Spend between one and six months in one of the most remote areas of Eastern Africa mentoring a team of young adults on their way to become entrepreneurs on the global digital market. You will build relationships with bright African minds and enable them to have a successful career without having to leave their home region. You will assess the students’ progress, develop new modules and support students with customers’ orders. Apart from a life changing experience you will receive free board and lodging and live with us in our ICT Centre in Lodwar. Practically everyone with a knack for teaching, programming or business development can contribute, ideally we look for volunteers with professional skills in:
We mainly focus on web development (often WordPress-based), but are also building up basic programming skills (mostly app development).
We work mostly with the Adobe Suite and teach everything from cropping backgrounds and retouching images to layout and logo development.
Working with Blender and Adobe After Effects, students learn storyboarding, inspirational sketching and character and backgrounds design.
For a better handling of our internal processes, we are always looking for volunteers with skills in network and system administration.
Volunteer from The Netherlands
Volunteers from all over the World have left their impact
27 years old, M.Sc. Strategy / Innovation, trained graphic designer, works in art direction, 1-month stay
Nine months before my stay in Lodwar I first heard about the Learning Lions. In fact, in one week from two sources: Another volunteer told me about her time in Turkana and a published article in Gründerszene wrote enthusiastically about the young start-up. As the search profile suited my experience and knowledge, being a trained Graphic Designer and working in the creative industry, I instantly sent my application to the management team. Nine months later I sat in a small plane flying north from Nairobi to the small town of Lodwar. For almost one month I gave lectures in Principles of Design, Graphic and Web Design, I prepared the weekly tasks for the Business track students and also prepared them to soon sell their skills on micro tasking platforms such as fiverr. The great community of volunteers, the management team as well as students made it a unique and unforgettable time. The decision to return soon was thus quite easy.
38 years old, freelance graphic designer, 2-months stay
I joined Learning Lions for a couple of months in 2017 helping with the graphic design students. The time spent there was amazing and challenging, being able to meet so many great people and work in a very promising and creative project. After being gone for a couple of months, I’m still contributing to Learning Lions, bringing my graphic design background and experience in any way I can.
32 years old, M.A. economics, M.Sc. development Management, works in development sector, 1-month stay
When planning my sabbatical I heard about Learning Lions and got in touch. Building upon my experience in working with young people and specifically with young women we soon agreed that my task during my stay in Lodwar would be developing a concept to empower young female Learning Lions. The aim of the concept was to support young women so they are able to successfully apply and graduate from the programme. During my time in Northern Kenya I had the chance to speak to a wealth of different stakeholders such as students, teachers, the management team, and representatives of the diocese as well as NGOs and learned a lot about the challenges that young women face in their vocational education.
24 years old, M.Sc. Digital Humanities, works in Information Management, 2-month stay
Coming to Turkana and joining the Learning Lions team for two months happened incredibly fast for me. Altogether it took no more than a couple of weeks from hearing about the project to touching down in Lodwar. Nevertheless, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I continue to recommend it to anyone with a strong technical interest, who is looking for a challenging and unique environment to put their professional and personal skills to the test. My academic background is in Information Science and I spent my time in Lodwar coaching the Lions in Programming and setting up a local file-sharing solution. Moving out of my comfort zone to the Kenyan desert was challenging at first but the friendly atmosphere and interaction with the Lions more than made up for it. Even though I have since moved back to Europe, I try and help out from afar as much as I can.
