Our volunteer programme supports cultural exchange, breaking down barriers and adding value to learning

Our volunteer programme closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are now in the process of supporting our partners to set up their own in-country volunteer programmes.

Over the past 20 years, over 100 volunteers from the UK have taken up placements with The Mango Tree in Kenya and at KPC in Tanzania.

Volunteering supports our philanthropic values and our aims to promote inclusion and diversity by providing opportunities for cultural exchange. Our volunteering programme has helped to break down barriers between people from different cultures and environments, and enabled young people to learn from each other. Over the years many student volunteers have revisited TMT. Some have returned to take up internships or conduct research, and others have gone on to pursue careers in international development.

We have supported volunteering schemes for A level students and internship opportunities for postgraduates and MA students.

During the COVID 19 pandemic the volunteering programme was forced to close down. Since late 2022 we have been assessing how best to support opportunities for volunteering. With limited administration resource in the UK, we decided to handover volunteering initiatives to our African partners to manage independently. If you are interested in exploring a volunteer placement with KPC or TMT Kenya, do get in touch and we would be happy to forward your inquiry on to their in-country teams.

Alison Wood

Alison has visited The Mango Tree Kenya several times, first as a volunteer and then to conduct research for her degree in International Development at Edinburgh University. Her work highlighted the issue of girls unable to afford sanitary protection who were then forced to drop out of education, leading to a new initiative supported by us to provide rural girls with the skills and materials needed to produce their own reusable sanitary pads.

“Having experienced the difficulties that school girls in Kenya face to access sanitary products, I set up the Lilypads project developing a reusable sanitary pad and menstrual health education model so that girls don’t have to risk sexual exploitation or being left behind in their education. Whilst doing research back in Edinburgh I realised that period poverty and stigma are prevalent here, too, and am now setting up a UK offshoot of the project.”