Volunteering with EDGE of AFRICA

Volunteer Expectations

We ensure that all of our volunteers are well informed prior to arrival so that you know exactly what to expect from your time with us. This includes providing detailed program information and pre-travel advice. We are also happy to call you or skype with you to discuss your options and any concerns you may have.

Training

You will undergo all the necessary training you need in order to be confident in the project work. This way you will gain skills to add to your CV or just to boast about to your friends and family! When you return home, we will happily act as a reference for your time with us and we hope you will remain involved in EDGE long after your departure.

Exposure

It is important to us that as a volunteer you gain a clear perspective of the environment you are working in, over an above what you would see as a tourist passing through. We work hard to expose our volunteers to as many aspects of the country they are visiting as possible, providing local language and cultural lessons, exposing them to traditional food and visiting the local attractions.

Safety

We take your safety very seriously. We conduct safety briefings on arrival and have co-ordinators with our volunteers during project work. We also have a code of conduct that needs to be adhered to at all times which is in place for your safety and ease of your stay.

What is the Challenge Level?

We have devised the Challenge Level for each program, so you are fully aware of what to expect at each destination.

At these destinations, you can expect full access to all amenities, including banks, restaurants, great transport, electricity and hot water. That does not mean that all the citizens have access to these amenities, there are still extremely poor areas which is where our work is focused.

Be prepared for a challenge. You will not be able to access internet (yes, no facebook!), phones, restaurants, running water, electricity or sometimes even western toilets during the week. We do try to give you a break on weekends and visit the local towns, but these programmes are recommended for people who have volunteered before in a developing country, and are okay with not straightening their hair for days on end! Oh…did we mention that they are extremely rewarding and eye-opening?

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Why Should I Pay for a Placement?

We operate independently

We rely totally on volunteers to achieve our goals. EDGE of AFRICA is fully supported by past and present volunteers. We are not a government organization, although we do align with numerous government institutions to develop our projects and assist where possible. We thus do not receive any on-going funding from the government or any other organization – we rely totally on the goodwill and hard work of our volunteers and team members, and the financial contributions from volunteers.

Your contribution is tangible

You can see the difference you make. Paying to volunteer allows us to cover our basic costs, as well as contribute directly to projects that are sustainable even long after your experience has ended. This results in making an honest, real difference in the various project fields. For volunteers, paying for your volunteering still costs considerably less than it would if they were to visit the country as mere tourists, with the added benefit of leaving a valuable footprint behind.

We help you every step of the way

We are there for you 24/7. When you choose to become part of the EDGE of AFRICA international team and join one of our programmes you will receive all the necessary support and documentation relevant to your placement before you arrive. Because we have already established strong connections with the local communities you visit, you’ll have access to experiences tourists can only dream of.

Placements

You will need to join us for a minimum of 2 weeks and can stay for up to 12 weeks.

If you would like to extend you can apply to stay once you are on the placement.

Each one of our EDGE of AFRICA Programmes is made up of various projects. When you join an EDGE Programme you will have the chance to be involved in one more of these projects. You will have a clear timetable of your weeks work, extra activities and excursions planned for your stay.

Depending on your projects your work hours will vary. As a community volunteer you will usually work 8-4 Monday to Friday and as a conservation volunteer, you will start earlier and sometimes be assigned to weekend work, but this doesn’t mean you will miss out on any of the fun activities available.

Keep in mind...

…we have specific arrival and departure dates, and we recommend a minimum of a 2 weeks stay. There is also a minimum work requirement, and what you put in over and above this is entirely up to you. We appreciate all the help we can get from our ever-growing international team!

See my options

Day-to-day activities

An example of what your first week may consist of:

SATURDAY Arrival / Departures and introduction to accommodation. We then try to give you a good idea of your surroundings and provide you with a short ‘Town and Surrounds’ Orientation.
SUNDAY Rest and Recuperate after your travels and get to know your fellow volunteers and team, spend the day relaxing or exploring the area.
MONDAY EDGE of AFRICA Background and Operation Introduction followed by a project orientation, Lunch and then Project Training
TUESDAY You are now ready to start your Project Work under the supervision of your project coordinator
WEDNESDAY Now that you are confident in the work you have to do, we encourage you to work on a small project of your own that you can work on in any free time you have after your daily Project Work. This is not a necessity but we would like you to leave behind a legacy.
THURSDAY Project Work
FRIDAY Half-day on a project, return home for lunch and will have the choice to join in on a Fun Afternoon Group Activity
SATURDAY Exciting Excursion arranged by EDGE of AFRICA
SUNDAY Day Off