Overview

As a Volunteer you will experience an active, hands on humanitarian trip that uses sports to educate, inform and play with children of all ages at local orphanages, primary and  secondary schools.  Volunteers will also meet and play sports with the kids who are participating in and benefiting from Kids Play Int’l’s Let’s Play! Community Program.  During each trip there will be a project for volunteers to work on.

Additionally, you will explore and encounter the beautiful lush countryside, witness the majestic peaks of the Virunga volcanoes, visit native villages and trek to see the magnificent silver back mountain Gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park.

We invite you to come experience the people of Rwanda who despite having lived through the horrific genocide of 1994, are forgiving and resilient people whose country has taken great strides to move forward and recover in the years since.

Typical Volunteer Day

Volunteers arrive at site by 9am to work on projects and/or visit a local school; set up sports room, build soccer goals or volleyball net/court.  After lunch, volunteers gather 50-100 kids from a school/or orphanage and meet on a local field.  Kids Play Int’l will lead a group stretch, talk about and incorporate a life skill lesson, run through drills for the sport of the day and then PLAY!  Volunteers return to hotel around 5PM.

Kids Play Int’l will always try and allot for free time during the trip for other activities that volunteers may enjoy doing on their own with the children; arts & crafts, games, reading, jump rope, etc.

Physicality of Trip and Culture Shock:

Rwanda suffered through one of the most brutal and horrific Genocides in 1994, with that comes the reality of HIV/AIDS, illiteracy, hunger, and many orphaned children. All volunteers will be affected by the culture differently but if you keep an open mind and heart you will surely be overwhelmed with the fact that every little bit that each volunteer contributes DOES in fact help in making the changes needed in this country.  Please be prepared for hot, dry weather, participation in physical activity with the kids and light labor around the village. To get the most of this experience, we encourage volunteers to be active, hands on, open, willing, patient, and above all, to have fun!

About Rwanda

Known as the “land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is an awe-inspiring country known for its vibrant culture and it’s welcoming, resilient people. Located in Central East Africa, this small country is surrounded by four others; Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rwanda experienced a horrific, nationwide genocide in 1994, leaving almost one million people slaughtered, and countless others affected. There are several genocide monuments throughout the country, recognizing these events. On each KPI Volunteer Trip, we always visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial within the first few days of arrival, so that we may better understand the story, history, and culture of this special country.
Being just south of the equator and higher in elevation, Rwanda offers a fairly mild climate with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons (don’t worry, we like to visit during the dry seasons).
This unique landscape is also quite the happening place for….gorillas! There are very few places in the world where you can experience a Silverback Gorilla in its natural habitat, and Rwanda is one of them!

July 7th – July 18th

Day 0            Depart U.S. on July 7th , 2013

Day 1             Arrival Kigali, Rwanda on July 8th , 2013

Day 2             Visit Genocide Museum/ Travel to Gatagara/Nyanza

Days 3-7        AM visit local school / PM Activities with kids in our Let’s Play Community Program

Day 8             Travel to Musanze / Visit Ubushobozi Project in Rhuhengeri

Day 9             Gorilla Trekking Today!   Or Visit the amazing Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

Day 10           Travel to Kigali / Visit markets

Day 11           Depart for Tanzania ADD-ON Safari in early morning /Depart for U.S. in the evening

Click Here for Detailed Itinerary

(Be sure to keep scrolling down there are 3 pages:  Itinerary, Accommodations & Suggested Packing List)

 

Optional Tanzania Safari Add-on: July 18th – July 23rd

Please note that this optional Safari is offered through Base Camp Tanzania not Kids Play International.

Day 11           Depart for Tanzania, arrive early AM at Kilimanjaro International Airport. With Base Camp Tanzania, visit Tarangire National Park. Overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 12           AM game drive if possible, then head to Serengeti National Park, home to the largest migration of wildlife in Africa. Overnight at Serengeti Wilderness Camp.

Day 13          Exploring Serengeti National Park, game driving over 14000 square kilometers to explore in search for the best that nature has to offer. Overnight in Serengeti Wilderness Camp.

