Jambo Friend, We are so glad you applied to become part of Me to We’s Volunteer and Leadership Kenya Trip. After reviewing your application we are pleased to announce that you are guaranteed a spot as a participant on the trip this summer. At Me to We Trips we are confident that you will have one of the most amazing experiences of your life and we are happy to have you as part of the team! Thank you for sending your deposit and completing the initial application, health and registration forms. Between now and your trip, we will collect further information and documents from you to ensure your trip runs smoothly and successfully. This package serves as a step-by-step guide for your trip preparations and includes some fun reading materials to help you get to know Kenya—the cultural diversity, the challenges of poverty and inequality and especially the warm hospitality you will encounter once you arrive. We will be sending important information about the program by e-mail, so please ensure that we have a correct e-mail address that you check regularly. If this is a problem, please let us know. We strongly encourage you to fundraise to help with the cost of your trip. For ideas and suggestions, we have included fundraising ideas at the end of this document to help you get on your way. The fundraising package is also available at or please feel free to contact us and we will send you a copy. If we do not receive either the forms or payment on or before the deadlines noted on page 13, you may lose your spot on the trip. Be sure to let us know if you are unable to meet these deadlines so alternative arrangements can be made. If you are unsure of the balance owing for your trip or what forms you still need to send, please contact us immediately and we will provide you with your current account status. Thanks again for your passion and commitment to this trip. We will be working with you closely as you prepare for the experience. Please contact us with your questions and concerns. We look forward to speaking with you soon! Sincerely, Kate Likely Director of International Trips 233 Carlton St. Toronto, Ontario M5A 2L2 TICO Registration # 50017614 e-mail: phone: 416.964.8942

Congratulations! Step 1: Apply for a Passport Step 2: Visit a Travel Doctor Step 3: Book Flights Step 4: Register Online Step 5: Send Documents Step 6: Gather Gear Photo and Gift Giving Trip Timeline Me to We Reading Suggestions 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 12 13 14 15-17



Have a Passport? If you have travelled abroad before, you probably already have a passport. If so, now would be a good time to go dig it out of the safe place you have been keeping it so you can verify a few things: • • • The expiration date: your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date you plan to leave Kenya. The picture and details: your passport picture probably won’t win you any beauty contests, but you should be recognizable in the photo. All information in your passport should be accurate and up to date. Two blank pages: your passport must two blank pages at the back in order to obtain your Kenyan visa. Now, put it back in that safe place. Don’t lose it between now and the trip!

Need a Passport? If you do not have a passport, it is best to apply for one as soon as possible. Processing passports can take up to two months and if you wait too long, you may have to pay extra to get yours done in time. Your passport will be issued by the government of your home country. Each country has different procedures for issuing them. The following websites have more information on how to obtain a passport: Canadian citizens: U.S. citizens: Others: contact your department of foreign affairs or traveller services What about the Visa? You will need a travel visa to get into Kenya. The visa can be obtained on arrival in-country. Please ensure that you have $25 US that has been printed on or after the year 2001 to cover the cost of the visa. Me to We Trips will provide you with further details about applying for your visa in your pre-departure package that will be emailed out to all participants in Spring 2010. Questions about visas and immigration can be directed to the embassy or consulate.



Immunizations You must visit a travel doctor for his or her recommendations on immunizations a minimum of six weeks before departure. It helps to do your research beforehand, but only a travel doctor can give you professional recommendations on the vaccines and medications you will need to keep you healthy while abroad. Some vaccines are administered in series that take several weeks, so be sure to book your appointment soon. The Public Health Agency of Canada provides a list of all the travel clinics in Canada: The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene also has a directory: The International Society for Travel Medicine: Center for Disease Control Travelers’ Health website: First Aid Your facilitators will be carrying a first aid kit with them throughout the trip. You may wish bring extra medications with you. Please do not take any such medication you have brought without first consulting a Me

to We Trips facilitator.

