Home » Volunteer Programs » Real Africa Encounter

START DATES

EVERY MONTH ALL YEAR ROUND

PRICED FROM

1,635 USD + 249 USD REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

CHOOSE FROM 6-12 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD ON START DATE

REAL AFRICA ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Africa Encounter provides the opportunity to spend a life-changing 6-12 weeks volunteering across the world’s second-biggest continent. Get to grips with Ghana, travel the core of Tanzania and soak up the delights of South Africa. Something special about Africa touches the soul. For the reason that it is a continent of 54 immensely diverse countries. Some of these countries remain deeply troubled. On the other hand, other countries have been profoundly uplifted. On this 6, 9 or 12 week Africa Gap Year experience, you will undertake volunteer opportunities abroad in 3 of the continents most visited destinations.

 

Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing. Furthermore, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty. From the endless rippling dunes of the Sahara to the signature savannah of the east, the continent will leave you amazed. In the same vein, jagged mountains, green-tinged highlands and 100s of years of culture are all to be explored. Volunteer in Africa on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

ENCOUNTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • VOLUNTEER IN EACH COUNTRY & SUPPORT THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
  • TAKE IN THE BEST OF AFRICA IN ONE TRIP
  • EXCITING WEEKEND TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE ACROSS EACH COUNTRY
  • EMBRACE NEW CULTURES, ADVENTURES AND COMMUNITIES WITH NEW FRIENDS
  • VISIT CAPE COAST, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK AND TABLE MOUNTAIN IN YOUR FREE TIME
  • FULLY STRUCTURED AND INCLUSIVE FROM START TO FINISH

HOW IT WORKS

The Africa Gap Year experience has start dates all year round. Moreover, participants can choose the trip duration that is right for them when completing volunteer work in Africa. There is 6, 9 and 12 week gap year in Africa options to choose from on the online application. All programs commence on the first Sunday of each month, but alternate start dates can be considered on request.

 

Should you choose the 6-week option you will spend 2 weeks volunteering in each of Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa. In the same vein, should you choose a 9-week Africa Gap Year experience, you will spend 3 weeks volunteering in each destination. Likewise, the 12 week program will see you join us for 4 weeks in each of the three countries.

 

Volunteers will need to plan their flight schedules to match their country-specific trip dates. Therefore, you will need to arrange your inbound flight to arrive in Ghana for the beginning of the Africa Gap Year experience. Your outbound flight will need to depart out of South Africa once your time on the program is completed.

 

In addition, you will need to budget and plan your intermediary flights for your Africa Gap Year experience. More specifically, you will need to book flights from Ghana to Tanzania and then Tanzania into South Africa matching your specific trip dates. This may sound a little complicated, but rest assured, the PMGY team are on-hand for assistance. For the reason that we can provide comprehensive flight quotes tailored to your Africa Gap Year experience. You can request a flight quote or general assistance with flights planning during the online application.

 

Across your Africa Gap Year Experience, you will meet plenty of other travellers and volunteers along the way! The numbers and types of people you will encounter will change as you move from country to country. This will allow you to make many friendships and share experiences with a range of people on your Africa encounter journey!

 

You can choose any of the standard Africa volunteer programs in each country during the online application process. Please note, some volunteer projects may be subject to availability and you should only select one project to each destination. Additionally, there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. Any additional costs will be made clear next to the volunteer project option during the online application. You can explore your volunteer options in each destination below. It will be an unforgettable 6-12 weeks!

🇬🇭 VOLUNTEER IN GHANA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your first stop will be Ghana. It is a friendly, energetic and culturally rich country. Moreover, it is full of diverse wildlife, amazing beaches and gorgeous hinterland. In addition, we cannot forget the affable locals who make Ghana what it is. It’s no wonder Ghana is sometimes labelled ‘Africa for beginners’. From the history of Cape Coast castle to the elephants at Mole National Park, your weekends in Ghana are never dull!

 

During your time here on the gap year programs in Africa, you will get to experience just how vibrant Ghana is. Most noteworthy, you will embrace all aspects of day-to-day life in Ghana. This is because you will make a positive impact through volunteering in local communities Monday-Friday. In evenings and weekends, you will have the chance to embrace the cultural understanding and further exploration of Ghana.

 

International volunteers support community projects based in Kumasi. You can choose to help care for Ghanaian children with and without special needs. Alternatively, showcase your teaching English skills to help children improve their future job prospects. In addition, you can choose your volunteer project in Ghana to be a hospital-based experience. Medical volunteering provides you with first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanaian health care system. In the same vein, join our mental health project to specialise in the mental health history and procedures of Ghana. You will be able to select your volunteer in Ghana project during the online application.

 

🇬🇭 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN GHANA

GHANA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Ghana, you will make a vital and important contribution to the daily lives of the Kumasi children. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide international volunteers with a platform to brighten up the lives of young children. You will work alongside local staff as you provide care and attention to disadvantaged children. Above all, you will be assisting with the general childcare and daily project operations when you volunteer with children in Ghana.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

Like so many developing nations, Ghana has a large number of children who find themselves in government care. Not all children in childcare homes have lost their parents. Some arrive from abusive homes and others are taken into care as their parents cannot afford to look after them. The children’s home is basic, under-resourced and in need of volunteer’s assistance.

 

The children will have their food and accommodation provided for them. However, with limited staff resources, it is the individual attention that the local children crave so much. Providing children with essential skills in life will help them on their way to successful futures. Such futures that will be free from poverty and filled with positive opportunity. As a volunteer, you will become a big brother or sister to the children.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer projects in Ghana, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Ghana can bring. To volunteer with children in Ghana, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Kumasi Children’s Home – Established in 1965 by a private organisation, Kumasi Children’s Home later became a government-run organisation. It is currently home to around 100 children. The children are split into three different blocks – the girls’ house, the boys’ house and the disabled children’s house.

 

Many of the children arrive at a very young age. This is due to mothers dying in childbirth and having no host family to look after the children. However, the home also accepts abandoned children, street children and children of unstable parents. They even occasionally care for children whose families are travelling. Generally speaking, ages can range anywhere from new-born babies to upper teens.

 

The children stay at the home for varying lengths of time depending on their situation. The home is now run and supervised primarily by the Department of Social Welfare and their supervisor is a government employee. Whilst the government pays the wages of most of the workers, much of the home’s funding comes externally. Catholic Relief Services provides a substantial amount of funding each year. Similarly, additional support comes from cash and in-kind donations from private citizens and organisations.

 

As you volunteer with children in Ghana, you are encouraged to get involved with as many day-to-day activities as you can. For the reason that keeping a children’s home of 100 children plus maintained and entertained is no easy feat. This includes daily care and interaction with the children and spending time in the playground area. Consequently, this will turn more mundane but essential tasks such as cleaning, feeding and washing.

 

There is also the opportunity to assist in morning classroom-based activities for preschool-aged children. The staff are also very grateful for any hands that can be offered for the performance of chores. Doing these tasks with a positive and proactive attitude is a great help to the children and their hygiene. Furthermore, it will also help build rapport and respect with the local staff who continually commit their time and devotion.

 

New Life Children’s Centre – Started in 1988 by the Late Mother Theresa, New Life Children’s provides childcare for local children. Please note the project is home to local children and young adults both with and without disabilities.

 

PMGY volunteers at New Life Children’s Centre will often work with a range of babies. Most noteworthy, this will range from babies aged a couple of months to a couple of years. Volunteers aid the staff with tasks such as washing, feeding at mealtimes and helping during playtime. Likewise, as you complete volunteer work in Ghana, further tasks will include helping with chores including mopping floors and washing clothes.

 

This role is perfect for someone with a big heart. Even more to someone who has a desire to do something meaningful with their time abroad. Working in a children’s centre will require heaps of patience and a real sense of self-direction. Your level of impact is based on your willingness and pro-activeness to get involved and make the most of your time. Experience of working with children is not necessary but it does help.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Volunteers are required to support and assist with the daily care, attention and interaction of the children. Maximise your free time at the Volunteer House preparing activities accordingly. In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. The typical volunteer working hours are usually from 7am-1pm. The early start is required to provide the local staff with much-needed assistance at the project. The chores and morning routines are where the volunteers can provide the most hands-on support.

 

Transport to and from the childcare project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.

 

Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN GHANA

Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

 

Both Kumasi Children’s Home and New Life provide care for children with and without disabilities. Therefore, both childcare and disabled children volunteers usually have the flexibility and opportunity to work across both of these projects.

 

Cultural Differences – It is very important that volunteers join this program with an open mind and understanding of cultural differences. Children’s rights and the methods of discipline used often greatly differ from what is the norm in the west.

 

Although mistreatment of children is never condoned volunteers should be aware that physical discipline does happen in Ghana. This can be quite shocking, but it is important to remember that physical discipline is commonplace throughout Ghana.

 

Therefore, it is best for volunteers to be open-minded on arrival and come with limited expectations. You are there to help and make a difference in the local communities. However, this must be done in a framework where there are rules to follow and cultures to abide by.

 

Our local team will brief you on these issues during your in-country orientation. As a result, you will be fully prepared for your placement. If you see something that you believe is not right, then please do approach our local team. As a result of doing this, the team can then aim to resolve or give clarity on the issue.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in Ghana, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Ghana.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.

GHANA DISABLED CHILDREN

As a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana participant, you will assist local staff with the day-to-day routines at the volunteer placement. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs will see you do your bit to help care for children with special needs. Support local staff at the project in various essential education and rehabilitation sessions. Moreover, provide one-on-one interaction and care for children who need it most.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE DISABLED PROGRAM

Around 5 million people in Ghana live with a disability, which is around a fifth of the population. Approximately 100,000 Ghanaian children aged 6-14 have a disability and more than 16,000 of these children are out of school. Children with disabilities are often left at home, unable to go outside the house let alone make it to school. Many are shunned for their disability, marginalised and forgotten.

 

Ghana has recently introduced a nationwide inclusive education policy that works on two fronts. Firstly, enforcing the rights of children with disabilities to education. Secondly, educating parents through community sensitisation programs. Resources are now being invested in addressing these issues on a national scale.

 

The government is making big steps to support people with special needs. However, the facilities that support them are still understaffed. Consequently, families do not usually have the means to give their child the support they need.

 

PMGY volunteers work with children and young adults who are intellectually challenged and/or carrying some form of physical disability. The children and young adults have different conditions and needs. These can vary from mild disability to more severe cases. When working within the local community at the projects, ages will vary from 7 to 25 years of age.

 

Working with disabled children can be an immensely challenging role, but one that brings with it great reward, variety and excitement! You will need to be enthusiastic and patient in order to succeed in this role.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact when working with disabled children. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana volunteer can bring. To volunteer with children in Ghana, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Kumasi Children’s Home – Established in 1965 by a private organisation, Kumasi Children’s Home later became a government-run organisation. It is currently home to around 100 children. The children are split into three different blocks – the girls’ house, the boys’ house and the disabled children’s house.

 

The project provides a variety of support services to the students. This extends to focus on areas such as basic education and life skills classes. Similarly, the project supports in areas such as physical exercise, speech and physical therapy. Part of this has seen a sensory room developed on-site. The sensory room is designed to develop the disabled children’s sense through special lighting, music and objects.

 

You will complete daily volunteer work in Ghana at Kumasi Children’s Home. It is important you use your free time at the Volunteer House to plan activities for each day. As time progresses, you will grow through your volunteer experience assisting the local staff at the volunteer projects.

