An example of a hospital you could be working within is Retreat Community Health Centre(RTCHC). It is one of the biggest community health clinics in the Western Cape with a 24-hour emergency centre and a Maternity Obstetrics Unit(MOU). Retreat has a large catchment area that stretches from Manenberg/Heideveld till Ocean View in the deep south. RTCHC does not have any overnight facilities, except in the MOU. The hospital serves over 500 patients a day in the outpatients’ clinics, this includes the hypertension clinic, the X-Ray department, social workers, the HIV & AIDs centre, the TB centre, The paediatric units, the psychiatry departments, the physiotherapy department etc. The facility has a number of qualified doctors and nurse practitioners of whom students can observe. They can also be placed on rotation between the various departments and or clinics as well as rotation between medical professionals and different wards etc.
- Arrival day for Orientation: Every Friday
- Internship starts: Every Monday
- Location: Cape Town
- Minimum duration: 12 weeks
- Application Form
- Copy of identity document
- 2 written references
- letter of motivation
- Police clearance
- Reference letter from the Educational institution you are studying at
- Intermediate level of competency in English
- Copy of return flight itinerary
- 18 years and older
Acceptance of internship is subject to availability of position
Example of your Accommodation: You will stay at either an internship house or 3 to 5 star backpackers or hostel once your placement has been secured, we will be able to confirm this. You will share with other interns and/or guests. Dormitory accommodation with 3 – 10 sleepers.
Available facilities are:
- Beds, mattresses and linen(no towels)
- Males and Females may be in shared room unless otherwise requested.
- You are responsible for keeping your own room tidy.
Notice: The most important things to bring are a sense of humour, patience, an open mind and a positive attitude
Water: Water is safe to drink however scarce in many areas, use water sparingly and have short showers or baths
Electrical power: South African electrical power is 240 volts AC. Appliances from North America will burn out if they are not switched over or have a properly-rated power transformer (not just a plug converter) attached. Think twice about that hair dryer! South Africa is also prone to electricity cuts due to short supply. Please turn off lights and heaters when not in the room. The plug adapter needed for South Africa plugs is very difficult to find in your home country, we suggest you buy the adapter in South Africa.
Health: The sun is an important health factor to consider. You can burn easily, even in winter and on cloudy days, so always use sun block (SPF 30+) and a hat, and drink plenty of water. Moderate to severe sunburns are common among visitors and volunteers, yet they are completely preventable. Please be cautious of the sun, severe sunburn can prevent you from participating to full capacity.
What is the difference between volunteering and regular tourism?
For regular tourists, the emphasis is on the tourist who expects to receive excellent service on their trip (great hotel, good food and all excursions working according to a timetable). The place and local community become less important with the tourist becoming the centre of attention. Volunteer tourism (or “voluntourism”) has the emphasis shifted to work contribution, goals of the program and helping the local community. It is the success of the program and the atmosphere between the community and the volunteers that helps make the trip unforgettable – not the level of service or the quality of the hotel. Many programs are underfunded so inevitably there will be some difficulties; however, it is the overcoming of any challenges which creates a sense of achievement and satisfaction not found in regular tourism
Will there be any surprises?
Volunteer tourism can be unpredictable. While SAVE does the utmost to stick to timetables and examples of the type of work needed by the volunteer, there are many factors that can impact these plans. For example, the weather and seasons, local holidays, mood of the wildlife and immediate needs of the programs. The information you will receive from the program is important and valuable however things can change and we urge you to use it as a guideline and expect the unexpected – this is what makes volunteer tourism so diverse and exciting. It is important that you arrive with a flexible attitude and remember that just by being at the project you will be contributing to its running, growth and success. Many of these programs are in cultures very different than yours and as such the type and length of work given may or may not seem important to you but it will be for the program.
The volunteers you will be working with come from all over the world and maybe from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. Volunteering is also a cultural experience where you can learn about different cultures, but please be both tolerant and patient. Do not be shy in sharing your experiences, recipes, songs and traditions it will just add to the overall group cohesion. Children may be raised in ways that are very different from what you are used to. If you are ever unsure about certain issues, please feel free to discuss it with your volunteer leader.
Please take into account additional expenses like tours, trips, telephone, restaurants and bars. It is a good idea to carry different types of payment: Cash, Credit Cards, Debit cards and Traveler’s Cheques are options.
It is very important and necessary to purchase and carry travel insurance for any unforeseen eventuality. We would be happy to recommend a reputable insurance company.
All SAVE participants must have medical, travel and trip cancellation insurance for the duration of their program. SAVE must receive proof of insurance no later than 65 days prior to departure.
SAVE has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drugs. Offenders will be removed from the program immediately without refund.
No smoking is allowed in front of the children or at the schools. Volunteers who smoke can do so away from the school/crèche premises or after projects have been completed.
A responsible level of drinking (for volunteers of legal age) during free time is allowed. However in these limited situations:
- Alcohol is never to be consumed during the workday.
- Participants are never to be intoxicated whilst at the project.
- Participants are never to be under the influence of alcohol during group discussions.
- No hangovers will be tolerated on the project so please keep drinking to off days
- Airport pick up
- Orientation and welcome BBQ
- Walking tour
- Transport to and from the projects for the first week
- 24-hour support and supervisor on the project
- Donation to the NPO to assist with projects
- Certificate of appreciation
Why intern with us?
- Gain international work experience
- Enhance your CV
- Develop a global understanding of community service
- Gain social hours and a letter of recommendation
- Improve your organisational and project management skills by organising poverty prevention and upliptment workshops and projects
- Work with locals in the settlements
- Discover the South African culture and social challenges
- Gain insight into the South African social system
- Make a difference in the lives of the community members