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FAQ

GETTING STARTED

  • How do I know that The Polkadot Library is a legitimate organization?  You can find out about us by checking us out on Guidestar.org.  They vet all non-profit organizations in the U.S.

  • Why volunteer abroad? This is an opportunity to experience a new culture, visit a foreign land and interact with very special people, all while making a difference in a local community.

  • Why volunteer with The Polkadot Library?  Experience life in a very small town in the mountains of Kenya.  Meet, interact and assist the local children as they develop their education and knowledge at Polkadot Library.

  • What type of volunteer work can I do?  Depending on your skills and experience, you could teach a class, read to a child, do some gardening or just do educational games.

  • Can children under the age of 18 volunteer with The Polkadot Library? Students in grades 11 or 12 are considered for positions at the library.

  • What are the requirements for volunteering?  An open heart and mind and willing spirit to help other children is the most important requirement.

  • Can I volunteer with a friend or partner? Yes.  You will both need to apply separately and indicate your desire to come together.

  • Can we volunteer as a family?  Yes.  But we currently can only house 4 people at one time.

  • Is The Polkadot Library a charity and does it accept donations?  Yes. It is a registered US non profit.

  • Can people outside of the US volunteer with The Polkadot Library?  Yes.  All are welcome.

PREPARING TO VOLUNTEER ABROAD

  • Do I need a visa to travel to Kenya? You will need a Visa and can obtain it online directly from the Kenyan Embassy website if you are coming from the US. Other countries will need to check requirements.

  • Is travel insurance included in the fees? No it is not.  You will need to consider whether or not to obtain this insurance on your own.

  • Which vaccinations will I require?  You should be current on all childhood vaccinations and boosters.  Tetanus and yellow fever are recommended.

  • Do I need to be able to speak the local language?  Polkadot staff speak the local language (Kiswahili and Kalenjin) and the children learn to speak English in school.  English is the primary form of communication.

YOUR PROGRAM

  • What are the meals and accommodation like?  You will reside in the directors private home on a secure compound within walking distance to the library.  Balanced, nutritious meals are provided.  You will be assisting in the kitchen as well.

  • What happens when I arrive at my destination?  Upon arrival in Nairobi, you will be met at the airport by the director and accompanied to Kabarnet.  The travel time to Kabarnet is about 6 hours by vehicle.  You will tour the local town, library and get settled in housing.

  • How many other volunteers will be there?  It depends on when you arrive.  You could be with other volunteers or the only one at that particular time.

  • Can I take language lessons during my program? We can arrange that for you at your expense.

  • Can I go traveling and sightseeing on the weekends of my program?  It is not recommended.  You should schedule this at the completion of your volunteer program.

  • Will I be able to use The Polkadot Library as a volunteer reference?  If you successfully complete your service, we will be happy to write a reference for you.

  • Will I receive a certificate upon completion of my volunteer program?  Yes, upon successful completion.

VOLUNTEER FEES

  • Why pay to volunteer with The Polkadot Library?  The library incurs expenses to host volunteers and needs to cover these expenses.

  • How are the volunteer fees applied? Approximately 90% of the fees are to cover expenses with the balance applied as a direct donation to Polkadot Library.

  • How do I pay for the volunteer program?  Once your visit is approved, a link will be sent to you for online credit card payment.  Wire transfer is also available and preferred.  A 50% deposit is required upon approval.  Balance to be paid 90 days prior to arrival date.

HOW TO VOLUNTEER ABROAD

  • How can I volunteer with The Polkadot Library?  You need to submit the application.

  • How far in advance should I apply? We recommend 4-6 months to ensure proper scheduling.

  • What happens after I submit my application?  You will be contacted by email for a phone interview and discussion of any additional questions.

  • Can I change my mind?  Of course.  You may cancel up to 60 days prior to arrival with full refund.  Cancellation within 31-60 days receives a 50% refund.  Inside 30 days, there is no refund.

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