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AT A GLANCE
HEAR FROM VOLUNTEERS
This programme is ideal for…
You will examine and understand the central issues facing developing communities in today’s globalized world. Through immersive experiences and hands-on projects, you will gain valuable insight into the economic, political, and social challenges these communities face. This exploration will deepen your knowledge of community development and provide a unique perspective on global issues such as empowerment, education, healthcare, and sustainability.
You will have the opportunity to make a real and lasting impact in local communities. Through placements and projects, you will work closely with partner NGOs and organizations to support their core development goals. Whether you are involved in sustainability workshops, educational initiatives, career development programs, or addressing social issues, your efforts will contribute to empowering communities, fostering economic independence, and promoting sustainable growth. By actively engaging with local residents, you will witness the transformative power of community development and create positive change at a grassroots level.
This programme offers not only the chance to make a difference in the lives of others but also opportunities for personal and professional growth. Throughout your journey, you will gain valuable skills such as cross-cultural communication, project management, problem-solving, and adaptability. By immersing yourself in different cultural contexts and collaborating with diverse teams, you will expand your cultural awareness, enhance your global perspective, and develop a greater understanding of international relations. These experiences will enrich your CV and shape your outlook, empowering you to become a more effective and empathetic global citizen.
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About the Programme
The Community Development Volunteer Programme in South Africa is designed to give practical on-the-ground work experience. Volunteers will work with local and NGO organisations whilst learning from professionals operating in different fields of international and community development. As well as skills-based learning, volunteers will give back to the community by helping with ongoing development initiatives. You will also work on important community outreach projects to raise awareness about gender inequality, literacy and access to healthcare.
Daily Schedule: You will be volunteering from Monday to Friday and will report to the head office each morning. Although times and duties may vary day to day, you should expect to be at your placement between 8 am and 4 pm. In the evenings you will have the option to join in with the child development programme and community activities at the village you will be staying in.
Weekends and free time: The weekends are free time off from volunteering. This is a great opportunity to explore South Africa and plan weekend trips and activities. You can read our Volunteer Travel Guide to South Africa for great tips on places to visit and things to do. If you just want to relax, enjoy the nearby landmarks and explore Johannesburg you are welcome to stay at the volunteer accommodation over the weekend, but most volunteers will plan to go on trips together on the weekends. Our local team can help you organise weekend activities.
Your volunteer placement is based at our charity foundation in Johannesburg that provides holistic care for mothers and children suffering from HIV/AIDS. The foundation’s goal is to give these mothers and children the best opportunities for the future by providing an integrated programme of housing, education, healthcare, nutrition, sports and arts, as well as a focus on counselling, mentoring and well-being.
The community village is for HIV+ orphans and HIV+ mothers and is home to up to 150 residents. The children all attend school and receive the greatest care to make sure they have medication, balanced meals and nutrition, education, sports, arts and well-being support. The village is a close-knit family and all the children and mothers get the love and support they need from the fully trained staff who are also able to support the residents emotional and psychological well-being. It is a happy and energetic place to be where mothers and children can develop and become self-confident, mature and responsible members of their community.
Make a Meaningful Difference in South Africa’s Challenges
South Africa faces significant challenges in child abuse, gender-based violence, human rights, poverty, and crime prevention. As a community development volunteer, you can have a real impact by supporting a leading charity foundation in South Africa. You’ll be working alongside and learning from industry professionals by supporting their daily work in the community. Volunteers will assist with education, tuition, child development and childcare, casework, research, community outreach programmes, sustainability projects and other vital community development work. By developing an understanding of some of the social, economic, political and legal challenges to sustainable community development, volunteers can make a meaningful difference.
During your time in the program you will be learning and working with local professionals to impact change acknowledging cultural differences in approaches. Volunteer responsibilities will vary based on organizational needs, your experience level, assigned department, and program duration. Initially, your tasks may involve observation and administrative support. As you progress and become more familiar with the workload and routine, you will have the opportunity for more hands-on and practical involvement.
At Vocational Impact, we are a charity organization committed to making a direct impact with your support. As a not-for-profit organization, we invest the donations from your fees back into the projects that our volunteers participate in. By joining our programs, you will have the opportunity to:
By participating in our programs, you not only contribute to meaningful initiatives but also embark on a transformative journey of personal and professional development.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this placement. Ideally, volunteers will have a foundational knowledge of community development through related studies or experience. Importantly, all applicants should show a strong commitment to learning, a desire to develop and grow, the ability to work in a team, and have a positive approach to helping people.
