Why Volunteer Abroad?
 Volunteering creates a feeling of personal satisfaction.  It grants you a privilege not afforded to the typical tourist: a unique opportunity to experience local everyday life in another country while making a positive impact.  Volunteering abroad immerses you in a different culture which improves your language skills, gives insight of a culture from the inside out and hopefully broadens your view of the World.

Is HFLW a NonProfit 501(c) (3) Organization?

Yes we are.  Since 2008 we have been a 501(c) (3).  Volunteering with 501(c)(3) organizations allows you, the participant to claim your travel expenses when you file your yearly tax return.  Most of your travel expenses toward the volunteer trip including airfare and the program fee can be deducted.  Our programs adheres to the IRS requirement that you volunteer/work, on average, eight hours per day, 5 days a week.  For questions on tax exemptions or charitable contributions, refer to the IRS publication 526.  You can search for these types of 501(c)(3) volunteer organizations at Guidestar.org

Why volunteer with us?
Hearts For Love Worldwide is a small personable organization that offers organized group trips throughout the year providing a personalized experience. You are not another number with us!  We cater to the individual looking for a unique volunteer travel experience.  We offer two week trips at this time, please see Dates & Fees.  We have different projects/programs and concentrate on these throughout the year in order to make a successful impact and change.  Volunteer with us because we are small and will give you an authentic experience of volunteering, making a difference in the life of others as well as your own.  We offer security and safety 24/7.
  
Is volunteering in Kenya for me?
Only you can answer this question.  Volunteering in another country can be both challenging and rewarding.  Our programs are not summer camps. You will not have every minute of every work day planned for you.  You must be an inventive self-starter who can handle situations where schedules are occasionally non-existent and resources are scarce. Flexibility and patience are the keys to having a satisfying experience.  Developing countries, in particular are not as obsessed with time as the US or Europe.  NGOs, international non-profits and volunteer organizations are almost always understaffed.  If you are willing and able to accept this, volunteering abroad can lead to an unlimited feeling of personal satisfaction. 

Why should I pay to volunteer?

You are not paying for your volunteer work; you are making a financial contribution to support the needy communities where our programs are based.  Donations are helping to stimulate the local economies with hosting jobs, with new constructions at local schools and orphanages, and with much needed medical supplies to rural clinics.  HFLW works tirelessly year round to support and  serve the local communities where we are based.  As a non religious, non government agency, we receive 100% of our funding from volunteer program donations, private contributors, and fund-raising activities.  Your trip is tax deductible.
 
Do most Volunteers Fund-raise?
Yes!  We know the cost of volunteering abroad can be extremely daunting.  There are transportation costs, program fees, visa/vaccination expenses to consider, as well as your everyday at home living costs while you're away.  Some volunteers pay for their entire trip through fund raising and have extra to assist the project program they are assigned to.  After you submit your application and US $250 deposit, we will email you a fund-raising guideline with helpful information.

Is there an age requirement?

Volunteers are18 years and older. We do not have a maximum age limit in place, as an increasing number of volunteers are retirees.  As long as you are physically and mentally healthy with an open mind you shouldn't have any problems participating in our programs.  Exceptions can be made for those under 18 yrs.as long as they are accompanied by an adult and sign a wavier.  It is a great experience for the younger volunteer. 

Do I have to be a US citizen to participate?

No. We accept and encourage participants from around the world.

Do I have to be a US citizen to participate in the grant and scholarship programs?

Yes, at this time scholarships are awarded to US citizens/students only.  See Grants & Scholarships.

How is my program fee being used?

The program fee pays the host family/guest house so that they can provide you with meals and accommodations, transportation, your orientation, the 24/7 assist from the volunteer coordinators in Kenya, and other excursions in the volunteer trip program.  The projects you volunteer with everyday on your trip will benefit from your program fee. A very small percentage of the program fee pays our US overhead administrative expenses.  We also use a percentage for on-going recruitment, marketing project development costs.  Our company goal is to be sustainable and offer professional support and services.  We cannot do this without the volunteer program fee.

