Our Olympic Day Service Trip is the ideal opportunity to travel with a purpose! On this volunteer adventure we’ll be working hands-on with the boys & girls in our Let’s Play Fair, All Girls United programs, located in the rural village, Gatagara. This is an experience of a lifetime, as we share the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship & Fair Play with our Players in our program through introducing less familiar sports and gender equity lessons and interactive activities. We will also visit our 3 partner schools, see local pottery being made and sold, immerse ourselves in Rwanda’s vibrant culture and if you choose you can add on to your stay trekking to see the Famous Silverback Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park or Safari in Tanzania.
Your adventure is led by a highly experienced and well-traveled Kids Play Int’l Ambassador(s). When you decide to travel with a purpose with Kids Play Int’l, get ready to be inspired!
A Volunteer Experience
As a Volunteer you will experience an active, hands on service trip that uses sports to educate, inform and play with KPI Players and community kids of all ages. Volunteers will also meet and play sports with the kids who are participating in and benefiting from our Play Fair Community Program. During each trip there will be a project for volunteers to work on.
Physicality of Trip and Culture Shock
Rwanda suffered through one of the most brutal and horrific Genocides in 1994, with that comes the reality of HIV/AIDS, illiteracy, hunger, and many orphaned children. All volunteers will be affected by the culture differently but if you keep an open mind and heart you will surely be overwhelmed with the fact that every little bit that each volunteer contributes DOES in fact help in making the changes needed in this country. Please be prepared for hot, dry weather, participation in physical activity with the kids and light labor around the village. To get the most of this experience, we encourage volunteers to be active, hands on, open, willing, patient, and above all, to have fun!
Known as the “land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is an awe-inspiring country known for its vibrant culture and it’s welcoming, resilient people. Located in Central East Africa, this small country is surrounded by four others; Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda experienced a horrific, nationwide genocide in 1994, leaving almost one million people slaughtered, and countless others affected. There are several genocide monuments throughout the country, recognizing these events. On each Kids Play Int’l Volunteer Trip, we always visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial within the first few days of arrival, so that
we may better understand the story, history, and culture of this special country. Being just south of the equator and higher in elevation, Rwanda offers a fairly mild climate with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons (don’t worry, we like to visit during the dry seasons). This unique landscape has re-introduced a number of exciting wild life life, Lions, Giraffes, Hippos and more back into the Akagera National Park!
Wednesday, June 17- Depart USA
Thursday, June 18- ARRIVE KIGALI, RWANDA
- Arrival in Kigali, Rwanda
- Transfer from airport and overnight in Kigali at TBD Hotel
- Check into accommodation to rest/relax
- Dinner on your own
Friday, June 19- THE HISTORY OF GENOCIDE
- Breakfast included at TBD Hotel
- Introduction and welcome to Rwanda by KPI staff.
- An Introduction to the power and complex history of Rwanda: Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and Museum (2 hours)
- Lunch at Genocide Memorial Cafe or similar
- Visit UNHRC Refugee Camp and facilitate a KPI sports activity or TBD Activity
- Dinner at TBD Restaurant
Saturday, June 20 – COMMUNITY PROJECT / OLYMPIC DAY PREP
- Drive to Gatagara
- Community project TBD
- Lunch at KPI Guesthouse
- Prep for Olympic Day events
- Overnight in Huye at TBD Hotel or Mater Boni Consilii Hotel
Sunday, June 21 –OLYMPIC DAY EVENT
- Set up / Prep for Olympic Day
- Opening Ceremonies begin at 1pm
- Olympic Day Move, Learn, Discover events 1:45-3:30pm
- Closing Ceremonies / Olympic Day Participation Certificates 3:30-4pm
- Overnight in Huye at TBD Hotel or Mater Boni Consilii Hotel
Monday, June 22 – NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK & TEA PLANTATION
- Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park (2 hours)
- Canopy Walk
- Tea Plantation Visit
- Overnight at TBD Hotel in the National Park
Tuesday, June 23- NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK | CHIMPANZEE TREKKING
- Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park to Trek Chimpanzee’s
- Transfer back to Hotel in Huye at TBD Hotel or Mater Boni Consilii Hotel
Wednesday, June 24- KPI PLAYER-PARENT HOME VISIT & LET’S PLAY FAIR PROGRAM
- Transfer to Gatagara and divide up group to visit a few of our players homes and visit with their Parents.