Tips for Staying Healthy The best way to stay healthy when travelling anywhere is to make sure you get lots of rest. The days in Kenya will be demanding, both physically and emotionally, so it will be up to you to go to bed early, get plenty of sleep and take care of your body. Dehydration is the next most common problem, but it is easy to avoid if you are careful. We will have plenty of filtered or bottled drinking water available, so remember to drink enough water every day. Safe food and water are also very important. In Kenya, we have a great team that will be making delicious, healthy food, but if you buy fruit or anything fresh in a market, remember the old wisdom “cook it, peel it, or forget it.” That is to say, avoid eating raw (or undercooked) meat or seafood and avoid eating raw fruits or vegetables, unless you peel them. This means not eating raw, unpeeled vegetables like a salad or fruit which cannot be peeled, like strawberries. Also, make sure to wash your hands often.



Malaria You should talk with your doctor about a malaria prevention strategy that will work for you. Be warned that some medications may have negative reactions with other medications you might be taking and some malaria pills can worsen existing conditions like anxiety or depression. Please disclose all relevant information and medical history to your travel doctor so they can make the best recommendations. Any doctor will tell you that the best way to avoid malaria is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes while travelling. We try to make this as easy as we can. Still, you should make sure you have insect repellent with DEET, and longsleeved sweatshirts and long pants to wear in the evening, when mosquitoes are most prevalent.



Your Volunteer & Leadership trip to Kenya begins and ends in Montreal, Quebec. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to get to Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, and get back home from Montreal upon our return. If you need to book connecting flights to and from Montreal, we ask that you leave at least four hours on both the departure and return trip. A detailed flight itinerary will be e-mailed to you when flights have been confirmed. Once you have booked your connecting flights, please ensure that your itinerary is sent to Me to We Trips and that your flight details are entered correctly in the online registration system (on page seven). If there are any changes to your flight plans, please make sure to inform Me to We Trips staff and update the information in the online registration so we can be sure to help you make any connecting flights on time. If you are getting dropped off at the airport, please plan on arriving no later than four hours before departure time. This is to ensure that we can check-in as a group. Participants that wish to make alternative arrangements to Montreal (bus, train or other) should contact the International Trips Department, to make sure Me to We Trips is fully informed of the arrangements.



To make communication easy, we collect information from all trip participants via a secure online registration system. Thanks for taking the time to complete this online registration. Registering online is easy. Here is how it works: 1. Go to 2. Log in. Your login is the e-mail address you provided to Me to We Trips. Your temporary password is “jambo” (hello in Swahili!). 3. Change your password. Make sure it is something you will remember in case you need to change anything later. 4. Fill in information. Please ensure that all forms are filled out completely and accurately. This information is essential for your health and safety while you are abroad. The registration form will ask for the following information: • Contact information • Emergency contact people • Passport • Medical history and insurance (see following page) • Special dietary requirements • Transportation plans (to and from the airport) All online forms must be completed by April 30, 2010 (with the final payment). If you don’t have the answers ready to these questions, please bookmark the site above and sign in again with your new password to enter or update information. All five pages must be complete. E-mail if you have questions. Payment Schedule Total Trip Cost: $4,995 US $750 US deposit (already received) $2122.50 US due Feb 1, 2010 $2122.50 US due April 1, 2010 If you have questions about your balance or payment schedule, please contact your trip coordinator.



Before the trip, we will need to receive the following items from every participant: • • • • • • • Application forms and essay (you have already sent this) Waivers and acceptance of rules (already sent) Completed online registration (see instructions on page seven) Clear photocopy of the photo page of your passport Plane, bus or train tickets to and from Montreal (if applicable) Proof of medical insurance coverage in Kenya Emergency fund of $500 US

Insurance Tips Participants are also responsible for obtaining travel medical insurance (mandatory) and cancellation/interruption insurance (recommended) that will cover any medical care and/or cancellations. Participants may purchase travelers insurance from Me To We Trips. You will required to forward us a copy of your policy. Many private insurance plans already include travel coverage and some gold cards also have policies included. Please check with your insurance provider to see what their international coverage is. Key questions to ask your provider are: • • • Do you pay hospitals directly or would I have to pay and then be reimbursed? What activities are not covered? Would you pay to fly over a family member if I was hospitalized?

