Africa

Frontier

Africa is a different (incredible) world. My god. I did not know it was possible to run a hospital with one stethoscope per ward and seemingly even fewer doctors but somehow Malindi district hospital seem to pull it off.

My names John and I've just got back from an incredible 2 weeks volunteering in a rural Kenyan hospital. Now I know that with the recession and NHS privatisation healthcare standards might slip a little but the day you are on a medical ward and you hear one doctor shout to another “can I borrow your sterile gloves” your going to think the NHS ideology has really lost its way. But when your in a busy Kenyan emergency room and the patients keep coming what are you going to do? Send a letter to the government? No, your going to deliver the best care you can provide under the circumstances and that is why Malindi hospital was fantastic.
Of course at first I was nervous about getting involved with patient care but the staff are really friendly and will take the time teach you about the “aseptic technique” protocols and show you have to take basic measurements like blood pressure so that you can really get stuck in and make yourself useful.
I swear I must be faster at taking BP now than my GP here in Essex.
I was also allowed to assist in theatres where patients where having their operations. One of my favourite jobs was holding the torch for the consultant when all the lights in the building cut out so she could finish the Caesarean section. Where else but Africa???

On the weekends me and the other volunteers chilled at the beach (where the locals drive their mopeds up and down like maniacs) and then normally had a Tuska or 2 at stardust (a local bar).

Amazing 2 weeks!
100% worth it!
I love Malindi District Hospital!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Dec 11, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I’m so glad I made the decision to pick Askari for my trip to Africa. From the moment I arrived all my nerves and concerns disappeared, and from then on I had such a varied and exciting experience that the four weeks flew by. The range of activities that you’re exposed to as a volunteer is fantastic – you could be involved in anything from setting up camera traps to monitoring herbivores to darting an animal so it can receive medical treatment. But what’s unique about Askari is that you are truly contributing to the running of a game reserve which has wilderness preservation as its core purpose, and nothing the volunteers do is just for the sake of giving them a good time. As a result, I’ve learnt so much about conservation here and developed much more of an understanding about how a reserve functions. Alongside this, I’ve seen fantastic animals every day and had many encounters with lions, elephants, honey badgers (and others too many to list) that I’ll remember forever. Katie & Joe are brilliant, and will not only look after you during your stay but also take care to teach you as much as possible about the activities you’re doing and wildlife you’re seeing. I really find it hard to fault Askari, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Dec 9, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Nakuru Hope

If you have been thinking about volunteering in Africa but have absolutely no idea where to start then Nakuru Hope is the place for you.
I spent many months making enquiries only to find that I was required to put up considerable amounts of money with absolutely no idea of where it was going and how it was being spent.
Through a friend, I found an extraordinary woman called Susan Saleeba who has spent the past seven years caring for the most disadvantaged people in the sprawling slum at Kaptembwa on the outskirts of Nakuru in Kenya.
Earlier this year I spent three weeks with Susan and a group of volunteers from various parts of Australia. I would like to emphasise that every cent raised goes directly to the people and you can see how it makes a difference.
The home stay in Nakuru is very safe and comfortable.
Each day consisted of visiting families with Christopher the Operations Manager, assisting teachers at The Learning Centre and helping with food preparation for the children's lunches.
This was an experience I will never forget. The beautiful smiling faces of the children with outstretched arms, always ready for a cuddle.

At the end of 2013 Susan will open her new school and orphanage providing safely and comfort for her "families".
I encourage you to take the step, you will never regret it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Nov 21, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

