MACHAO Service Trip Short Term Mission Trip for Teens and Adults!


What is The MACHAO Service Trip? 

The MACHAO Service Trip (2020) is a unique experience. We invite the community to visit The Machao Orphanage to help distribute hygiene items and build sustainable agriculture in Makueni, Kenya (East Africa). Participants will have the powerful experience of foot washing and hand-placing shoes on children’s feet, passing out much needed basic hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste, and will also be able to see first-hand how The Machao Orphanage Foundation uses the funding we receive to support the programs and goals of our strategic plan. Participants gain on-the-ground perspective of the complex realities present in impoverished communities and see how every dollar is at work to support the growth of a community. The Machao Service Team is a  valuable way to experience and understand the wider world of international development.

Register today for the MACHAO Mission Service Trip (2020) to Kenya, East Africa. You will make a difference helping AIDS Orphans, distributing hygiene items and shoes and building sustainable agriculture. Register today by calling us 818-940-0079 or email us at Deadline for participating on the 2020 trip is February 28, 2020.

How old do I have to be to go on The MACHAO Service Trip?

The minimum age requirement is 14 by the date the trip leaves. There is no maximum age limit.

What are the dates of The MACHAO Service Trip? 

The dates of The MACHAO Service Trip (2020) are July 12 – August 1, 2020.  We depart from your local international airport and fly to Dubai where we all meet.  We stay overnight in Dubai and the next day we all fly to Nairobi. We are picked up by bus and taken to Makueni, Kenya. We will spend the entire time at the orphanage. The last three to four days will be spent in Nairobi where you will have an opportunity to shop and take a day safari before returning home.

Can I book my own flight?

No.  Because people are coming from all over, we need to make sure that we arrive on or around the same time in Dubai.

Can I extend my trip?

Yes, you may extend your trip, but all lodging, transportation, food, etc. will be your responsibility to cover. We prefer that you extend at the end of the trip rather than before the trip. We can book your plane ticket later than the rest of the team, but if there is a difference in price, we will ask you to cover that cost. Contact our Program Manager with your specific request.

Does The MACHAO Orphanage Foundation cover checked bag fees?

We only cover baggage fees and weight limitations that we ask you to carry for the field staff.  You are only entitled to one piece of luggage (though the requirement for the airline is two).  You are responsible if you have more than one piece of personal luggage.

Does my trip include insurance?

Yes.  The MACHAO Orphanage Foundation purchases a Trip Armor insurance and emergency services plan for all trip participants. This policy does not provide pre-trip cancellation coverage, however. You can ask the Program Manager for more detailed information about the policy.  Your Program Manager will also enroll you in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Is the country I am traveling to safe? 

We look to the AIC Board to provide us with the on-the-ground perspective in regards to safety, and at any time they advise us that it is no longer safe, we will reschedule the trip. In the past 15 years, we have had zero incidence and zero injuries.

Where will I be staying? 

When we arrive to Dubai, we will be staying overnight in a hotel.  While in Makueni, we will be staying at both the Boabob lodge and at the orphanage.  While in Nairboi, we will be staying at the Hotel Intercontinental.  In each city, you will be occupying the rooms alone, with the exception of the orphanage. The accommodations are clean and safe.

Can I drink the water? 

While at the orphanage, it is safe to drink the water from the newly installed well installed by Living Water International. Bottled water will be provided to you while you are at the orphanage as well as in the hotel in Nairobi.

Should I take malaria pills?

You and your doctor will need to decide if taking preventative malaria medication is appropriate. 

If I have specific dietary needs, what do I do?

Please let our Program Manager know if you have specific dietary needs.  It’s always a good idea to pack some snacks in case you are unable to eat the meals provided.

May I bring prescriptions? 

Medical marijuana is NOT allowed and is punishable by imprisonment both in Dubai and in Kenya. Other prescriptions are permissible and must be listed on your MACHAO Service Trip Application. The MACHAO Service Trip is a drug- free, smoke-free and alcohol-free missions trip.

If I’ve been on a trip before, do I need to redo the background check?

Background checks are only valid for 12 months from the date of the background check (not the date of your trip). If it has been longer than 12 months, you will need to redo the background check before registering for your trip.

Who else will be on The MACHAO Service Trip? 