Make sure you chose the right insurance for you and buy the maximum coverage possible. We will provide more information via e-mail in January detailing these policies and the cost for your specific trip. More details regarding the cost of these policies for your trip will be sent to you shortly via e-mail. You must also bring $50 US which will be put towards the flying doctors insurance for while you are in the Maasai Mara. Emergency Fund Me to We Trips keeps an emergency fund on hand for each participant. Prior to the trip, we will collect this fund from each participant. It can be a credit card number or a $500 US cheque made out to Me to We Trips. This fund will be held in a secure place by Me to We Trips and used only in cases where large expenses are incurred by the participant, such as hospital bills that need to be paid upfront or a participant being sent home. Parents or guardians will be notified immediately of any events that may lead to the use of this fund.



You will be sent a complete packing list a couple of months prior to departure, but it is a good idea to start thinking about your trip gear ahead of time. You may be able to borrow key pieces of equipment, see them on sale or add some gear to your birthday or holiday wish lists. When choosing clothing, please make sure you dress modestly and respectfully, and be ready for any kind of weather. BEFORE YOU LEAVE, DON’T FORGET: • American currency for spending money and souvenirs ($100-$200 US in small bills)
• • Please make sure these bill are printed after the year 2001 and have no rips or other damage done to them Your food, water, transportation, and other basic costs are included in the cost of the program, but you will want to have some spending money on hand if you want to buy snacks along the way or go shopping during the market visit. You will be able to exchange your money to Kenyan shillings when you get to Kenya Our Recommendation: bring $100 US in small bills (1’s, 5’s, and 10’s).You can call or visit your bank in advance to ask them to order smaller bills for you. If you get good at bargaining, your money will go a long way in the market. $100-$200 US is usually enough, but if you’re a big shopper or are planning on buying gifts for every one of your friends and family, you may want to bring a little more. It is essential that everyone has a money belt or document holder to carry all your important documents (passport, money, immunization record, etc), that should NEVER leave your person while in transit. Before departure, you will need to submit clear photocopies of your passport and medical insurance information. Your facilitators and the Me to We office will retain copies of this information should an emergency arise. We ask that you also leave a copy of this information with your parents/guardians/partner/roommate in case it is lost. Keep your passport, money, plane tickets, and credit cards in a document holder UNDER YOUR CLOTHES while you’re in airports or big cities. Please DO NOT bring a suitcase – all of your clothes/equipment should be packed in a hiking backpack. If you are planning on traveling again or do a lot of camping, you may choose to invest in a hiking pack from an outdoor store such as Mountain Equipment Co-op or Coast Mountain Sports. These backpacks can get quite expensive, so if you are on a budget, do not plan on traveling a lot, or do not want to spend a lot of money, to buy an inexpensive hiking backpack from Zellers or Target. They are slightly smaller in size, but still do the trick! They cost about $20, as opposed to the minimum cost of $100-$300 for a high-quality hiking backpack. Pack any liquids or gels in your hiking backpack, which will be checked before your flight.

A Document holder

A Hiking Backpack

• • • •

Label all your luggage with your name, address, and full contact information Bring an extra duffle bag stuffed in your backpack if you want to take souvenirs home Leave photocopies of all important documents (passport, immunizations, prescriptions) with a trusted person at home. Pack Lightly! You will have to carry everything you bring.



CARRY-ON In addition to your backpack, you should bring a small bag that stays with you on the plane. We recommend bringing a smaller school backpack, which will double as a daypack while you’re in Kenya. Please do not bring a purse or a bag that is uncomfortable to carry. You will be carrying this carry-on pack for the entire trip. Because of baggage restricitions, liquid or gel medications and contact solution are not allowed in your carry-on, but do your best to have everything you need. Total dimensions of your carry-on (length + width + height) cannot exceed 114cm (45in.). • Document holder
• • • • • Wallet Cash Important documents Passport Travel medical insurance • • • • • •

Important Documents
Photocopy of passport Emergency contact info Record of immunizations $25 US for entrance VISA Spending money $50 US for the Flying Doctor’s Insurance

• • • • • • • •

Tickets Glasses or contacts Sturdy reusable water bottle Magazines/books Camera Sunglasses Journal and pens ‘Just incase’ bag

