Medical and Healthcare Volunteering with African Impact

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$250 OR £250 OFF

Volunteer or intern with us on selected projects in East and Southern Africa and receive a $250 or £250 discount off your project fee. Only available for those joining us during the remainder of 2018.

There’s still time to make this year count.

About

Adequate access to healthcare is a basic human right. Yet, many in Southern Africa do not have adequate access to medical assistance. Should you be a medical professional, medical graduate, desire to spend a gap year in Africa or simply have a passion for helping others; African Impact has the perfect medical volunteer project placement for you. While access to resources may vary, African Impact focuses on a holistic approach to supporting the needs of communities with the goal of providing safe, effective and ethical care.

African Impact's Top Medical Volunteer Programs

  • Gain practical skills in the health science sector by working with local medical staff and patients in clinics and in their homes
  • Work alongside health professionals in hospitals and clinics, as well as offer healthcare advice in local schools
  • Gain practical skills in the health science sector by working with local medical staff and patients in clinics and in their homes
  • Make a difference in a struggling community by providing basic, but essential healthcare, while at the same time contributing to the conservation of the iconic African Lion
  • Make an impact at medical clinics in Zimbabwe that have been severely affected by the current economic situation and suffer from a shortage of healthcare staff and supplies
  • Gain work experience in the healthcare industry while undertaking practical fieldwork alongside an occupational therapist who works with community members suffering from the HIV and AIDS epidemic

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 9.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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Isabel
10/10

Best exposure to the medical field I have ever encountered

Upon arriving in Zambia, I was immediately thrusted into the best exposure and training in the medical field I had ever encountered as an American pre-medical student. I never expected to have opportunities to weigh babies, assist nurses with taking vitals and preparing vaccines, clean wounds from HIV fungal infections and leprosy, and even shadow doctors in a different country on the other side of the globe.

If you are searching for a way to gain exposure to healthcare, see clinical cases in real life, and find the confidence within that you can succeed as a doctor, a nurse, a physical therapist, etc., this program is for you!

How can this program be improved?
I would love to have full days working in healthcare, rather than just half days, but it was also helpful sometimes to have the afternoon off from "work" in the healthcare field and just to play with kids!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Malinda
10/10

Forever Impacted!

I was with the Medical project in St. Lucia for 5 weeks in July/August 2013 and it was just an incredible experience. When you travel around the world to a new place knowing no one, there is bound to be some anxiety but I found that I truly felt 100% at home and welcome from the moment I connected with the AI team. Monique and Miriam (project coordinators) were just incredible, so full of good advise, good cheer and great attitudes, they are just the best. The rest of the staff and the Zulu team were incredibly supportive.. The work itself was busy and I was glad there was variation in our days. You would go out on projects in the morning and afternoon, each week you were assigned duties and you knew what you needed to prepare for. We all learned the ropes quickly and each day you would wake up to a new experience. Working in the villages with the people was very rewarding, especially the elderly and children. On the medical project, you were able to go into homes to check on the ill or infirm and you got to know the people on a personal level. Every day was an adventure and I learned so much, not just about the culture and the way they lived but also about myself. I would go back in a nanosecond and hope to someday.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change is implementing a more in-depth induction into the program which they are doing at this time. It would be helpful to better understand the challenges/illnesses the people are undergoing and to have a stronger sense of what we can do, individually, on a daily basis.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Bonnie
10/10

Medical Outreach and HIV Awareness at St Lucia

I volunteered with African Impact on the Medical Outreach and HIV Awareness Program for two weeks this year and it was a truly incredible experience. The Zulu and international staff made me feel welcome from the moment I arrived. There is such a great sense of community at the volunteer house; I met so many amazing people from around the world. The passion of the staff is inspiring and they were a great source of motivation and support throughout my experience.

Every project I volunteered on; from helping with intake at the local clinic, teaching HIV Education to the local primary school children, home based care and the 10 families project were all really well received and appreciated by members of the community. You can really tell the projects African Impact has created are making a positive impact on people’s lives. I loved working in the communities and feeling like I was making a genuine contribution to the project’s success and a difference in the lives of the wonderful people I met.

I can highly recommend volunteering with African Impact St Lucia if you are considering volunteering abroad due to the amazing projects, inspirational team, community spirit of the volunteer house and stunning location.

How can this program be improved?
It's hard to think of something negative but my only regret was only going for 2 weeks.. so perhaps a four week minimum.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Meera
10/10

Life changing!

When I came to saint lucia, I was already super excited about the program from what I saw and read on the website. From the moment I landed in Africa until the moment I left i felt very welcomed. The staff was amazing and very fun to be around. They helped me out and were always there to answer questions if needed. All three projects are amazing and the dearest to my heart was the medical project. What hit me the most is how appreciative and thankful the zulu people were. One thing I will never forget was how respectful and thankful lady with the tumor husband was to us when he saw the great recovery of his wife. He offered us a chicken! simple act of kindness gone a long way to affect people's life. Nothing more precious in life to see the smiles of these kids after you read a book with them. The three weeks I spent in Africa really affected my daily life when I came back and made me appreciate life much more. The program was amazing, I felt the support and the love of the volunteers to each other and to the people they help out. I will be coming back for sure!! Amazing experience, won't mind spending all my money to do it again!

