Anthropology - Durban

The Anthropology Placement is for students who want to live in a different social and cultural context in South Africa and apply their degree subject to a practical experience.

Operation Bobbi Bear is a community-based response to a complex set of issues that undermine children’s right and children who have been victims of sexual abuse. Children who have been victims of sexual abuse are thrown into a criminal justice system that is ill equipped to enable them to communicate about their ordeal in a way that safeguards their well-being. The added trauma of children struggling to communicate with police officers who are not trained in working sensitively with abused children means that justice is often not done for the child.


During your stay you’ll be able to apply your research methodologies, gather insights and understand how people’s way of life has developed in South Africa. In addition, you will deal with everyday cases that come in, as well as follow up with closed cases and community outreach programmes where you’ll be involved as a supporting member of the team.

This is a great placement to acquire research for a 3rd year dissertation, MA or PHD or to simply apply your degree education with communities in need. You can research while at Bobbi Bear based on your academic interests and dissertation topic.


“As an anthropologist I think that we can learn a lot from other cultures and think that as a result volunteering abroad can enhance the experience. The right people in the right projects can have a positive impact for all involved. I think volunteering must always be sustainable and should never be approached ethnocentrically”

Jennifer, St Andrews Anthropology Student 


For more testimonials from anthropology students, previous placement participants and volunteers, visit our blog or contact us to discuss your research ideas and travel plans.

As a visitor to Bobbi Bear, you will be expected to 'hit-the-ground-running'. You will receive a manual and be introduced directly to previous volunteers and visitors that will be there at the same time. We help you tailor your interests to the work Bobbi Bear do. You will;

Go to emergency call-outs and support the Operation Bobbi Bear Child Safety Officers (CSOs) throughout the abuse cases that come in during your placement.

Visit local police stations, hospitals and the High Court to assist with trauma recovery and support victims throughout the process.

Be closely involved with the rescued children when they come to the rescue centre, and/or support on site where the case is attended too on location, this will include comforting them, counselling them and loving them, using your experience and knowledge working in this field.

During your stay you will shadow the Bobbi Bear staff and support where needed. You will give guidance, listen and learn about the different cultures and policies.

You will gain insight and experience the social welfare system of South Africa

You will participate in lectures at schools to raise awareness about sensitive issues such as HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse and sex education through the use of the ‘Edu-Toy’

Attend ‘The Tree’ clinic and help develop outreach programmes that bring rural communities together to share stores and empower women and children.

You will learn about the ‘Bobbi Bear bear’ a toy used to support the case building from first contact to prosecution.
Costs involved ** From £56 per day **

This is a self-funded experience. Vocational Impact are a fundraising nonprofit organisation encouraging sustainable international development with all of our project partners. Therefore you will pay an all-inclusive fee, which will include a direct donation to the charity you volunteer with.
✔︎ Accommodation - You will stay in shared, fully- equipped volunteer accommodation

✔︎ 30 + hours of interactive cross-cultural training and practice

✔︎ Certificate of Learning - proof this is not a holiday!

✔︎ Support - we got you!

✔︎ Transportation - Airport drop off and collection. Plus all placement related transport (to and from partner NGOs)

✔︎ Experience of a lifetime - no exaggeration!
✗ Flights

✗ Tourist Visa

✗ Travel Insurance

✗ Spending Money

✗ Food
We want you to have the experience of a lifetime. You are a VIP after all.

Although this is not a holiday but an opportunity to invest into an amazing charity working with some of South Africa’s most vulnerable children, we want you to have the full South Africa experience. That is why we can arrange extra trips for you during your stay at Bobbi Bear. These can be arranged once in S.A. with the team at Bobbi Bear, or before through your support officer.

Cooking an authentic African meal
Zulu home visit
Church visit
Fishing trip
Beach trip
Farm visit
Sky diving

*Please ask about optional extras if this is something you would like to build into your placement.
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