Is there a minimum age requirement?
Due to the sensitive nature of some of our children, we require our volunteers to be aged 20 or older. However, similar to a high level of dedication we also expect an equally high level of maturity to be demonstrated. We also require proof of no criminal record/ finger printing clearance.
Where are international volunteers housed?
International volunteers are housed together in one cottage at the Nkosi’s Haven Village location.
The cottage is equipped with:
television & DVD player
microwave & toaster
2 bathrooms: 1 shower, 1 bath tub
shared living room
There are 2 rooms with cupboards for clothing, personal belongings etc. Valuables may be kept in a safe in the office depending on size.
Most house hold items such as cleaning materials, toiletries and the like are provided by Nkosi’s Haven. Any further supplies may be purchased at your own discretion at a nearby shopping centre.
Laundry services are provided once a week for volunteers in our Village laundromat but we ask that all undergarments be hand washed within the cottage.
How far are the nearest shops? Can volunteers shop for food themselves easily?
If walking it takes around 20-25 minutes. Our volunteers often go with our drivers to the local shop to do their shopping. Everything is pretty convenient. If walking, we advise volunteers to go in pairs, or 3’s.
What would be the main day-to-day task that volunteers will be involved with?
Depending on the time of the year – i.e. if the kids are at school then their ‘duties’ in the morning would vary from ‘manual work’ – i.e. we may have a huge amount of donated clothes that need to be sorted out. There is often ‘handy man’ needs to be done and this could be anything from fixing shelves, door handles need replacing, paint jobs – list is endless.
Then in the afternoon it would be assisting the children with homework.
If a specific volunteer is studying towards for e.g. Social Work that volunteer is more than welcome to put programmes together for the mums, teens etc (will be supervised by our social worker) and implement them.
Mums are keen to have computer lessons. Anything evolving round arts, crafts, gardening, kitchen, bakery, library, are all areas good for volunteers to participate in.
At weekends volunteers and caregivers will play games and organise film nights/movie evenings, this maybe built around a particular theme. This is sometimes split into ‘girls nights’ and ‘boys nights’ and the boys will play computer games. Volunteers will be briefed on what they can and what they cannot do with the children.
Can you tell me a bit more about the local area? What is are the safety concerns?
We are based on the far south side of Johannesburg which opens out to the countryside. Volunteers are safe, but must never walk around alone. As anywhere else in the world, theft happens in public spaces like restaurants of mobile phones. It is important to be observant of your surroundings. We also recommend you wear appropriate clothing, which won’t attract too much attention. .
Are there any projects that you would specifically like me to raise awareness of in the follow up to my trip?
One of the most useful things you can do is document your experience. How you are feeling before and during your programme, what you are hoping to gain, what were your biggest challenges, what gaps for improvement are you able to see? We have support documents for you to complete, and we encourage you to share your photos and experience on social media.
A journal or diary is a great way to remember your programme. The little day-to-day magical moments can be lost after 4, 8, 12 weeks of being away. Your experience and story will become key in future volunteers supporting the work of Nkosi’s Haven.
Where does my Volunteer Investment fee go?
We have established Volunteer Invest to raise important funds and offer life changing work experience to volunteers hoping to gain valuable hands on experience. Because of this, the fee has been set to offer a regular and sustainable income to Nkosi’s Haven, and a high percentage of the volunteer fee will be sent directly to them. They will then use this money to pay for hosting the volunteers, providing the accommodation for your stay, food transport and their running costs. The additional is kept back to develop the volunteer abroad programme and to recruit new volunteers to feed into the sustainable charity cycle.
If I have any further questions, who should I ask?
Volunteer Invest is here to help guide you through any questions or concerns you have, before, during and after your trip. So keep asking, and we will keep replying. You will also have on the ground support during your programme in South Africa.