About the Internship
South Africa is now open to all international arrivals! See the Additional Info. section for COVID-19 arrival information.
This amazing program has a huge impact on the lives of those less fortunate in Cape Town. Most of the medical projects supported by the program are government funded local clinical facilities for people who cannot afford private medical care, and are severely understaffed and underfunded, with a lack of vital resources. Volunteers will contribute a hugely valuable service, however must be aware that this can be a very stressful and challenging environment to work in. The people it supports are impoverished and disadvantaged, making this a very rewarding project to be a part of. This is a great learning opportunity, however the level of involvement and direct patient care is entirely dependent on each volunteers training and particular skills. In most cases, volunteers should expect to be mostly observing while working alongside local staff, however as volunteers build rapport with local staff, they may be given more responsibility.
Goals of this Project:
- Improve the future prospects of the people of South Africa
- Assist in the provision of quality medical care to the impoverished people of Cape Town
- To offer a learning experience to medical interns and healthcare volunteers
- To create a better cultural understanding between all participants
How You Can Help
This program can make a truly positive impact on vulnerable people in Cape Town. By providing much-needed volunteer labor, more patients can be cared for and a higher level of care given. Volunteers will gain great healthcare experience from their participation in the project and have the opportunity to work within impoverished communities, gaining insight into how some of the most marginalized people in the world live. Volunteers on this program must have a love and passion for helping people, medical related experience and/or studies in the field, patience and empathy and a willingness to help where help is needed most. Working hours on this project are usually Mondays to Fridays from 07:00 to 13:00 (local clinics). Some tasks volunteers are likely to assist with include dressing wounds, taking blood pressure, pulse and temperature measurements, assisting patients from one service point to another and health awareness programs.
Volunteers contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Shadow a local doctor or nurse and provide assistance with a range of delegated tasks
- Assist with basic day-to-day medical care, as appropriate for experience and training (wound care, measurement taking etc)
- Assist with awareness and education programs
- 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 the South African 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 as most speak English. 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
The program is based in beautiful Cape Town, the tourism hotspot of South Africa, boasting a wonderful hospitality scene, gorgeous beaches, scenic landscapes and the iconic Table Mountain. Volunteers on this placement will be excited by all they can experience while based in this city, while also working on an important environmental protection program.
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 Cape Town 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 South Africa. 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: Cape Town International Airport, Cape Town, South Africa (CODE: CPT)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this project are primarily accommodated at a fabulous Volunteer House located in one of the best suburbs of Central Cape Town - Observatory.
Observatory, or “Obs” as the locals call it, is Cape Town’s most bohemian suburb and lies about 15mins (drive) east of the city center. Located just 2km from the University of Cape Town, this student town is a vibrant, multi-cultural community that attracts young travelers from all over the globe, all year round. Our hostel is a 10min walk from Lower Main Road - the main entertainment area and heartbeat of Obs. You’ll find quirky restaurants, easy going bars, live music (everything from Reggae and Afro-jazz to Contemporary) and tons of cozy little coffee shops and cafés. During the Apartheid era, Observatory was one of the few “grey” suburbs – areas where people of mixed race, religion and cultures were allowed to live together. This spirit has lived on and has resulted in a suburb unique in its diversity. Within a 5km radius of Obs, you’ll find the Newlands rugby and cricket stadiums, various shopping centers, museums, art galleries and stage theaters, hiking trails and of course The Old Biscuit Mill - this vibrant spot is home to night and day markets, designer stores, delicious farm-stalls, decadent cafes as well as an awesome line-up of festivals and events.
There are two houses located right next door to each other, joined at the rear by a courtyard.
Each house boasts the following features:
- Accommodation for up to 50 volunteers in dorm-style rooms, sleeping between 4-8 people
- On-site, live-in Hostel Manager
- 2 fully-equipped Kitchens
- 2 communal lounge areas with satellite TV
- Fully-fitted bathrooms with 4 showers and 3 toilets in each house
- Individual lockers for each volunteer - padlocks not supplied
- Pre-paid WiFi internet connection can be purchased at the hostel
- Centrally located on transport routes and close to supermarkets, internet café, launderettes, restaurants, etc.
- Self-service breakfast at the hostel on week-days (Monday – Friday, 6am – 8.30am). Cereals, bread/toast with various toppings, coffee/tea, variety of fruits.
- Lunch, dinner and weekend meals are not included but can be eaten out at any of the affordable and varied eateries. Supplies can also be purchased and meals prepared in the house kitchen.
- All volunteering projects are situated within walking distance or one taxi ride (10-20mins)
For those who prefer or if there is no availability at the volunteer houses, host family accommodations are also available. Homestays are located at least 30-40 minutes from the center of Cape Town and are a fantastic way to be immersed in the cultural of South Africa!
*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.
All international arriving flight passengers will need to adhere to the following:
- A negative Covid-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure. Those arriving without this will be tested and placed in quarantine (at their own cost) until a negative result is achieved/obtained.
- All incoming passengers will be screened upon arrival, for Covid-19 symptoms
- All arrivals are asked to download the Covid Alert SA App. Information on this is available here: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/covidalert/