Beside planting and nurturing trees, another major project in Sadhana Forest Kenya is water conservation. Sadhana Forest Kenya is located in the semi-arid area of Samburu County near the town of Kisima. Before creating a forest one must address water issues. Drought Samburu County has suffered reoccurring droughts in the past decade, the outcomes are […]
The idea of forest gardens (food forests) was first articulated by Robert Hart in his book ‘Forest Gardening’ and subsequently became one of the keystone concepts in Permaculture. A Permaculture forest garden mimics the architecture and beneficial relationships of a natural forest. Food forests are not ‘natural’, but are designed and managed ecosystems that are very rich in biodiversity and productivity.
Samburu County is an arid and semi-arid area located in northern Kenya in the Rift Valley Province and is inhabited by the Samburu tribe who are closely related to the Maasai tribe. Samburu and Maasai are both part of the Maa language family and share 95% of their language. Neighboring tribes, admiring their beauty and elegance, called them Samburu, meaning “butterfly.” The Samburu call themselves Lokop (or Loikop). The Samburu, light as butterflies, are semi-nomadic pastoralists whose lives have traditionally depended on animal husbandry (cattle, goats, sheep, and camels) for their livelihood.
The Vegan Animal Sanctuary in Sadhana Forest, Kenya provides a loving home and sanctuary for cows. All the animals who have found a home with us are rescued and were destined for slaughter or suffering from serious injury and illness. These residents now have the freedom to explore and enjoy a huge forest space and are provided with loving care, safety and security.
Sadhana Forest is one of the only Vegan farm animal sanctuaries in Africa.
The Sanctuary was founded in September 2016, and now has 5 cows living with the community.
The Sadhana Forest sanctuary is funded solely on private donations. Our hope is to be able to secure more funding and have it keep growing, like our trees here!
Have you ever wanted to live in a vegan volunteer community with compassion at its core and with the opportunity to care for animals?
Perhaps the most dramatic transformation has been with Soro. She has put on weight consistently since she arrived and is now the largest and most imposing cow in the herd. She’s still a bit skittish but is gradually getting more comfortable reaching her nose out to take a sniff of an offered hand before huffing and backing away.
Siambu has also gone from skin and bones to a healthy and filled out cow. She suffered some
permanent hair loss due to previous sores on her hips, but it’s hardly noticeable due to her unique
colouring. She’s the shyest of the bunch, probably from mistreatment in her previous home, but she is comfortable and happy around her cow friends and seems to have healed from her trauma.
Volunteering Here: Kenya
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us at Sadhana Forest Kenya!
Please read the following important information carefully and print to bring with you on your journey.
We look forward to meeting you soon!
Sadhana Forest Kenya is an International NGO working to establish food security through indigenous food forestry and water conservation with the Samburu people. To read more about the Samburu people and our role in Samburu County click here. For more information about our project in Kenya please read the “Kenya” section on our website.
Sadhana Forest Kenya is a very long-term sustainable development project. We are not involved in short-term relief work or providing immediate aid.
Be prepared to work very hard, be flexible and have fun!
Our experience with volunteers in India and Haiti has been very positive. Volunteers from all over the world create a dynamic community atmosphere. Living and sharing in a communal atmosphere brings us in harmony with nature and with ourselves. One of our volunteers put it very nicely in her letter to us when she left, “May there be many forests to grow people.”
We are happy to welcome volunteers here any time of the year and always have plenty of work and space for them.
In addition to planting/monitoring trees and water conservation works, we have projects within our campus such as cob construction, permaculture-designed demonstration plots, and developing appropriate technologies. Also, we have daily support tasks such as cooking, cleaning, compost toilet maintenance, and general upkeep of our campus. Your tasks will also depend on the season and the skills that you will bring with you. Please be prepared to help wherever needed.
Being part of Sadhana Forest also means that you are not only doing your daily work, but that you are also part of our community. So, you should bring an interest in living with other people and doing selfless service (Seva) for the community. Our daily schedule looks like this, but can change according to the season or the tasks to be done that day:
5:45am Wake-up call
6:15am Morning circle (organizing first session of volunteer tasks)
6:30am First Seva (first session of volunteering)
8:45am Second Seva (second session of volunteering)
12:30pm Lunch and afternoon relaxation
3:30pm Third Seva (third session of volunteering)
In general, we live very simply here sleeping in either tents or small earth huts. We have wind and solar generated electricity and clean drinking water. The campus is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and friendly Samburu communities.
Our campus is in the “bush” of Samburu County with only small villages around. The closest major town is 32kms from here, so it is important that you know how to keep yourself busy and that you can enjoy a calm, peaceful environment.
If you are a committed person, who likes to work with trees and people, doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty, and can identify with our community values, Sadhana Forest Kenya is the place for you!