African Impact

I had a wonderful experience with the African Impact this past summer. At first, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to fly to South Africa all alone, since that I did not know much about the organization. After long 30 hours of flight to South Africa, I was suddenly welcomed by a friendly woman at the airport who was waiting for me with my name on the sign. She drove and welcomed me to the volunteer house in Cape Town. Everyone was so friendly and I couldn't believe it! I volunteered with Veterinary Assistance and Abused Animal Shelter in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town was absolutely gorgeous, and I had never seen anything like Cape Town before! The volunteer house was very nice and beautiful, there were nice bedrooms with bunks, bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, kitchen, dining room, and a backyard where everyone can go out for a while. The house was very safe. I had great roommates, and I met other volunteers from all over the world! There were housekeepers and cookers in the volunteer house. They do really take care of volunteers very well. Everyone was passionate about helping others. On my project, I met so many inspirational people in Cape Town! I was helping with animals, and it was a wonderful experience!! I am SO glad that I went, I can't imagine if I haven't gone. This is once in lifetime experience. I will never ever forget it and I will always remember it in my life. I went to Cape Town all alone at 19 years old from USA, and anyone can do it! You won't regret it, I promise. There were so many things to do in Cape Town. I went to shark caged diving, Lions Head mountain hiking, Table Mountain, Boulder Beach, and of course the famous Waterfront! I miss every minute of it and I wish I could go back! Volunteer work was a lot of fun and people in Cape Town have opened my eyes so much. I will be forever grateful to be a part of the African Impact organization. I couldn't thank them enough for a great trip. I say go for it!! It was worth every penny.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Nov 8, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

African Impact

I volunteered for 3 weeks on the Medical Outreach and HIV/AIDS program in St Lucia, South Africa and I could not recommend it more.
We did some hard work visiting home based care patients who were sometimes quite ill but it was rewarding to see them on a regular basis, develop relationships and in many cases, be able to track improvements.
If you are looking to do professional medical work, this program isn't what I would recommend as the duties are based upon being accessible to everyone, medically qualified or not, but the project is rewarding nonetheless.
The staff were wonderful! Always making sure everyone was happy and understood the purpose of each daily project and explaining the difference out help was making in the community.
As soon as I left I wanted to go straight back. And I will go back soon.
African impact is an excellent organisation to volunteer for because you work at a grass roots level and get to immerse yourself in the community life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 24, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

Frontier

I can honestly say that volunteering with Frontier is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done. In 2012 I finished school and was looking for something I could do which would be both fun and rewarding. In July I flew to Nosy Be in Madagascar to take part in the MGA Adventurer project which combined teaching, diving and terrestrial conservation. In a typical day we would dive or trek in the morning before headed over one of the neighbouring villages to teach the children there. I enjoyed myself and gained so much: friends, experience, PADI qualifications and a new interest in diving – and so I decided almost as soon as I landed back in the UK that I wanted to explore more with Frontier. In July this year I flew to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, spent a week relaxing in Zanzibar before headed to Mafia Island to take part in the Diving and Marine conservation project.

One of the highlights for me was without doubt the range of wildlife we were able to see both on and off land; elephant shrews, samango monkeys, green turtles, millions of fish and even some the size of small cars (Jesus - the giant grouper) and we were even able to go snorkelling with humpback whales! But I think my favourite part was getting to know people from the village and the masai who have a shop down by the beach, most of whom I met either helping out in the village lessons or chilling out at Mapenzi bar in the evenings.

If we weren’t at the bar most evenings a group of volunteers could be found relaxing on the beach, stargazing or going for a midnight swim.

Although the camp was basic it was better than I had expected and whilst the banda was shared, there was enough space for all my stuff and it was quite fun living with other people in a way you wouldn’t really ever get the chance to back home. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone else on camp, hanging out on the hill or playing battleshots with a round of Zeds.

All in all I had a great time, would recommend the experience and intend to go back next year. My biggest piece of advice would be don’t go easy on the home comforts (chocolate, haribo, other food and body spray!) but to check what you can already buy in kilindoni with people who have been before.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Comments

Thanks for the review, Becca.

Frontier

I can honestly say that volunteering with Frontier is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done. In 2012 I finished school and was looking for something I could do which would be both fun and rewarding. In July I flew to Nosy Be in Madagascar to take part in the MGA Adventurer project which combined teaching, diving and terrestrial conservation. In a typical day we would dive or trek in the morning before headed over one of the neighbouring villages to teach the children there. I enjoyed myself and gained so much: friends, experience, PADI qualifications and a new interest in diving – and so I decided almost as soon as I landed back in the UK that I wanted to explore more with Frontier. In July this year I flew to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, spent a week relaxing in Zanzibar before headed to Mafia Island to take part in the Diving and Marine conservation project.