 

New Life Children’s Centre – Started in 1988 by the Late Mother Theresa, New Life Children’s provides childcare for local children. Please note the project is home to local children and young adults both with and without disabilities.

 

Participants work with the children and young adults at the project in a variety of ways. First of all, volunteers will be involved in promoting morning routines. This will extend to assisting with feeding during mealtimes. Finally, as part of your role as a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana, you will engage in activities that aim to promote both social and motor skills.

 

Volunteers also tend to lend a hand to the local staff with simple chores, such as washing. This helps free up the staff members to spend their time providing more specialised care for the children and young adults.

 

Volunteers are encouraged to spend one on one time with children who struggle with limited communication skills. By doing this, you will be promoting a positive inner mood and character development for the children. Utilising your volunteer experience, time and skills with energy and enthusiasm will definitely leave a positive impact.

 

Volunteers assist in a number of other capacities at the project too. Those with experience or a specific area of interest are encouraged to specialise. Examples can include taking a lead in physical and speech therapy sessions.

 

Volunteers are encouraged to provide as much interaction and assistance to the children and young adults. You and your fellow volunteers can do this by singing songs, going on walks and counting. Furthermore, helping the local staff with feeding, washing and cleaning activities will be a big support as you volunteer with children.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL VOLUNTEER DAY

Volunteers are required to provide valuable daily hands-on care, attention and interaction. More specifically, providing such support for disadvantaged children and young adults who need it most. Whether you join us in Ghana for 2 weeks or as part of your gap year, the local team will be on hand to assist your project work.

 

In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. The typical volunteer working hours are usually from 7am-1pm. The early start is required to provide the local staff with much-needed assistance at the project. The chores and morning routines are where the volunteers can provide the most hands-on support.

 

Transport to and from the disabled children project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.

 

Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN GHANA

Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

 

Both Kumasi Children’s Home and New Life provide care for children with and without disabilities. Therefore, both childcare and disabled children volunteers usually have the flexibility and opportunity to work across both of these projects.

 

Cultural Differences – It is very important that volunteers join this program with an open mind and understanding of cultural differences. Children’s rights and the methods of discipline used often greatly differ from what is the norm in the west.

 

Although mistreatment of children is never condoned volunteers should be aware that physical discipline does happen in Ghana. This can be quite shocking, but it is important to remember that physical discipline is commonplace throughout Ghana.

 

Therefore, it is best for volunteers to be open-minded on arrival and come with limited expectations. You are there to help and make a difference in the local communities. However, this must be done in a framework where there are rules to follow and cultures to abide by.

 

Our local team will brief you on these issues during your in-country orientation. As a result, you will be fully prepared for your placement. If you see something that you believe is not right, then please do approach our local team. As a result of doing this, the team can then aim to resolve or give clarity on the issue.

 

Resources – On the disabled project in Ghana, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their volunteering experience in Ghana.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.

GHANA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Ghana, you will provide additional support to schools in Kumasi. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs will see you help young children in Ghana. Play a vital role in developing the English skills that will help improve their future job prospects. Demonstrate your passion, energy and enthusiasm for learning within a new culture. Teaching other subjects such as Science, Maths and Art represent further volunteer opportunities as you teach English in Ghana.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Ghana is a multilingual country in which about eighty languages are spoken. Many of these languages are local dialects only spoken within local communities. Officially, English is the official language of Ghana. The language was inherited from the colonial era. However, with many indigenous languages, English is not frequently known or spoken within local communities.

 

Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves local peoples language skills, essential for future employment. Education is a priority for the Ghanaian government. Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education was implemented in Ghana between 1996-2005. As a result, many poorer families are now able to send their children to school.

 

However, severe classroom overcrowding, lack of educational materials and overall weak infrastructure are common problems. Because of this, the Ghanaian educational system can be very fragile. Nevertheless, you’ll still find the children extremely excited to see you and eager to learn. Whilst resources are limited, if you are creative and determined then you can really make a difference.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact when teaching English to the local community. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking to improve their English that you as a volunteer teaching English in Ghana can support. To teach English in Ghana, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

The common teaching practises in Ghana are largely repetitive. Most noteworthy, this often results in the children memorising information without really understanding it. It is important to understand that discipline and teaching styles are quite different from those in the west. Furthermore, conditions are poor and classes are extremely overcrowded. This may be a culture shock for some.

 

As you teach English in Ghana, the majority of your time will be spent teaching the core subjects. However, there is always the opportunity to initiate extra-curricular activities such as sports. Physical education is usually a weekly activity at schools in Ghana. Experience is required should volunteers look to specialise in certain subjects.

 

Volunteers will also get the chance to join with the younger classes. Once you have joined the projects with the younger children, you can spend time leading more creative and relaxed activities. Such activities include singing songs, dancing, storytelling and colouring. Volunteers provide a great valuable cultural resource for the children where they can learn about different people, places and traditions.

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in Ghana. When working at our English teaching volunteer projects in Ghana, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Ghana. As a volunteer teaching English in Ghana, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Divine International School – Volunteers at Divine International school can work with children of all ages. Children can range from the age of 4 right up to the age of 16. You will work as a teaching assistant to the local English teachers. Similarly, you will also have the opportunity to lead your own classes.

 

A volunteer’s first day at Divine International School is purely observational, allowing participants to become familiar with their new surroundings. New volunteers then have an opportunity to meet their class before getting down to business the next day. You will be greeted every day by the children running over to welcome you. Thus every day at Divine International becomes a special day.

 

Christian Life Teaching School – Opening its doors in 2013, Christian Life Teaching School originated a small-scale project. Indeed, the school was originally home to a class of only two students. However, word of a new school quickly spread and the institute now hosts almost 400 pupils.

 

Split across only 11 rooms, each class accommodates close to 40 students. This puts a large strain on the quality of lessons that can be offered. This makes the contribution of a volunteer teaching English in Ghana at this project invaluable.

 

Volunteers at Christian Life Teaching School will be provided with a timetable. Such a timetable dictates the classes they will be working with on a day-to-day basis. You will work as a teaching assistant and also have the opportunity to lead your own classes.

 

As you complete your volunteer work in Ghana, you will be playing an important part in supporting local teachers at Christian Life. Furthermore, you will be providing a new lease of life in the classroom through creative thinking and innovative teaching techniques. Just by being able to speak English with the students, you will be making a positive impact.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teacher in Ghana, you are required to assist local teachers and plan and lead your own lessons. Your role is to create a more student-orientated approach to teaching, which is more interactive and engaging. It is important to have an open mind and recognise that change is slow. However, your efforts to promote best practice at the teaching English projects will lead to improvements in the long run.

 

In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. Project timings are usually from 9am-2pm with lunch taken at the project. Transport to and from the English teaching project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.

 

Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN GHANA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Ghana project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

 

Cultural Differences – It is very important that volunteers join this program with an open mind and understanding of cultural differences. Children’s rights and the methods of discipline used often greatly differ from what is the norm in the west.

 

Although mistreatment of children is never condoned volunteers should be aware that physical discipline does happen in Ghana. This can be quite shocking, but it is important to remember that physical discipline is commonplace throughout Ghana.

 

Therefore, it is best for volunteers to be open-minded on arrival and come with limited expectations. You are there to help and make a difference in the local communities. However, this must be done in a framework where there are rules to follow and cultures to abide by.

 

Our local team will brief you on these issues during your in-country orientation. As a result, you will be fully prepared for your placement. If you see something that you believe is not right, then please do approach our local team. As a result of doing this, the team can then aim to resolve or give clarity on the issue.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.

GHANA MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will gain first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanian health care system. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide a once in a lifetime cultural experience. The medical project offers a fantastic opportunity to spend time a range of departments in a large government hospital. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

Access to healthcare in Ghana has improved dramatically since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Act in 2003. However, the healthcare system in Ghana still faces a number of challenges, particularly in rural areas. The large majority of patients arrive due to illnesses related to poor sanitation.

 

Malaria is also a huge issue and remains the cause of many deaths and illnesses. In addition, HIV/AIDS continues to harm the lives of so many Ghanaians. Many of the major causes of death and serious illness are avoidable. The work of the healthcare system in Ghana largely centres on treating immediate cases. However, it also extends to educating the local communities in preventative measures.

 

We offer medical placements for people of all backgrounds. Therefore if you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application we can accommodate you. Alternatively, if you’re a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective placement we also have you covered.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform. Such a platform that allows for valuable exposure to medicine and healthcare projects within a new culture. For the reason that many of the facilities, procedures and operations you observe will be completely new to you.

 

More specifically, they will be completely different from how things are done in your home country. As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will need to schedule your time and skills effectively to make the most out of your project time. This is to ensure you can maximise your exposure and learning opportunities at the project.

 

Should medical volunteers in Ghana wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our medical volunteer projects in India is recognised as our leading medical volunteer opportunity. For the reason that volunteers receive high exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings.

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Manhyia Government Hospital – Based in central Kumasi, Manhyia Hospital is home to a range of departments. Participants are likely to have the opportunity to observe within more than one division. However, it is recommended that volunteers spend a minimum of one week per department. Such departments include:

 

Adolescent Counselling, Community Health Education, Dentistry, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), General Surgery, Laboratory, Nursing, Maternity & Midwifery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy, Prenatal, Psychology, Radiology, Ultrasound

 

During orientation, volunteers will receive a comprehensive introduction to Manhyia Hospital. A local member of the PMGY Ghana team will lead a tour around the whole institution. Thus allowing volunteers to become familiar with the hospital’s layout. Furthermore, this will also give you an opportunity to meet staff members within each department.

 

We welcome school leavers and healthcare-related undergraduate students, looking to gain invaluable exposure. Your role is largely observational. The hospitals are poorly resourced and under-staffed by western standards, so you will have a very eye-opening experience. You will be placed in a number of different departments. As a result, you will receive a broad insight into the Ghanaian healthcare system.

 

The maximum recommended duration for a medical experience is 6 weeks. You are able to combine your healthcare program with other volunteer work in Ghana. This includes helping at the children’s homes or teaching project, should you wish to get involved in multiple projects.

 

We also offer more specific program opportunities for medical, midwifery and nursing students looking to focus on an overseas elective. You can schedule the placement around your needs and design your work schedule around the requirements for your elective. PMGY can also complete any paperwork required by your university. This is because we receive many healthcare students in Ghana for their elective placement.

 

You will find the staff at the healthcare facilities appreciative of your support and positive towards information sharing. Over the course of your placement, you will witness a range of unique cases. This may include cases such as Typhoid, Polio and TB. There will also be the chance to ask questions about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis and Dengue.

 

Whilst the hospital adopts modern forms of treatment, you will experience how cases are treated within an under-resourced and poorly staffed healthcare system. Most noteworthy, you will gain exposure and insight into the challenges the local staff face. Furthermore, cultural factors and a lack of education/health awareness will give you an insight into the alarmingly high number of preventable cases admitted each day. Many students also find it fascinating to witness the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship compared to that of the western world.

 

Community Outreach – On an ad-hoc basis, the team will arrange a community outreach day for volunteers to engage in. This will involve working alongside doctors in providing primary healthcare to rural communities outside of central Kumasi. This specific outreach project in Ghana only runs under the supervision of local medical staff.

