AVIF is an innovative online charity, assisting with sustainable development via online & onsite volunteering in rural Kenya, East Africa. We work with partner communities in the Brazilian Amazon, Greenland and Tibet too. Being virtual means negligible administration costs for worldwide impact. We believe in efficiency, honesty and transparency. WE DON'T CHARGE FEES.

".. Kenya was my first step in changing my life this is why I cherish this experience so much, as it gave me self confidence and made me know I can do anything and go anywhere and make a difference" Ingie, 2011


Volunteerism Contributes Significantly to Human Development

Written by Alison Lowndes on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:00. Posted in Blog

The extensive State of the Worlds Volunteerism Report, 2011, is now out. The full report can be found here.


Click the image for the full PRESS RELEASE

Some favourite quotes are :

"Volunteering is an expression of the individual’s involvement in their community. Participation, trust, solidarity and reciprocity, grounded in a shared understanding and a sense of common obligations, are mutually reinforcing values at the heart of governance and good citizenship. Volunteering is our first line of defence against social atomisation in a globalising world. Today, maybe more than ever before, caring and sharing are a necessity, not a charitable act." UNV (2000, November)

"Volunteering is a path to social inclusion signifying a reciprocal relationship in which both sides benefit."

"At the level of the individual, volunteer action can help people to overcome feelings of personal isolation and reduced self-worth. Volunteers come into contact with others face-to-face or via online media that can help to enhance feelings of belonging and of contributing. Volunteerism reduces stresses in life and combats feelings of loneliness."

"Volunteering can improve employability by enhancing a person’s vocational and social skills."


AngelMule is Go !

Written by Alison Lowndes on Thursday, 12 January 2012 00:00. Posted in Blog

The amazing Avis Mulhall has finally launched the incredible mmMule service.


Sign up & post some requests for your projects here for example:


  • deliveries needed around the world; clothing, food, books, technology, mosquito nets
  • help with finding volunteers


Avis has managed to partner with a number of travel blogs & had 1000+ signups from travellers already. A big delivery of 600 school uniforms was recently arranged all the way from Sydney to Namibia by the Mad Max 4 film crew [ video], then Oasis Overland brought it the rest of the way into Kenya!

"..don't be afraid to put up even tricky deliveries, we'll do our best to try and find a solution" Avis says.

We'll certainly be posting and telling all our hosts about the service too, mainly due to the inclusive AngelMule service "delivering happiness".


Sign up to post some requests for your projects here and join the revolution.


Photography from Nkiito

Written by Alison Lowndes on Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00. Posted in Blog

Pictures tell a thousand words - from Petr & Ingie, 2 of  5 volunteers that stayed with our maasai hosts in November/December 2011.

Click for more pictures on our FaceBook page.

If you'd like to visit or simply to support the Water Project in Nkiito please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




Diary from Nkiito

Written by Alison Lowndes on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:00. Posted in Blog

Děkuji Petr z Česká republika <Thank you to Petr from Czech Republic> for this article:


Petr & Jackson; liaison and community member

At the end of my stay in Nkiito in 2010, I promised that I would come back. Last year I made friend with Jackson. We were in contact almost every 2 weeks and I tried to find some money before I come back to help the community more. This time I wanted to see Nkiito in green, therefore I chose to go there in November. I promised I came back and took some stuff for the school (more than half my big bag), gifts for Jackson and money for the community. My plan was to go there alone but I was happy that I came with one girl from Scotland. It is easier to go with two people. It was like yesterday when I saw Jackson again. Not like one and half year. It was amazing to see and hug him again.

We arrived to Nkiito in the evening and there were nice memories of this place, but the village was quite empty because of the water. There was only half the people than last year. Only the people which take care of the children going to the school stay there. Rest of the village lived in seasonal village about 6 km from Nkiito where there are no proper houses, only the simple ones and some of the people sleep outside. Nkiito looked so empty but there were a lot of poeple which I wanted to see including almost all children from the school. I was wondering how the children will look like. If they will be so taller :) But I was surprised that they looked the same. Only the small Pinina which we saw last year only in Nakapone's hut was now so older. Last year she was baby and now she helps Nakapone all the time. Last year she was so shy and cried a lot and now she was full of energy. It was great that everyone recognized me and was happy that I am back.

It was not time only for the fun and enjoy the place but for the work as well :) At the start there was only Lorraine who can teach and therefore I help with the teaching as well. After one week there came three more volunteers. After that I could do more stuff for the school and enjoy the stay and time with Jackson. I got some nice colours from my friend and I decided to make painting on the wall in colour. I am not so good at it but hoped that the result will be nice :) - Ed: Outstanding results, Petr !!!!

I used some of the paintings from last year and just coloured it. But a lot of them I had to do again. It was quite long work but it was amazing that the children liked it and told me "sidinalink“. After the back wall I coloured the numbers and letters around the class as well. After that I made some more paintings as well. The last thing I put the map of the world and Europe on the wall. It is great that the children and people can see where I and other people are living and how far away it is.