Volunteers from all over the world are welcome to join this programme.
*Please enquire for our heritage bursary if you have ancestral roots in the country you want to volunteer in.
All our projects are founded, managed and developed by locals. We provide essential funding to support community programs, development projects, running costs, local salaries and sustainability. We work with partner organisations that are specialists in the areas they operate. Our partner organisations are selected because of the important work they are doing and they are run by impressive humanitarians and professionals in their fields.
Our foundation in South Africa provides holistic care for mothers and children suffering from HIV/AIDS. The foundation’s goal is to give these mothers and children the best opportunities for the future by providing an integrated programme of housing, education, healthcare, nutrition, sports and arts, as well as a focus on counselling, mentoring and well-being.
The team is committed to a cultural exchange of ideas and approaches, sharing professional insight and experience with volunteers, and working on community outreach projects together that raise awareness about abuse, sexual health, human rights and access to services.
Vocational Impact operates under UK registered charity, Arms Around the Child. Our core mission is to offer ethical volunteer abroad programmes that provide international skills exchange, career development, work experience, and practical support to international NGOs, and to donate directly towards projects that volunteers work with.
Once home to Nelson Mandela, surrounded by rich culture and world-famous safari parks, Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city. For a first-time journey to South Africa, Johannesburg offers visitors a great insight into the country’s complex history, cultural landscape and fast-paced modern development. Experience Johannesburg from a unique perspective with Vocational Impact.
Joburg, the city of gold, is a vibrant urban city. The history of apartheid and uneven development means there is still extreme inequality and poverty. Major problems include poor health care, sexual abuse, gender-based violence and lack of access to services and care.
Volunteers can really make an impact with this Urban city placement. By helping local initiatives and organizations in Johannesburg you can make a big difference reaching poorer areas of the city and more rural communities in need of support. Urban life gives you the chance to explore the sites and landmarks Johannesburg has to offer and learn about the history and diverse cultures of South Africa.
You can experience Joburg like a local whilst having easy access to the rich experiences South Africa has to offer. Visit historic Soweto, and learn about the complex history of the country at the local museums. Take weekend and day trips to safari parks, and see the big five (lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalos) for yourself. Go on a trip to Cape Town and climb Table Mountain or hang out at the beaches. Adventure awaits in this diverse, beautiful and incredible country.
During your placement, you will stay within our project ‘village’ located just outside the city centre which is made up of 20 small cottages, where the residents and staff reside. The accommodation is of very good quality by local standards and has running water, hot showers, and electricity, but electricity can be inconsistent because of load sharing. There is a caretaker/ security guard who attends to the gate of the village, the protection of the property and the safety of the residents and volunteers. You will have staff that will cook and clean for you and laundry services are provided once a week for volunteers in the Village laundromat.
The village has a large community garden, eating hall, sports area and library. The cottage has well-sized bedrooms and living spaces, and although basic, the cottage is clean and comfortable. There are two bedrooms (which can be either mixed or single-sex) with cupboards for clothing and personal belongings. There are two bathrooms; one shower and 1 bathtub and you will have a shared living room. The cottage is equipped with a refrigerator, television & DVD player, microwave and toaster. Most household items such as cleaning materials, toiletries and the like are provided by the project.
There is no Wi-Fi in the village, however, you can buy a local SIM card with data (your phone needs to be unlocked) to stay connected. The VI team in-country will help you purchase a local SIM Card.
You will be provided with three meals per day cooked on-site at the village. Carbs, meats and vegetables are all staple parts of the diet in South Africa. Meals can be made Vegetarian and Vegan dishes can be provided upon request. Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements.
We aim to begin programmes on the first Monday of each month. Once you register for the programme we work closely with all volunteers to map your dates together. Volunteers will need to arrive one or two days before orientation.
After you have registered for the programme you will need to book flights to arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Upon arrival in South Africa, you will be met at the airport by one of our volunteer coordinators. We will provide you with a Vocational Impact T-shirt which makes identification easy. Our team will then transport you to the village to meet the project.
Orientation is hosted by our local team where you will receive an introduction to your programme. This will cover information about South Africa, the culture and customs, expectations, safety, staff members, organisational partners, and an overview of the placement itinerary.
1 week – £325
2 weeks – £650
3 weeks – £975
4 weeks – £1300
5 weeks – £1600
6 weeks – £1900
8 weeks – £2400
10 weeks – £2900
12 weeks – £3300
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