- Lunch at GH
- Participate in our Let’s Play Fair Program with both Younger and Older KPI Players
- Transfer back to Hotel in Huye at TBD Hotel or Mater Boni Consilii Hotel
Thursday, June 25- KPI PARTNER SCHOOL VISIT & GATAGARA POTTERY
- Transfer to Gatagara for Partner School visit and activities
- Lunch at GH or Box Lunch for the road
- Transfer to Kigali and check in to TBD Hotel
- Farewell Dinner at TBD Restaurant
Friday, June 26- COFFEE & CONVERSATION / SHOPPING / DEPARTURE/ ADD ON– GORILLA TREKKING OR SAFARI
- Breakfast (included)
- Coffee and Conversation with US Embassy select members
- Shopping / Evening Departure OR for those Gorilla Trekking meet up with Tour Operator / Safari Add On to Tanzania- Fly in the afternoon.
*Additional Cost Determined by Tour Operator Company. If you choose to stay on Kids Play can suggest a couple different Tour Operators for you to coordinate your Gorilla Trekking experience or see below information for Safari in Tanzania.
Optional Tanzania Safari Add-on:
Please note that this optional Safari is offered through Base Camp Tanzania not Kids Play International.
Day 1 Depart for Tanzania, arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport. With Base Camp Tanzania, visit Tarangire National Park. Overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge.
Day 2 AM game drive if possible, then head to Serengeti National Park, home to the largest migration of wildlife in Africa. Overnight at Serengeti Wilderness Camp.
Day 3 Exploring Serengeti National Park, game driving over 14000 square kilometers to explore in search for the best that nature has to offer. Overnight in Serengeti Wilderness Camp.
Day 4 AM: Serengeti National Park. PM: Visit Oldupai Gorge on our way to Ngorongoro Crater, the ‘Cradle of Mankind’. Overnight in Lemala Tented Camp or Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.
Day 5 Explore World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Crater, game driving amongst the 30,000 resident animals. Late afternoon return to Arusha. EITHER overnight in Ilboru Safari lodge or late night departure from Kilimanjaro International Airport to U.S.
- Transportation to and from airport, volunteer sites, events
- All Breakfasts and Most lunches/dinners
Trip does NOT Include:
- Gorilla Trekking excursion or permit
- Airline ticket
- Travel insurance
- Health insurance
- Any personal incidentals
- Some Meals
- Tips to staff, drivers, etc. at the end of the trip.
2020 Trip Leader(s): KPI Founder and 3x Olympian, Tracy Evans-Land
Fundraise, You Can Do It!
Kids Play Int’l encourages volunteers to begin their volunteering abroad experience with fundraising. Fundraising for your trip not only helps you fulfill your dream of volunteering abroad, it also helps promote awareness of international issues. Every conversation, letter, and event that explains where and why you plan to volunteer shows people your commitment to serving local communities abroad, and broadens communications about international service. Fundraising can be a fun and creative part of the volunteer abroad experience, and many volunteers who fundraise feel an added sense of fulfillment and dedication to volunteering abroad.
On-Line Fundraising, Easy and Most Effective
Get Started Now by using the easy-to-use and free peer to peer crowd funding at Crowdrise platform and click on “Set up your Fundraiser” and you’re off an running!
Important Information to Include:
- General information about the nonprofit organization you will be traveling with, simply copy and paste our mission, vision, etc. from our website.
- Donations are 100% Tax Deductible!
- Where you are going, for how long and what you will be doing.
- Let people know how much money you need to raise and that their donations are tax deductible.
- How you will share your experience during your trip or upon your return.
Hand-written or Formal Emails or letters
Hand-written letters or personalized emails to potential sponsors can also be effective, because it provides a personal touch especially when reaching out to friends and family, employers and work colleagues, or clubs. A formal letter or email may be best when soliciting clubs, churches or temples, local banks, foundations and charitable organizations in your area, or larger organizations like The Rotary, Lions and Elks Clubs, Junior League, Junior Chamber, and The United Way. OTHER IDEAS: Bake sale, Car wash, etc.
