Each Spring, this unique opportunity offers you the trip of a lifetime.
”This life changing trip gives you the opportunity to see the real Kenya. It is filled with unique and memorable experiences as you witness first-hand the impact that your support is having on our families. An eye opening, awe inspiring adventure that will not only change the lives of the people you meet but it will change yours too. You will not regret signing up and you will never forget what you experience here.” Sarah & Abi
Please read on for details of our April 2020 trip and to hear what previous guests thought of the experience.
If April does not suit you, we also run a house building trip to Kenya each year.
Wondering where the ’22’ comes from?
It was a visit to the Pavilion children’s home in 2013 which inspired the set up of our foundation the following year. At the time, the Pavilion Village was home to 22 children. They were no longer looked after by their biological parents for various reasons: some had lost them due to HIV, some had been abused and others abandoned. Their attitude and determination in the face of adversity continues to inspire us today. All fundraising from the trips goes towards the education, shelter, clothing and welfare of the kids we are proud to be supporting.
April 2020 Trip
During the trip you can experience the following:
- Visits to families we support and new house our volunteers have built
- Maasai Mara safari game drives
- Volunteering at business owned by families we support
- David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
- Climb Mount Kenya
- Visits to families who are living in desperate conditions and that we hope to support in the near future
- Tea plantation and factory tour
- Dinner at the famous Kerio View Hotel with stunning views across the Great Rift Valley
- Volunteering at a primary school
- Kenyan church fundraiser for GEF (very lively!)
- Run a 5k at our GEF races
- Imani Workshop, Eldoret
- Meeting a world class athlete
- Tour of the famous St Patrick’s School which has produced multiple champion athletes under the guidance of Brother Colm
- Mombasa and its glorious beaches
- Train alongside Kenyan athletes on the running tracks and roads of Iten
- Runs/walks in incredible locations such as Sing’ore Forest
- Pavilion Village, Cheerful and Tumaini children’s home visits
Our trips are offered at cost price and so we kindly ask guests to raise a minimum of £500 towards the school fees of children on our pending list, business start ups and for the children of Pavilion Village to join us for the activities in Nairobi during the trip. This can be done by setting up a Total Giving page here or by organising race nights, quizzes, bake sales, sponsored silences, running races and other fundraising means. Please get in touch to receive our fundraising pack.
The below trip costs includes all accommodation, transport, transfers, domestic flights and meals. Please note that they do not include international flights, visas or vaccinations.
We ask that guests arrive into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi on Sunday 5th April 2020 between 6pm and 10pm (earlier or later arrival times can be accommodated at an additional cost).
At the end of the trip there are 4 options:
- Fly home after 10pm on Wednesday 15th April from Nairobi JKIA. Total trip cost £1,175.
- Visit Maasai Mara for safari from Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th April (flying home after 10pm from Nairobi JKIA). Additional £575.
- Climb Mount Kenya from Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th April (flying home after 10pm from Nairobi JKIA). Additional £475.
- Visit Mombasa for some relaxation and tourist activities from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th April (flying home after 10pm from Nairobi JKIA). Additional £425.
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, to sign up or receive the full itinerary and important information document.
If anyone knows of a company that might be willing to sponsor the team t-shirts for the trip, we would really appreciate an introduction!
Find out what some of our previous volunteers thought about their time in Kenya with us here.
April 2019 Trip
Here’s what Caroline had to say about the experience:
“A trip to Kenya with GEF is a humbling, inspiring, challenging and fascinating experience. HUMBLING because you meet many people who are living in hardship often from very difficult backgrounds which makes you reflect on your own life. INSPIRING because you meet local Kenyans who with direct support and encouragement from GEF regain hope and go onto change their lives for the better. CHALLENGING because it takes you out of your own comfort zone because of what you experience. FASCINATING because you get a real feel for life in Kenya; whether it is school life, small businesses, meeting athletes, children from broken families, as well as being in interesting parts of the country. It can be exhausting and emotional but it is a unique experience which you can use to give others a chance – Win! Win!” 🧡
The 2019 volunteers collectively raised an amazing £5,890 which enabled us to support two very special projects:
- We built a new house for a family of 9 who previously lived in very poor conditions with no beds or toilet (they used a nearby bush) and when it rained the roof leaked water onto them.
- We helped a single father of 6 children, Daniel, start his own business selling groceries from a converted room in his home. Following the death of Daniel’s wife during child birth, Daniel also broke both his arms in an accident, only being able to afford to have one operated on. Thanks to the Kenya 22 volunteers, Daniel now has his own business and looks forward to a brighter future through our Two Feet Initiative. Our supporters also paid for the second broken arm operation.
We would like to thank Doqaru who generously sponsored the t-shirts for the trip.