31 years old, Phd. Candidate at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Financial Management, 10-week stay
“I heard of the Learning Lions from Alexandra, whom I met in Iran, when I was cycling from Amsterdam to Singapore. After I finished my trip I had some months left before starting my PhD and when I saw Alex’s call for volunteers, I decided to book a ticket to Kenya. A completely different world from anything I saw. At the Learning Lions I was a little bit the odd one out. I did not have anything to do with IT, Graphic Design or anything else they taught. Still, they said they could use me and so I came. With the Learning Lions I helped professionalise the bookkeeping and financial protocols, which sounds like a whole lot of boring, but I loved it. It was great to feel useful again. Although my work was largely behind the scenes, it never really felt like that. There is a lot of contact with the students even if you are not mentoring anyone directly. It is an amazing feeling to work at a place where what you do really matters. Miss you all and hope to see you soon! “
22 years old, B.Sc. Computer Science, 2-month stay
“In October 2016 I started volunteering at Startup Lions. My task consisted mainly in developing the Web Developments course. Besides having enjoyed my time there with all the lovely people I met, it was a very enriching experience for me in multiple ways. Firstly, by interacting with people from entirely different backgrounds and putting myself into their shoes, I broadened my personal view of the world. Secondly, monitoring and guiding a group of people enhanced my organisational and leadership skills. Last but not least, my time in Lodwar showed me that participating in social work can be enormously fulfilling!”
26 years old, M.Sc. International Management, 1-month stay
“I spent one month up in Lodwar, a time I look back to a lot. During my stay the management team and Lions were working hard to launch a crowdfunding campaign and new Learning Lions website, for which I was asked to interview each Lion on their story. This is when I realised that even the Turkana youth who is “lucky” enough to receive a complete school education still has very meagre job prospects, given the little employment opportunities the Turkana region has to offer. This is why Learning Lions, by making online work possible for them, changes their perspectives remarkably. I was amazed by the enthusiasm and gratefulness of the students that get to take part in the project!”
57 years old, M.Sc. Artificial Intelligence, B.Sc. Mathematics, Software Architect, 10-weeks stay
“A 35 year software development career behind me (mostly in the oil industry), and having taught in Kenya for a couple of years in the past, I was keen to combine the two strands: technology and Kenya. Seeing Learning Lions on a volunteer website I did not hesitate and a few weeks later I was in Turkana - my previous visit to Lodwar was in 1985! The aim of Learning Lions, to create local income opportunities via the internet, is a very valuable one. The organisation is dedicated to success and the students are an excellent bunch. My initial intention was to help build software development expertise, however much of my time was spent developing a student evaluation system. I continue supporting Learning Lions remotely, and hope to visit Lodwar again”
31 YEARS OLD, B.A. PRODUCT DESIGN, M.A. DESIGN AND BRANDING STRATEGY, WORKS IN FASHION DESIGN, 3 MONTHS STAY
“While I was looking for volunteering opportunities abroad a friend told me about Learning Lions. I was convinced by their concept and so I found myself in Lodwar shortly after! At Learning Lions I worked in graphic design and animation, creating new teaching content, helping the students one on one as well as in group meetings. The possibilities are endless - I held a workshop in chair design, spent some days drawing with school kids for a competition. I even found a tailor to sew some garments for me! In Lodwar each day is different, the people in town and the culture is just amazing - being part of their world is a mutual enrichment and I look back to an amazing time and an experience that formed me deeply in so many ways.”
33 years, M.SC Civil engineering, computer science, 7 weeks stay
“Hakuna maneno! There are no words to describe the amazing work done by the Learning Lions management team and the students at the school. To get the chance to take part in the work is a period of my life that I will forever hold very close to my heart. Rarely have I seen so much talent and passion gathered in one location. I'm so proud of all the people I've met here in Lodwar, both the students, and the volunteers who are guiding and giving them a fighting chance on the international IT market, and a path to a more stable life. I came to Lodwar as my first visit to Africa, without knowing fully what to expect, but in search of a way to use my passion for programming achieve some social impact. I leave with a bunch of new friends, tons of valuable experience, and a desire to return. Thank you Learning Lions, the team behind it, and last but not least all wonderful students.”
46 years, B.SC Computer system, 7 weeks stay
“At Learning Lions, I have met young people who have the talent and attitude to become great professionals. It's not easy to compete with international players in the internet, but even if they live in a small town somewhere in Kenya, they trust and succeed in doing so. During my stay, I also met an amazing management team, they take care of you and help you quickly join the team to be effective in this new environment. I came here to have another vision of the world, without any expectation. I leave a country where I've met very interesting people and great young professionals. I will never forget these weeks, it's an lifetime experience.”