80p-£1.40) A meal out may cost around £8 The price you pay for souvenirs is up to how well you haggle! The souvenirs you can get at the local market are lovely, so you may want a few! A beer costs around 100-200 Ksh (80p-£1.40) A SIM card will cost about 500 Ksh (£4)
What advice do last years volunteers have for people going out this year? 1. Take a torch 2. Take clothes that you are happy to leave out in Kenya for the kids – we were kicking ourselves that we hadn’t brought out old T-shirts and tracksuits bottoms etc because they kids would have really benefited from them and they don’t take up much room 3. Take old text books (like those CGP GCSE books you have lying around) – and work books. Most of the children long for education, so textbooks, paper and pens are highly sought after. 4. Take extra plasters – to stick over holes you may have in mozzie nets 5. Arrange a little party – on the last day at each of our project sites we bought plastic cups, plastic plates, crisps, bread, sweets and drinks for the kids and staff - it went down a treat!
Where should I stay if I travel through Nairobi? KOP Warwick advise that you stay at Upperhill campsite – very safe, lots of people travelling on, good food, mix of rooms to meet every budget, will arrange safe taxi operators, clean and friendly
What clothes shall I take with me to Kenya? These are the essentials, but check the official KOP list: Work gloves An old pair of shoes/walking boots that you don’t mind getting filthy Long lightweight trousers and tops to wear in the evening to prevent mozzie bites Some nice clothes to wear in the evening – nothing too skimpy A waterproof A day bag Clothes to do sports in (sports bra!) Swimwear
What shall I take in my first aid kit? Oral rehydration sachets Plasters Calomine lotion Paracetamol Antihistamine cream Oral non-drowsy antihistamines Any regular medications Anti-malarials Nail clippers/little scissors Deet Nail varnish remover (just for girls or for boys who paint their nails)
How safe is Kenya? Kenya is a country with many issues including poverty and sometimes corruption. These can make some places and situations in Kenya unsafe. However, if you stay vigilant and take steps to make yourself safe, then you should have an enjoyable experience. Below are some precautions that you should take, to make sure that your time in Kenya is safe.
When you are with KOP you will have minders and transport organised and secured by KOP. It is really important that if your minders tell you to do something, that you do it. They know the area very well and are acting in your best interests.
Following incidents on resorts in coastal areas near Somalia in September and October 2011, warnings have been put out, advising to stay no closer than 150km of the border with Somalia. This includes Lamu. Kisumu is not near the border with Somalia, so be reassured. But if you’re travelling on afterwards, then check out how safe the area you’re going to is. The foreign and commonwealth office advise you to stay away from low income areas in Nairobi.
What steps can I take to make my experience safe? 1. Don’t take out anything too flash and don’t put stuff on show 2. Wear a money belt – preferably under your T shirt 3. Take a pad lock for cupboards and safes esp. if travelling on after KOP 4. Take pre-booked Taxi’s in Nairobi 5. Don’t wander about alone 6. Don’t walk about after dark, even in a big group 7. Sign up to the Foreign and Commonwealth locate service at www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/staying-safe/Locate/. The service will enable you to get better assistance in the case of an emergency such as a tsunami or terrorist attack.
Where can I go to find up to date information and advice on travelling in Kenya? For information and discussions with other travellers, then sign up to the lonely planet thorn tree forum. All the postings are opinion, so use your judgement when reading them. But if you have any questions about places to go etc after KOP, then it’s a good place to start - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forum.jspa?forumID=9&keywordid=26