What is the average length of a program?

At this time we offer 4 scheduled trips for two weeks each. If you would like to volunteer longer please let us know and we will accommodate you for and extra cost. See Dates & Fees for additional information. Special arrangements for special circumstances may be made if you would like to extend your program longer than the two weeks. HFLW will accommodate further arrangements if someone wants to go it alone on their volunteering adventure.  Please notify Lory Jacobs if you would like to extend your time in Kenya volunteering with one of our programs at loryjacobs@heartsforloveworldwide.org  Accommodations can be extended up to six months. 

Do I need a passport and visa?

Yes, you need a passport, with an expiration that is no less than 6 months from the time of travel. 
Visa requirements differ by country, based on the length of time and nationality of the volunteer.  Please check the local government within your home country about specific requirements.  For US participants it requires approximately 3 weeks to obtain a visa before traveling.  You may also purchase your visa on arrival in Kenya but it is not recommended.
For US participants: https://www.kenyaembassy.com/nyservices/appforvisaonline.aspx  https://www.kenyaconsulatela.com/services/appforvisaonline.aspx

Is there an application deadline?

Most people will sign up 3-6 months prior to traveling. You should apply no later than 60 days before your intended start date. Some exceptions can be made for last minute traveling, please contact us for more details.  The application deadline is for your benefit as well as ours.  You must have time to get a passport if you do not have one, make your airline reservations so that you can apply for your visa.  We will help you with visa information as it is easier to get this before arrival rather than at the airport in Kenya.

Do I need immunizations?

Kenya does have some requirements.  We urge participants to consult a travel doctor at least six weeks before arriving in Kenya, to discuss any necessary immunizations and for advice on staying healthy while traveling. 

Do I have to book my plane ticket myself?

Yes, you do. We aim to be as flexible as possible and allow our volunteers to pick their travel dates, carrier and times of departure.  Volunteers that have discounts or mileage to use can create a huge savings for themselves and this is not possible if we planned a volunteer program including airfare.  We want to pass all the savings we can onto you.

Is travel insurance included in the program?

HFLW does not provide insurance for the simple reason that we think our participants should be able to decide on the nature of their own coverage.  We will recommend http://www.volunteercard.com as they are inexpensive and provide very good coverage. If you have personal medical insurance check with them to see if you are covered for traveling abroad. Insurance is not required but recommended.

Can I volunteer with my sister/friend/husband/boyfriend?

Yes! Let us know ahead of time if you will be traveling and volunteering with someone else in order to accommodate.  In fact HFLW offers a $100 discount to both parties when volunteering together. 

What qualifications or skills do I need?

There are no qualifications necessary.   You will be assisting and aiding the local director and their staff at the project.  Having an open mind, kind and compassionate heart is important. As a participant in any project HFLW asks that you retain a fingerprint clearance/or police card from your home country as you will be working with children.  This is also becoming a requirement of the Kenyan organizations to date.

Do I need to bring my own supplies from home, or are they provided?

Most schools, day cares and orphanages which you will be working in are very under resourced.  Supplies from home that would be of benefit to you should be taken with you.  You can receive more specific information once you have confirmed your trip date and paid your deposit fee.  At times it is suggested that you wait until you arrive on your project, see what is needed for your program, and then purchase locally as it helps the economy and assures for the corrects needs to be met.

Do I need to know the local language?

No, English is used in Kenya although the local people will speak their native language Swahili.  The children and others will be teaching you their language and before you know it you will be an expert and will have learned a new language!

What if I have more questions?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything concerning your trip such as dates, arrival/departures times, what we do and where we go in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us by emailing loryjacobs@heartsforloveworldwide.org or calling us at: (928)-451-2522(928)-451-2522, leave a message please and we will return your call.  We welcome all inquiries as this will make it easier for you to make a decision between us and other larger organizations.  You will find that Hearts For Love Worldwide may be small but big in heart and soul with our objective to care and meet the needs of our volunteers and those recipients in Kenya.
 
