Do you want to directly contribute to helping communities, and assist in conserving the marine environment and wildlife, plus have the experience of a lifetime in the stunningly beautiful tropical Watamu National Marine Park on the Kenyan Coast?
What can you do to help the Watamu community and marine conservation?
Are you are interested in really making a difference to local Kenyan coastal communities and marine wildlife and applying your skills and experience? Then volunteering (as a Kenyan tourist) with WMA is the answer. We need people who have skills and an interest in the following areas:
Community Development, Dolphin/Marine Conservation and Research, Eco Tourism, Journalism and PR, Marketing and Advertising, Teaching, IT, Art and design, Small Business development, Sports Coaching, Waste Management and Recycling.
We are looking for volunteers from 18 upwards, who can work independently with initiative and with minimal supervision. Our main aim is for volunteers to provide their skills directly for the benefit of community groups and they will be working closely with the local community members.
What is WMA offering the volunteer?
You will be involved in a number of activities depending on your choice and area of interest and subject to us assessing your skills. Our programmes cover a fairly wide range reflected in our activities below. For more detailed information about our programmes please see WMA Projects
Dolphin Eco Tourism, and Conservation Research Project - The first on the North Kenyan Coast, this project involves volunteers working with WMA researchers, Kenya Wildlife Service and community members from Watamu Association of Boat Operators and Watamu Safari Sellers. We are looking for people with experience and an interest in research and field studies, scientific data analysis, photography and filming and designing educational and promotional materials. Please seeWMA Dolphin Project
Eco Tourism Development-WMA supports community based eco tourism initiatives in the Watamu Marine Park and Reserve and is looking for volunteers to help our members promote their activities through marketing and advertising and business development. This includes dolphin watching and mangrove tour guiding initiatives. e.g Mida Creek Conservation Community Group
Tourist Customer Services and Handling Training and Tour Guide Training - Many of our members are tour operators, beach operators; curio sellers and eco tour guides. They require training to develop their professionalism and businesses.
Community Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project- WMA members work to keep our Marine Park beach and village free of plastic waste and pollution. We have developed the plastic recycling capacity and are looking for people who can help us create art and curios from plastic, rubber and other waste materials and to develop income generating initiatives from recycling and to educate community members on the importance of good waste management. Please see Waste Management Project
IT training for community groups - IT skills are seen by our community groups as most important for self development and promotion of their projects and activities and they want to be conversant with Microsoft Office, Excel, the Internet and Email and Facebook, please see WMA Education Programme
Working/teaching with orphanages and nursery schools - This would involve working primarily with the women's groups and their orphanages and nurseries, Many of these children have no opportunity of going to school or receiving a formal education. They need teachers for basic studies and English e.g.Mwamko Mpya Women's Group and Watamu Joint Women's Group
Sports Coaching- This involves working with already established amateur soccer teams and volleyball teams (mixed gender). Also developing new sporting activities such as softball and athletics. We require coaches and sports people to help them fulfil their dreams- see our WMA Sports Programme
Other WMA interest areas are: Marine Environment and Ecology Education, Marine Environment Protection and Advocacy, Sustainable Fisheries Advocacy and Development, Sustainable Tourism Advocacy.
About Watamu and where you will live?
Watamu is a small village set in the Watamu Marine Park and Reserve on the North Kenyan Coast. Watamu (means “home of the sweet people” in Swahili) enjoys a friendly community feeling where most people know and recognize each other. . Because of its beautiful beaches it attracts an increasing number of international visitors. For more information please see About Watamu and Visit Watamu
We are providing two different options of accommodation: self - catering and all inclusive. The former are apartments in the village itself and the other is at Mwamba guest house at the bird research centre for A Rocha Kenya Both are situated near the beach. Accommodation is simple and comfortable with standard kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Contributions and where your donation goes to.
Volunteers are expected to raise funds which will cover accommodation and operational costs. Remaining funds go to the project the volunteer is working on or to designated community groups/projects so you and the community you work with will see the benefits from your stay over and above the skills that you provide.
Comments from past visitors to Watamu Marine Association Kenya
Emily Roy - USA November 2010 - "WMA has done a great job of giving groups and people a voice who otherwise would never have had one. I have loved my time with WMA .I will definitely recommend it".
Annabel Buchan - United Kingdom - "Hand on my heart I can come away saying I had a fantastic experience and I don’t think there’s anything I can say to counter that! I was particularly impressed by WMA, it struck me as very well run and in tune with the local people and environmental issues, and really making a difference in the Watamu area"
For more information please see contacts below
tel +254(0) 701878487