 

Volunteers will join together to provide care and education to the local communities surrounding Lake Bosomtwi area. These communities will open your eyes to what a local Ghanaian’s lifestyle is like. As a result, they are sure to help you identify the real needs of the people of these villages.

 

Please note, the community outreach program in Ghana usually only takes place once a month. Because of this, there are no guarantees the outreach program day will be running during your time with us in Ghana.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Volunteers will spend their time in Manhyia Hospital, within one, or across multiple departments. Participants with or without medical experience should assume a largely observational role. There may be opportunities to undertake some basic hands-on involvement. However, the opportunity for this is dependent on a volunteer’s relationship with the doctors/nurses they work alongside. This extends further to gaining permission of the patients and previous experience/qualifications.

 

In general, volunteers work at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-4 hours every day from 9am-1pm. Usually, as a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will take lunch at the project. On an ad-hoc basis, you may also get the chance to experience working night shift. Should you wish to, this is something you can speak to our local team about in-country. You must arrange private transport should you decide to give up your free time to experience the night shift.

 

Transport to and from the medical project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.

 

Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN GHANA

Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Ghana participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for school leavers & medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.

GHANA MENTAL HEALTH

The mental health volunteer in Ghana placement is designed to provide an insight into how psychiatric services operate within Ghana. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide a once in a lifetime cultural experience. The mental health and psychology program provides international volunteers with a unique learning experience. Most noteworthy, participants will establish a deeper understanding of the history and developments of mental healthcare in Ghana.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Ghana’s mental health sector is funded primarily by the government. Its psychiatric services stem back to the early 19th century. Traditionally, patients who suffered from mental health illnesses would be detained in prisons. These prisons later developed into a ‘lunatic asylum’.

 

1904 saw the first purposeful psychiatric hospital built in Ghana accommodating 200 patients to start with. Extensive amendments focussed on mental health were made to hospital buildings to burden overcrowding. Rapid expansions in staff training and recruitment for mental health followed.

 

From the 1950s innovative treatments for psychiatric illnesses such as ‘chlorpromazine’ and ‘electroconvulsive’ therapy began to emerge more prevalently. Patients were removed from chains and isolation between patients became discouraged. Staff were now refrained from punishing patients as previously had been a norm.

 

Essentially, knowledge and understanding began to increase in and around mental health and the issues associated with it. Despite such advances, many citizens in Ghana still believed and practised in the traditional forms of psychiatric treatment.

 

Many patients or their relatives would still opt for a traditional or herbal form of treatment. This is due to a widely held belief that mental health illnesses remain caused by supernatural evil forces. Such forces are best exiled by traditional medicine methods. Examples include visiting shrines, herbalist centres or prayer camps. Methods that would be relatively more accessible and inexpensive.

 

Nevertheless, government policy in the long term remains to establish and expand psychiatric facilities in all regional and district hospitals. The 1970s saw the creation of registered mental nurses (RMNs) and community psychiatric nurses (CPNs). This program expanded into Kumasi in the 1990s.

 

To summarise, recent government policy has attempted to normalise, ingrain and mainstream up to date psychiatric services into the primary healthcare. However, the reality is a lot more needs to be done to achieve this even today. With a population of over 26 million, Ghana only has 13 practising psychiatrists in the public service. Inadequate staffing remains a recurrent problem with occupational therapists, social workers and CPNs all hard to come by.

 

Traditional healers who can bring with them inhumane treatment methods remain prevalent in Ghana today. It is estimated that around 2.5 million people in Ghana currently suffer from some form of mental health illness. Public education plays a leading role today in helping to overcome widely held traditional myths about mental illnesses. Consequently, patients and relatives are encouraged to seek early professional and alternative treatment.

 

Such alternative treatments focus on areas such as occupational therapies and community outreach programs. As a mental health volunteer in Ghana, you will usually get the chance to experience this. In addition to this, a mental health act passed in 2012 aims to combat the stigma and discrimination associated with mentally ill people in Ghana.

 

Should mental health volunteers in Ghana wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our mental health projects in Sri Lanka is recognised as our leading mental health volunteer opportunity. For the reason that volunteers receive greater exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings.

 

MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Manhyia Government Hospital – All participants on the Mental Health Experience in Ghana will spend their first week within the Manhyia hospital. The psychiatric department consists of only two rooms and five physiatric nurses. The responsibilities of these staff members lie in diagnosis, prescribing and consulting.

 

Volunteers will have an opportunity to observe consultations and ward rounds for patients being treated elsewhere within the hospital. Common conditions witnessed by the staff include depression, mania, psychosis, enuresis, migraine, epilepsy, bipolar, alcoholism, dementia and delirium.

 

Tafo Government Hospital – Our participants spend their remaining time-based at the Tafo District at the Tafo Government Hospital. The Physiatric department of Tafo Government Hospital first emerged in 1970. However, almost 50 years later, the department still does not have a permanent location within the institution. This follows a lack of recognition of the importance of the services by leading bodies of the hospital. The team of 14 members are therefore frequently shifted between available rooms.

 

The team offers three main services. Such services being consultation, community outreach programs and the provision of education to patients with mental health disorders. With these services, the department has three main goals.

 

First of all, to make mental health services accessible within the community. Secondly, to educate the general public about the prevalence of mental health disorders and avoid stigmas. Finally, to have a permanent location for offering mental health services.

 

The department will often see between 60-70 patients per day. On the first day, participants will receive an orientation from the staff, introducing them to the services offered by the hospital. For the remainder of their time, volunteers will shadow a member of the team. This will include observing consultations, clinical reviews and perhaps even outreach programs.

 

Healthcare professionals in Ghana are very friendly and willing to support international volunteers. They are always on hand to answer your questions and describe consultations clinically. Furthermore, the local staff usually speak very good English to combat any language barrier.

 

Volunteers on the program will have the opportunity to spend time aiding the local staff. This may include assessing patient records, evaluating signs of progress, measuring any diagnoses and prescribing any relevant medicines. The doctor will talk through the different ways in which they take care of patients suffering from mental health issues.

 

Community Outreach – Part of the mental health volunteer in Ghana experience will see you embark on community outreach programs. These programs are led by psychiatric qualified nurses of Tafo Hospital. Such outreach work can include education talks in local schools as well as reaching out directly to people in the community. Such people who are suffering from psychiatric issues, but do not come to the hospital.

 

Community outreach work may also involve the performance of home visits. More specifically, visiting patients who had been to the hospital and checking up on their wellbeing. Please note, the outreach program usually runs on an ad-hoc basis. As such, it is not guaranteed during your volunteer work in Ghana. Various factors can influence this, including the number of patients at the time and local staff availability.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

This project is designed to provide insight into mental health issues for those currently studying mental health or psychology. More specifically, it provides a platform to increase awareness and learning around psychiatric services in Ghana. This extends to developing an understanding of the history and developments of mental health in Ghana.

 

In general, volunteers work at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-4 hours every day from 9am-1pm. Usually, as a mental health volunteer in Ghana, you will take lunch at the project. Use your free time at the Volunteer House to plan questions for the days ahead.

 

Transport to and from the mental health project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.

 

Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEER IN GHANA

Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Please note this program has been specially designed for those already studying or exploring further study in psychology/mental health. Therefore it may not be appropriate or applicable for those outside this. This volunteer program provides a platform to gain insight and awareness into mental health in a new culture.

 

As a mental health volunteer in Ghana, your level of involvement at the project is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience (if any), duration of your program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a mental health-related degree, then you may have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff and their patients.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students looking to go into the mental health or psychology field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇹🇿 VOLUNTEER IN TANZANIA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your second stop is in Tanzania. Tanzania has many, many highlights but it’s frequently billed as ‘the’ place to safari. There is much to love about this magical country. For example, the country boasts idyllic beaches, world-class national parks and is topped off with the stupendous Mount Kilimanjaro. Furthermore, the exotic delights of Moshi Hot Springs and Zanzibar also await you in Tanzania. In short, the adventure travel opportunities of Tanzania makes it an unforgettable part of your Africa gap year experience.

 

Not only will you get the chance for adventure but also to volunteer in Arusha. As a result, you can make a huge difference in volunteering at one of our community-based projects. Teach in a school or volunteer in a children’s home in one of the most extraordinary places in the world. Alternatively, kick start your medical career combining learning with wide-ranging medical exposure in a hospital or clinic. You will be able to select your volunteer in Tanzania project during the online application.

 

🇹🇿 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN TANZANIA

TANZANIA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will brighten up the lives of young children, making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. International volunteers with children in Tanzania work to support centres in Arusha, organising educational activities and games whilst assisting in tasks to complement the work of local staff.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

It is estimated that around 1.4 million Tanzanians are infected with HIV. Furthermore, for every 1,000 births, almost 6 women die in childbirth. These factors along with general widespread poverty and minimal state welfare have resulted in an alarmingly high level of abandoned kids and street children in Tanzania. PMGY Tanzania childcare volunteers work with a number of centres in Arusha that strive to address this issue.

 

There are two main types of childcare centres in Tanzania – board children’s homes and daycare centres. Ordinarily, boarding homes act as day-care centres too. While some of the children in the homes may have lost both of their parents, the majority are cared for by single parents who cannot afford to raise their child. PMGY currently supports three main children’s homes. Since the day nurseries are also run on-site, these homes can be classed as both boarding and daycare centres.

 

Children in boarding can permanently reside at the homes, whilst those who attend nurseries come from underprivileged families who cannot care for them in the daytime. These children attend the centre during the day and then return to stay with family, friends or relatives in the afternoon. The centres provide lessons and activities for children before school age.

 

The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. These years form the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement. This is not only in their education, but within their community, and life in general. As a childcare volunteer in Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to think and act creatively to positively influence the young ones in Arusha. Childcare volunteers in Tanzania will be placed in one of the childcare centres PMGY support in and around Arusha. As a volunteer with children in Tanzania, you will be expected to lead basic educational activities, run games and assist in tasks such as mealtimes.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Rafiki Day Centre – Rafiki Day Care tends for children too young for primary school, from the ages of one to six years old. The centre provides activities for the kids to learn and play in a fun and safe environment during the day, allowing their parents to work. Our volunteers support and complement the work of local staff members to ensure that these children receive the attention and support that they deserve.

 

Each day on this volunteer program in Tanzania will begin with very basic English lessons. During this time, volunteers with children in Tanzania are expected to create and lead activities that promote the fundamentals of the language. During the remainder of the day, participants will spend their time entertaining the children, frequently resulting in time spent in the garden! There are a number of different toys and learning tools for the children to use during their time at the childcare volunteer project. In addition to assisting during mealtimes, volunteers will continue to get involved during nap time. During this period, as a childcare volunteer in Tanzania, you will assist staff with additional tasks such as gardening, food preparation or general upkeep of the centre. Naptime is scheduled after lunch to ensure the children get plenty of rest and proper nutrition for their childhood development. The responsibilities as a childcare volunteer in Tanzania noted here are similar in the two further project examples below.

 

Upendo Face Children’s Home – One day, the founder of Upendo Face Children’s Home realised that there was a large population of children who had nowhere to go in his neighbourhood. This inspired him to start a childcare development centre for children whose parents had passed away unexpectedly. The centre started over 5 years ago in his home and has since grown into a full compound where students even take introductory classes. This home is located about 40 minutes away from the volunteer house and 30 minutes from the city centre of Arusha.