How do I apply for the program?
Choose the dates that you are interested in. Submit your application.  You will be notified of your acceptance shortly after we receive you application.  Once notified you will be asked to pay your deposit fee of $120 to secure your placement with the dates you have chosen.  The deposit fee is transferable to your program fee.   Once you have paid your deposit fee you will be given the next steps to follow in taking your adventure to Kenya!

How do I pay my deposit and/or program fees?

  • You may pay for your deposit and/or program fees either online using a credit /debit card or PayPal through our secure system or mail a cashiers check, personal check or money order to our office.  See Contact US. 
  • Your remainder of your program fee will be due and payable no later than 45 days prior to your volunteer departure by either credit/debit card, PayPal, cashiers check or money order.  If you send a personal check for the balance due it must clear the bank before departing.
  • For International payments on deposits/program fees we accept bank wire transfers.  Volunteers are responsible for their wire transfer fee.

What is the deadline for submitting my Form?

Most people will sign up 3-9 months prior to traveling.  You should apply no later than 60 days before your intended start date; if you are on the deadline you should submit all the paperwork and the full payment the same day.  Some exceptions can be made for last minute traveling, please contact us for more details.

How many hours and days am I’m working each week?

Volunteering in a group setting means your days will be anywhere from 6- 8 hours long.  The days are planned out according to the activities such as the safari trip/other sightseeing tripsYou will have ample free time in order to explore with others from the group and those you meet in Kenya.

Who are your partners abroad?

Our local partners are NGO’s, private institutions and community organizations dedicated to the improvement of their communities.  They are leaders in the community and social activists knowledgeable in the needs of their society and offer insight and guidance to our volunteers.  They believe in the benefit of international assistance and value our volunteer's time, skills and knowledge.

Will I be met at the airport?

The Country Coordinator and staff will pick you up from the airport in Kenya if and when you inform us of your flight schedule, in writing, at least four weeks in advance of your arrival in Kenya.  Unfortunately, travel delays in developing countries are a common occurrence.  If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are delayed or miss a flight, it is your responsibility to contact the Country Coordinator or HFLW US office.  You will also be provided an emergency telephone number to reach the HFLW US office to report any delays.  You will be given this information once you have secured your trip dates, deposits and fees prior to leaving for your trip.

Will I have free time to travel when I'm there?

Yes, there will be free time available.  Remember though that because this is a group volunteer program there will be planned activities as well which is all coordinated to enhance your time in Kenya and make it a wonderful working vacation! 

Is there any training involved?

When you arrive either the day or night before you will begin to meet the other volunteers that have come on this trip.  On your first half day you will go through orientation to familiarize you with what we will be doing, when, where, and how.  You will learn a bit of the language, what to expect on a day to day basis.  The second half of the day will be going to exchange money, shopping for any necessary supplies, such as water and snacks you may want or need, seeing how local transportation is used etc.....

What type of accommodations are provided for volunteers?

The majority of our volunteers will live in a local guest house shared accommodation.  On occasions a volunteer/s may live with a local host family, and if this does interest you please let us know and I will see if I can make those arrangements close to the project we will be tending.  These families have a working relationship with HFLW and are deemed suitable by our Project Coordinators based on sanitation, security and comfort.  A Home Stay provides firsthand insight into the local culture and helps with learning the local language.   Although you should not expect western standards, the accommodation are good by local standards, clean and secure. 

Do most volunteers become sick? What happens if I do?

Most volunteers do not experience any major medical problems.  The most common complaint is an upset stomach as one's body is introduced to new foods.  If you take sensible precautions and follow the guidelines we suggest on healthy traveling (such as using bottled water and avoid eating uncooked food) you should not have any major issues.  There are several medical facilities in all areas of where you will be volunteering.  However, if you do have any serious medical complaints you are advised to contact our Volunteer Coordinators for immediate hands-on assistance.