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South Africa - Rural Healthcare and HIV/AIDS Awareness

Volunteer in St. Lucia to help raise HIV/AIDS awareness and engage members of the community in health promoting activities.



$1,400

 

Fast Facts

Location of ProjectSt. Lucia, South Africa
Project LengthMin 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival AirportDurban International Airport
Volunteer WorkMedical aid, HIV/AIDS awareness education, community outreach
Number of ParticipantsUp to 6 international volunteers
Age18 - 80

What's Included

AccommodationComfortable lodge with rooms for 2-4 people
Food3 meals a day (excluding Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch)
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival and departure days
Donation Facilitates funding for medical supplies, food parcels, vitamins, and other project costs
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
Transportation Daily transfers between accommodations and project site
Laundry Weekly laundry service

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, some weekend meals, and visa (if required)
 

Location

St. Lucia, South Africa is a charismatic town on the northeast coast of the country featuring beautiful, rugged beaches and breathtaking landscapes.  St. Lucia is located within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is referred to as "Africa's premier bush-and-beach destination."  The park encompasses nearly half a million acres, providing a stunning and ecologically diverse area where five different eco-systems coexist.  From savannahs to wetlands, to swamps to beaches, St. Lucia is home to both a wealth of wildlife, as well as to the Zulu tribe with its vibrant and lively culture. 

 

About the Project

Surrounding the beautiful region of St. Lucia, there are rural villages which have very few resources for health care. The main goal of this project is to increase the support available to these communities and to make a difference in the health and the lives of these people.  Through home-based care, grassroot initiatives, and clinical support, this project has given aid and assistance to those who are too sick or too poor to seek help. 

The prevalence and impact of HIV in these communities reflects the importance and need for volunteers to educate and raise awareness within the rural villages. Through education and support, this project aims to alleviate the stigma that HIV/AIDS carries in these communities and improve the lives of those carrying the virus. 

 

Volunteer Work and Contribution

As a volunteer, your contribution will consist of various healthcare-related initiatives at the following projects: 

Home-based care/nutrition: Conduct home-visits to chronically-ill or injured patients who are too sick or poor to get to a clinic to provide comfort and emotional support to patients, as well as nutritional supplements and treatment adherence advice

HIV/AIDS support group: Facilitate discussions around the issues surrounding the disease, such as discrimination and stigma and deliver basic health and nutrition information to a group of adults

Family empowerment program: Improve the quality of life in a holistic and sustainable way for families urgently in need of assistance

HIV education classes for adults: Promote adult educational opportunities targeting parents and grandparents to explain, educate and inform community members about HIV/AIDS

Gardening/building and refurbishment: Build and maintain the community vegetable garden and repair schools, day-care centers, orphanages and other run-down buildings in the community.

A typical day: Your day will begin at 7:00 am with a healthy breakfast before you head out to your morning project at 8:30 am. After lunch at 12:00 pm, it's time to resume your afternoon tasks. Your work day will end at 4:30 pm, at which point you will return to the volunteer house for a debriefing and to discuss the schedule for the next day. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm, followed by free time to relax or explore the area.

During school holidays activities may differ from the usual schedule, but the work will be equally engaging and rewarding. The school holidays are as follows:

January 1st - January 20th 
April 2nd - April 12th  
June 27th - July 19th 
October 3rd - October 11th
December 10th - December 31st
 

Project Orientation

On arrival in St. Lucia, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:

  • Introduction to St. Lucia and the surrounding area
  • Starter-kit for HIV/AIDS education and an HIV/AIDS Q & A session
  • A basic language course to learn some basic words and sentences in Zulu, the local language in St. Lucia
  • Background on the healthcare system in South Africa and prevalent diseases and their effects 

Living Arrangements

Accommodations: You will stay at a large, comfortable, fully furnished guest house with a lounge, satellite TV, barbeque area, garden, and even a swimming pool! The house is about a five minute walk to town and a 30 minute walk to the beach. The house is staffed with a cook and laundry/cleaning staff. All bedding is provided, but please bring your own beach towels. Rooms are shared with 1-5 other volunteers and the house is staffed with a cook and housekeeper. 

Food: Three meals a day are provided, except Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch (for these meals, you are encouraged to try the local cafes and restaurants or buy groceries at the nearby supermarket). Breakfast consists of hot or cold cereal, toast, coffee and tea, and is available on a serve-yourself basis. Lunch and dinner are prepared by the chef at the volunteer house. 

Internet: You can use any of the internet cafes in town.

Laundry: Weekly laundry service is available at an additional fee. 

 

Travel Highlights

During your free time, you are welcome to explore any of the various exciting outdoor activities or culturally-enriching sites St. Lucia and the surrounding area has to offer. Past volunteers have enjoyed surfing and snorkelling at Cape Vidal, going on a game drive through iSimangaliso at night, as well as weekend trips to Thanda Reserve or Mozambique. 

 

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Medical/pharmaceutical training recommended
  • An interest in medicine or public health
  • First Aid certificatation strongly encouraged
  • Prior reading and understanding of the HIV/AIDS virus
  • Necessary immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Police clearance form

 

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