Applying for a MAD project
Could I be a MAD gap year volunteer?
The main requirement for MAD gap year students is to be enthusiastic, keen to meet new people and keen to learn new skills. Remember, MAD gap year volunteers do not need specialist skills or work experience. If you are also flexible, adventurous, reliable and passionate about giving something back – then MAD gap year projects are definitely for you.
What will I get out of it ?
MAD gap year volunteers discover new skills that they thought they never had. They are guaranteed to make new friends and all MAD gap year students, have an enhanced CV that gives them a cutting edge in job applications and interviews.
Can I come with a friend?
Yes – friends are welcome, but please let us know if you wish to be on the same MAD gap year placement.
Where do I book?
Click here to fill out our online Application Form.
When should I apply?
MAD gap year projects are filled up on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply as early as possible to give yourself the best chance.
Do I have to be British?
No, although most MAD Gap year volunteers are, we are seeing an increasing number of gap year students from continental Europe, Australasia and the Americas.
Health & Safety
What are the health requirements for gap year volunteers?
All our MAD gap year students are given full health advice pre-departure on all necessary inoculations and precautions.
What health provisions are available in the Mount Kenya area?
All MAD Gap year projects are within the Mount Kenya area, which is fortunate to have the Cottage Hospital, based in Nanyuki, only 30 minutes drive away. This hospital provides excellent 24-hour support in the event of either an emergency or if routine health care is required.
Will I be isolated?
No – All MAD gap year students have given strong feedback, that they really appreciate the safety, security and support of living and travelling in a group.
Will I be expected to organise my own travel during the project?
No – we organise group travel in the form of amazing safaris and our whitewater rafting finale. After all you wouldn’t want to miss the most spectacular wildlife reserves and safari experiences on the planet.
Are these trips included?
Yes – all transport, park and camping fees and camp meals are included. We provide the tents and our cook will prepare all the meals. We feel that hidden costs or surprises can put a strain on your gap year student’s funds and can be a real dampener on a gap year volunteer experience. That’s why we include these costs within the total project costs.
Why shouldn’t I just go globetrotting?
MAD gap year volunteers find that doing a sustained project is far more valuable than globetrotting, because when globetrotting, you never really penetrate the tourist layer of the country. But with MAD gap year projects you really integrate into the culture and you feel like you’re part of something.
Have you involved the local community in setting up the MAD gap year placements?
Yes - We believe passionately that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs to achieve their goals. We ensure that MAD gap year placements are something that the community wants and also sensitive to their needs and culture. We believe that MAD gap year volunteers should work alongside local people and listen to their ideas and issues.
What standards do you require from MAD gap year volunteers?
Since MAD gap year volunteers will be working on a professional project, they must be prepared to act competently in a professional work setting.
Training & Support
What training and preparation do MAD gap year students undertake?
Pre-departure, all MAD gap year students receive detailed medical and equipment requirements. The information pack also provides information covering cultural, social and historical topics to fully prepare MAD gap year volunteers, for the time that they arrive in Kenya.
Once in Kenya, all MAD gap year students receive a 2-day orientation on Kenya and a two-day pre-placement training and briefing.
Find out more about MAD gap year students training >>
What kind of support do MAD gap year placements receive?
MAD gap year volunteer’s are regularly visited on their structured gap year placement by our Project Co-ordinator. All MAD gap year placements are regularly monitored to assess their impact and sustainability.
Find out more about MAD gap year structured placements >>
What kind of secure in-country support do you give?
MAD Project Co-ordinators know Kenya intimately and are able to assist with any emergency, as well as offering emotional and social support. All MAD gap year students are met on arrival, by the project co-ordinator, who is always on hand, to ensure that you are supported throughout your time in Kenya.
Where will I live ?
All MAD gap year students are comfortably accommodated in self-contained log cabins, on the foothills of Mount Kenya. You will be living in two’s or threes in log cabins with flush loos and hot showers and mains electricity. MAD gap year students tell us, that there is no substitute, for sitting around the camp fire at night with other gap year volunteers, sharing the highs and lows of the day.
Will I be isolated?
No - Being in a group gives MAD gap year students, huge benefits. It provides an immediate social life and makes MAD gap year time out much more worthwhile.
What meals are provided?
You will be provided with three meals a day.
Breakfast is on a self-help basis and usually consists of European cereals/porridge, toast, tea and coffee.
Lunches are usually packed or may be taken at your MAD gap year placement.
Dinner is prepared by our cook for you and is always taken, with the rest of the group, sometimes around the camp fire.
Future Career/Degree Options
Do MAD Gap year projects help with future career/degree plans?
Yes – in three major ways
1) Most MAD gap year students find that their project, helps them to be a lot more focussed, on what they want to do with their degree plans and future career options.
2) All MAD gap year volunteers come back with an enhanced CV, which is so important at future interviews.
3) MAD gap year students gain confidence and independence – qualities that will support and help in all future situations.
How do I raise the money?
Most MAD gap year students raise part or all their project costs, through a variety of means, whether it is bar work, waitressing, family, friends or fundraising.
Do you provide help with the fundraising?
We provide all applicants with a comprehensive fund-raising pack with sound and proven advice and sample letters from previous successful approaches from MAD gap year students.
How have you developed these gap year projects?
The MAD gap year experience has been developed through feedback, received from previous MAD gap years students experiences.
We undertake a comprehensive de-brief at the end of all MAD gap year programmes and it is this feedback, that lead to new initiatives such as group accommodation, structured placements, adventure safaris, comprehensive in-country support and our training programmes.
So, can you imagine yourself living and working in a challenging environment , making new friends, witnessing new cultures and enjoying some totally different surroundings?
Apply here for an exciting and unforgettable experience on a MAD gap year project.