Our Way of Life
Volunteers will not smoke cigarettes, use drugs, or drink alcohol, inside or outside of our campus, during their entire volunteer period at Sadhana Forest Kenya!!
This guideline helps us stay always fully aware of our behaviour, and maintains our personal health, safety, and security.
Please consider this guideline very seriously and only come to Sadhana Forest Kenya if you are 100% sure that you are able and willing to completely respect this!!
Volunteers who do not respect this guideline are asked to leave the project immediately, if they have not already done so.
We practice an eco-friendly way of life including whole-food veganism, alternative construction, renewable energy, biodegradable toiletries, compost toilets, and conscious consumption. Volunteers are expected to be mindful of their purchases and avoid generating waste in order to fulfill our goal of being a zero waste community.
As well as being a drug-free vegan community, we practice non-competition, gift economy, and un-schooling.
The work will include tree planting and distribution, cooking meals, cleaning, and maintaining the camp. Be prepared to chip in wherever you are needed!
Our Meals and food contribution
We enjoy 100% whole-food vegan meals. We do our best to source organic/local food where possible.
Sadhana Forest Kenya is a non-profit ecological project that does not generate any income. Therefore, we unfortunately cannot afford to provide free food for volunteers. The total cost of food per person is 700 Kenya Shillings (KES) per day, around 7 USD.
Please bring with you 700 KES x number of days that you wish to stay plus a 2000 KES refundable deposit. We can occasionally accept USD or Euros; Please check ahead.
At Sadhana Forest we are very concerned with peaceful living and sustainability. We find that a vegan diet and lifestyle best supports these ideals. This means that, inside of Sadhana Forest, we only eat foods that are not from animals or animal products. That means no: meat, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, curd, yogurt, honey, or any other foods that come from animals. The consumption of animal products is the largest contributing factor to deforestation in the world and we don’t want to reforest with our hands while we are deforesting with our mouths!
Processed foods may not be peaceful either so we don’t bring these onto our campus. Examples of foods we would not like here are foods with refined sugar or refined flour in them such as cookies and biscuits, soda, packaged juice, and any other heavily packaged or processed food. Also, we avoid drinking coffee or tea inside Sadhana Forest. Herbal ‘tea’ is permitted.
Each of these foods has a serious environmental or social impact or may impact upon your personality. We want the food we eat here to reflect our vision of a better world.
Some examples of foods which are okay to bring inside of Sadhana Forest are fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and berries, vegan whole grain bread, nuts, and natural nut butters.
Our volunteers have found that the most convenient visa arrangement for visiting Kenya is a “Tourist Visa”. For “object/purpose of journey” our volunteers suggested to enter: “Tourism”. Kenya requires visitors to apply for an “E-Visa” before arriving. Click here:http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html
Sadhana Forest Kenya requires all foreign volunteers to have valid travel and medical insurance including international air evacuation for the entire duration of your stay with us. If your insurance does not include air evacuation please purchase one from AMREF Flying Doctors insurance online at the following link: www.flydoc.org . The AMREF evacuation insurance is 16 USD per month or around 30 USD per year.
If you need the air evacuation insurance up to one month you can purchase a Maisha Tourist Plan here: Maisha Tourist Plan
If you need the air evacuation insurance for more than 1 month you can purchase the Maisha Annual Plan here: Maisha Annual Plan
Sadhana Forest Kenya will not be able to accept and host you if you do not have valid travel, medical, and evacuation insurance. You will need to email us proof of this insurance coverage before your arrival to Sadhana Forest Kenya. Please be aware that if you have a medical emergency, Sadhana Forest Kenya will not be able to cover any of your damages, medical, or transportation costs.
‘Safaricom’ is the service provider with the best reception on the Sadhana Forest Kenya campus.
For internet access with your smartphone you would purchase a SIM from Safaricom, load the SIM with Airtime, and then purchase a Data Bundle according to your requirements. Safaricom staff will help you to do this.
If you require a fast and reliable internet connection for a laptop we recommend you either use your phone as a ‘Hotspot’ or purchase a USB internet modem (Dongle) in Nairobi. You can purchase a USB modem at a Safaricom shop in Nairobi. The price should be about 2000 Kenyan Shillings plus extra depending on which internet plan you use.
One Safaricom shop that is close to the Manyatta Backpackers guest house is located at I&M Towers, Ground Floor, Kenyatta Ave, Nairobi.
Also there is a small Safaricom booth at the arrivals area of Nairobi’s International Airport.
Please note that to purchase a SIM card for your phone or USB internet modem you will need to present your passport.
We have the ability to charge standard 220v AC, USB chargeable devices and any electronics with a car adapter (12 volt, cigarette lighter charger).
We DO NOT encourage bringing too many valuables. (Electronics or other)