Day 14         AM: Serengeti National Park. PM: Visit Oldupai Gorge on our way to Ngorongoro Crater, the ‘Cradle of Mankind’. Overnight in Lemala Tented Camp or Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.

Day 15         Explore World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Crater, game driving amongst the 30,000 resident animals. Late afternoon return to Arusha. EITHER overnight in Ilboru Safari lodge or late night departure from Kilimanjaro International Airport to U.S.

Included

  • Accommodations
  • Transportation to and from airport, volunteering sites, museums, Volcanoes National Park
  • Most meals

Trip does NOT Include:

  • Airline ticket
  • Travel insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Any personal incidentals
  • Passport/Visa
  • Some Meals
  • Tips to staff, drivers, etc. at the end of the trip.

.

Trip Leader 4x Olympian, Cameron Myler

Cameron is a 4-time (yes, 4-time!) Olympian in Luge. As a 7-time National Champion and 9-time Female Athlete of the Year, she also received the honor of carrying the American flag in the Olympic Games. Cameron is more than a highly decorated athlete.  Did we mention she’s also a Sports Lawyer and Athlete Advocate? Yep, this gal beyond inspiring with her endeavors and achievements. We are very excited to have Cameron as a Trip Leader!

Contact Trip Leader at: cameronmyler@gmail.com

FAQ

What airport do I fly into?

We fly into Kigali International Airport (KGL).

Where is Rwanda?

Rwanda is in central east Africa, bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Do I need a passport/visa?

A valid passport is required to enter Rwanda. Visas are not required for U.S. citizens visiting for 90 days or less.

How safe is Rwanda?

We completely understand the question about safety and want each volunteer to feel fully educated and safe while traveling. According to Lonely Planet (posted 3.12), “Many visitors are unsure about travelling to Rwanda given its history. However, as long as security and stability persist, Rwanda is a refreshing country in which to travel, where tourists remain a relative novelty and the rewards of the present outweigh the risks of the past”. Also, please check out this recent article about travel and safety in Rwanda. If you would like to speak with a volunteer who has traveled with us recently to Rwanda, please email us and we’ll put you in touch with them.

What type of vaccinations do I need?

It is recommended to make an appointment with your physician or a health care provider before leaving on any international trip.

-Anti-malarial drugs is required

-Yellow Fever is required

-Cipro prescription is good to have to help prevent GI maladies while on the trip.

-Make sure you have an updated MMR (Measles/mumps/rubella), DPT (Diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus) and poliovirus vaccine.

-Hepatitis A and B (optional)

-Typhoid (optional)

Refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most updated list of required and recommended vaccinations. LINK:   http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/rwanda.aspx 

What is the currency and current exchange rate?

The currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc. The current exchange rate can be found at http://www.xe.com/currency/rwf-rwandan-franc

What language is spoken in Rwanda?

The official language of Rwanda is Kinyarwanda, as well as French and English.

Do I need travel insurance?

We recommend purchasing travel insurance. If you choose Travelex, you can call 1.800.228.9792.

What is the weather like?

Rwanda is at a higher elevation than most African countries (1000m – 4500m) so thankfully the weather remains slightly cooler. There are two dry seasons and two wet seasons. We make sure to travel during the dry season!

Any special fitness requirements for this trip?

Our Kids Play Int’l Volunteer Trips are very active and do require a general level of healthy physical fitness. We will be walking, wandering, playing the days away! If you have any injuries or special requirements, please consult your physician first. Also, please let us know at the time of inquiry.

Why is gorilla trekking $750 buckaroos?

The Rwandan Silverback Gorillas are an endangered species (we recommend checking out the film “Gorillas in the Mist”, which was filmed and took place here). The permit fee goes towards protecting the National Park, supporting the Rangers and Trackers who stay with the gorillas throughout the day, and protecting the gorillas against poachers. Only a certain number of permit passes are given out each day.

What if I don’t want to go gorilla trekking?

The gorillas will definitely be sad to hear you won’t be stopping by to say hi. This is a very unique and awe-inspiring experience that we encourage you not to miss. However, if you choose to not go trekking, you will be able to get some extra down time at the Mountain View Gorilla Lodge.