Other participants from the U.S.A. and Dr. Carolyn Rowley, Executive Director.

What type of pre-trip training is provided? 

There are eight (8) meetings and one (1) mandatory meeting that you must attend. Each meeting will focus on details such as: passport, visa,  immunizations, packing list, weather, accommodation, how to dress, food, money/spending and more. Dr. Rowley, the group leader thoroughly covers all topics and all of your questions. Our office is always available via e-mail or phone to answer any additional questions. We also ask you to participate in an introductory call to discuss preparation details. You will have a final orientation at the Machao HQ office one week prior to departure.  You will receive a MACHAO Trip Kit once you have been selected to participate.

What if I don’t speak the local language? 

Swahili is the local language in Kenya, though most speak English. You do not need to know the local language; however, we encourage you to brush up on your language skills and try to speak the language when you can. There are several apps available that can assist you.

How can I pay?

Check:  Make check payable to The MACHAO Orphanage Foundation. Memo field to read MACHAO Service Trip 2020.

Direct Deposit:  We will be able to share with you the name of the bank and account number for you to make a direct deposit.

Credit Card:  We will invoice you via Paypal and you can pay the invoice with you credit card.

Fundraise:  Create a Go Fund Me page and send the link to family and friends to donate to your trip.  We highly recommend that you begin at least a year in advance (by September so that you’ll have 6 months to raise funds).

We are unable to accept Zelle payments.

When will I get a donation receipt?

You will receive your donation receipt as soon as you have made your full payment.  You will receive it at least two weeks prior to departing on your trip.

How much is due and when?

The total cost of the trip is $4,500.00 US Dollars. This fee covers the following: your roundtrip airfare, travel insurance, ground transportation to and from Nairobi/Makueni; visa fee, hotel accommodations in both Makueni and Nairobi, food in Makueni, and ground transportation from Nairobi to airport. The fee does not include: food while in Nairobi, activities, nor shopping excursions.

$2,500 is due March 1, 2020 and the balance of $2,000 is due June 28, 2020.

Can I get a refund if I over-fundraise or cancel?

We cannot give refunds if you over-fundraise or cancel the trip. We can apply these funds to another person going on a trip, but we cannot refund the money.

What is the daily schedule?

There is a detailed itinerary in your MACHAO Orphanage Foundation trip book.  

Should I bring donations?

While it feels instinctive to want to give material things to those with such great need, it can be very damaging if handled incorrectly. The MACHAO Orphanage Foundation wants to be consistent with the gifts and  donations we distribute to the children and the community. Our  community programs have a strong relational focus, so we do have a list of recommended items if you choose to bring donations. Please refer to your MACHAO Orphanage Trip book for an appropriate list of items you  can bring.

On average, we always need multiple of 50. Bring as much as you can and be sure to give it to the staff once we arrive to the orphanage so they can plan and distribute accordingly.

When is the schedule for the team pre-planning meetings?

The meeting dates for The MACHAO Service Trip (2020) are as follows:

Sundays from 4 – 6 pm. If you live in Southern California, the location is 205 S. Flower St., Burbank, CA  91502.  If you reside outside of Southern California, you may join via Zoom video.

November 3rd (2019)

December 1st (2019)

January 5th (2020)

February 2nd (2020)

March 1st (2020). 1/2 the fee is due with completed paperwork and background check. We will be purchasing airline tickets, applying for eVisa so you will need to bring: passport, pdf of your passport photo, $2,500.

April 5th (2020)

May 3rd (2020)

June 7th (2020).  Final payment is due June 26, 2020.

July 5th (2020). This is a MANDATORY meeting.

We will hold our meetings in Burbank, CA. Those who reside out of the area, you will be required to participate via telephone conferencing. You must attend at least 6 out of the 8 meetings AND the mandatory meeting  in order to participate on the trip.

What is ‘Debrief’ and when is it? 

Just as it is important to prepare for your trip to Kenya, it is equally important to know how to come down from an intense life-changing event. Each team member will be required to write up their summary and hand it to the staff member at MACHAO on a thumb drive. As well, we will need a thumb drive of all of your photos taken on the trip. Your story and photos will appear in Machao’s annual newsletter. The date of the debrief is approximately one month after we return from the trip. For the 2020  trip, the debriefing date is Sunday, September 27, 2020 from 4– 6 pm.