Checking luggage is not always reliable, so your carry on should contain everything you need for 1-2 days just in case your luggage gets to Kenya after you do. This should include: • T-shirt • 2 extra pairs of underwear • Toothbrush and essential toiletries and medication

BACKPACK • Warm pajamas • Undergarments for 10 days • Socks for 7 days • Toiletry kit: any bathroom essentials you may need • Hat with a brim • Toque • Quick-dry towel and facecloth • Sleeping bag • Duffle bag

• • • • •

A few grocery-sized plastic bags

We recommend that you bring an empty duffle bag compacted in the bottom of your hiking backpack or squished in your carry-on. You can then bring back souvenirs with you in this duffle bag. they’re great for dirty clothes, and keep messy things like shampoo off your clothes

Long rain coat Flashlight with extra batteries Extra batteries, film, etc for camera Spare set of glasses/ contacts



• • • • • • •

Laundry detergent Work gloves Safety goggles Watch/travel alarm clock Gatorade–can be nice on those hot days! Mini hand sanitizer/baby wipes A thin scarf-optional-but is great for covering your head and also serves as an awesome makeshift pillow for the lorry rides

TOILETRY KIT • Toothbrush • Toothpaste • Floss • Shampoo • Soap • Hairbrush • Glasses and contacts • Important medications • Deodorant • Shaving stuff • Moisturizer • Hand wipes and sanitizer • Sunscreen • Insect repellant with deet • Aloe vera • Supply of feminine products CLOTHING Bottoms 1 Light Pant 2 Warm Pants 2 Pairs of Shorts that go below the knee

Important medications include:
• • • • • • Aspirin Multivitamins Traveler’s diarrhea pills Oral re-hydration salts (Gastrolyte, Gatorade) Prescribed medication from travel doctor (i.e. malaria pills) Extra supplies of medication you may need

Tops 5 Short Sleeve T-Shirts Long-underwear top 2-3 Long Sleeve Shirts Heavy/warm fleece/sweater

Footwear Running/hiking shoes with good ankle support Sandals (for around lodgings and shower)

NOTE: You will need an adapter for using power in Kenya! Kenya runs on the same power as the UK – this is a handy thing to mention to store clerks!

WHAT NOT TO BRING • Jewelry • Knives or weapons of any kind (not even a Swiss Army knife. It will not be necessary) • Your cell phone • Bikinis, skimpy tank tops, or revealing clothes 11


At Me to We Trips and Free The Children, we recognize and appreciate the generosity of the people who choose to come on our International Volunteer and Leadership Trips. We also understand that when trip participants are faced with the profound poverty in some of the communities in which we work, it is natural to want to take individual, immediate action to help to alleviate human suffering. Sometimes a trip participant will want to personally give gifts of money or goods to individuals in the community, especially to people with whom the participant has formed a relationship. There are drawbacks to taking such action and it is important for trip participants to be aware of this before they join us for a trip. Most importantly, gift-giving to individuals is not fair to all members of a community and can cause hard feelings. Not every community member has the equal opportunity to form a relationship with a trip participant and get a gift. Our partner organization Free The Children works very hard to maintain equality in its relationships with individuals in the communities, and with the communities as a whole in order to keep its status as an impartial helper. Further, Free The Children and each trip participant, as an agent of Free The Children, is already helping in the community according to a very well thought out model for community development and empowerment. The best way to honour the relationships that you build while on a trip is to give of yourself–your friendship, your understanding–while you are in the community and then raise awareness and encourage others to help upon your return. For these reasons, the giving of gifts by individual trip participants to individual community members is not allowed. We are proud to offer participants the chance to volunteer and gain leadership skills in communities all over the world, often in cultures very different from their own. Cultural differences can make trips especially thrilling, but they also entail the added responsibility of being culturally sensitive. An important way in which cultural sensitivity can be practiced is in how trip participants regulate themselves in taking photographs. In some cases, local spiritual beliefs hold that when a person’s photo is taken, their soul is captured. In other cases, cultural groups have been photographed and the photos have been sold yielding great profits to the photographer, but to no benefit of the people who were photographed. This means that these groups do not like having their photographs taken because they suspect that they are being exploited in the process. Of course, when Me to We Trips trip participants take photos, we do not believe we are taking people’s souls, exploiting them or in any way harming them. However, even if no actual harm is being done to someone by taking their picture, we must respect their feelings and their cultural beliefs. This also means that we must be careful even when we are not taking a photo of a person, but maybe a view of the landscape, a market, a house, etc., because there might be a person in the background who thinks that we are taking a photo of them. Something else to remember is that when you are on a trip with Me to We Trips, especially in a community where Free The Children is also working, the community sees you as a friend and partner in development and not a tourist. Therefore, Me to We expects that participants on its trips respect that it might be inappropriate, as determined by their trip’s facilitators, to take photos on some occasions and must refrain from doing so. Rest assured, there will be time for pictures (just not all the time)!


