GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Volunteer Abroad in Rural Areas Around Cape Town

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Nov 25, 2009 11:19:00 AM

Child patient in Capetown.In the rural communities around Cape Town, South Africa, there is an immense lack of medical facilities, staff and resources. Volunteers can make a profound difference in the lives of people living in these surrounding communities of Cape Town.  Both medically trained and not trained may participate with this project.  The mornings are spent helping in the medical facilities and the afternoons are spent assisting in the local community. (Full days at the clinics are also possible.)

On this project, it is possible for volunteers to:

  • Assist clinic supervisors with the patients, especially the sick children;
  • Assist in administering HIV tests (if medically qualified);
  • Assist in administering pregnancy tests, baby weighing, checking of vitals, as well as sit in on consultations if agreeable by the doctor and the patient;
  • Assist in the clinic pharmacy with sorting and labeling medications;
  • Administration work in the clinic.

Hospital staff in Capetown.Thus far, on this project, volunteers have contributed over 2,600 hours to medical and clinic assistance in Cape Town, South Africa, through their work in township clinics.  This project, together with the support and advice of our charitable foundation team at The Happy Africa Foundation, are continuously assessing this work and project strategies to ensure that these hours are meaningful, with measurable outcomes.  Volunteers have helped convert patient filing systems to computer, as well as having assisted the community by showing their support and commitment to improving general health and wellbeing.

In a city of contrasts, Cape Town's private sector health care and provision is extensive, but it is the rural communities that suffer from an immense lack of facilities.  While there are some structures in place for an effective health service, there is an enormous deficit in terms of staff and resources.  This is why the volunteers' help is very much appreciated by the nurses and doctors we work with.

This placement will give you the chance to make a positive impact on the health service in these underprivileged areas on the outskirts of of Cape Town, and to make a profound difference in the lives of people living in the surrounding community.  Both qualified and non-qualified volunteers can join.  Furthermore, qualified volunteers would be able to offer advice to the day care and after care centers that they will be working with in the afternoon.  There are many children at these centers with special health care needs.

You can download a more extended project guide or you can visit the GeoVisions web site and look over the program description.


Written by Randy LeGrant

Randy is the Executive Director of the GeoVisions Foundation. He has spent the last 44 years managing organizations that send people abroad on cultural and educational exchanges.

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