G-United is an annual national volunteering program launched in September 2014 by the Presidency of the Republic of Kenya and implemented by the Ministry of Education, with technical support provided by the organisation, Evidence Action. G-United recruits recent Kenyan university graduates to serve as Volunteer Graduate Assistants, (VGAs), in primary schools located in counties other than their home counties, for a period of 9 months. By providing remedial education support and serving as “education ambassadors” in the community, VGAs contribute to the improvement of the quality of education in Kenya.

What are the goals of the G-United program?

The program has three key objectives:
  1. Strengthen and support primary educational outcomes by providing remedial support, under the guidance of class teachers, to struggling learners.
  2. Create enriching personal development opportunities for the youth through community service.
  3. Promote national cohesion by placing volunteers in counties other than their homes counties.

How many volunteers have been through G-United?

Close to 2,000 volunteers have taken part in the programme in the first, second, third and fourth cohorts which took place in 2014/2015, 2016/2017, 2017 and 2018 respectively. The 4th Cohort of the programme is currently in service. Recruitment for the 5th Cohort began in September 2018.

What makes one eligible to apply to join G-United?

Applicants who are interested in this volunteer programme must meet the following eligibility requirements:

- Kenyan nationals
- Aged 21 to 30 years
- University graduates from any discipline
- Individuals who are able to commit to an un-interrupted period of 9-months in 2019

Who organises the program?

G-United’s Steering Committee is comprised of officials from the Office of the Deputy President, Ministry of Education, Commission for Higher Learning, Kenya institute of Curriculum Development, Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission. The Committee makes decisions related to the program's operations and finances. Technical assistance to the program is provided by Evidence Action.

How are volunteers recruited?

Volunteer recruitment involves reaching out to the target group of Kenyan university graduates aged 21-30 years interested in volunteering. Interested applicants complete an online form. Applications are screened to ensure they meet our basic criteria. This is followed by an interactive in-person session for shortlisted candidates. The selection panel includes officers drawn from the Ministry of Education (at national and county level).

All through the selection process, G-United is committed to ensuring that the right volunteers are admitted to the programme through a credible process. The selection process seeks to reflect gender and regional diversity in the successful list of volunteers.

Which counties will volunteers be deployed to for their service in 2019?

Our fifth cohort will expand into 2 more counties to make a total of 22 diverse counties in Kenya. The counties participating in the programme as of 2019 are: Busia, Nyeri, Machakos, Kilifi, Samburu, West Pokot, Kisumu, Meru, Kisii, Kajiado, Migori, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Kiambu, Embu, Kwale, Marsabit, Taita Taveta, Kirinyaga, Kakamega, Baringo and Kitui.

Are volunteers paid for their service?

Volunteers each receive a monthly stipend of KES 6,000 for their upkeep, together with NHIF cover by the Ministry of Education. In addition, their homestays also receive KES 3,000 to aid in hosting a volunteer for the duration of their service.

I've previously volunteered with G-United. Am I welcome to apply again
?

Volunteers who have previously served in a given cohort are graduated into our Alumni Connect platform. They are thus considered ineligible to apply to join a subsequent cohort, because these are chances for other recent Kenyan graduates to take on the opportunity of service.

I've not graduated yet, but I'm waiting to graduate... Can I still apply?

Yes you can, but ONLY IF you can provide proof of graduation by the time of Training and Deployment in the course of the Programme.

I've got a Diploma. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately not. A key minimum requirement for consideration into G-United is that you must be a Kenyan University graduate, in any course, and aged between 21 to 30 years. We are however evaluating feedback we receive and will consider what sort of amends to make in subsequent cohorts.

Am I required to pay anything to take part in the recruitment exercise or the volunteer training?

NO you are not required to pay any amount to take part in the recruitment exercise. Applicants are contacted through either a programme email or number, both of which are indicated in the CONTACT US page of this website.


Can I select the county where I will be placed for the duration of my volunteer service?

No you cannot. Volunteers are systematically assigned placement in counties other than those in their home regions or resident areas.


What happens after volunteers are trained - Where do they stay?

Volunteers are trained for a week and then deployed to their placement counties. Head teachers of schools in counties which are participating in the program pre-vet homestays which will host the volunteer. To experience the cultural diversity of Kenya for the duration of their service, the volunteers stay with these host families, who receive KES 3,000 monthly to aid in the hosting.

What do the volunteers do in their placement counties for the duration of their service?

G-United volunteer graduate assistants identify learners who are lagging behind in class, with the help of class teachers, and aid in boosting the English and Kiswahili literacy skills of class 2 and 3 pupils using interactive educational activities that complement classroom learning. Aside from the sessions conducted in school, volunteers initiate and implement a community engagement project of their choice, incorporating an assessment of local community needs and aligning their plans and efforts within fields ranging from health, nutrition, sanitation, environmental conservation, framing practices, technology and entrepreneurship.


How long will I be expected to volunteer?

Volunteers deployed to the counties in our 5th Cohort will be required to serve for an uninterrupted period of 9 months, until when primary schools close at the end of October 2019.

What happens if I land an opportunity in the middle of my service and do not get to complete the full duration?

G-United ackowledges that external employment opportunities or projects may arise during one's service in a given cohort. We take pride in seeing our youth land opportunities which help them further their careers and passions. In order to be eligible to receive a Letter of Recommendation however, a volunteer must have served AT LEAST 3 months with the programme at their County of Deployment, but will not be eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion of Service.

Am I guaranteed employment after my volunteer service with G-United?

No you are not. G-United does not offer employment to graduates after the duration of their service. The programme seeks to tap into youth who are passionate about service to the communities. Volunteers are encouraged to get the most out of their experience and placement in the counties.

Is there a Career Fair, as there was in Cohort 1, or an official Graduation Ceremony following my volunteer service?

There is NO Career Fair or official Graduation ceremony after completion of your volunteer service. G-United has in the past engaged in activities such as a Career Fair which happened in 2015. However, based on event feedback from volunteers, and an evolving program design, these plans have been discontinued. We continuously seek to engage new partners and organisations who can help offer personal and professional development to volunteers.

What happens at the end of my volunteer service with G-United?

Volunteers who successfully complete their duration of service will receive official certificates from the Government and letters of recommendation for their dedicated and selfless service to the nation. G-United also continues to engage with Alumni, sharing information on opportunities from partners as well as  personal development courses and updates.

The programme hopes that volunteers completing G-United service have an enriching and fruitful experience as we continue to improve offerings based on feedback received from the volunteers themselves, County governments, County Education Directors, teachers, officials, home stay families, schools and other stakeholders.