If you are looking to give back when traveling to Kenya I have found an amazing project for you. Somewhere up in a little village en route to Lake Nakuru you will find an amazing lady that started a simple but amazing project giving local kids a small incentive to come to school: a cup of of porridge.
It sounds so simple, but the free cup of porridge The Micah Project is handing out every morning is super effective for these poor little kids. Some of them suffer from malnutrition and this is their only meal of the day. It is one of the main reasons why some of these kids make their way to school every morning.
With a donation of $1 you can feed 1 kid for a month long with a cup of porridge every morning!
When I entered Kenya I had no clue yet what my route was gonna look like, not even what I was going to do. Although I actually have an article about the ultimate 10-day Kenya itinerary on my blog from one of my guest writers, I am sure some of you know that I was on a completely different trip this time.
However, it was my first time in Kenya and it marked country number 112 on my journey to visit every country in the world.
Here is my vlog about helping out at the Turi Micah Project, it is a compilation of my Instagram stories, but it gives you an inside of how things are operating every morning at the Turi Micah Project.
My Africa overland trip was a pretty though challenge but it ended up bringing me some fantastic local adventures. It was all about experiencing a country rather than visiting. Some of the best things to do in Kenya have been on my bucketlist for a long time, however it was The Turi Micah Project that got me the most excited about traveling to Kenya.
It was Claire Boulle, the founder of the Turi Micah project who was following my Africa overland trip through my daily Instagram stories, who reached out to me. Unlike most charities that DM me, she humbly introduced me to what she was doing up in Turi, a little village near Molo. I got touched by her story and almost had to ask her myself if I was able to come help for a couple days. She couldn’t believe I was changing my Kenya itinerary to come help out at the Turi Micah project. Her excitement made it a no-brainer.
Sadly enough Claire and I forgot to take a photo together so I had to screenshot a frame from a video! I am sorry Claire... :) But this is the amazing woman that provides a meal for more than 1,600 children every morning in a village in Kenya.
In all honesty I struggled to find a cool project along my overland Africa journey where I could actually pop in for a couple days and use the reach of my social media and my blog to make a difference. I inquired at a couple places in Zambia and Tanzania but the requirements were too strict for me.
What does the Micah Project exactly do?
While working for the St. Andrews School, Claire felt the need to give back in some kind of way to the local community. Although St. Andrews School is participating in several local charities, it was a nearby public school where young children were suffering from malnutrition that caught Claire’s attention and together with Esther Youlten she founded the Turi Micah Project. Offering young kids a small meal in the morning would also give them an incentive to actually come to school at all.
Their initiative started in a small shed on the public school’s grounds, but quickly grew into a much bigger project and these days the Turi Micah Project is already feeding more than 1,600 children a cup of porridge in the morning. That is almost 25% of the 7,000 children in Turi.
It is Turi Micah Project’s dream to bring a meal to all the 7,000 children of Turi every morning and give them a small incentive to attend school.
My visit to Turi Micah Project
The day started very early as the kids are fed before class starts at 8.00am. Therefore I was already picked up by Claire at 7:00am. After she explained me how things worked and she introduced me to the ladies who start cooking the porridge every morning at 5:30, I started helping them pouring 1,500 cups of porridge for the patiently waiting kids outside.
The kids were so happy to see a foreigner and it didn’t take them long to actually come up to me. After all the 1,500 cups were filled the little ones were allowed to enter one by one and grade by grade to pick up a cup of porridge.
Big smiles, happy faces and uncountable high fives! These kids made me smile big time, I hardly didn't do anything but you could feel their appreciation.
One of the ladies working for the project was counting the kids grade by grade. That way they the project keeps track of how many kids are showing up at school every morning.
At my time of visit the total amount of kids actually grew to 1,600. It was the result of some nearby schools closing their doors.
After the kids received their cup of porridge and we cleaned a little there was time to play with them before they had to attend class. I also visited some of the class rooms and played around with some of the new kids that weren’t allocated to their new classes yet. Officially public schools in Kenya are free, but they contain up to 60 kids per classroom sometimes.
It is incredible to see how happy most of these children are, realizing they have nothing. Most of the parents of these children do hardly make any income and live with less than $50 PER MONTH. Can you imagine? Some kids walk for more than 30 minutes one way every morning to attend school!
It was a little heartbreaking to see some of these little children being so happy with just a cup of porridge. It made me again realizing how fortunate I am to be born in a country like the Netherlands where all simple and small things are taking for granted.
I was super happy and thankful that Claire introduced me to the Turi Project and that I chose to come visit. The next day the children got used to me even more and we played some games and created some videos. The local kids love the camera!
How can you help?
The easiest way to help the Turi Micah project is to make a donation. The project is completely depending on donations and therefore they appreciate every small donation you can afford.
You can easily make a donation by credit card and it only take 2 minutes of your time.
When traveling to Kenya you can also visit the Turi Micah Project. It is only 50 minutes away from Lake Nakuru, near the town of Molo. The school kids love seeing Mzungu’s coming to help out.
Where is the Turi Micah Project
Crossing the border from Uganda (Country 111 on my journey to visit every country in the world) I entered Kenya in the border town of Busia. From there I took a bus to Kisumu, spent the night and took a shuttle the next morning to the crossroad to Molo. A 25 minute motorbike ride brought me to Turi, where I stayed in the Turi Viewpoint Resort.
Turi is a little village next to the town of Molo. They are located in the Great Rift Valley on 2,500 m (8,200 ft.) altitude about 1 hour northwest from Lake Nakuru. Turi is a no name village with simple local life in rural Kenya. Nothing to write home about. However, it does house one of the most prestigious schools of Kenya: St. Andrews.
Volunteer in Molo
Are you looking to add some more meaning to your trip to Kenya then you can combine a visit to the Turi Micah Project with volunteering in Molo. There is a great charity that I can recommend you: Chazon Childrens Centre.
Here you can volunteer for $150 per week and participate in all possible jobs that occur in the project. Teaching, cooking, playing with the kids, constructing, farming, care taker in the orphanage and so on. Of the $150 per week $30 goes towards the included housing and meals for you and the other $120 you can actually allocate yourself within the project.
The Chazon Children’s Center is a school for the very poor and unfortunate kids in Molo as well as an orphanage run by the amazing founder Lucy Njenga who devoted her life to this project! It is worth checking out.
I hope that with my contribution I made you consider to not buy a coffee for yourself today but donate the equivalent of that coffee to the Turi Micah Project.
Thank you in the name of Claire and the Traveltomtomt team!