CHECK OUT OUR: SAMPLE Fundraising Letter.pdf HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE FUNDRAISER! We recommend that you personalize every email/letter that you write with the recipient’s name.
- Make a list of everyone you know and all the local organizations and companies who might be able to donate. This list can include your family, friends, neighbors, contacts, etc., but can also inc lude people from other aspects of your life, such as your place of employment, worship, school, doctors, teachers, neighborhood groups—anyone you think may be able to help sponsor your trip. Many local organizations or companies are eager to donate to causes like yours, so think outside the box! See if the company you are currently working with is willing to “match” what you are able to raise.
- Write out your goals and reasons for volunteering. This will be useful when you are talking to potential sponsors or writing fundraising letters, to explain how a contribution to your volunteer trip will make a positive impact. Learn all you can about issues facing the country and program site you will be visiting, so you can explain why you chose to volunteer there. Stress that this is not a vacation.
- Start early and create benchmarks. As soon as you make your deposit to participate on a volunteer trip, develop a fundraising plan and get started. Look at the total amount of money you need to raise, and set periodic goals that serve as benchmarks to keep you on target, for example, “$1,000 by February, $2,200 by June.”
- Ask for a specific amount of money. When you say “contribution”, some people are thinking $5, while others are thinking $500. Tell people how much you need, and let them know the total amount that you are hoping to fundraise. You may even want to outline the cost per day of your program (divide your total program fee by the number of days you will be gone.) and ask to be sponsored for at least one day.
- Convey a sense of urgency to potential sponsors. This limits their time to forget about giving you a contribution. Give your sponsors a specific date by which to get back to you, preferably at least four weeks before your final trip payment deadline. Put this date in your sponsor request and send them friendly reminders, with a note of how much closer you are to getting toward your goal.
- Recognize your sponsors. Always thank your sponsors; they will appreciate the recognition and praise. Write a personalized thank you note to everyone who contributes. You can also post your sponsors on any of your social media outlets.
- Online BLOG Sites to Get Started: Internet is typically available at most hotels, blogging is a great way to keep people informed about what you are doing during the trip! Here are some suggestions: www.travbuddy.com, www.blogger.com, www.wordpress.com, www.livejournal.com
- Host a get-together when you return and invite all your sponsors. A great way to secure funding from religious organizations, civic groups, alumni associations, and educational institutions is to offer to give a presentation when you return. Highlighting your service abroad and what you learned helps people understand how their contributions made a difference. Photos of you working overseas can speak volumes.
What airport do I fly into?
We fly into Kigali International Airport (KGL).
Where is Rwanda?
Rwanda is in central east Africa, bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Do I need a passport/visa?
Yes, Expedite your experience at customs and apply on line HERE for an e-Visa before arriving into Rwanda. A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity is required to enter Rwanda.
How safe is Rwanda?
We completely understand the question about safety and want each volunteer to feel fully educated and safe while traveling. According to Lonely Planet (posted 3.12), “Many visitors are unsure about travelling to Rwanda given its history. However, as long as security and stability persist, Rwanda is a refreshing country in which to travel, where tourists remain a relative novelty and the rewards of the present outweigh the risks of the past”. Also, please check out this recent article about travel and safety in Rwanda. If you would like to speak with a volunteer who has traveled with us recently to Rwanda, please email us and we’ll put you in touch with them.
What type of vaccinations do I need?
It is recommended to make an appointment with your physician or a health care provider before leaving on any international trip.
-Anti-malarial drugs required / recommended (Malerone or Doxyclycline)
-Yellow Fever (optional)
-Cipro prescription is good to have to help prevent GI maladies while on the trip.
-Make sure you have an updated MMR (Measles/mumps/rubella), DPT (Diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus) and poliovirus vaccine.
-Hepatitis A and B (optional)
Refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most updated list of required and recommended vaccinations.
What is the currency and current exchange rate?
The currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc. IMPORTANT: Bring US dollars that are 2009 or NEWER. Rwanda will not exchange or give you a very poor exchange rate for old bills. It is best to bring mainly $50’s and $100’s, $20’s are typically okay as well. The current exchange rate can be found at http://www.xe.com/currency/rwf-rwandan-franc.