April 2018 Trip
Here’s what Claire had to say about the experience:
”I have always known how important GEF’s work is but seeing it in person puts a whole new perspective on it. I really loved how many families we were able to meet. I can’t believe how many amazing experiences were planned into the 2 weeks: teaching in a primary school, visiting children’s homes, reaching the summit of Mount Kenya, having lunch at the homes of professional athletes…the list goes on! I felt safe and well looked after at all times and would recommend this experience to everyone.”
The team raised an incredible £14,121 which enabled us to do the following:
1. A contribution to the operation (and after care) to fix Daniel’s broken arm that he had lived with for 6 years. His arm is now functional and we have been able to provide he and his 6 kids with a house help for 6 months as his arm gets stronger.
2. A contribution to the new home for Ascar and Emmanuel who previously lived in desperate conditions, sleeping on a mud floor.
3. A contribution to the new home for Gladys and her 9 children who previously lived in the house with no walls contribution.
4. One year of counselling services for our kids.
5. Food and transport for 100 GEF kids to attend our Mount Kenya Marvellous Road Races last month.
6. 12 months of maize flour for Cheerful Children’s Home for special needs children.
7. 2 year’s salary for a new GEF employee.
8. Football equipment for our Chaka FC Youth Team.
9. GEF Karatina office rent for 3 years.
10. 3 day academic clinic April for our Form 2 & 3 students.
11. Seminar for teachers on improved ways to motivate and discipline students.
Click here to read what David Vernon thought of the 2018 trip.
We would like to thank Global SCS who generously sponsored the t-shirts for the trip.
April 2017 Trip
Our team of 12 guests climbed Mount Kenya in support of our kids and raised an amazing £7,200!
During the course of their 2 week spell in Kenya they touched hearts and changed lives forever. They visited families, ran our Mount Kenya Marvellous 5k or 10k races, officially opened new houses we have built, went on safari where they saw lions, giraffes, buffalo, zebra and much more, met world famous athletes, acted as team GEF for a day assessing the needs of a family and recommending the support we should offer, toured Kasarani Stadium and last but by no means least climbed Mount Kenya.
Thank you to Alan Brown (his 3rd trip in 3 years) and Abi Lyall for these kind words about the experience:
“Huge thanks to the AWESOME team in Kenya, it feels like my second home, the people are amazing. The work that the Gathimba Edwards Foundation puts into the two weeks that we were there is astounding, I am sure everyone that was with me would agree. Already looking forward to a new adventure with the next group who are going to go next April, if anyone is thinking of going, JUST DO IT, it will be the best experience of your life and make you appreciate what you have here. What are you waiting for?” Alan Brown.
“What a trip, amazing, emotional, exhausting, exhilarating, beautiful, breathtaking and more than anything humbling. We were able to witness first hand, not only the utter poverty but, the inspirational work the GEF team are doing. How so little can do so much and how a smile and a wave(and maybe a sweetie and some bubbles) can bring so much joy. This trip has changed us it has inspired us it has moved us and it will remain with us.” Abi Lyall.
March 2016 Trip
Asante sana (thank you very much) to our 8 guests who were part of this memorable trip and raised an incredible £8,687.
This unique opportunity gave our guests the chance to give kids in Kenya a chance while also enjoying the trip of a lifetime that included: taking part in our Mount Kenya Marvellous race alongside Kenyan runners, David Sheldrick elephant orphanage, Giraffe Centre, boating on Lake Naivasha, New Life abandoned baby home, meeting world famous athletes, visiting schools and many of the children and projects we are supporting throughout the country.
The money raised has enabled us to build a house for a family in Karatina, pay the tuition fees of 28 of our kids through secondary school for 1 year and buy equipment for our Chaka Youth Football Project.
March 2015 Trip
We would like to say the biggest thank you to our 2015 Kenya 22 family which raised over £12,500 for the children we are supporting in Kenya.
The team of 15 were great fun and it was a huge pleasure to spend 12 days with them visiting children, meeting world famous athletes, going on safari and running the Rift Valley Marathon. It was truly humbling how they embraced the trip and supported the various children we met. We look forward to seeing you all in Kenya again very soon.
Here’s what one of our guests, Ali Mathers had to say about it:
“The trip for me is so hard to describe through words! It was utterly inspirational and humbling to visit the Pavilion Village. I was in awe with the humility of all the children and young people. The sense of pride, ownership and family connection was overwhelming. I actually stayed at Pavilion Village and embraced the life there. The resilience and sheer robustness of the children was quite amazing! Visiting the homes of children made me realize how not only lucky we are in the UK but also how materialistic and stimulated we are by unnecessary nonsense. Kenya was so beautiful – the lushness of the country was incredible. The sun rises and sunsets was stunning!”