The second thing was organize the stuff for school, there is almost all what the school needs for 3 years. They need only new workbooks and chalks and one more important thing; a permanent teacher. It is so difficult if there is every half year new teacher. He dont know the children properly and can not work with them long-term. Problem is in the payment for the teacher. Because of the problem with the water in last 4 years there is not a lot of cattle in the villages. And the cattle is money. The people have not enough money for meals and it is more important than payment for the school. It is not a lot of money for us and therefore it is my new goal to find this money; around 70 USD per month.

From the money which I gave to the community they decided to build toilets for the school. I was so happy for this decision because I could help with it and can see the result. First Jackson found a guy who will build it. Some of the work is so specific and need someone who know how to do it.

At the market we bought the stuff for the toilets and the construction could start. With the warriors we prepared the hole and the guy could start to prepare the base from concrete. We need a lot of big stones, small stones and sand. We needed to find all of it around the school and bring by wheelbarrow. The work was quite hard and together with the hot weather so exhausting. It is so different if you have to do it only with hands. It was like to be in the past but I enjoyed the work and to help with. Every day we could ses the progress and the toilets looked better and better. After five days the toilets were built and we were happy. Jackson decided to build the blackboard from the rest of concrete.


From the first time when I went to Nkiito it was possible to see that there is problem with the water. The nature around Nkiito was not so green how I expected and was almost like in dry season. It was not raining so often but the rain was so hard when it did. After each rain we could see the difference in green around Nkiito. First the grass grew and after some week the trees went green as well. It was nice to see the diference between and after 3 week the people from seasonal village came back. Everyone was so happy and Nkiito looked so busy after. The people can go back because the grass was so big for cattle and there was some small lakes with the water around. It was nice to have the fresh milk for the tea as well. Because there were 5 volunteers in Nkiito I had to sleep in the hut. It was a very nice experience and I enjoyed it. It is true that I had to use sleeping bag and the net against the mosquitoes as well. In the evening it was quite smoky and hot in the hut. But at the night it was quite silent inside, more than in the metal hut for the volunteers. Some of the nights I slept very well. The maasai people wake up so early and it was not easy to sleep in the morning.

In conclusion I would like to say that the second time in Nkiito was so better than first time and I enjoyed it so much. It was amazing to see Jackson, the children and people in the village as well. We made a lot of work and had a lot of fun. I will be happy if there will be more people like this year to go and help in Nkiito. It is amazing place and people and it is a lifetime experience. But I have to say that it is not for everyone. Living there is quite difficult for us. There is no shower, no electricity and you will feel lonely sometimes.


The place is quite dirty at the start for us as well. You have to be independent as well. If you will be interestied in information just let me know and I will be happy to answer you the question. Believe me that there is nothing better than the smile of the children in the village....

A New Year & already New Results

Written by Alison on Sunday, 01 January 2012 13:47. Posted in Blog

Diego just sent pictures of the finished ponte <bridge> at Viviane's house (on left). After visiting Combu Island with Amazonart in October Viviane and her mother 'Nena' incredibly accommodated us in their home on the river. There are many different memories from the trip but what stands out to me are always the real and actual changes made. Meeting people and networking is important but only a certain percentage of people around the world “make change”. In our joint project with AmazonArt we really did. There is so much commitment from this young team and their obvious passion for Music is the medium they use to make change, especially here at the Combú Island School which is only a few hundred metres downriver from Vivianes house.

I was invited to stay in the house of Izete dos Santos Costa, lovingly known as Nena, thanks to the thoughts of the fabulous Diego Carneiro who "thought I might like to" !!. Nena works at the islands only medical centre and was only too happy to offer her home to Alex, from Travel2Change (sponsors of the trip) myself and Felipe, from Amazonart. Nena and her daughter, Viviane, talked openly (via our awesome translator, Felipe) about how they were now living alone. Nena had lost her husband to a snake bite in the forest while he was out collecting acai berries for his work. The hospital was simply too far away for him to get help in time. This also meant that Viviane had had to drop out of college.

When we arrived at the house we had to get off the boat and climb the steps up to their deck or “ponte”. Originally built by Nena’s husband but with no one to maintain it now it was in very bad repair. Pontes are essential and it only made sense to fix this lifeline for my new friends, thanks to all our donors. Nena and Viviane later offered to accommodate any volunteers wishing to help the school and medical centre in the future. I urge you to go visit, spend a night by the river. It is a magical and incredible experience you will NEVER forget.

Make it a resolution - travel over or just get on your laptop and assist Amazonart with their fantastic work - Open your eyes - Breathe deeply - its the AMAZON !!  հձթթყ ռεա ყεձг ²º¹²


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