Join us in St Lucia and bring your enthusiasm, willingness to help where needed and interest in healthcare on this project focused on community health and home based care volunteering in South Africa. This grass roots level project helps bring support the most vulnerable in two communities where HIV prevalence rates are 45%, many elderly ladies (Gogos) live on their own and nutrition levels are low. Access to support with getting to clinics, picking up medicines, the provision of nutritional supplements such as Epap, and home visits to dress wounds, take vitals and give counselling is invaluable. A large clinic staffed by resident senior nurses, pharmacists and doctors has visits from specialists each months in fields such as dentistry, physiotherapy, speech therapy so getting patients to their appointments is essential and the local team facilitate this.
The cooperation and engagement with these communities is undeniable. The daily project work is led by a Zulu lady who has strong ties with community health workers. Drugs are provided free of charge by the clinics but there are calls and messages seeking further support for the community. With strokes, diabetes, wounds due to accidents and a range of infections some of the common ailments it is easy to see why community health and home based care is essential. Volunteer in St Lucia and learn how project cooperation with local healthcare supports those in most need.
Why choose this project?
The local community healthcare workers are very stretched as patient to healthcare worker ratios are high so extra pairs of hands are always welcome More resilient volunteers can spend a little time with someone who wants to talk, offer practical support in patients homes or assist the local healthcare worker by taking patient details as she treats the patient in their home. The local clinics benefit by having volunteers greet patients, and participating in routine activities enabling the local nurses to focus on diagnosis and treatment. You will gain an incredible insight into the challenges faced by resource poor rural communities as well as developing your communication skills. It really is a fantastic experience for all involved.
Role of the volunteer
As a volunteer on this project you will be asked to help in a number of areas:
- Home Based Care visits, where you may listen to patients stories and support the lead healthcare worker with taking patient information
- Home assistance through practical support such as cleaning the home, maintaining small gardens or assisting with home repairs
- Nutrition awareness, delivering food parcels and nutrition supplements to communities
- Basic tasks at clinics: taking blood pressure, directing patients to the appropriate departments
- Assisting with community support groups
- HIV education focusing on cause, prevention and living positively with HIV
Trained medical staff may work with the local healthcare staff, sharing approaches and activities.
Volunteers with our without medical experience are welcome to work alongside local staff focusing on health promotion activities or taking patient’s details. If you are studying or considering a career in medicine, nursing, physiotherapy or community healthcare you can shadow local healthcare workers, offer a helping hand in the community and assist with healthcare education sessions. Doctors, nurses and midwives will not be allowed to treat patients, in line with South African law but while learning a great deal about the challenges and solutions to healthcare in South Africa you can assume a capacity building role sharing ideas and skills with local staff.
All volunteers will need to be adaptable and ready to pitch in where necessary and anyone wishing to join the home based care visits should be sensitive but resilient as this placement can be tough at times. You will be asked to send your CV/resume and attend a telephone interview as part of the placement process for this project to ensure it is a good match for your skills and interests.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To utilise your skills in a fantastic setting
Gain an insight into how healthcare professionals provide care with poor resources
To develop your team work and communication skills
St Lucia is a charming waterfront town on the east coast of South Africa, next to Isimangoliso Wetlands Reserve which is home to some of South Africa’s amazing wildlife from leopards to zebras and more. The town has a laid-back atmosphere and is a good place to visit year round with restaurants, bars and cafes in the town. It is not unusual to see hippos in the streets – view them from afar! The volunteer house with its poolside braii is 5 minutes from town and a crocodile farm, beach, horse riding centre and safaris on offer there is always plenty to do at weekends.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2-12 weeks
- Cost: £1203 / $2105 for 2 weeks
Additional weeks’ cost can be found in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: St Lucia, South Africa
- Project activities: Deliver food parcels and supplements, assist with HIV awareness sessions, greet patients and record patients at clinics, attend home-based care visits, gardening and refurbishment activities
- Working hours: 08:30 – 16.30 but schedule may vary, Monday – Friday
- Project availability: Projects start every 2nd Sunday. Please contact a Kaya advisor for more information. Project closes early December for the Christmas period
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared room in a volunteer house; swimming pool, BBQ area and lounge.
- Food: 3 meals a day excluding Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime.
- Weekly laundry service for a small fee
- Pick up and drop off from Durban International Airport
- Training: Healthcare ethics & culture doc, pre-departure info pack, learning reflection manual, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Daily transfers to and from your project.
- Support: On-site coordinator providing 24- hour support
- Activities: Staff help organise weekend activities. (Activity price will be extra)
What is not included
- Saturday evening meal and Sunday lunch meal
- For odd week departures (3 weeks, 5 weeks, 7 weeks etc), volunteers will be charged 1200 ZAR for their return journey to the airport
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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