 

Aston Vision Children’s Home – This is situated in the Meru district of the Arusha region, in Machumba village, around 15 minutes away from Arusha city. The children’s home houses 15 kids aged 5-10 years (8 girls and 7 boys). In addition to the kids who live on-site, 30 children attend the nursery classes that are offered daily from Monday to Friday, returning home to their families in the afternoon. Aston Vision employs 8 local staff, 3 house mamas, 2 nursery teachers and 3 cooking/cleaning staff.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Volunteers with children in Tanzania are required to support and assist with the daily care, attention and interaction with the children across the day and prepare activities accordingly. Whilst each project is different, the typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm Monday-Friday. There may be the opportunity to work up to 3pm upon request.

 

The homes PMGY Tanzania childcare volunteers work with are typically understaffed and highly overcrowded. Volunteer roles will range from teaching basic English to feeding and helping to prepare meals, organising games and sporting activities, or simply spending time with the children. Most of our volunteers play an active role in the general care of the children but have a primary focus on basic English lessons and class activities. Free time in the afternoons after the project can be used to prepare sessions, chill in the Volunteer House or to explore Arusha.

 

Transport to the childcare volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. Some of the volunteer projects are within walking distance from the Volunteer House, but many are further afield. In these latter cases, you will be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN TANZANIA

Resources – On the childcare project in Tanzania, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Tanzania.

 

Project Locations – Childcare and teaching participants on the Tanzania volunteer program are sometimes based at the same site. In these instances, volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. At the volunteer project, teaching volunteers will tend to work with slightly older children. Childcare volunteers will work with children of preschool age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and setups.

 

Important Visa Information – On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. This costs 50 USD (100 USD for US Citizens). You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.

 

Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.

 

For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD . The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 USD for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.

 

Yellow Fever – Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by:

 

• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more

 

However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.

 

There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

TANZANIA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you will work to encourage students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. This project, therefore, provides the perfect opportunity for international volunteers to teach English in Tanzania. Develop your leadership skills and make a profound impact on the lives of disadvantaged children in Arusha.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Early in this century, there was a large push from the Tanzanian government to get all children into education. This success was largely achieved through a drop in primary school education fees across the country. As a result of this movement, it’s estimated that a staggering 96% of primary-school-age children are now enrolled in a school. However, despite this progress in the education system, the average primary school class consequently host approximately 53 pupils to one teacher. This statistic is even more dramatic in rural areas. International aid is also faltering since the global recession. Together, these factors are heightening the concern towards the quality of education offered across Tanzania.

 

To make matters worse, teaching methods in Tanzania are largely based on learning through repetition and aimed at passing exams. This has led to a situation where, though the children can reel off information, they have very little understanding of what they are saying, particularly in relation to learning English. As most secondary school classes are taught in English, this way of learning causes problems later in the education system. For this reason, improving the methodologies of learning can lay the foundation for increased learning potential in later life. In turn, this can improve the employability of Tanzanian students during adulthood.

 

Over a third of people in Tanzania live below the national poverty line. Education is one of the essential skills for children to develop and is their doorway to a bright future. Tourism is big business in Tanzania. This means that typically, the ability to speak English dramatically increases the opportunities for young people to gain meaningful employment.

 

PMGY’s English teaching program in Tanzania aims to support local schools and childcare centres to maximise their impact. PMGY’s international volunteers working in Tanzania teach children English, Maths and other subjects, whilst transferring skills and sharing cultural perspectives. As a teaching volunteer in Tanzania, no previous teaching experience is required – you just need is to be creative and proactive! Our team will help you settle into a role, allowing you to make the biggest impact, and gain valuable skills yourself.

 

We predominantly support primary schools, however, volunteering opportunities within secondary school locations may be possible upon request. Additionally, many of the childcare projects we support have nursery schools for children of pre-school age. In these locations, PMGY volunteers wishing to teach English in Tanzania are also able to assist here.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Huruma Nursery School – This school is located on the street of Ngusero Arusha, Tanzania. This region is renowned for its poverty and lack of opportunity around education. The school has been open for over 7 years, hosting approximately 25-30 students at a time, aged between 3-5. The founders of the school recognised a great need for education for families with very little income. If a school such as this wasn’t around, there would be very little other opportunities for education. Every morning, the founder collections students from their homes so they don’t have to walk a long distance to school.

 

Upendo Nursery School – ‘Upendo’ meaning ‘love’, this nursery school was founded in 2012. The school started with a low capacity of only 6. However, having grown over recent years, the school now hosts up to 60 children per day. Within the school are two classes: Class 1 (3-4 years) and class 2 (5-6 years). Pupils at the school are incredibly passionate about learning.

 

During your time as a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you will be required to think and act creatively and pro-actively, to ensure that your classes as enjoyable and productive. You will be playing an important part in supporting local teachers at the school. Many of the students will also benefit hugely from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Tanzania.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you are expected to plan and lead your own lessons. Volunteers sometimes work as assistants to the local staff and English teachers. However, there is usually an expectation from the staff for international volunteers to lead the majority of lessons. To teach English in Tanzania, you must use a lot of initiative and creativity to succeed in your role. There may also be times across the project where volunteers work as assistants to the local teachers in Tanzania.

 

All lessons are taught in English apart from Swahili language lessons. The schools have a basic curriculum, which is followed, however, volunteers have the freedom to introduce new ideas/topics. It is important that volunteers spend an hour or two each day preparing for the following day’s lessons

 

Whilst each volunteer program in Tanzania is different, the typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm Monday to Friday. Around 3-4 hours a day are spent teaching basic English, with the remainder spent assisting with mealtimes and/or arranging activities. As a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you are usually welcome to stay at the project longer if you wish to.

 

Staff shortages can be a regular occurrence in the under-resourced schools that we work with and volunteers are encouraged to adapt and be flexible with this. If you are new to teaching, your confidence will grow massively once you have taught a couple of classes! Additionally, the more time spent planning, the easier classes will be to run.

 

Transport to the childcare volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. Some each English in Tanzania projects are within walking distance from the Volunteer House, but many are further afield. In these latter cases, you will be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN TANZANIA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Tanzania project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Locations – Childcare and teaching participants on the Tanzania volunteer program are sometimes based at the same site. In these instances, volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. At the volunteer project, teaching volunteers will tend to work with slightly older children. Childcare volunteers will work with children of preschool age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and setups.

 

It is worth noting that all the schools our volunteers work with are run privately. Tanzanian government legislation does not permit volunteers to teach within government-funded schools. This is despite the fact that these establishments often visually appear to require a greater level of support.

 

Important Visa Information– On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. This costs 50 USD (100 USD for US Citizens). You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.

 

Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.

 

For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD . The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.

 

Yellow Fever – Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by:

 

• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more

 

However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.

 

There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

TANZANIA MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will have a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into Tanzanian health care. If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, or you are studying a health-related subject at university, this program will offer you essential first-hand experience to assist in your career development. As a medical volunteer in Tanzania, you will learn from local staff. By supporting them, you will gain exposure that you are unlikely to obtain in your home country.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

Like many African countries, Tanzania faces an acute shortage of healthcare workers. Low pay, poor working conditions and limited training programs contribute to the problem. The situation is further amplified by the rising burden of HIV/AIDS treatment. Unfortunately, health standards in Tanzania have declined so much that it trails most other developing nations.

 

The leading causes of death in Tanzania are malaria, HIV/AIDS, respiratory diseases and cardio-circulatory diseases. Many of these major causes of death and serious illness are difficult to avoid. The work of the healthcare system in Tanzania largely centres on treating immediate cases. However, it also extends to educating patients in preventative measures.

 

As a medical volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will have a unique and exciting opportunity to experience health care in Tanzania first hand. PMGY collaborate with a government hospital and community clinic within the Arusha and Meru district of the country. PMGY’s medical program offers a fantastic opportunity for individuals to gain volunteer experience to further their career. The various departments across these settings that offer a variety of exposures to participants looking to further their medical background and experience. Additionally, the program allows individuals to explore one of the most amazing countries in the world!

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Tengeru Hospital – We place volunteer overseas at a government hospital located in the town of Tengeru, a neighbouring town of Arusha. This tends to be the main placement for our medical volunteers. Having started originally as a women’s health centre, the hospital currently caters to all kinds of general health matters.

 

The hospital is a 24/7 facility, treating around 50-80 patients each day. The hospital has a strong maternity ward with an average of 500 newborns delivered each month. This, therefore, makes this is a very good placement for midwifery students. There is also a recently opened Dental Ward, ideal for dentistry students who wish to promote dental hygiene education.

 

Often, we are able to place medical volunteers in Tanzania at the following departments: Dental, Diabetes Clinic, General Medical Consultation, Laboratory, HIV Awareness and Testing, Midwifery & Labour Ward, Newborn Care and Immunisations, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Optical, Paediatrics, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy (part-time), Prenatal Care & Antenatal Care, Radiology Surgery (Minor and Major) & Tuberculosis Wing. Any preferences can be noted within your application, however, please note that these can never be guaranteed.

 

Volunteers will be working alongside qualified local staff during the time spent in each department. On your first day, you will receive a full introduction from the matron. The matron will discuss with you what departments you’re interested in and devise a work schedule for you. You can choose to spend your time within a number of different departments or focus on one or two. We typically recommend volunteers to spend a minimum of one week within a department.

 

During your time, you will likely witness a range of cases you may never come across back home. This could include Typhoid and TB. There will also be the chance to learn about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever and Dengue. Working in a government hospital will come with its own set of challenges. You should be prepared to experience some strong emotions with the standards of the facilities and limited equipment available.

 

Things tend to be a lot more laid-back in Tanzania. This lack of urgency can be frustrating, as well as the impersonal way many of the Tanzanian medical staff treat their patients. Please, therefore, be prepared for some eye-opening experiences, which may be difficult to cope with at times. However, remember to throw yourself into the experience and challenge yourself to learn. Do this and you will have a really rewarding time, and assist in making a positive impact.

 

Community Clinic – Our second medical placement is a local community clinic. This centre offers affordable healthcare to some of the poorest people in Arusha and surrounding areas. It is the first full-service charity clinic in Arusha. The clinic sees up to 3,000 patients per month, although it is relatively small in size. At the clinic, patients are able to see a doctor. Following the consultation, if needed, patients can receive any necessary blood word or prescription treatments for a very nominal fee.

 

The clinic has the following departments: General Medical Consultation, Minor Surgeries (largely fractures), Laboratory, Pharmacy, X-ray, Ultrasound. Volunteer in Tanzania participants will have the chance to work in multiple departments. The head doctor and his team will mentor you throughout your time at the clinic. They will go out of their way to get you involved in as much as you can.

 

In the small surgery room, there may be opportunities to learn and assist as procedures. This could include circumcision, abscess/cyst/growth removal and drainage and stitching. Within the pharmacy, you will learn about the different medication prescribed – mainly antibiotics, anti-worm, or antimalarial treatments. This placement is open to people of all medical backgrounds, including school leavers and university students. You will get to witness a range of cases, largely malaria and typhoid. Other frequent cases tend to be in the area of obstetrics, basic dentistry and the urinary system.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

As a medical volunteer in Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to learn and work alongside qualified staff. Those with little or no medical experience will assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you may get the opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement, at your discretion. However, the opportunity for this is dependent on a volunteer’s relationship with the doctors/nurses you work alongside and permission of patients.