How can this program be improved?
They need help for the medical program, money is needed! The donations form the volunteers are always helpful but the people need a lot of care! more medical equipments. Definately more supplements and vitmains for the children.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kate
10/10

3 Month volunteer - loved it!

I was a medical volunteer for 3 months on the St Lucia projects and it was amazing! The staff are so friendly and welcoming and are always there for you if you need help or you're not sure about something. The projects themselves are so fulfilling, whether its reading a book with a child or providing them with nutritional Epap, you can see the differences you are making. The people out in the communities are so loving and welcoming, they take you into their homes where they have nothing and still they want to give food to you, as a thank you for your help.
The house is very nice, yes you do have to share a room, but you get used to it quickly. The food is done on a three week menu and is perfectly nice, you only eat one Zulu meal a week, which is actually quite tasty!
If you're thinking about volunteering, definietly do it. I'm so glad I did and this organisation is a perfect way to help give back to the community. They have such amazing links within the community, with the Zulu staff and leaders, everything you do feels worthwhile. Even if its helping someone wash plates you know you've helped them out for that day.

How can this program be improved?
They are in need of a new car, but they're a charity organisation so without massive donations that's not going to happen anytime soon! But that doesn't stop activities from happening, neither does it spoil the experience.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Maria
10/10

Best experience of my life!

I was a medical volunteer in St Lucia, and it was the best experience of my life. When i got to St. Lucia, everyone was so welcoming from the program that it made me feel like home in the first week. i can guarantee anyone that goes that they are going to love it there. The Zulu ladies that work with us are also amazing and they are really funny and lovely. The projects that i was on was clinic, home based care, home assistance, 10 families and then i was also rotated with projects from the education program and the community program so you can still try every project if that is what you want. Being a medical volunteer you can get attached to the patients and i am going to keep in contact with African Impact to ask about them. The food was really good too, and very healthy! Overall it was an amazing experience, and even if there is a post below that says "avoid", ignore that completely because i was with her during her stay and i had so much fun and i absolutely loved it.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I
10/10

So amazing, I came back a second time!

I went to Zambia in 2011 for 6 weeks on the Medical Project, loved it so much I decided to go back in 2012 and go on the Disabled Child Care Project.
Cheshire Homes is a small day care centre for the disabled children on Livingstone, its about a 5 minute walk from Livingstone Backpackers (where you stay as a volunteer with African Impact).
There are about 25 children on the register but most of the time about 16 children came in, depending on if they were ill or not. They all get picked up from their different compounds in the morning by a mini bus and arrive between 8 and 8.30. There are two classes, one for the older children and one for the younger ones. The children are taught basic Math’s, English, Science and various life skills such as sewing, and personal hygiene like washing themselves and their clothes where I helped out with either teaching, helping individual children or marking. The children are all amazing, some with learning difficulties and some with physical disabilities, the day care centre is great for preparing them for society and life ahead. About half way through the morning they have their break which is a cup of tea and bread so I helped with feeding a couple of the more disabled girls and handing all the food out. I was there for 6 weeks (honestly not long enough) and you really get to know their personalities, the ones that like to answer all the questions or the ones that will sit quietly and do their work. I was at Cheshire Homes every morning Monday to Friday and then in the afternoon I was on various community projects such as farming or reading club. I will always remember how grateful the children and staff were for me just being there. It was honestly an unforgettable experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life, its an eye opener and you will make memories that you will never forget. I just wish I could have stayed longer, Africa is a part of me now and I can't wait to go back!!

How can this program be improved?
The cost, its not cheap to volunteer, especially when you add on your flights, travel insurance, vaccinations etc but it really is worth every penny.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anthony
10/10

Can't Wait to go Back

Before arriving in Zambia I was nervous in anticipation of what was to come. I had never travelled on my own and I wasn't sure what to expect of the medical volunteer project. After arriving and being welcomed by a friendly staff and crew of volunteers I immediately felt at home and never looked back. The two weeks that followed my arrival left me with memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Not only were the projects organized and fun, I also felt like I was actually helping people in the local communities. From Home-based care, to Devil's pool, to bungee jumping, to Chobe and to everything in between I did not want to come home.

I remember one morning while on home-based care, we visited a very sick woman who was left with little energy and strength. Although we couldn't do too much to improve her condition, we were able to provide her with some temporary relief. Following treatment, she made the effort to leave her home and find us amongst the community to tell us that she was feeling better and to thank us for our work. She, just like many of the other patients we saw, was overcome with gratitude because we were willing to sit down, listen to her and help her. In my opinion, there is no better feeling then helping someone and knowing that they were appreciative of your efforts. I cannot put to words how truly amazing my experience was, I only hope that you chose to volunteer with African Impact as well.

If I could offer one piece of advice to a prospective volunteer I would say: "Don't be nervous about diving into the unknown." Although you may never have done anything like this and may never have travelled as far away as Africa, I promise that you will not regret this trip. The whole African Impact team (staff, volunteers and otherwise) was full of amazing people who will make sure your trip is not only safe and enjoyable, but also memorable.

My only regret is that I didn't stay longer than two weeks (I will stay for at least a month the next time I go).

Thank you to everyone at the Livingstone Backpackers for such an amazing experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
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dementedfairy101
10/10

Life changing (for me and those that the project helps)

I did the Medical outreach/HIV awareness project in St Lucia South Africa last summer and I can't stop thinking about when I can go back. The project was really diverse; I would have been teaching school kids, playing with children in an crèche and planting vegetables all in one day. The project was sustainable, wasn't intrusive and the local people were lovely.
The small town of St Lucia is based in Isimangaliso Wetland Park (which national geographic magazine just did a big spread on) so there are opportunities at the weekends to go on safari. You can also take surfing lessons or go up to Mozambique for a spot of swimming with dolphins. The staff helped us choose and book up activities.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and cannot think of a better project to get involved with.

Yes, I recommend this program

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About African Impact

African Impact pioneered responsible volunteer travel in Africa back in 2004 and have since grown into the largest provider of volunteer projects on the continent. Proudly African, they work hand-in-hand with local communities to establish, develop...