Health Care

Live your African dream and help make a difference by volunteering at a small, rural clinic in Namibia, improving the lives of those most in need. The San (Bushman) have lived in southern Africa for at least 20,000 years, but are now treated as third class citizens living in extreme poverty. This rewarding program offers a unique opportunity for volunteers to provide primary health care to a poor community.

Namibia (sw Africa) is one of the safest countries in Africa, partly due to its low human density, it has a good infrastructure and a booming tourism industry.

DSC_0285-300x200

Click to open gallery

The Clinic

The clinic was established in 2003 and provides accessible affordable primary healthcare to marginalized people living in the area. The clinic is dedicated primarily to the health and welfare of the San community who are treated free of charge. These are the majority of  patients that are being treated

The clinic can accommodate four volunteers at a time who will work mostly at the clinic. There are times when there are few patients while at other times the clinic will be crowded with patients. There are also opportunities to visit local schools and villages to provide basic medical aid or to educate the community about personal hygiene, diseases and disease prevention.

Health Issues

Among the San community, adult onset of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are sharply increasing and alcoholism has become prevalent. Many San children suffer from malnutrition, disease, discrimination and abuse.

Volunteer Program

This vital health care service relies upon the time and dedication of volunteers and donations from supporters to continue to run and serve the communities in need. By joining this program you will experience the harsh realities faced by Africa’s San communities and have the chance to make a difference to their lives. You will be immersed in the health and development program while providing care to patients living in poverty.

During your time at the clinic you will work with the resident sister and assistant seeing and treating patients from the local Bushman and Herero community. Your daily schedule will be varied and you will carry out duties such as making and recording medical observations, keeping medical records, monitoring the progress of pregnant women, helping with wound dressings and working in the pharmacy. You will also visit an outer community or farm to do general health check-ups and any treatments as required.

You will spend time with the local Bushman community to understand how they live as well as going on a walk with them to look for bush food or medicinal plants.

Volunteers also have the option to discuss a project prior to their visit with the doctor and come up with their own studies.  For example, volunteers may want to find out more about the health needs of this marginalized society.

Program Highlights

  • Stay two nights at a wildlife sanctuary
  • Practice primary health care
  • Provide basic medical aid
  • Educate local communities about hygiene, health care and diseases
  • Learn more about the unique San (Bushman) culture
  • Opportunity to extend your stay at the clinic or volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary or go on a safari

Accommodation

Volunteers stay in a 5 bed room (1 or 2 beds) house adjacent to the clinic. Three meals a day are provided, but volunteers are requested to assist with food preparation. Please note that the nearest town with modern amenities is a 2h drive away.

Dates

Every second Sunday to the second Thursday thereafter. The program is closed from mid December to mid January. Contact our office for dates.

Arrival and Departure

Volunteers from abroad must arrive in Windhoek, Namibia on a Saturday. Volunteers will be met by a representative at the airport and transferred to a wildlife sanctuary near the airport where they will stay the first night. Volunteers will be transported to the clinic on Sunday morning, a 4 h drive by road.

Volunteers are transported back to Windhoek on a Friday where they will stay again at the wildlife sanctuary for one night. Volunteers will then be dropped off on Saturday at the international airport for the return flight.

Extended Volunteering

Volunteers may choose to extend their stay for up to 12 weeks. The program is repeated every two weeks as new volunteers arrive. Your stay may include volunteering at the clinic only (minimum of 2 weeks) or a combination of volunteering at the clinic (minimum of 2 weeks) and at the wildlife sanctuary. Or you may choose to participate at any of the other volunteer programs or go on a safari.

Communication

Volunteers may bring an unlocked cell phone (Namibia uses GSM 900, 1800) and buy a local SIM card at the airport. The clinic has limited internet facilities.

Booking Form

Booking Process

  • Any person older than 18 years and with an interest in health care is encouraged to apply.
  • There is no specific booking date.
  • Voluneers can select any 2 weeks through the year starting every second Sunday and ending on a Thursday.
  • Once we have received your booking form you will be pre-booked on the program depending on availability. You will be notified by our office.
  • After receiving your deposit, your place on the project is secured.
  • You will be sent an application form for a work visa which has to be returned to the office of Eko Tracks at least 2 months prior to the start of the program.
    Note: Volunteers have to be in possession of a work visa before being allowed into the country.
  • Eko Tracks will also send you a tour dossier with information about the passport, flight schedules, vaccinations, and a packing list to assist you in preparing for the trip.

Prices:

  • 2 Weeks            US$ 1,800
  • Deposit             US$ 600
  • Each additional week:   US$ 700
  • Outstanding Amount: Payable 2 months prior to the commencement of the project.

Payments



Price Includes:

  • Work visa fee and visa arrangement
  • Pick up and drop off at the airport
  • Transportation to and from the medical clinic
  • Accommodation at the clinic
  • Three meals per day during your volunteering
  • Supervised volunteer program

Price Excludes:

  • International roundtrip airfare to Namibia
  • Compulsory travel and medical insurance
  • Immunizations
  • Drinks. These can be bought on the way to the clinic.
  • Communication (phone calls, emails)
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional tours prior to or after the volunteer program