 

In general, during time as a medical volunteer in Tanzania, your role should predominately be seen as an opportunity to learn about a healthcare system in a developing country. It is a chance for you to learn about differences in practice compared to those you would find in your home country. You will have the opportunity to learn about common health problems within a third world country and understand how these are dealt with. International volunteers can expect to be on the project for 3-5 hours per day. Typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm or 11am-4pm, Monday to Friday. Volunteers are usually welcome to stay at the project for longer if they wish.

 

Transport to the medical volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. You will usually be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN TANZANIA

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Tanzania participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students or people looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Multiple Projects – Please note you can only be placed at one medical facility during your time with us. In some circumstances, it may be possible to combine medical facilities across your time. However, note that this will incur an additional 150 USD local payment. This is a medical donation to the new facility you are transferring over to.

 

Community Volunteering – There may be the possibility to get involved in our community volunteer opportunities in Tanzania, alongside the medical volunteer program. However, this cannot be guaranteed. If this is something you are interested in, please highlight these volunteer programs in Tanzania on your application under ‘special requirements’.

 

Important Visa Information – On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. This costs 50 USD (100 USD for US Citizens). You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.

 

Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.

 

For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD . The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.

 

Yellow Fever – Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by:

 

• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more

 

However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.

 

There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇿🇦 VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AFRICA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your final stop is South Africa. The second largest of nine provinces, the Eastern Cape is situated along South Africa’s eastern coast. It is the homeland of the Xhosa-speaking nation and birthplace of Nelson Mandela. The diverse landscape ranges from the dry, desolate Great Karoo to the under-developed, lush Wild Coast. In the same vein, the Eastern Cape offers an abundance of activities for your gap year travel in Africa. For example, enjoy surf experiences, take in a `Big 5’ game reserve safari or climb Cape Towns table mountain.

 

Your volunteer locations in South Africa are varied, but still within the Eastern Cape. We have community-based projects in Cape Town. Alternatively, we also have wildlife-conservation projects based in Port Elizabeth. Despite a number of years of relative prosperity, Cape Town still suffers from endemic social problems. More specifically, extreme poverty still persists today in Cape Town. Port Elizabeth is a more laid-back city. The centre is surrounded by wildlife reserves home to masses of flora and fauna.

 

You can choose your volunteer project in South Africa to help provide childcare facilities to struggling families. More specifically, working with children who come from some of Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities. In the same vein, you can have the opportunity to learn as a teachers assistant volunteering at a local school. Alternatively, move away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town and choose to volunteer on a game reserve on a structured conservation project. Port Elizabeth is the only project location you can engage in wildlife conservation projects on the Africa Gap Year experience. You will be able to select your volunteer in South Africa project during the online application.

 

🇿🇦 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in South Africa, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the Cape Town community. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs will see you help young children in Cape Town. Volunteer with children in South Africa to make a vital contribution in brightening up the lives of young children.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

It is estimated that 80% of young children in South Africa’s townships do not have access to early childhood development education. As a result, many lack the support required to develop to their full potential. Since the end of Apartheid in 1994, poor government funding and flawed policies have hit the most vulnerable South Africans hardest. For instance, many of the problems for South Africa’s poorest have been exacerbated.

 

Today about 57% of South Africa’s population lives in poverty. In low-income township areas, living conditions are challenging, with high crime and unemployment rates, health problems and high population densities. A lack of childcare facilities leaves many children unattended and unprotected.

 

Affordable and accessible childcare services can be very difficult to source across Cape Town and surrounding communities. Above all, it is families from low-income backgrounds that struggle the most. Whilst this has not gone unrecognised, many centres established to accommodate for such families are inadequate. To clarify, such centres are understaffed and operate with a limited stock of resources. This makes the roles of our PMGY volunteers invaluable to the quality of care that can be offered to these children.

 

The daycare centres we support are either independent local initiatives or government subsidised community support programs. Some are home-based crèches run by local women and others are more structured organisations. They all have a common goal. That is, to help children develop to their full emotional, social and physical potential.

 

Plan My Gap Year supports a range of crèches, day-care centres and kindergartens. All based centrally in the city within Cape Town. These facilities provide essential childcare to impoverished families of nearby communities. The majority of these children come from the Townships and other underdeveloped backgrounds. In short, locations where social and health problems are rife whether it be gang violence, drugs, malnutrition and HIV/Aids.

 

Most parents or relatives of these children from vulnerable communities work in the city. Consequently, they are able to bring the children with them in the morning to drop them off at the daycare centres. Other children arrive each day by bus. The teachers and assistants communicate to the children using a mixture of Afrikaans, English and Xhosa. Some of the centres provide meals for the children so volunteers can assist with feeding times.

 

Volunteer opportunities in South Africa provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer projects in South Africa, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in South Africa can bring. To volunteer with children in South Africa, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The Kiddies College – A cross between a crèche and a Kindergarten, the Kiddies College was established in 1997. The project supports children from 2-6 years old. Volunteers aid local staff with the day to day schedule and supervising the children. Kiddies College was formally a preschool closed down by the local council. However, the passion of one of its former staff members led to its re-emergence. As a result, local employment benefits and many spacious rooms and a nice garden area are utilised.

 

Meals are provided for the children at the project. In addition, activities such as visits to the library, swimming and karate lessons or speech and drama classes also take place. Volunteers can support such activities if placed at this specific volunteer project. PMGY volunteers ease the workload of the understaffed team by providing the children with extra care and attention.

 

Mini Einsteins Crèche – Home to around 160 learners, Mini Einsteins crèche can be a hectic environment! Most of the children are aged from 3 months to 6 years old. However, some of the children can reach up to 12 years old. The crèche aims to provide a safe, secure, supportive and stimulating environment for all children to discover their full potential naturally.

 

There is a strong philosophy at the crèche that children’s development is based on playing and growing. Volunteers are encouraged to support and embrace such a philosophy. Subsequently, international volunteers help with homework and games. In addition, volunteers will also get involved in creative arts activities or even support in the two designated baby rooms.

 

Many of the children at the crèche come from broken homes and deprived backgrounds. As a result, the children highly appreciate the extra care and attention that PMGY volunteers contribute. In the same vein, contributions made by childcare volunteers in South Africa are also highly appreciated by the staff and the local community.

 

Gingerbread House Educare – Located in one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town, Gingerbread House Educare can be found in the Mowbray district. A serious shortage of affordable childcare facilities in the area led to its initial opening in 1993. Since then, the centre has grown year-on-year. Moreover, the centre now provides care for more than 110 children in the morning. In addition to this, 30 primary school children join the centre in the afternoons!

 

The facility aims to provide its learners with a well-balanced education. Emphasis is placed on building up the children’s overall character and self-confidence. As a volunteer in South Africa at the Gingerbread House, you will assist in every facet of the projects daily routine. This involves helping the local teacher run lessons and dance/creative arts, to food preparation and feeding. General playtime is everyone’s favourite time of day!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As a childcare volunteer in South Africa, you can expect to participate in a range of activities. Most noteworthy, you will be supporting the local staff with daily duties (whether this is cleaning activities and/or admin work). Furthermore, you will assist with food preparation and feeding, supervising during free playtime and nap-times.

 

When you volunteer with children in South Africa, you will also have the opportunity to carry out some teaching. Examples will include helping with basic maths, reading and arts & crafts activities. Most importantly, you will become a positive role model for the children. Sadly, this is something that many of the children are lacking. Ultimately, as you complete volunteer work in South Africa, you will be providing invaluable assistance to the overstretched local staff.

 

The typical working hours are 8am-1pm Monday-Friday with a lunch break in between. The children usually have nap time in the early afternoon. If volunteers wish too, they can return after until the project closes. Weekends are your own free time.

 

Volunteers will need to make their own way to the childcare project each day. Moreover, this usually involves taking public transport but sometimes projects can be walking distance from the Volunteer House. On average, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the childcare project. Our local team will instruct you as to how to get to and from the project each day. Alternatively, you will be paired with a volunteer who has already been working at the placement you have been assigned to.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA

Township Projects – Please note, most projects we support are centrally based in the city within Cape Town. Projects in the township area represent a much more challenging experience both logistically and structurally.

 

Consequently, we do not promote or endorse projects in these locations. Should volunteers wish to experience projects in the townships this may be arranged on an ad hoc basis. This is dictated by the discretion of the local team. Volunteers are best to discuss such options with the team upon arrival into South Africa.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in South Africa, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in South Africa.

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for South Africa. We offer the Garden Route Trip along with the Western Cape Trip with opportunities running every month.

SOUTH AFRICA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you will play a vital role in developing local children’s English skills. Consequently, as the students English levels improve, so will their future prospects. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs will see you help young children in Cape Town. Teach English in South Africa and a range of other subjects to underprivileged children from government schools. All within the stunning setting of cosmopolitan Cape Town.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

South Africa adopts 11 official languages. It is a nation with huge potential. Much of its future hope lies with the youth of this great country. Huge steps have been made by the post-apartheid regime to implement a fully inclusive and comprehensive education system for all. However, the sad reality is that the quality of education received is largely dependent on location and family wealth.

 

Those with high-income families and a low cost of living correlate to more prosperous opportunities. Examples include private school and language school learning opportunities. Consequently, direct gateways are provided for children of a more advantageous background to get the top jobs in South Africa.

 

On the other hand, many young ones from disadvantaged communities don’t have it so easy. More specifically, they don’t receive a sufficient level of education to prepare them for the future.
Furthermore, the influx of refugees to emerging cities such as Cape Town is causing further conflicts. In the same vein, extra burdens are being placed on already under-resourced and overcrowded government schools. Most classrooms are filled with 40+ children to only one local teacher.

 

Many of the children that attend public schools we support come from broken homes. These are places where criminality and illiteracy are commonplace. Far too many children become a product of their environment and so become largely disengaged with formal education.

 

The further difficulty lies in the fact that the schools seriously lack manpower and the resources to tackle these issues. In addition, the schools will offer little or no recreational activities to help integrate some of the less enthusiastic learners.

 

PMGY South Africa volunteers provide assistance to primary schools in and around the popular tourist destination of Cape Town. The children are aged 6-13. Primary school teaching will be largely focused on core subjects such as maths, art and science. Above all, there is a focus on students to improve in English.

 

The primary schools are government based schools. In addition, class sizes vary from 15-40 pupils and ages from around 5-12 years old. As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you can expect to participate in the following activities. For example, supporting with lesson planning and execution as well as one-on-one support for students.

 

Furthermore, as a volunteer teacher in South Africa, you may be required to substitute for the main teacher. Other tasks expected when you teach in South Africa include leading physical education lessons and administration duties. In addition to this, you will be providing assistance for fundraising and annual functions/events.

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in South Africa. When working at our English teaching volunteer projects in South Africa, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in South Africa. As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Chapel Street Primary School – The majority of the 800 students who attend Chapel Street primary come from disadvantaged local communities. For instance, many of the students arrive at the school from the townships of Cape Town that suffer great poverty. This means that classrooms are often overcrowded and resources limited.

 

With only 24 staff members, the approximate ratio is 1 teacher to 30-40 students. Despite this strain, the teachers do their utmost to combat the economic and social hardships the learners face. Typically, the teachers achieve this through education, information and communications technology.