What language is spoken in Rwanda?
The official language of Rwanda is Kinyarwanda, as well as French and English.
Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance.
What is the weather like?
Rwanda is at a higher elevation than most African countries (1000m – 4500m) so thankfully the weather remains slightly cooler. You will typically need a light jacket in the morning and evening. There are two dry seasons and two wet seasons. We typically travel during the dry season!
Any special fitness requirements for this trip?
Our Kids Play Int’l Volunteer Trips are active and do require a general level of healthy physical fitness. However, we are happy to accommodate those who are less fit with activities better suited for them. We will be walking, wandering, and playing the days away! If you have any injuries or special requirements, please consult your physician first. Also, please let us know at the time of inquiry.
What is the food like?
One of the best ways to experience a culture is to experience the food. We recommend checking out a blog that Jaime Komer, an Athlete Ambassador of KPI, posted about her experience with Rwandan cuisine after her trip in May of 2012: “There’s no compare to local fare.“
What should I bring?
Once you register we have a “suggested packing list”. However, we also recommend bringing clothing that you would not mind donating or leaving behind. Please avoid bringing expensive or valuable jewelry, or tight clothing as we are in a rural village and must respect the local culture and wear appropriate attire at all times.
Do you have a suggested packing list?
Oh, do we! Here is a thoroughly extensive list of suggested items to bring. Please note that there are a few items required.
* 1 Personal Duffel bag/ Suitcase- please pack conservatively,
* 1 Large Duffel w/ donations to leave behind
* Small backpack/tote for day to day outings
YOU MUST BRING
* 2 copies of Passport/ cc / Travel insurance info
* Immunization record/ yellow health card
* Emergency contact information
* $250 USD Cash Minimum
* Travel Insurance Card and info (IF purchased)
* Money Belt or other safe way to carry money
CLOTHING – Gatagara towns are in the Mountains….so it is cool in the mornings and evenings.
* Tennis shoes/running shoes or sturdy Teva like sandals, Cotton Socks
* Light Jacket/Sweatshirt/ Hat
* Women: Long shorts or loose Capris type pants (to or below knees). NOTE: Fitted yoga or athletic pants or short shorts are NOT appropriate as they are too form fitting or tight and not appropriate to wear in the village.
* Guys: in shorts just above knee is fine
* Skirts on women and nice pants and a shirt on men are the norms for special occasions
* Warm sleepwear
* T-shirts (tanks/sleeveless are not recommended in the village, but ok for the Gorilla Trek, Kigali etc.)
* Volunteer clothes (clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty if we are working on projects in the village, gloves, etc.)
* Jeans/Pants– going out to dinner at night (casual), it is cooler at night
* Towel/washcloth (is provided but can bring your own if you like)
FOOD / SNACKS – Strongly suggested* Granola / Protein Bars* Peanut butter* Trail Mix* Instant Oatmeal* Starbucks instant coffee (yum!)* Other foods that are easy to pack and won’t go bad!
* Shampoo / Conditioner / Soap
* Toothpaste, Toothbrush
* Lotion, Sunscreen, Lip Balm, nail clippers
* Antibiotic Hand wipes / Hand Sanitizer
* Razor, Feminine Products
* Hair bands, Hair brush
* BUG REPELLENT
* Personal Medication, vitamins, etc.
* Anti-malaria meds, Cipro
* Pepto-Bismol/ Tums
* Anti-itch/ bug bite cream
* Car Sickness medication. Our drive to Volcanoes National Park is on a bumpy, windy road. If you get car sick bring appropriate medicine.
Rwanda: June 17 – June 26, 2020
$2999 per person (plus airfare)
- $500 Deposit to secure your spot on the trip
- Rate based on double occupancy
- $400 single supplement
- Kids under 18 must travel with parent, guardian, or chaperone.
- Read the Booking Terms and Conditions – must agree in order to complete registration.
- Payment options: CREDIT CARD or CHECK: Please make checks payable to Kids Play International and send to: Tracy Evans 1406 W. Meadow Loop Road, Park City, UT 84098.
Questions? Please email: email@example.com
DEADLINE TO REGISTER: April 15, 2020