If you are a speech and language therapist (SLT) or SLT student wanting to come to Kenya to work, volunteer or complete a student placement there are a few considerations to make before you come:
- Work Permits:
Anyone who is not Kenyan needs a work permit to work and/or volunteer in Kenya. Foreign students are required to get a student / pupil pass to complete a student placement. Visit the Kenyan Department of Immigration Services for further information.
The cost of these permits/passes ranges and can be as much as $2300 (US) for a two year work permit. This process can take many months, partly because of lack of awareness of the profession. Coming through an organisation such as, Voluntary Service Overseas, makes this process easier as they will be able to organise the permit for the visitor.
ASLTK cannot organise work permits for persons wanting to work in Kenya. You may apply to be a member of ASLTK and upon this membership being approved submit a copy of your membership certificate to the department of immigration with your application. This may help your application process.
- Membership with ASLTK
ASLTK urges all SLTs and SLT students to join ASLTK. ASLTK provides members in Kenya with a support network, this is particularly important as many people find themselves working remotely and in isolation. Furthermore, ALSKT provides Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities to members as well as supervision for students and newly qualified therapists. Please see the ‘membership’ page for further information on types of memberships.
- Living in Kenya
Living costs and conditions in Kenya can vary greatly depending on where you are located in the country. Some areas of Nairobi, for example, are as expensive as living in Europe and the US (in terms of housing, food, medical insurance, security and leisure costs). However, that being said, it is possible to live in Kenya cheaply. For example, VSO volunteers live on approximately $500 a month (this includes housing, medical insurance and a small spending allowance).
There are medical and safety issues to consider before coming to Kenya. Medical considerations include: malaria, yellow fever, etc. Ask your local travel clinic for further information. With regards to safety there are incidences of petty and violent crime in some areas and visitors are advised to be aware of their surroundings. Visit your country’s embassy for further information on travel and safety in Kenya and its advice.
It is easier to volunteer in Kenya through an established organisation such as Voluntary Service Overseas. The opportunities available with these organisations vary depending on the projects they are working with and so on.
There are two speech and language therapy courses which have recently started in Kenya. These are through Moi University and Kenyatta University. Please contact these universities directly for more information on studying SLT in Kenya.
Some of our member therapists supervise international students. These students may be Kenyans studying abroad or foreign students. ASLTK will help link students with member therapists who are able to take on students.
Students need a Pupils / Students pass from the Department of Immigration. Students arrive on a tourist visa and then apply for the Student’s Pass when in country. Organisations, such as Aga Khan University Hospital, help with this process. Kenyan students would not need this.
The student, as well as their university, must submit letters to ASLTK. These letters must outline what is required of the placement; including:
- The time of year they want to come,
- The number of clinical placement and supervision hours that need to be completed,
- With which client group they require experience,
- The type of clinical placements they have already completed,
- Broadly, what their course has covered thus far,
- Indicate whether they are able to accommodate and fund themselves whilst in Kenya,
- The university letter must confirm the student is a registered student with the university.
ASLTK will then try to match the needs of the student with the needs and the availability of member therapists (and the organisations with which these therapists work).
Students should expect:
- To work in different languages and / or with informal translators,
- Be involved in giving free therapy to people who can’t normally afford therapy,
- Work in a variety of areas / locations; including: schools, homes, hospitals, slums
- To help make resources and possibly to standardize / trial new assessments
- To liaise with other therapists and professionals,
- To run workshops on areas of interest / research / student placement to the ASLTK members
- To bring resources, such as: velcro, laminating sheets, books, pictures, toys etc
- To attend and help at support groups and trainings / workshops
ASLTK advises overseas students to come in pairs as this makes it easier for them to get around and get used to the cultural differences. Students are required to arrange their own accommodation and cover all living and transportation costs. Furthermore, it is important that students have the necessary medical and travel insurance.
It is very likely that more than one therapist will supervise the placement – we usually aim for two to three supervising therapists. However, students may ‘visit’ other ASLTK members for a day or two observation. They may also be able to observe OT, physio, Consultant Neurologist, Neuropsychologist; this is dependent on where the student is placed.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to complete a student placement in Kenya. Your request will be discussed with our members and we will respond to your request.