 

Most of the students who attend the school are between 6-13 years of age. Firstly, volunteers primary role is to assist the local teachers in the classroom. Secondly, volunteers will also be expected to lead lessons and support with sports education. Finally, volunteers may also have the opportunity to help with swimming lessons and art classes. PMGY volunteers provide invaluable support to overburdened local teachers and can build great bonds with the students along the way.

 

St. Pauls Primary School – Located in the iconic and historic Cape Malay community of Bo-Kaap, St. Pauls primary school is surrounded by colourful houses and steep cobblestone streets. The school is conveniently located within walking distance of the Cape Town city centre. However, most of the students come from townships. These are areas that are home to some of the city’s most impoverished communities. Most noteworthy, these townships often face challenges such as substance abuse and high crime rates. Consequently, schools such as St. Pauls primary are often seen as ‘places of safety’ for these children.

 

Volunteers at this school are placed in the younger/lower grades with children aged between 6-8 years. For these students, the focus is placed on language, basic math, art/music and physical education. Volunteers that teach English in South Africa largely work as a teaching assistant. Tasks include coordinating tasks such as reading groups and performing admin duties. In addition, teaching jobs will also see you work one-on-one with students who require an additional hand. Occasionally, volunteers may be given the opportunity to lead their own class. Moreover, volunteers may also be called upon to help in older classes.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you provide an important pair of extra hands. Subsequently, you play a vital role as a volunteer in South Africa in reducing burdens placed on local staff. In addition, extra support and teacher presence help improve discipline and overall class productivity. Troubled students and those with learning difficulties greatly benefit from the individual attention provided by international volunteers.

 

Volunteers will usually work as a teaching assistant. However, please note there may be times where you are required to lead a class yourself. It is not uncommon for this to happen when participants complete volunteer work in South Africa. Therefore, volunteers encouraged to prepare lessons accordingly in advance if so. Ultimately, it is essential volunteers spend time planning and preparing for each day. Consequently, this will allow you to get the most out of your project time.

 

The typical working hours are 7:45am-2:30pm Monday-Friday with a lunch break in between. Upon request, additional working hours/duties can be assigned. We expect volunteers to spend at least 1 hour each day planning activities and lessons for the following day. Weekends are your own free time.

 

Volunteers will need to make their own way to the English teaching project each day. Moreover, this usually involves taking public transport but sometimes projects can be walking distance from the Volunteer House. On average, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the English teaching project. Our local team will instruct you as to how to get to and from the project each day. Alternatively, you will be paired with a volunteer who has already been working at the placement you have been assigned to.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Township Projects – Please note, most projects we support are centrally based in the city within Cape Town. Projects in the township area represent a much more challenging experience both logistically and structurally.

 

Consequently, we do not promote or endorse projects in these locations. Should volunteers wish to experience projects in the townships this may be arranged on an ad hoc basis. This is dictated by the discretion of the local team. Volunteers are best to discuss such options with the team upon arrival into South Africa.

 

Resources – On the teach English in South Africa project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for South Africa. We offer the Garden Route Trip along with the Western Cape Trip with opportunities running every month.

SOUTH AFRICA WILDLIFE RESERVE

As a South Africa Wildlife Reserve Volunteer, you will get the opportunity to work behind the scenes on a world-class wildlife reserve. In addition, you will gain a rich education in conservation management. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs provide a fantastic opportunity to engage in meaningful wildlife volunteer work in South Africa. If you have a real passion for animals then this South Africa wildlife volunteer program is the opportunity for you.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE WILDLIFE PROGRAM

The South Africa wildlife volunteer program is home to vast populations of the incredible ‘Big 5’. In Africa, the Big 5 game animals are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo. The term originates from hunters. More specifically, hunters would refer to the animals as the five most difficult to hunt on foot in Africa.

 

Poaching of wild animals is on the rise in most parts of Africa. Consequently, more species are becoming endangered. Most noteworthy, the Big 5 species represent the highest-profile examples being threatened with extinction. Other threats come in the form of diseases from domestic animals. Cattle and dogs can easily spread disease into wild animal populations.

 

Alien species of animals and plants introduced to Africa represent another threat to the extinction of flora and fauna. Whether introduced deliberately or accidentally, alien species compete with native species for limited food and water. Furthermore, the earth’s changing climate is making much of Africa more prone to drought. This puts even more pressure on all species to compete for scarce water. In the same vein, the human population are diverting rivers for their own needs, leaving many other species high and dry.

 

All of these are exacting a terrible toll on Africa’s once-thriving wildlife. Game reserves and their conservation efforts in South Africa aim to play a role in counteracting these threats. They provide a large area of land where wild animals can live safely. Not only this, they represent a managed ecosystem that encompasses many miles of beautiful terrain.

 

The focus of a game reserve is specifically animals (fauna). However, there can be an equal concern with all aspects of native biota of the area (flora, fungi, etc.). Volunteer support in conservation-based activities at the game reserve provides big support to maintaining the flora, fauna and biodiversity.

 

This project was established to return the natural land to its former glory. This includes being home to the wildlife species that once roamed freely here. Since its beginning, the project has worked hard to successfully reintroduce native wildlife and flora. To help sustain the environment, volunteers take part in a variety of conservation and maintenance based activities on the reserve.

 

WILDLIFE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT

South Africa Big 5 Wildlife Reserve – This fabulous South African game reserve is situated on the Eastern Cape and spans over 6,000 hectares. This experience aims to give volunteers a holistic experience of life on a game reserve. Consequently, as you complete wildlife volunteer work in South Africa, opportunities and exposure will come in abundance. Not only will you be exposed to the majestic Big 5 family but also conservation of all types of fauna and flora. They all go hand in hand.

 

The game reserves education and rehabilitation centre is home to a number of species of endangered predators. For example, lions, Bengal tigers and cheetahs. The dedicated conservation team are committed to the preservation of these elusive creatures. Subsequently, this is done through rehabilitation and releasing them back into the wild. The team will conduct such a process whilst considering the effects on a managed ecosystem.

 

The work is exciting and varied with lots to learn! Naturally, due to the wild and predatory nature of the animals, this is not a hands-on experience. Furthermore, interaction and close-up monitoring of these animals is not an option as a South Africa wildlife reserve volunteer.

 

Big cats like the Bengal tigers are also found at the centre. Their population has deteriorated at an alarming rate. Over the last 100 years, hunting and deforestation have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands to perhaps fewer than 2,500. The centre has been lucky enough to see the birth of a Bengal tiger cub. This was after an arduous 4 years of work and research at the wildlife sanctuary.

 

This is a program designed for volunteers interested in having a true African wildlife experience. In other words, on the South Africa wildlife volunteer program, you will make a difference to the local wildlife and environment. Activities for this program vary on a day to day basis and are dependent on weather and other factors (so please expect the itinerary to change from time to time!).

 

The itinerary is designed in such a way that volunteers are divided into groups of up to 10 volunteers per group. Naturally, this is dependent on the number of South Africa wildlife reserve volunteers at the time. Each group will have an outdoor volunteer coordinator as a leader and mentor.

 

The groups will be engaged in different daily activities. However, each group will all do the same type and number of activities by the end of the week. In some cases, all the groups might do the same activity at the same time depending on the type of activity.

 

So it is a busy yet highly rewarding and exciting program from start to finish. The dedicated volunteer coordinator will ensure that you have a wonderful learning experience. In addition, the local staff will ensure you make a real contribution to the conservation work at the reserve. Ultimately, you will leave with a stronger understanding of the conservation issues in South Africa.

 

The volunteer tasks are largely a combination of land management and animal management program activities. Here is just a small selection of the volunteer opportunities you can expect to get involved in during the week on the wildlife conservation program!

 

• Lion monitoring
• Rhino monitoring
• Educational lectures and classroom activities within local communities
• Removal of alien vegetation
• Planting of indigenous trees
• Landscaping
• Re-establishment of vegetation and vegetation management
• Fence and anti-poach patrols
• Fence repairs and road maintenance
• Monitoring of predators in the rehabilitation centre
• Game counts

 

Your efforts will help to make sure the reserve is a safe and suitable environment for these animals to not just survive but thrive. The activities for the week are extremely varied so no two days will be the same. It’s not all work and no play as the program is designed to provide a physical and fun experience every day.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Each volunteer in South Africa participant will play a big part and benefit to the conservation efforts of the reserve. All your day to day activities is shown on the itinerary which will be displayed on the volunteer notice board. The itinerary will show you what activity your group will be doing and at what time. If you have any suggestions around working with animals in conservation, you can discuss these with the local team.

 

On the South Africa wildlife volunteer program, you will play a key role in saving the precious wilderness. This is not just for the here and now, but also in protecting it for future generations. So, if you fancy rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in a once in a lifetime setting then this is the program for you. Whether it be for 1 week or part of a gap year, there is no better place to volunteer with animals in conservation when you complete volunteer work in South Africa.

 

Working hours as a conservation volunteer are generally quite fixed across Monday-Friday. They are split into a morning and afternoon session. The morning session is often more physically demanding where temperatures are relatively cooler running from around 9:30am-1:00pm. A lunch break then follows with the afternoon session usually running 2:30pm-4:30pm thereafter. Please note that times are subject to change based on summer/winter times and the activities. Finally, as volunteers are based on the reserve, they are only ever a short jeep drive or walk from where their daily volunteer tasks take place. Any project transport required is included in the Program Fee.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH AFRICA

Additional Opportunities – On an ad-hoc basis, the local team sometimes arrange evening reptile shows, lectures, and cross-cultural dance shows. Additionally, volunteers may also have the opportunity to experience extra major conservation activities. Examples can include capturing of wildlife animals, game introduction and fire management activities. These activities take place on an ad-hoc basis but certainly provide volunteers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

Free Time – It is important to note that the reserve is based remotely. Therefore, volunteers are encouraged to embrace all facilities and aspects of life on the reserve. During free time on the reserve, volunteers have great amenities around them. For example, volunteers can relax in the lounge and swimming pool. Alternatively, choose to enjoy the entertainment room and tennis courts. At weekends, transfers to and from Port Elizabeth run complementary at fixed times from the reserve.

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (ACC) on the selected Sunday start date.

 

The following itinerary is based on a standard 6-week Real Africa Encounter (i.e. 2 weeks per destination). If you opt for the 9 or 12 week options then you will split your time equally across each of the 3-destinations. For example, the 9-week option involves spending 3 weeks across the destinations and the 12 week option involves 4 weeks per destination. For the South Africa segment of the route, this itinerary is based on joining us in Cape Town. The itinerary for the Africa Gap Year experience will follow a similar format as below.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Welcome to Ghana

Welcome to Ghana! You will be collected from Accra airport by a member of our local team. They will be holding a PMGY Volunteer in Ghana sign. You will be taken straight to our partner hostel near the airport. The journey will take around 20 minutes. The taxi ride will provide you with your first glimpses of this amazing country.

 

The rest of the day is quite informal. Choose to relax, catch up on sleep or get to know your fellow volunteers. Finally, it is important to note that dinner at the hostel is not included in the Program Fee.

Day 2 (Monday) Travel To Kumasi

After a good breakfast at the hostel, we will take a taxi to Accra central bus station. Secondly, we will then take the VIP bus from Accra to Kumasi. The VIP buses are air-conditioned and are a very comfortable and safe way to travel. The journey takes around 5 hours and our local team will accompany you. Some of the views along the way are breathtaking.