The Trip Process Now that you have been accepted to the trip, we would like to go over the trip process and materials that you will be receiving along the way. 1. Registration (already complete) If you have not already paid the $750 US deposit online, we require a $750 US deposit along with your trip application and health form. Acceptance (you have been accepted) • An acceptance package and fundraising package is e-mailed to you • Start your passport application now if you don’t already have one that will be valid until six months after you leave Kenya. • Begin to fundraise all or a portion of the trip cost. Me to We Trips offers fundraising ideas and support. Insurance (January 2010) • Pre-departure packages are sent to participants by Me to We Trips via e-mail in the new year • Begin to shop around for comprehensive travel medical insurance for your trip. Second Payment Due (February 1 2010) $2122.50 US 130 days before departure. Start getting immunizations Final payment Due (April 1 2010) $2122.50 US Exchange any spending money that you are to bring to the correct currency. We recommend $200 US, plus $50 US for flying doctors. To be accepted by locals, all bills must be printed after the year 2001. Departure: meet your facilitator at the airport and let the journey begin! During trip: while you are off having the time of your life, parents and families at home receive regular e-mail updates from the Me to We Trips team in Toronto. Return: readjust to home, start taking action and planning follow-up activities



4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.



The Me to We Philosophy At its heart, Me to We is a life philosophy. It offers us a way to live and its wisdom is the kind developed over the course of a lifetime. At the most basic level, it embraces the idea that we can all build a better life and our ideal world through reaching out to others. In practice, it involves focusing less on “Me” and more on “We”—our communities, our nation and our world as a whole. Today, Me to We is a worldwide movement of people finding purpose through living with compassion, strengthening community and making a commitment to our shared humanity. Recommended Reading Check out Me to We’s latest book by Robin Wiszowaty, Kenya Program Director for Free The Children. My Maasai Life In her early twenties Robin Wiszowaty left the ordinary world behind to join a traditional Maasai family. In the sweeping vistas and dusty footpaths of rural Kenya, she embraced a way of life unlike she’d ever known. With full-colour photographs from her adventures, Robin’s heart-wrenching story will inspire you to question your own definitions of home, happiness and family. To order books, visit Start Living with Me to We Daily Actions Try these simple actions to bring Me to We into your life: A Secret Surprise Action: Treat a friend to one of their favourite indulgences. A chocolate, a flower or even a little note is enough to make them feel special and to brighten their day. Inspiration: Taking time to recognize those we care about inspires them to be kind to those who are important to them. One person at a time, we can promote appreciation and love through sharing with others. Quench the Thirst Action: Treat the person in line behind you to a beverage, quench your thirst for sharing and pass on a smile. Inspiration: How would you feel if someone you always see, but never talk to, bought you a coffee or a bottle of water? You would feel great! Think of this as your first step toward making new friends and putting a smile on the faces of those around you. Under the Weather Action: Know someone who is feeling under the weather? Bring some sunshine to their rainy day by asking what you can do to help. Inspiration: Some of the most helpful actions are the smallest ones. Finding little ways to help someone will foster a sense of caring, sharing and community. Smile-A-Lot! Action: A smile is worth a thousand words. Help inspire others to share their joy by passing along as many sparkly smiles as you can. Inspiration: Consciously choosing to share a smile with the people you encounter helps warm their hearts and may even inspire them to pass along the smile to someone else. One person at a time, kindness and warmth will slowly encompass our communities and, one day, our world.


