Volunteering FAQs 

Q: Who is eligible?
A: Physicians, surgeons, researchers, medical students, RNs, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals.  Please click HERE to read our volunteer handbook.

Q: When do volunteer visits take place?
A: Continually. Our partner organization in Kenya, the Matibabu Foundation, coordinates volunteer visits according to work schedules and their patients' needs.

Q: Where would I be working?
A: Most physicians work at Matibabu's outpatient clinic in Ukwala town, in the Ugenya District of Kenya's Nyanza Province. Additionaly, you may have the opportunity to work in the newly opened hospital a few kilometers away.  Ukwala is about 25 kilometers away from Lake Victoria and the Uganda border.  The nearest city is Kisumu, about 50 kilometers to the southwest.

Surgical teams work at Siaya hospital, about 20 kilometers south of Ukwala.

Q:  What kinds of cases do volunteers see?
A:  Everything. Since medical care is scarce, people often arrived with advanced disease.  Medical personnel here must be flexible, cheerful, and energetic.

Q: Do medical volunteers get a chance to teach?
A: Yes. Constantly.

Q:  Whom exactly do volunteers work for?
A:  Tiba Foundation is a seed funding organization with a strong consulting role on the ground.  Once in Kenya, Tiba's volunteer professionals report directly to our local partner, the Matibabu Foundation.

Q: How does the process work?
A:  Prospective volunteers fill out the online volunteer application form. Tiba checks home country credentials, conducts orientations, and passes the information along to Matibabu's cordial, capable volunteer coordinators.  Matibabu arranges for Kenyan licensing, in-country transportation, and medical scheduling on the ground.  

Q:  How do financial arrangements work?
A:  Volunteers pay transportation costs privately to and from Kenya.  This cost is deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Within Kenya, costs for transportation, lodging, and food are paid by volunteers and organized through the Matibabu Foundation.

Q: What about orientation and training?
A: Volunteers receive an in-person orientation with Tiba executives and former volunteers prior to departure. The orientations take place in San Francisco approximately every sixth Sunday, and we will contact you privately to schedule this.  If you can't make an in-person orientation, we will conduct the session by telephone or video chat.  

You will also receive an in-country orientation from Matibabu's staff, as well as an exit interview.

Q:  Where do volunteers stay?
A:  Most people stay in a hotel in Siaya or Ugunja, nearby market towns.  It is sometimes possible to arrange home stays in Ukwala.