Over recent years we have become involved with a number of organisations that cater for medical students visiting Kenya on elective placements. In the past our involvement has been solely about getting visiting students to and from the location of their placement and sometimes organising a short safari for them at the end of their trip.

Sometimes, when we find we have a group of professionals on safari: doctors, nurses, physios, teachers, etc. we have set up bush clinics and schools for remote rural communities. These have always proved to be extremely valuable for the local communities, by providing a service they would otherwise not have received but have also provided our visitors with an experience that they find difficult to put into words. It tends to be a highly emotional experience for those concerned.

Our experience of running bush clinics, our in-depth knowledge of certain communities and feedback from many students about their disappointment with their elective experience has prompted us to become a bit more proactive and look at providing a small number of placements ourselves. This also supports our philosophy to support the people in the areas where we run safaris.

Looking to offer placements that deliver good value to those on placement, in terms of the experience they have, and that also provides real value to the local community, where the placement is taking place, we have established links with four clinics: two in Maasailand and two in Western Kenya to host students on electives. In all four cases these clinics are run by charitable organisations, one UK-based, one US-based and two Kenyan. They provide medical care and outreach facilities for some of Kenya’s more remote and poorer communities.

The clinics are all very different in terms of how they came into existence and how they have evolved but are all very similar in their goals and what they are aiming to achieve.

Unlike many companies that offer to organise elective placements there are no admin or management fees added on by us. What  people pay for their placement is all passed directly on to the charity or organisation that is running the respective clinic. This means that the cost of the placement does vary from location to location but it also means you know exactly who is getting your money.