VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN AFRICA
Why Volunteer in Africa
Compared to the United States, United Kingdom, and much of Europe, Africa is very much in development. Many countries across the continent have spent decades mired by instability and unrest as a result of colonialism and other factors that have prevented it from moving forward.
The unfortunate reality is that African countries are some of the poorest places in the world and poverty, gender inequality,and a lack of education are widespread across the continent.
This is a major reason why there is such a great disparity between Africa and the rest of the world and a major reason why volunteering in Africa is so important.
We may not be able to rewrite history and there may not be an easy fix the problems in Africa and other global issues, but as humans sharing one world it is our responsibility to do what we can to make it a little better and offer hope to those who have been victims of circumstance and injustice.
Volunteering is one of the ways people like you can help.
Although being a volunteer in developing countries is not always easy. You may hear heartbreaking stories of struggle and seea side of the world where life is difficult, and suffering is pervasive. But those are the place where you can make the most difference and truly change lives.
Choose your volunteer focus
Our volunteer projects in Africa are divided into conservation programs and community programs. However, most of our volunteer programs have an element of community volunteering so you can have a more intimate experience with the people and culture of the country you volunteer in.
Our animal care and veterinary projects are designed to give students and animal lovers a chance to get hands-on experience in the field.
Our childcare projects tackle one of the biggest issues on the African continent – vulnerable children.
If you can’t decide between two projects, or simply want to do and experience as much as you possibly can while volunteering, our combination projects can offer the perfect solution.
Our environmental sustainability projects let you get involved with initiatives that educate rural communities on issues such as plastic pollution and sustainable building.
Our gender equality projects were designed to support The Girl Impact, an initiative that educates and empowers young girls to help them make more informed decisions as they move towards womanhood.
Our healthcare and medical projects were set up hand in hand with local communities to combat relevant issues that affect those communities.
Alongside a team of passionate marine conservationists, you will conduct research and use your findings to assist local governments and organizations to protect and preserve the underwater worlds along Africa’s coast.
Our teaching and education projects create transformative change in local societies by uplifting and empowering individuals and communities through education.
Become internationally accredited to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and open the door to travel and work opportunities around the world.
You will get up close with iconic African wildlife and be fully engaged in conservation efforts to protect vulnerable and endangered animals by contributing to physical conservation work, data collection, research, and conservation education.
Our wildlife photography projects offer established and aspiring wildlife photographers the great wild plains of Africa as their playground to improve their skills and gain practical experience while contributing to conservation.
How to Choose a Volunteer Program
African volunteer programs are not like others around the world because Africa is unlike anywhere else in the world. There are things that make volunteering in Africa a truly unique and unforgettable experience, but also things that make it more challenging.
These are some of the things you need to consider when it comes to volunteer work in Africa:
Culture and Lifestyle
Africa is a deeply cultural place where many communities are defined by their cultural values and beliefs. Whether you are volunteering in South Africa or Kenya, you will find that cultural roots run deep and you will be expected to respect these.
You will also quickly realize that life moves slower in many African countries. The sooner you learn to get into the rhythm of things, the easier it will be for you to truly enjoy the experience and appreciate just how different Africa is to the rest of the world.
There are about 2000 different languages across the African continent and many of these have their own local dialects. Although this can be a little overwhelming at first, it is all part of the experience.
Try to embrace being surrounded by an unfamiliar language and see it as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and learn how to communicate without language. It is also a great opportunity to learn a new language, or at least a few new phrases and words in another language.
Many volunteer projects in Africa are located in rural towns because that is where help is most needed. This means housing will be quite basic and you won’t have easy access to shopping malls and other amenities you may be used to back home.
Although this can be quite a harrowing prospect to someone from a big city, it is a great way to immerse yourself in traditional life and see a side of Africa few people get to see.
For many volunteers, getting to experience life in the bush or in a rural village on the edge of Mount Kilimanjaro is what makes their volunteer trip that much more authentic and memorable.
Other important questions you should ask yourself when thinking about joining African volunteer programs are:
- Does it align with your interests?
- What skills do you want to gain?
- What skills do you have to offer?
- Are you open to learning a new language?
- Are you willing to live in a rural setting?
- How much of your time can you give?