Volunteer Orphanage Work in Africa
Orphanages in Africa can take many different shapes and sizes. Many have children as old as 18 and as young as babies. These children are in need of educational support, care, and friendship, which local staff are often to busy to offer them on an individual basis.
Your work in an orphanage in Africa will provide these orphaned children with the support and mental stimulation that all children need to develop healthy social skills and self-confidence. Volunteer work in African orphanages can make a large impact on both you and the orphans themselves. We recommend going for eight weeks or more if you are doing a project that involves social work. However, some projects can accommodate volunteers for as little as one week.
You can impact the lives of numerous orphaned children in Africa by donating your time and energy volunteering in an orphanage in Ethiopia, Ghana, or Tanzania. Our care work volunteers come during various stages of their life – gap years, university vacations, career breaks, and volunteer vacations. Volunteering in African orphanages offers a rewarding combination of the new, exciting, and life-changing.
"Working at the orphanage was my favorite part of my trip to Ghana. The wood market and bead market were nice to visit, however I really loved playing with all the children at the orphanage. Every day a Project Abroad staff member brought us to and from work. We never got lost, and the staff was always there to answer all of our questions. In the mornings, we worked to build a bathroom for the children at the orphanage. I really felt as though I was making a difference."
Margot Le Neveu – Care in Ghana
Orphans and Volunteer Work in Africa
Becoming a volunteer with orphans in Africa is both easy and rewarding. Volunteering at an African orphanage utilizes a wide range of the volunteers’ interests, talents, skills, and knowledge. There are opportunities for our volunteers to work in every and any aspect of an orphanage. This can include teaching the children and helping them with their homework, playing a game of tag or telephone with them, or by simply sharing your time, experiences, and knowledge with them. Whatever you do, it will have a tangible impact on their lives.
The voracious need these orphans have to seek and learn about any subject matter – sports, history, music, life, philosophy, or farming – is both awe-inspiring and humbling. Volunteering with these orphans will give you an insight into a different world. A world where childcare is a privilege and a gift, where orphans who have nothing will share whatever they can with a complete stranger, and where you can change the lives of people and children just by being yourself.
"This was my turning point; I realized I could really make a difference at Peace and Love, I could help without benefiting from it personally and it could be a completely unselfish act. I spoke to Severin and Hannah (an American volunteer) and we decided to go and see if we could do anything to help the orphanage. Hannah had spoken to me in the past about the orphans living area, saying how bad it was, (smelly, dirty and dingy) but I had never ventured inside, I just had no need to. Walking in was like stepping into a prison; it was so cramped, dingy, dirty and stank of urine. The girls had two conjoining rooms which held around 12 beds, some double and some triple bunk beds (26 beds in total), this pretty much meant that all the girls had their own bed, with a couple sharing. The boys had one small bedroom with 3 double and 3 triple bunk beds (15 beds in total) crammed into it."
Peter Gwilliam – Care in Ghana
Children and Adults with Special Needs and Volunteering in Africa
In addition to working in orphanages in Africa, there are also volunteer opportunities to work with children and adults with special needs. Volunteers are desperately needed and greatly appreciated in these care homes in Africa filled with people with physical or mental disabilities.
The care centers in Africa are overfilled with people in need of daily care and constant medical attention which is not available to them due to the staff being overworked and not large enough to give adequate individual attention to every patient. You have the choice to work in AIDS hospices or schools for the handicapped, the blind, and the deaf.
There is no requirement for a medical degree, specialized training, or any previous experiences in care work of any sort. All that is required is a strong desire to help children and adults with special needs. By helping these vulnerable children and adults you are giving them a better chance of having a future with hope and the possibility of living independently.
Volunteer in a Day Care Center or Kindergarten in Africa
Kindergartens in Africa are filled with children eager to learn. As a volunteer, you would help set up and organize daily activities for these children to help stimulate their minds and capture their interests. There are a variety of activities you can do with the children such as art projects, games and songs.
Volunteers who work in Africa can also work in care centers. These volunteers will be exposed to children of all different ages, from babies to teenagers. You will help prepare meals as well as possibly teaching the children literary skills and about appropriate personal hygiene. Interacting with the children on a daily and personal basis is both incredibly rewarding and enlightening. You will learn all about a new culture by working in Africa, but you will learn about a whole new way of life and a new way to look at things by working with these children.
"Most importantly the work with the children was quite amazing. Being a private kindergarten, the school was well organized and the children studying here are really lucky. A big part of this successful teaching method was down to Ayantu, my supervisor. She is great, always having new, interesting ideas and inspiring me and the other teachers a lot. I always enjoyed helping her creating new activities and I somehow became an artist, drawing nearly every day. My favorite classes for teaching were the nurseries (the 1st grade). Having fun with the children by singing, drawing, telling stories and basic teaching (abc, numbers) was really rewarding. After 3 months the development the small kids made was clearly visible."
Lisa Jung – Care in Ethiopia