Psychology, Mental Health & Social Work - Durban

The Psychology, Mental Health and Social Work Placement is for current psychology students, professionals and alumni who want to live in a different social and cultural context in the heart of local communities in South Africa.

The psychology and mental health placement is designed to give essential practical work experience to apply to degree related travel and career progression, while giving back to communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

Psychology, Mental Health and Social Work Placement Themes

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. You will deal with everyday trauma 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 an incredible project to volunteer with. Those who practice or are studying social work, counselling, psychology, child development, youth work or social work, I believe can gain a lot from this experience. Working within a different cultural framework, understanding the challenges of that environment and learning how NGOs work to overcome them can deepen your understanding of psychology and enable you to broaden your approach to it.”

Eilidh Quigg, Queen Margret University, Forensic Psychology Graduate


“My psychology work-experience with Bobbi Bear in South Africa gave me the practical experience I needed to apply for degree related jobs. Being able to show I had put my degree into a real-life environment, helped me stand out from the crowd and ultimately land my first graduate job.”

Isabelle, University of Western Australia, Psychology


“We were very nervous before our psychology work experience placement in South Africa. We received a university bursary to help pay for it. We are both using the experience as primary research for our dissertation. We would recommend everyone go because it helps when applying for jobs after uni, to be able to say ‘you’ve done this’ and funded it all yourself.”

Lucy & Emily, Leeds University, Psychology BA(hons)


Psychology Students Advice for future volunteers

*Please be aware, that places are limited, and in the summer months, fill up fast as this is a very popular and unique placement



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

-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 to on location, this will include comforting them, counselling them and loving them, using your experience and knowable 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 within them.

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

-You will participate in lectures at rural 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.
✔︎ Accommodation - You will stay in shared volunteer rooms
✔︎ 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!
✔︎ Vocational Impact International Development donation
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
Costs involved ** From £57 per day **

This is a self-funded experience and we encourage you to fundraise.

Vocational Impact are a fundraising organisation encouraging sustainable international development with all of our project partners. Therefore you will pay an all-inclusive fee, which will include a development donation.
✗ Flights

✗ Tourist Visa

✗ Travel Insurance

✗ Spending Money

✗ Food
Apply Now

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