One of the highlights for me was without doubt the range of wildlife we were able to see both on and off land; elephant shrews, samango monkeys, green turtles, millions of fish and even some the size of small cars (Jesus - the giant grouper) and we were even able to go snorkelling with humpback whales! But I think my favourite part was getting to know people from the village and the masai who have a shop down by the beach, most of whom I met either helping out in the village lessons or chilling out at Mapenzi bar in the evenings.

If we weren’t at the bar most evenings a group of volunteers could be found relaxing on the beach, stargazing or going for a midnight swim.

Although the camp was basic it was better than I had expected and whilst the banda was shared, there was enough space for all my stuff and it was quite fun living with other people in a way you wouldn’t really ever get the chance to back home. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone else on camp, hanging out on the hill or playing battleshots with a round of Zeds.

All in all I had a great time, would recommend the experience and intend to go back next year. My biggest piece of advice would be don’t go easy on the home comforts (chocolate, haribo, other food and body spray!) but to check what you can already buy in kilindoni with people who have been before.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Give a Heart To Africa

Having wanted to volunteer in Africa for a long time, my wife and I eventually got around to it last year and spent an amazing six months at Give a Heart To Africa in Moshi, Tanzania. It is very easy to start using all sorts of superlatives to describe our time at GHTA, but I can honestly say it was life changing. Working with a group of women (there were some men on the project, but it is primarily a women’s empowerment project), where the majority of them have never had an education beyond primary school was incredible. The women showed a willingness, a determination and an enthusiasm to learn that was nothing short of incredible. Teaching fractions using cut-up paper plates, preparing a basic CV and learning how to thread Maasai beads into bracelets and necklaces were just some of the skills we taught. I remember so well the first morning the women all arrived at school. They looked very nervous and were reluctant to talk even to their own classmates. We were very privileged to go back to Moshi this September to watch them graduate from GHTA a year later. The smiles and happy faces said everything, the women showed confidence and enthusiasm and really felt they were in a better position to improve their lives and the lives of their families. The project is managed by the most amazing Czech/Canadian woman called Monika. After receiving an education in Canada, she decided she wanted to give something back to other women and after several years volunteering in Africa she set-up GHTA. The project is located just off the University of Moshi Business School and on those mornings when there is no cloud you wake to the most wonderful view of Kilimanjaro. Our return in September was not the last time we will go back to GHTA. As is often the case when you hear volunteer stories, it is the volunteer who comes away with a feeling that they have received more than they were able to give, that is really how we felt when we left.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Give a Heart To Africa

I spent 4 weeks volunteering at Give a Heart to Africa in Nov/Dec 2012 and enjoyed it so much I volunteered again in Sept 2013. GHTA is a small hands-on volunteer experience where you interact with the students (women from 25 to 60 years old) on a personal level. The goal of GHTA is to empower women by teaching them English, business, and vocational skills so that they can support themselves and pay their children's school fees. No teaching experience is needed as there is a curriculum provided and translators (former GHTA students) in each class. When I was at GHTA there were 5 volunteers although there is room for 6. The volunteers come from many countries (while I was there they were from Belgium, England, Australia, Canada, and the US). The volunteer house is very comfortable and has a family like atmosphere. Volunteering at GHTA was an eye opening, heartwarming, rewarding and inspiring experience. I am still in contact with many of my students as well as the volunteers who were there at the same time as me. While volunteering at GHTA I also was able to go on safari and visit Mt. Kilimanjaro. I highly recommend Give a Heart to Africa to anyone interested in truly making a difference volunteering while visiting a safe, beautiful country.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 21, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Anyep

I worked with the Children with Disabilities and orphaned children. It was a course worth it. Anyep staff are friendly.
I made connections and I will go back to volunteer with Anyep, I recommend

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Sep 12, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

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