 

On-arrival into Kumasi bus station, we will take a taxi to the Volunteer House. The rest of the day is very relaxed and informal. The team will be on hand to show you around the local community. In addition, they can help you pick up any amenities you may need for the rest of the day. In short, Monday will be your initial introduction to life in Ghana.

Day 3 (Tuesday) Orientation in Ghana

Your orientation as a volunteer in Ghana will begin on Tuesday. We’ll kick the day off by introducing you to the local area. In addition, our team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. Whether it be the nearest shop or bus stop, the team will cover all the fundamentals! Furthermore, you will also get a chance to visit the volunteer projects we support during the orientation day. As a result, you will engage in initial introductions before officially starting volunteer work in Ghana on Wednesday.

 

Across the day, we will head into town to show you around Kumasi city centre. You will have the opportunity to explore Kumasi’s most bustling market and tour Manhyia Palace. Our team will assist you with any currency exchange and help you pick-up anything you may require. We’ll then return back to the Volunteer House for a traditional Ghanaian lunch. The theoretical part of your orientation will then make up the rest of your induction day.

 

Our team will go through important health and safety information to follow during your time as a volunteer in Ghana. We’ll teach you more about the way of life in West Africa, cultural differences and the local community. In the same vein, our team will also try to teach you the basics of the main language in Ghana, Twi. Finally, we will also provide you with some top tips on what to do in your free time.

Day 4-6 (Wednesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Ghana

Wednesday is your first day at the volunteer project. Our local team will usually show you the routes on how to get to and from your project during the orientation day. This usually involves taking public transport. Alternatively, you can choose private transport but this will be more expensive. The team will introduce you to the volunteer project staff. The local project staff be your main points of contact when you complete volunteer work in Ghana.

 

Your first day on the Ghana volunteer programs is all about introductions, understanding your schedule and what is expected of you at the project. Furthermore, our local team is always on-hand to assist you should you encounter any problems. For your peace of mind, a local team member will stay at the Volunteer House.

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Ghana!

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Ghana. Whether you are hitting up a resort in Kumasi, travelling to the Volta region or heading to the coast – Ghana has it all. As a volunteer in Ghana, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team help to organise trips to Mole National Park and Cape Coast.

Day 9-14 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.


Day 15 (Sunday) Goodbye Ghana - Hello Tanzania!

Sunday is the last day of your volunteer program in Ghana. Depending on flight schedules you may need to leave Ghana on Saturday to arrive into Tanzania on Sunday. We can help you arrange your return airport drop off for your flight to Tanzania. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Karibu! On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by a member of the PMGY team who will take you to our Volunteer House in Arusha. The journey takes around 1 hour. The rest of the day you can relax, meet other volunteers and begin to enjoy your first glimpses of Tanzania.

 

If you arrive early in the morning and if you are not too jet-lagged, you may get the opportunity to begin your orientation period early in the afternoon. Otherwise, the local team will be able to help you arrange anything you may require in this first day in order to settle in.

Day 16 (Monday) Orientation in Tanzania

Your orientation as a volunteer in Tanzania will begin on Monday. You will spend the day learning about life in Tanzania and preparing for your upcoming volunteer program. Our local team will teach you about Tanzanian culture, the Swahili language and safety issues.

 

The day will begin with the theoretical aspects. This will include important health and safety information for your time as a volunteer in Tanzania. Additionally, your coordinators will talk through your project. The team will brief you about what is expected from you and what you can expect. You will then head off into the centre of Arusha for your tour of the area. Our team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time, from the nearest shop to ATM to bus stop! There will be a chance for you to purchase some lunch, as well as a SIM-card, should you wish. Your evening is then free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow volunteers before your first day volunteering on Tuesday.

Day 17-20 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Tanzania

It’s time to start your volunteer placement. Our local team will travel with you to the project on your first day to ensure you receive a comprehensive introduction to the project. This will give you the opportunity to meet your new colleagues, learn about the project and the role you will uphold as a volunteer in Tanzania.

 

As the week continues, your confidence will grow and you will begin to really come into your own at the volunteer project. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away! They will always be very happy to help you in any way that they can.

Day 21-22 (Saturday & Sunday) Weekend in Tanzania!

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Tanzania has it all! As a volunteer in Tanzania, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips.

 

Here is an idea of what you could be getting up to:

 

Climbing Mt Meru – The sister mountain to Kilimanjaro, this is a great option for those who don’t have the time to climb Kilimanjaro. The Mt Meru treks generally take around 4 days and 3 nights. It’s also considerably less expensive than Kili and will include park fees, camping accommodation, meals etc.

 

Arusha National Park – Although the smaller of the national parks in the area, it is one of its most beautiful and most topographically varied. Typical costs are between 180-250 USD per day, although this price will largely depend on the number of people in a group. You should also budget for a tip of around 25 USD to 40 USD per day to the guides and cooks.

 

Shopping at the Maasai Market – A shopper’s paradise; this is the perfect place to find traditional African arts, crafts and paintings. Time to practise your bargaining skills! If you have some extra time before or after your placement you may also want to consider…

 

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, the rooftop of Africa – Costs start at around 1,400-2,000 USD per person, depending on group size. This includes all meals, camping accommodation etc. You are also expected to tip between 5% to 15% of the total cost of the trek for the guides, porters and cooks.

 

Spotting the Big 5 at Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park – It is recommended to spend at least 3 days on safari as the deeper you go into the parks, the more you will see. The cost is around 180-250 USD per day for all accommodation, meals etc plus a tip of around 25 USD per day to the guides and cooks.

 

Zanzibar Island – On certain dates across the year, our local team also assists volunteers in Tanzania in arranging a trip to Zanzibar Island.

 

Please note there is a strong customary tipping culture when it comes to partaking in safaris or climbing Kilimanjaro/Meru. Staff such as the driver, guide, porter and cook are paid reasonable wages. However, the tips are relied upon by the staff to supplement their wages and so your consideration of their hard work is appreciated. The amounts vary, specific to which activity you complete and can also be relative to the group size; but as a guide budget 25-30 USD per day for tips on safari and 50-65 USD per day for tips when climbing Kilimanjaro/Meru.

Day 23-28 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.


Day 29 (Sunday) Goodbye Tanzania - Hello South Africa!

Sunday is the last day of your volunteer program in Tanzania. Depending on flight schedules you may need to leave Tanzania on Saturday to arrive into South Africa on Sunday. We can help you arrange your return airport drop off for your flight to Tanzania. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee. A taxi from the Volunteer House to the airport will cost around 50 USD.

 

Welcome to South Africa! Volunteers will be picked up at Cape Town airport by a local backpacker bus. You will then be taken to our Volunteer House in downtown Cape Town. The journey will take around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. The drive will allow you to gather your first glimpses of this amazing location.

 

You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in. Depending on your arrival time, the hostel manager may take you on a walking tour of the local area. As a result, you can get acquainted with where the ATM, supermarket, laundry service etc are located. Alternatively, if you have a later arrival time into Cape Town on Sunday this will take place on the following day.

Day 30 (Monday) Orientation in South Africa

Your orientation as a volunteer in South Africa will begin on Monday. After breakfast, you will be picked up and taken to our local team’s office in central Cape Town. For the reason that the theoretical part of your in-country orientation will take place here. Alternatively, if it is only a small group partaking in the orientation then this will take place at the Volunteer House.

 

Over the course of the morning, our local team will talk through all aspects of the program. For example, they will teach you about South African culture, safety issues and local transport. Moreover, our team will also explain everything you need to know about the volunteer projects, the ‘dos and don’ts’, and answer any other questions you may have about your time as a volunteer in South Africa. Finally, there will also be a chance to learn about travel opportunities and experiences to engage in outside of your volunteer work in South Africa.

 

After your initial briefing, and a chance to purchase lunch in town, it’s time to explore the area. Most importantly, let’s check out what Cape Town has to offer! You will be taken on a walking tour of this great city. As a result, you will get the chance to see some of the city’s major sites. In the same vein, you will also learn about its tragic history.

 

In addition, our local team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. Therefore, you will leave how to navigate the markets and malls and where to find the nearest shops, ATMs and bus stop! On completion of your city tour, the rest of the day is free to spend time hanging out with fellow volunteers. Alternatively, take the time to prepare for your upcoming South Africa volunteer program.

 

Please note, the walking tour only takes place when there is a big arrival group. Should there only be a handful of arrivals, then, unfortunately, the walking tour will not take place. However, in your first few days, you will soon acclimatise and find yourself navigating Cape Town at your leisure with your fellow volunteers!

Day 31-34 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in South Africa

Tuesday will be your first day at the volunteer project. On the induction day, our local team would have illustrated to you how to travel to and from the project. In most cases, you will travel to the project with a fellow volunteer. Alternatively, a local coordinator will travel with you and introduce you to the project themselves. Spend the first couple of days getting into the swing of things and working out your weekly schedule.

 

Volunteers will usually have a 1 hour lunch break during each volunteering day. You may decide to arrange a packed lunch before you leave for the project in the morning. Alternatively, choose to buy lunch from a nearby cafe or restaurant. Cape Town is a fun place to be with lots to do in the evenings. However, we expect you to be committed to your volunteer project and punctual at all times. Remember that our local team are only ever a phone call away should you need anything!

Day 35-36 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in South Africa!

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of South Africa. Whether you are delving deeper into the huge numbers of trips and activities around Cape Town or heading further afield on safari or to the wine regions – South Africa has it all. As a volunteer in South Africa, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team help to organise trips to Garden Route and the Western Cape.

Day 37-41 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 42 (Saturday) Your Last Day

Saturday is your last day in South Africa and on the Africa Gap Year experience. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP

Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?

Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.

Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other travel organisations?

The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.

 

Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.

 

Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.

What are the requirements to volunteer on the Real Africa Encounter?

PMGY welcomes Africa Gap Year experience volunteers of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak the local dialects. However, you will find that learning a few local words in each destination in your days with us will go a long way.

 

As an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, you must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.

What are the Real Africa Encounter volunteer program start dates?

The program start dates as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer are as follows –

 

6th June 2021
4th July 2021
1st August 2021
5th September 2021
3rd October 2021
7th November 2021
5th December 2021

 

2nd January 2022
6th February 2022
6th March 2022
3rd April 2022
1st May 2022
5th June 2022
3rd July 2022
7th August 2022
4th September 2022
2nd October 2022
6th November 2022
4th December 2022

What date should I arrive and leave the volunteer program?

For your Africa Gap Year experience volunteer trip, you should book your flights to Kotoka International Airport in Accra on the Sunday start date. The airport code is ACC. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

Should you join us in Cape Town on childcare or teaching projects, the program ends in South Africa on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day. As a result, your final flight as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer should depart from Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town. The airport code is CPT.

 

Alternatively, should you join us in Port Elizabeth on the wildlife reserve project, the program ends in South Africa on the Saturday or Sunday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on either of these days relative to how the transfers match your flight schedule. As a result, your final flight as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer should depart from Port Elizabeth International Airport in Port Elizabeth. The airport code is PLZ.

When is the best time of year to volunteer on the Real Africa Encounter?

Feedback from Africa Gap Year experience volunteers often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.

Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer on the Real Africa Encounter?

In order to join as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, you need to be at least 18 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25.

 

There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.

When should I apply to be a Real Africa Encounter volunteer?

For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.

 

Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date.

Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.

 

Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.

 

The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.

 

When you join as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.

 

When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.

When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.

