||All year round, you
choose your start and finish dates.
1 week to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
||No qualifications needed, just a big heart and lots of enthusiasm!
Full Price List
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your accommodation
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Local
transport to and from your project, Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
is open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
gaining overseas child care experience.
Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study abroad
and learn about Child Care in a Hospital setting
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many
diverse cultures in South Africa
The enormous satisfaction of helping children and
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
This rewarding Care project takes place in the Red Cross War
Memorial Children's Hospital in South Africa. Children from a
few months to 12 years old attend the Hospital for specialised
treatment. Internationally it is regarded as the 'one-stop shop' for
excellence in child health care.
The Hospital is affiliated to the University of Cape
Town and is a leading teaching and research institution. The
first liver and heart transplants on children in South Africa
were performed in this hospital, as well as other groundbreaking
The Matron and staff of the
hospital are very grateful to have you there to help because, according
to the Matron, “the kids love having volunteers from overseas around
because they’ll be new faces who can tell them new stories about their
own country”. Even something as simple as entertaining the children with
stories lifts their morale and helps the healing process.
Some of the work at the hospital on this Care project can be
overwhelming at times because some of the children suffer from AIDS/HIV,
which is even more reason why the children need love and attention.
main tasks and responsibilities will be to visit the children, hand out
toys, play and interact with them, and give them lots of comfort and
love. You may also assist with general non-medical support, e.g.,
accompanying a patient to another department, collecting folders and
fetching food, etc, or assisting the pharmacy area or clinics where
patients wait for their medication (which can often be for long periods
You may also assist in various out-patients departments as
administrative support, or assist in the fund-raising shop where your
duties would be to sort out and sell a range of donated goods, such as
household equipment, clothing and books, that cannot be used in the
Your hours may vary insofar as they will be subject to shift rotas.
Therefore, you may sometimes work evenings or nights, sometimes over
weekends, etc., but you'll have time off on other days instead.
A Brief Description of Typical Work Duties:
During the morning you'll generally be in the toys room to pack your toy
trolley. Your supervisor at the hospital will inform you which ward
you'll be in for the day. They will also inform you of any wards that
are out of bounds due to infection diseases. Once you have determined
which ward you're going to, you'll be able to stock your trolley with
the appropriate toys.
You'll then join the ambulant patients in the play room where you'll
distribute the toys. After that, you can give individualised attention
to specific children. This is where volunteers are so valuable to
both the Hospital and the patients - the personal care and attention.
And you'll find that the children crave the attention and fun you can
give them. This session will usually last for most of the
morning and afterwards you'll clear up and return the toys
back to appropriate place.
Sometimes the Hospital will hold concerts and events to entertain the
children. Children love these performances and you will play an
important role by escorting the young patients to these events.
"Just wanted to drop a quick note at the end of my
placement at the Red Cross to say thank you for all the organising that you put
into it. It far surpassed my expectations and I was able to gain hands on
experience in all areas of the hospital. The staff were very friendly and
accommodating, and I was given access to stuff I just wouldn't have managed in
care placement is not suitable for medical
undergraduates or graduates unless you are prepared to accept the
limitations of the project.
Ursula & two little patients in the toy
Volunteers preparing toy trolleys to take
to the wards
Nestled under the mountain near the
city, is the trendy and arty suburb of Observatory, the student Mecca of Cape
Town. We have chosen this location as an accommodation base and make use
of a backpackers lodge, where you will be staying. It’s distance from
the projects, safety conscious attitude and very friendly staff make
this the ideal home away from home.
South African backpackers are
unique and majority are run as a ‘home away from home’ in large
houses, so there is always lots of space to relax and watch TV,
read a book, or just sit by the pool and soak in the sun.
In Observatory, we use The Green
Elephant backpackers lodge, which has been running since 1994
and is spaced across 3 beautiful houses. The main house consists
of dormitory style rooms, free unlimited wireless internet, a
festive bar, a braai (BBQ) area and a swimming pool. The other
two houses have private rooms (single and double rooms).
The lodge is situated in the heart of Observatory and a short (5
minute) stroll away from a large supermarket, internet café,
restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacy and laundromat. The lodge is
also closely situated to the main road, where busses and taxis
are available literally at your doorstep.
You’ll be staying in a dorm-style
room in the main house, which consist of 6 beds each. The
mattresses are great and all linen and towels are provided, but
it’s a good idea to bring your own beach towel. There is a
laundry self-service area available at the lodge for R15/load
(about £1), but there are also laundromats a few minutes walk
away that will wash, dry and fold for you.
The lodge has a 24-hour reception
desk, and they pride themselves with long-term staff of up to 20
years. This translates into a safe environment with experienced
staff, who are able to offer the best local advice to guests for
trips & tours, restaurants and basically any local information
on the Cape Town area.
The Green Elephant is also
committed to low impact and sustainable tourism to preserve our
natural beauty for future generations. They recycle everything
from water (in grey water systems) to bottles, paper and
plastic, which we strongly support!
You'll be given a food budget which will cover your basic
essentials (but not extras like drinks, snacks and eating out).
All the lodge houses have fully
equipped self catering kitchens, with all the necessities to
cook a good meal. If you aren’t feeling up to cooking on any
particular day, the lodge also does meals that can be paid for
on the day. For example, Thursday nights are pizza nights, and
they also do BBQ’s on regular occasions.
