Many people decide to spend their time working and volunteering in other countries, such as Kenya and it usually turns out to be a rewarding and memorable experience for all involved. Unfortunately, the many expatriate workers and volunteers who travel to Kenya each year to help are being demanded to leave the country and return home.
Quartz Africa has the details about why the Kenyan government wants expat workers and volunteers to leave the country immediately, as well as the financial hardship that native Kenyans face because they are not being hired for these positions in their home country.
Their report states:
Over the past few weeks, government regulators have been tapping into this sentiment by criticizing the international NGO community for not hiring Kenyans and paying foreign staff more than local employees. “Kenya doesn’t need your help if the only thing you see here is filth.” Kenya, with its good weather, political stability, and English-speaking population, is a popular destination for aid workers, volunteers, and NGOs. An estimated 12,000 expat NGO workers live in the country working on issues from human rights to maternal health and conservation, according to figures from the NGO Coordination Board, a government body that regulates the sector.
These organizations aren’t contributing as much to the country as they should be, according to the NGO Board. The agency released a circular last month claiming foreign NGO workers of earning on average four times as much as their Kenyan peers. They fail to transfer jobs to local workers, and instead stay on in Kenya as lifelong “career expats,” the regulator said.“You cannot tell me that in the whole country we [do not] have a Kenyan who can fill the space of the expatriate. We have overqualified Kenyans in this country. They need to be given first priority in the NGO sector,” said Fazul Mahamed, head of the NGO Board, at a briefing in Nairobi on June 23. “Wouldn’t this money make better the people of this country?” he said.
Hopefully some resolution can be reached because there are many workers and volunteers who truly enjoy helping out Kenya in any way they can and it would be a shame if they are no longer allowed to. You can read the full account of this situation over at Quartz Africa.
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