What is the food like?

One of the best ways to experience a culture is to experience the food. We recommend checking out a blog that Jaime Komer, an Athlete Ambassador of KPI, posted about her experience with Rwandan cuisine after her trip in May of 2012: “There’s no compare to local fare.

What should I bring?

We recommend bringing clothing that you would not mind leaving behind.  You may choose to donate your clothing at the end of your trip. Please avoid bringing expensive or valuable jewelry. 

Do you have a suggested packing list?

Oh, do we! Here is a thoroughly extensive list of suggested items to bring. Please note that there are a few  required items.

LUGGAGE

*  1 Personal Duffel bag/ Suitcase- please pack conservatively,

*  1 Large Duffel w/ donations to leave behind

*  Small backpack/tote for day to day outings

 

YOU MUST BRING

*  Passport

*  2 copies of Passport/ cc / Travel insurance info

*  Immunization record/ yellow health card

*  Emergency contact information

*  $250 USD Cash Minimum

*  Travel Insurance Card and info (IF purchased)

*  Money Belt or other safe way to carry money

 

CLOTHING – Gatagara towns are in the Mountains….so it is cool in the mornings and evenings.

*  Tennis shoes/running shoes or sturdy Teva like sandals, Cotton Socks

*  Light Jacket/Sweatshirt/ Hat

*  Long Skirts or long shorts or Capris (to or below knees) for Women

*  Guys in shorts just above knee is fine

*  Skirts on women and nice pants and a shirt on men are the norms for special occasions

*  Warm sleepwear

*  T-shirts (tanks/sleeveless are not recommended, but ok for the Gorilla Trek, Kigali etc.)

*  Volunteer clothes (clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty if we are working on projects in the village, gloves, etc.)

*  Jeans/Pants– going out to dinner at night (casual), it is cooler at night

*  Towel/washcloth (is provided but can bring your own if you like)

 

GORILLA TREK RECOMMENDED CLOTHING

*  Long pants and long sleeved shirts when in the forest to avoid nettle stings

*  Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots are essential

*  Light rain gear

*  Light gloves, even gardening type gloves are helpful!

*  Long socks to put over jeans, to avoid ants. It may look silly, but it’s worth it!

OTHER

*  Camera/ Video Cameras

*  Extra batteries

*  Converter to charge cameras, phones, etc

*  Ipod

*  Journal

*  Alarm Clock

 

FOOD / SNACKS – Strongly suggested

*  Granola/Power Bars

*  Peanut butter

*  Trail Mix

*  Instant Oatmeal

*  Starbucks instant coffee (yum!)

*  Other foods that are easy to pack and won’t go bad!

 

TOILETRIES

*  Shampoo/ Conditioner/Soap

*  Toothpaste/Toothbrush

*  Lotion, Sunscreen, Lip Balm, nail clippers

*  Antibiotic Hand wipes / Hand Sanitizer

*  Razor, Feminine Products

*  Hair bands, Hair brush

*  BUG REPELLENT

 

MEDICATIONS                                          

*  Personal Medication, vitamins, etc.

*  Anti-malaria meds, Cipro

*  Pepto-Bismol/ Tums

*  Anti-itch/ bug bite cream

*  Anti nausea medication if you get car sick. The roads are winding and bumpy!

 

 

Kids Play Int’l encourages volunteers to begin their volunteering abroad experience with fundraising. Fundraising for your trip not only helps you fulfill your dream of volunteering abroad, it also helps promote awareness of international issues. Every conversation, letter, and event that explains where and why you plan to volunteer shows people your commitment to serving local communities abroad, and broadens communications about international service.

Fundraising can be a fun and creative part of the volunteer abroad experience, and many volunteers who fundraise feel an added sense of fulfillment and dedication to volunteering abroad.

ON-LINE FUNDRAISING, EASY AND MOST EFFECTIVE!

