About the Internship
Volunteers on this program will find they can truly get stuck in and help the locals on this medical placement. The program welcome volunteers with a wide range of experience, including qualified medical personnel, medical students and pre-med students. Medical volunteers in Cameroon serve on placements in clinics and hospitals where an effort is made to tailor the placement to the volunteer’s level of experience and interests. In developing countries such as Cameroon, a far lower standard of medical service and resourcing is noticeable. Patients whose condition is at an advanced stage are far more commonly found, this can represent a considerable challenge and learning experience for the volunteer on a medical project. Due to a lack of resources and low levels of staffing, volunteers will find that their assistance is both greatly needed and appreciated.
Goals of this Project:
- Improve the future prospects of the people of Bamenda
- Provide quality medical care to the impoverished people of the area
- Raise awareness and understanding of health issues in the community
- To create a better cultural understanding between all participants
How You Can Help
Volunteers on this medical placement will gain an amazing experience both from a medical and a life perspective. There is so much to be seen and learnt as this placement puts volunteers right in the heart of the community. Volunteer duties will be assigned dependent on skills and experience, and may include observing and directly assisting doctors and nurses. This is achieved by accompanying doctors on rounds and helping in various ways. Clinics are very simple and have basic resources so volunteers are encouraged to bring uniforms, scrubs, theatre shoes, dressings, etc with them and also to be prepared to work in a different way than they may be used to. They will be expected to think outside the box to treat patients with limited resources and equipment. Volunteers will gain a greater understanding of healthcare needs in Africa, put their skills to great use and learn and grow from the experience.
Volunteers contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Provide day-to-day medical care, as appropriate for experience and training
- Provide education and training to others as required
- Network with program staff and medical staff
This program offers an amazing opportunity for suitable applicants who are 18 years and over to work alongside qualified medical professionals and gain first-hand insight into Cameroon's healthcare system. It is open to those with experience and/or education in the field of medicine, as well as med-school and pre-med students. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with patients and staff, though this is not a pre-requisite. Naturally, all applicants must also have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Bamenda (also known as Abakwa or Mankon Town) is a city in and capital of the North-West Region of Cameroon. The city has a population of only 500,000 people, and is located 366km north-west of the official Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé.
Bamenda is known for its cool climate and scenic hilly location. The mountainous countryside around Bamenda is dotted with waterfalls and tea plantations and is ideal for hiking. Many of the city's inhabitants are English-speaking, and Cameroonian Pidgin English is the main language spoken in the shops and on the streets of Bamenda.
Tourism in general is limited in Cameroon, making Bamenda a wonderful place to experience ‘The Real Africa’, and those who venture there will find a nation of remarkable diversity, from its varying landscapes of tropical rainforests and beaches, mountains and desert, to its assortment of people and cultures. National parks and reserves lay claim to some of the richest flora and fauna in Africa! Awesome!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Cameroon (Douala International Airport) volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to their assigned accommodation where they will join a short welcome session. On Monday, volunteers attend the full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in Cameroon. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Douala International Airport, Douala, Cameroon (Code: DLA)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers are accommodated throughout their stay in Bamenda in a safe and comfortable shared volunteer house. The house is basic but the rooms are spacious and have their own bathroom. Volunteers will generally share a room, but it will depend on the number of people taking part. The bathrooms have western toilets and a mixture of running water and bucket showers. The house also has TV, Wi-Fi (can be unreliable) and a kitchen that volunteers can use if they wish.
Please keep in mind that living conditions in Cameroon are not luxurious. They do have electricity, but load shedding is common so you should expect the power to be off for a period each day. The accommodations have running water but hot water is only available if boiled. Heating and air-conditioning is also uncommon so it is very important to be well prepared for your trip. Although the accommodation is basic, this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.
Three meals a day will be provided during your stay. Your hosts will provide you with a selection of local foods during your volunteer period, but you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. It is very common for Cameroonians to eat things like rice, stew, beans, corn and bread. The different cuisine may take some adjusting but is part of life in Cameroon.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.