See more of the amazing pictures here
22 Reasons to visit Kenya on GEF’s ‘Kenya 22’ adventure
- Climb Mount Kenya
Our team along with scouts will guide you up the second highest peak in Africa. Gillian Watt climbed the mountain in March 2019 and described the experience as “unforgettable and challenging”. Our team member Peter has climbed the mountain 337 times.
- See impact support has had on Kenyan families
Get the chance to see first hand what has been achieved through your fundraising and contributions from other well wishers.
- Interact with families
You can chat with families that have already received support and those who are still in need. Get the chance to ask them questions, tell them about life abroad and bring them gifts if you wish. The kids are always smiling and delighted to receive visitors.
- Experience the beautiful wilderness of Iten’s Singore forest
Enjoy walking or running in the peaceful forest which shelters the stunning colobus monkeys.
- Officially open houses
One of the things we have on our itinerary is to officially hand over the houses that we’ve built for families and you can be there to see the emotions as they unfold. Fennick was one of our volunteers in July 2018 and said: “Seeing the families open the door of their brand new house and to see their faces burst with joy…there’s not a better feeling in the world!”
- Volunteer with local businesses
From packing and selling nuts to making GEF bracelets, cooking chapatis or making and serving school lunches. You can be part of something special helping the families to earn more money that day – there is always lots of excitement amongst locals when a foreigner is working for a local business!
- Visit Maasai Mara
Visit the world’s most famous safari; home to the ‘Big 5’ animals – elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. There are so many other animals and species of bird!
“Photos of Maasai Mara will give you a view of the experience but it is a million times better if you see it with your own eyes. It was a very special three days which will remain with me forever.” These are the words of our volunteer Alan Brown who has now been to Kenya with us five times since 2015.
- Visit Fort Jesus
Our trip now incorporates a visit to The Old town of Mombasa, a place full of rich Portuguese and Middle Eastern heritage. Fort Jesus was built between 1593 and 1596 by order of King Philip 1 of Portugal. A visit to this old fort followed by a tour of the old town makes for a lovely two hours followed by relaxation by the hotel pool on a very warm day.
- Enjoy the beach sceneries of Mombasa
Mombasa is characterized by warm weather and very beautiful sceneries. Our volunteers who enjoy running have fun training along the beach but you can also jet-ski, sail or simply sunbathe. There are also optional traditional massages and plenty of a local drink called ‘dawa’ in full supply.
- David Sheldrick Elephant orphanage
There is no better place to interact with baby elephants than the magical David Sheldrick orphanage. They do incredible work to rehabilitate baby elephants and get them ready to be reintroduced back into the wild. Many of them have tragic stories relating to poachers.
- Run alongside Kenyan athletes
You can see hundreds of Kenyan athletes in action on the dirt tracks or on the roads during fartlek sessions. Those who like running can also join in the stampede of runners.
- Meet world renowned coach Brother Colm
Meet and enjoy the company of arguably the world’s most legendary distance running coach. He’s the man behind the success of multiple world and Olympic champions including 800m world record holder David Rudisha.
- Spend time with Alan Brown
He is a man with a heart of gold and great sense of humour. He’s attended each one of our Kenya 22 trips and has done a record amount of fundraising for the charity.
- Visit Pavilion village
Get a chance to visit the place where GEF was inspired. A place with 39 amazing kids and their house parents John and Agnes. The children are there either due to abandonment, abuse at home or having lost their parents.
- Meet a top athlete
Our guests have had the pleasure of meeting athletes such as Wilson Kipsang, Mary Keitany, Linet Masai and Bethwell Birgen.
- Visit a primary school
The school kids are always excited to welcome visitors with a high-5! You can be sure there be lots of singing and dancing as well as interactive chats with the teachers.
- Enjoy Kenyan cuisine
From the high altitude in Iten to the beaches of Mombasa, Kenya has a rich variety of cuisines that you can sample from ugali to chapati and exotic fruits to nyama choma.
- Meet the child you sponsor
Our guests who sponsor a child each month will always get the opportunity to meet their sponsored child. Those who do not sponsor a child are also most welcome to identify someone they would like to support, but this is of course optional.
- Visit tea/coffee plantations and factories
Kenya produces some of the best quality tea and coffee in the world. This is your opportunity to see how it’s grown and produced and purchase some if you wish.
- Attend a fundraising event Kenyan style
The Karatina fund drive takes place in a church and offers an interesting and lively insight on how Kenyans raise funds in support of GEF.
- Visit the second largest slum in Africa
Kibera slum is densely populated and many of its inhabitants live in extreme poverty. Our guests have been able to visit, interact with local and support them to set up income generating projects.
- Visit The Bomas of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya is a place where you can witness lots of different cultural dances and interesting aspects of Kenyan heritage.