Got any questions? Please email us:
ABOUT THE RED CROSS CHILDREN'S
Established in 1956, the Hospital has
become a major center for paediatric medicine and surgery in Africa. The
Red Cross treats up to 300,000 children each year, from South Africa and
beyond its borders.
The Red Cross Children's Hospital is the
center at which undergraduate and postgraduate medical students receive
their core training in paediatric disciplines. Specialist paediatric
nurses and allied paediatric health care providers, such as
physiotherapists, child psychologists, speech and occupational
therapists are also trained here.
The Hospital is equally active in
preventative health care, and plays a critical role in educating
community health workers, thereby facilitating the exportation of models
of good practice to the community. Several services are provided,
including education of children, parents and community health care
workers in, for example, HIV, Aids, family planning and contraception,
rehydration and nutrition.
The Hospital has also established and
maintains three significant national information database resources:
- The Poisons Information Service
- The Childcare Information Center
- The Childhood Accident Prevention Foundation of South
The new medical emergency entrance was
completed in June 2001. The new specialist outpatients wing was built in
phases and completed in June 2001. The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s
Hospital’s new specialist outpatients and medical emergency facilities
is a lasting symbol of community generosity and fundraising success. The
staff education building was completed in 1998 and includes the Johnson
and Johnson Hall for functions and lecture rooms for the training of
The “Ikhaya la Rotary” (Home of Rotary)
section was completed in 1998, specifically to provide accommodation for
out-of-town parents whose children are being treated at the Hospital.
The Ikhaya has rooms of all sizes, ranging from double rooms to rooms
with 6 bunks … and all 63 beds are often in use! The rooms are
comfortable in the hopes of alleviating just a little some of the stress
of having a child in hospital
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s
Hospital performs many operations on children, e.g. Conjoined twin
separations, liver and kidney transplants, to name a few. The theatres
are busy 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
COMMENT FROM ELEANOR, TRAVELLERS' VOLUNTEER
CO-ORDINATOR IN CAPE TOWN
week I visited Cindy at the hospital in the ward. The wards are beautifully decorated – murals everywhere,
pictures, mobiles and bright attractive curtains. Everything possible is done
to take away that sombre depressing look hospitals usually have. There seemed
to be nearly as many volunteers as nurses!
children in that ward were mostly small babies, and were being cuddled and
comforted. Many of the mothers were sitting with their children – but of course
some have to go to work, so the volunteers take over. There had been a large
number of gastro-enteritis patients recently – seems to have been a serious
tummy bug in Cape Town affecting children in townships and the hospital had been
caring for lots of them. There were also lots of other little babies with
various syndromes and illnesses – malnutrition, foetal alcohol syndrome and so
Volunteers only get told briefly about the medical conditions of the
children – their job is to hug, comfort, play and try to take their little
patients’ minds off how ill they are. Cindy was finding it very interesting to
made a number of friends at the hospital. Yesterday I took Cindy and Hannah for coffee and cake. We chatted about Cape Town,
transport, languages and customs of different people. They all seem to be
finding living in Cape Town a wonderful experience."
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff who
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
You will have weekends free and this will also allow some time for travelling
and sight seeing.
The Cecil John Rhodes monument
excellent case study by a group that raised the funds to work with
township schools in South Africa
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country while you're in South
Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting
and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably
the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up
there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very
close second, albeit very different. Knysna is
where South Africans go on vacation, which gives you some idea of
how lovely the region is.
This teaching program is located in one of the
Southern Suburbs called Observatory and is conveniently positioned only
a 10 minute walk from your accommodation.
Cape Town has everything to offer with its stunning beaches, great
surf, penguins, great nightlife and of course Table Mountain!
ACTIVITIES IN CAPE TOWN
Enjoy exciting and “real” adventures with an adrenaline twist!
(insanely jumping off very high cliffs into pools of water!)
(just up the coast)
…..and a LOT,
Tours - A visit to one of the many townships surrounding the city is an
experience that will open your eyes to the way in which the biggest portion
of Cape Town's population are living. Take a township tour of Langa, the oldest township in
South Africa or Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa.
Township tours will usually be co-led by a resident in the area, showcase
local industry and community projects and include a visit to a township bar
Two Oceans Aquarium - Located in the V&A Waterfront, the Two
Oceans Aquarium has lots of display tanks, interactive experiences, a
touch pool and the highly popular predators tank.
Winelands - Wine lover or not, a visit to the Cape Winelands is an absolute
must as the region is one of breathtaking beauty and majestic mountain
backdrops. Rolling vineyards
and quaint Cape Dutch homesteads ... as well as some of the country's best wines.
Drives are a very popular leisure activity in South Africa, because the
roads are generally wide, in good condition, relatively empty and a pleasure
to drive on. People often go for drives on a Sunday afternoon to a favourite
hotel or restaurant for afternoon tea and scones, or to the top of a pass
just to look at the view, or to a national park to watch the baboons -
there's always a good reason to go for a drive!
Cape Town has lots of
cafes and restaurants
seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements, with colourful sun
umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on
your face, watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or
staving off the heat with a cold drink.
Read more about
Cape Town and its
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.