Get Started Now with VOLUNTEER FOREVER, an easy-to-use and free fundraising site.  Click Here to start fundraising!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO INCLUDE

  •  General information about the nonprofit organization you will be traveling with.
  •  Donations are 100% Tax Deductible!
  •  Where you are going, for how long and what you will be doing.
  •  Let people know how much money you need to raise and that their donations are tax deductible.
  •  How you will share your experience during your trip or upon your return.

Hand-written or Formal Emails or letters

Hand-written letters or personalized emails to potential sponsors can also be effective, because it provides a personal touch especially when reaching out to friends and family, employers and work colleagues, or clubs.    A formal letter or email may be best when soliciting clubs, churches or temples, local banks, foundations and charitable organizations in your area, or larger organizations like The Rotary, Lions and Elks Clubs, Junior League, Junior Chamber, and The United Way.   OTHER IDEAS:  Bake sale, Car wash, etc.

FUNDRAISING  101

CHECK OUT OUR: SAMPLE Fundraising Letter.pdf

HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE FUNDRAISER! 

We recommend that you personalize every email/letter that you write with the recipient’s name.

  1. Make a list of everyone you know and all the local organizations and companies who might be able to donate. This list can include your family, friends, neighbors, contacts, etc., but can also inc  lude people from other aspects of your life, such as your place of employment, worship, school, doctors, teachers, neighborhood groups—anyone you think may be able to help sponsor your trip. Many local organizations or companies are eager to donate to causes like yours, so think outside the box! See if the company you are currently working with is willing to “match” what you are able to raise.
  1. Write out your goals and reasons for volunteering. This will be useful when you are talking to potential sponsors or writing fundraising letters, to explain how a contribution to your volunteer trip will make a positive impact. Learn all you can about issues facing the country and program site you will be visiting, so you can explain why you chose to volunteer there. Stress that this is not a vacation.
  1. Start early and create benchmarks. As soon as you make your deposit to participate on a volunteer trip, develop a fundraising plan and get started. Look at the total amount of money you need to raise, and set periodic goals that serve as benchmarks to keep you on target, for example, “$1,000 by February, $2,200 by June.”
  1. Ask for a specific amount of money. When you say “contribution”, some people are thinking $5, while others are thinking $500. Tell people how much you need, and let them know the total amount that you are hoping to fundraise. You may even want to outline the cost per day of your program (divide your total program fee by the number of days you will be gone.) and ask to be sponsored for at least one day.
  1. Convey a sense of urgency to potential sponsors. This limits their time to forget about giving you a contribution. Give your sponsors a specific date by which to get back to you, preferably at least four weeks before your final trip payment deadline. Put this date in your sponsor request and send them friendly reminders, with a note of how much closer you are to getting toward your goal.
  1.  Recognize your sponsors. Always thank your sponsors; they will appreciate the recognition and praise. Write a personalized thank you note to everyone who contributes. You can also post your sponsors on any of your social media outlets.
  1.  Online BLOG Sites to Get Started: Internet is typically available at most hotels, blogging is a great way to keep people informed about what you are doing during the trip! Here are some suggestions: www.travbuddy.com, www.blogger.com, www.wordpress.com, www.livejournal.com
  1. Host a get-together when you return and invite all your sponsors. A great way to secure funding from religious organizations, civic groups, alumni associations, and educational institutions is to offer to give a presentation when you return. Highlighting your service abroad and what you learned helps people understand how their contributions made a difference. Photos of you working overseas can speak volumes.

Book Now!  Rwanda, July 7-18, 2013

Price: $1799 per person (plus airfare)

  • Add $750 for Gorilla Trekking Permit
  • $500 Deposit to secure your spot on the trip
  • Rate based on double occupancy
  • Single Supplement: $400
  • NEW!  Optional add-on Safari to Tanzania. 
  • Please note: Kids under 18 must travel with parent, guardian, or chaperone.
  • Read the Booking Terms and Conditions - must agree in order to complete registration.
  • Payment options: CREDIT CARD (additional processing fees apply) or CHECK:  Please make checks payable to Kids Play International and send to: Tracy Evans 1317 Ptarmigan Loop, Park City, UT 84098.
  •  Questions?  Please Email: info@kidsplayintl.org or Call 435-645-8163

Click Here to Register