Books • The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography. Tepilit Ole Saitoti. 1988. • I Dreamed of Africa. Kiku Gallman. • The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa. Rick Ridgeway. 1998. • Tanzania: The Lan and Its People. Ndembwike John. 2006. • Kilimanjaro: The Great White Mountain of Africa. David Pluth. 2002. Movies • I Dreamed of Africa. Directed by Hugh Hudson. 2000. • Out of Africa. Directed by Sydney Pollack. 1985. Statistics United Nations Development Program Office in Kenya: World Bank Statistics Links • Global Voices Donors and International Institutions • World Bank • International Monetary Fund
The above resources are provided solely for participants who wish to do independent research prior to their trip. Me to We does not necessarily endorse any of the organizations or content listed.

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GLOBAL VOICES, Toronto Star, August 10 2009

Seeking net benefit of malaria education
CRAIG AND MARC KIELBURGER The tiny Motony community in Eastern Kenya knew their educational get-together on health would be popular. They didn’t expect 1,500 people popular. The crowd consisted of men, women and children. They moved among the make-shift educational stations under the acacia trees and among the savanna grass. As if voting with their feet, the malaria unit was packed. The terrain surrounding the group is long grass – prime breeding-ground for mosquitoes. It’s nearly impossible to avoid them here. No matter how much repellant we apply, we always return home covered in bites. At the station, Madam Josephine taught about bed nets and their critical nature for children and pregnant women. Another man demonstrated how to control long grass while a representative from the Ministry of Health treated nets with pesticide, free of charge. Malaria is a very real concern for 40 per cent of the world’s population - that’s about 2.4 billion people. Every 30 seconds, a child dies of this preventable and treatable disease. For Motony, protecting the local population means emphasizing education, bed-netting and community mobilization. For other parts of Africa, the primary means of control is a notorious chemical long-banned in North America. It’s called dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT. Its use has scientists, doctors and community members wondering if this easy form of malaria control is really best. DDT was banned for agricultural use in the 1970s after nearly wiping out bald eagles, pelicans and other birds in the United States. The ban exempted use for malaria control because it’s a fast, cheap and effective way to kill mosquitoes. In 2006, the World Health Organization and the President’s Malaria Initiative endorsed DDT’s use for reducing exposure to malaria. This included indoor residual spraying which the WHO said posed no health risk when used properly. This year, Botswana resumed this spraying. In Uganda, Vice President Gilbert Bukenya responded to criticism


saying, “You can start with my home. Those shouting against it are shouting ignorance.” Responding to the DDT endorsement, a team of North American and African scientists and concerned citizens set about reviewing studies addressing the pesticide’s current and legacy implications. Jonathan Chevrier, a panel member and epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said they noticed a surprising trend among the populations being studied. “Almost all research had been done in developed countries in populations not being exposed to DDT,” he says. “Right now, it’s exclusively being used in developing countries that tend to be more malnourished, much poorer or infected with other diseases like HIV/AIDS. That increases their susceptibility.” This susceptibility increases the risk of problems with breast cancer, diabetes, fertility and neurodevelopment associated with exposure to DDT. “We’re not saying that DDT should never be used,” says Chevrier. “But, we’re concerned about its side effects and we think these side effects need to be taken into account when a country makes the decision to spray.” With over 10 per cent of the world experiencing new or recurrent bouts of malaria in a given year, DDT does prevent deaths. But, this research makes the tradeoff questionable. That’s why Motony isn’t taking any chances. The nets being re-sprayed have reduced mortality in children under five by up to 25 per cent. Plus, one net will keep a child safe for five years. This practice combined with the educational tips, like the ones taught by Madam Josephine, reduced malaria cases by 63 per cent in communities in Latin America. These efforts require more coordination and resources than DDT. But, it’s worth the extra effort. By following the Motony example, we can prevent malaria infection without asking populations to compromise their health. The Motony community isn’t just an example of a community that cares about their health – it’s a community that’s striving for the best solutions.



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