 

Payments made in advance of the 60 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance, or book a flight with PMGY, then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.

Can I use the program as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to be an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that your time as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.

 

First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in each destination can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY Africa Gap Year experience volunteers, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you have chosen an English teaching volunteer program in one of your destinations and would like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’.

 

The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.

Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?

With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Africa Gap Year experience volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that Africa Gap Year experience volunteers set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.

 

PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For Africa Gap Year experience volunteers looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.

How do I register for your online webinars?

Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide Africa Gap Year experience volunteers with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.

 

For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.

 

For Africa Gap Year experience volunteers who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?

It is possible that as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights to volunteer on the Real Africa Encounter?

When you apply to be an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

Do you offer travel insurance?

Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our International Volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away, including the date you depart and return to your home country. Indeed, this will ensure that you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example, if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5 week policy, not a 4 week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To become an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid DBS check (also known as CRB or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer.

 

For Africa Gap Year experience volunteers from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.

 

For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All Africa Gap Year experience volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook for each destination they join us in once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbooks. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

Each Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare for each of your destinations as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbooks for each destination carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options on the Africa Gap Year experience volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our Africa Gap Year experience volunteers.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in each of your destinations.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.

 

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as an Africa Gap Year experience volunteer.

ACCOMMODATION

GHANA

Volunteer House

 

Your first night in Ghana will be spent at a hostel near Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Our partner hostel offers basic but comfortable accommodation. You will share a room with fellow volunteers. In addition, as it is a dorm based setup you may be sharing with other international travellers. Rooms are air-conditioned and a local team coordinator will also stay at the hostel. As a result, you will have 24/7 support if needed. Furthermore, the team member will travel with you to Kumasi the following day.

 

During your time on the Ghana volunteer programs, you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in a friendly neighbourhood, a 45 minute drive from Kumasi city centre. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs in the centre of the town. However, there is also a small shop opposite the Volunteer House. The local community are extremely friendly!

 

The Volunteer House is basic but comfortable. Each room has bunk beds with up to 10 people in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room. In addition, each international volunteer is provided with their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared and each has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Ghana is hot all-year-round!

 

Each volunteer will also be provided with a locker for storing small valuables and important items. Living in the Volunteer House offers a great social experience! The house has a communal area for volunteers to hang out in after completing volunteer work in Ghana. A lounge, TV and DVD Player are all to be enjoyed. Furthermore, there is an outside seating area for volunteers to relax in during their free time.

 

Wi-Fi is not available at the accommodation. However, our local team provide all participants with a free local SIM card. As a result, volunteers can purchase a data package that is reliable, cheap and allows for good internet access. A 4G data package costs approximately 10 Cedis for usage across Ghana. Please make sure your phone is unlocked before arriving in Ghana.

 

We also have a refrigerator where you can store your personal food items, however, please remember this is dependent on electricity. For the reason that, power cuts can be a frequent occurrence in Ghana! Clothes can be hand-washed or there are local laundry services nearby the Volunteer House. A member of our local team will also live at the house. The house is gated and secure and our local coordinator lives on-site ensuring you have around the clock support and security.

 

Please note that power cuts and water shortages are very common in Ghana. Whilst we have backup measures to combat this, there may be times where the power cuts out or there is no water for a while. It’s important to be aware of this in advance and be able to adapt accordingly.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in Ghana program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

TANZANIA

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Tanzania volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within the town of Arusha, a city located at the foot of Mount Meru. Our volunteer programs are also located in this region. Our accommodation is located within a quiet neighbourhood of the city. However, there are a number of restaurants, supermarkets and ATMs only a walk or short Dala Dala journey away from the Volunteer House.

 

As a volunteer in Tanzania, you will be living with other international volunteers. The Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Each volunteer in Tanzania is provided with a mosquito net and their own bed linen. During the winter months, participants are recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Bathrooms at the Volunteer House are communal, with a western-style toilet and shower. When possible, there is hot-water in the accommodation.

 

There is free Wi-Fi within the house. This can be intermittent, therefore volunteers in Tanzania are also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. The accommodation has a communal area with comfy sofas to relax in during the evening. There is also a refrigerator for volunteers to store food and drinks as they wish. There is a weekly laundry service available for a nominal fee, or volunteers in Tanzania may choose to hand wash their clothes. For extra security, a nightguard is employed on the premises. Individuals on a volunteer trip to Tanzania are recommended to bring a small padlock. Any valuables can be stored with our local team, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Tanzania. It is recommended that volunteers pack ear-plugs if they choose to stay in the Volunteer House across the weekend. This follows events held at the restaurant across the road from the Volunteer House during this time. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in Tanzania although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.

 

Our in-country directors live on-site of the volunteer accommodation to ensure that everything runs smoothly. There is a great atmosphere at the accommodation and you will meet some wonderful people to share your experience with. Most of our volunteer projects in Tanzania are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, you will need to travel to and from the volunteer placement each day. The local team will introduce you to different options during your orientation.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the South Africa volunteer programs, you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in Observatory – better known as ‘Obz’ by the locals! Home to South African’s oldest Astronomical Observatory, this is Cape Town’s most bohemian suburb; an arty district. The main entertainment area is located only a 10 minute walk from the hostel, along lower Main Road. During the day, this road is home to various boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. However, at night, the street comes to life, with a vibrant nightlife.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable. Moreover, Wi-Fi is available, but there will be a small charge via a voucher system. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room. These are usually single-sex rooms, although this cannot be guaranteed. Bathrooms are shared, with showers and western-style toilets. During the winter period (June to August) it can get quite cold, so please bring warm clothes. International volunteers are provided with a bedsheet and blanket. However, you may also choose to bring a sleeping bag or buy an additional blanket from the local store for extra warmth.

 

The house has a communal area for volunteers to hang out after completing volunteer work in South Africa. Moreover, the Volunteer House comes with sofas, a flat-screen TV and DVD player. In addition, there will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any chilled items. Each volunteer will be assigned their own lockable cupboard for the safekeeping of small valuable items. For example, this could be storing your passport and/or money. Therefore, volunteers are advised to bring with them a small lock to make use of these.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in South Africa program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

SOUTH AFRICA - PORT ELIZABETH

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the South Africa volunteer programs you will live in one of our Volunteer Houses. This is located right in the middle of the reserve compound. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. Furthermore, it offers a friendly and lively atmosphere for international volunteers. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

We will transport you via jeep to and from the accommodation for your volunteer work in South Africa. Volunteers will be transported to each volunteering activity on the reserve. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

You will be housed in either the Kubs Quarters or Mafusa Camp dorms. The dorms are single-sex dorms. Volunteers are provided with bed linen, cupboard space and a mini-locker safe to store any valuables. We strongly recommend that volunteers bring a padlock. Alternatively, they can often be bought from our small shop on-site if forgotten. Bathrooms are shared In a dorm-like form with a western-style toilet. In addition, hot showers are usually available.

 

There are communal areas across the accommodation. They come with comfortable sofas, fridge space, books and tea/coffee stations to enjoy some relaxation. Wi-Fi is available (although intermittent) in the main lounge area outside of volunteering hours. This is a short walk from the volunteer accommodation. Volunteers have access to the swimming pool, tennis courts and entertainment room during downtime as well.

 

Furthermore, a chargeable laundry service also operates once per week for all volunteer in South Africa participants. As a result, volunteers can hand over their clothes to be washed, dried and returned to them. Most importantly, the reserve has on-site security throughout. This includes around the accommodation compound and on the main entrance into the reserve.

MEALS

GHANA

During your volunteer trip to Ghana, volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House. Conversely, lunch will be provided in a packed lunch format. Packet filtered water is also available at the Volunteer House for volunteers.

 

Please note most meals will incorporate lots of carbs. Subsequently, do not expect much dairy or meat and please be open-minded around this! Moreover, it may take a few days for your body to get accustomed to the local food.

 

Pork, lamb and beef are difficult to source in Ghana and usually quite expensive. The main meats are chicken, fish and goat. There is also a real lack of fresh dairy products. Therefore, volunteers in Ghana should be prepared to live without milk and cheese. Most milk is tinned.

 

There are a number of western restaurants around a 45 minute drive from the accommodation. Therefore, home comforts are not too far away. Similarly, there are Chinese and Indian restaurants in Kumasi. Our local team will tell you about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

TANZANIA

Volunteers receive breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House, which are freshly prepared on-site by our cook. Meals are a mixture of Tanzanian and western cuisine. There is a restaurant opposite the volunteer accommodation where volunteers can purchase lunch. There are also several options located close to many of the volunteer placements. Alternatively, there are western supermarkets in Arusha where you can purchase food and store it at the house if you’d like to prepare your own lunch/meals.

 

Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House. We have cooks at the house who will freshly prepare your meals. Generally, we have a weekly rotating menu, which offers a varied choice of meals. Dinners are usually divided into equal portions by the cooks to ensure everyone gets an equal amount. Filtered water is available at the Volunteer House at a very small cost.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN

During your volunteer trip to South Africa, volunteers will be provided with breakfast. You will need to purchase your own lunch and dinner during the volunteering week. In addition, you will need to budget for all meals at the weekend. Please note, that although the Volunteer House has a kitchen, this is quite small. As a result, cooking meals can be difficult and it can be more practical to eat out for lunch and at weekends.

 

Breakfast operates in a self-service format. Volunteers just help themselves and all cutlery and crockery are provided. If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and local amenities in the surrounding area.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

SOUTH AFRICA - PORT ELIZABETH

During your volunteer trip to South Africa, volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week so that each day is different. For example, the breakfast consists of cereals, bread, butter, jam, peanut butter, tea, coffee and cheese. However, sometimes the reserve serves eggs, sausages or baked beans. In other words, it can vary and also be a combination of the above from time to time.

 

As for lunch and dinner, the reserve provides a wide variety ranging from burgers, chicken and macaroni cheese. This extends to vegetarian dishes, chips, potato casserole and so on (so you definitely won’t go hungry!). Finally, all meals come with a salad option as well. Please note that all meals are served at the Mafusa dining area. Above all, no cooking is allowed in any of the kitchen areas.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

FEES INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAM FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

6 weeks
1,635 USD
249 USD
1,884 USD
9 weeks
2,085 USD
249 USD
2,334 USD
12 weeks
2,385 USD
249 USD
2,634 USD

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
 

If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

 
 

OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME – 55 USD

PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers works as follows –

 

🇰🇪 Kenya – 69 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Africa and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.

 

🇮🇳 India – 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don’t have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.

 

🇺🇸 USA – 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.

 

This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.

VOLUNTEER IN AFRICA REVIEWS

   

COSTS INVOLVED

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAM FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • GHANA MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • TANZANIA MEALS (B & D) YES
  • SA CAPE TOWN MEALS (B MON-FRI) YES
  • SA PORT ELIZABETH MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPSYES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAM INSPECTION YES
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • TANZANIA LUNCHNO
  • SA CAPE TOWN MEALSNO
  • TRANSPORT TO PROJECTNO
  • FLIGHTSNO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCENO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERSNO
  • VISASNO
  • TANZANIA WORK PERMITNO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKNO

WEEKEND TRIP ADD-ONS

TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME

OPTIONAL 55 USD PAYMENT

  • TREES PLANTED IN KENYA69
  • DAYS OF SOLAR ACCESS IN INDIA80
  • HOMELESS MEALS PROVIDED IN USA1.25KG