This is a special group package for Christian Based Organizations, Churches and Mission Groups. Both adults and youth planning to have mission trips accompanied by vacations, study tours, organized group outreached, and ministry in Africa are catered for in this package. Baobab Volunteering Services has partnerships with local churches, parachurch organizations and Christian based ministries for mission work involvement in churches, orphanages, colleges, universities, local communities, schools, children, hospitals, jail ministry, constructions, HIV/AIDS outreach, teen girls, women, small Christian businesses, film ministry, camp crusades and many more depending on the preference of your group. We organize teams of up to 80 participants and coordinate their experiences in different countries and places of ministry.
This has been a great and excellent tool for reaching out and touching many lives by sharing the gospel in a more practical way. We will be glad to participate in giving your church, ministry, or group a customized program and cross-linkage to a local African Christian ministry for partnership!
Upon your arrival to the country of destination one of our country representative or coordinator will meet you and your family at the airport or port of arrival. Most of the times you will see your name of the sign, we encourage you to wear our Volunteer T-Shirt that there will be no confusion. Make sure to send you’re the detailed itinerary and if possible your photo or family picture ahead of time and notify us of any changes, delays or flight cancellation so alternative arrangements can be made accordingly.
East African countries are generally warmer than Southern African; we suggest that you check your weather forecast ahead of time before arrival. Make sure you have both tropical and temperate clothing because some areas are cooler than others. Desert nights in the Kalahari may be very cold while day time is Dar-es-Salaam are generally hot and humid. In cases where volunteers would like to participate in safaris and excursions then camping equipment would be preferable things such as sleeping bags, flashlight (battery touch), camping mattress etc.
Mobile phones are a major means of communication in most countries, its relatively easy to secure your own mobile handset with local sim cad line for temporary use. We strongly suggest that the use of internet for fast and convenient communication, internet cafes are available in most big cities. Other means of communication include Post offices, couriers such as DHL, EMS and others if you need to receive or ship packages during your stay.
Its encouraged to bring either brand new or used gift items especially for projects in the orphanages, items like toys, shoes, clothes etc are highly appreciated. For home stay we also encourage courteous giving only as a token of appreciation but its not required.
Every country uses somewhat a different currency, they may be all designated as shillings or dollars but most of the time they differ greatly in value. Most airports have places to exchange currency, ATM machines can be found in hotels, malls, and banks. We encourage volunteers to only change money at these designated locations and not with individuals (black market). American Dollars and Pound Sterling are common currencies that are widely accepted but one should not exactly the current exchange rate. We advise that volunteers should have these currencies most of the time, especially in Eastern African countries.
Most of Volunteers prefer to stay of the “Volunteer Houses” since hotels, bread & breakfast or guesthouses can be expensive for volunteers staying for longer periods of time, home stay programs allows volunteers to live with a local family and experience real African traditional lifestyle. The volunteer houses are large, Western-style house with TV, showers and sanitary facilities, and most of times shared with other volunteers.
Safety and Security
The house is normally safe and secure, with a security guard and a large gate, however, with the home stays, we give that family money from your fee for support, food and boarding. It is exciting to stay with a family; that way you will learn the African way of life, meet local people, eat local food and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is basic but all the home stays have power, water and accommodate volunteers in homes but more so in their lives. We have assessed all homes for basic needs to make your stay comfortable enough; you may stay with other volunteers in the same home or alone depending on the size of your group. Typically, home stay can accommodate up to 6 volunteers while hostels can accommodate more. Do not worry about staying in a home stay—we would not place you somewhere that is unsafe. While bedding is provided it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag and towels for any trips away. Home stays are located in the towns and cities closer to the project sites but sometimes they may be 20-30 minute drive from the township.
Food and Meals
In the volunteer house or hostels, there is a cook who fixes meals for the volunteers, meanwhile in homes stay you will normally eat what the family eats. Regardless of the tribe or culture your host family be assured that they will give you a good African treat and meals will be relatively varied. Most African foods have background story attached to them, make sure to ask each dish associated occasion. Bottled water is readily available in all African countries and volunteers need not to worry about bringing their own water supply!. Depending on the African country you are volunteering, breakfasts generally consist of a cup of tea or coffee, bread or traditionally made cake, toast, fruit and deep fried dough. A typical
lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice, sandwiches and fruit while dinner usually sees traditional food such as ugali and chapatti accompany the meat and vegetables. Breakfast is taken in the morning, then, lunch, which is served at about 1 pm (or you can take a packed lunch if you wish to eat at your project) and then dinner/supper served at 6 or 7pm or sometime later. Volunteers with special special dietary needs are accommodated by let us know ahead of time. Please dot not expects to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible and courteous.
Activities in a Nutshell
Volunteering Teaching of disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the rural areas schools, orphanages and secondary schools. Opportunities for more technical and advanced skill transfer can be made ahead of times to be able to teach at high schools, vocational or university level. Mission oriented volunteers can also have advantage of ministering to church groups like women, youth, children and special groups like business men and women.
Volunteering with both domesticated or wildlife animals, children and communities in Africa. Volunteers will have opportunity to work with local veterinarians, captivity centers, wildlife management and conservation organizations and community based development organizations that further the sustainable utilization of natural resources and community awareness projects.
Learn new skills and take in knowledge about other parts of the world. Volunteers can be attached to a specialty group of professionals such as architects, engineers, pharmacists, mechanics etc to learn new skills and experience how things are done in different parts of the world. A prior arrangement of this kind of volunteer work is required in order to make proper arrangements with local professionals.
Help uplift the community through building and refurbishment projects and community development programs such as construction of school classrooms, rural medical center (dispensary), kid’s playgrounds, orphanages, community meeting places etc. Volunteers participate in the community brainstorming sessions for projects that benefit them all.
Volunteering in the Medical center to help with vaccinations, immunization, treatment, counseling, education and protection of diseases and health care issues! Health education, promotion and wellness is the center of the medical volunteer focus. Volunteers have the opportunity to engage their hands on skills in making a difference in touching people’s life in a unique way.
Make a real impact in women empowerment, legal aid, advocacy and basic human right issues. We work with Human Rights organizations that aim to provide legal aid and counseling services to poor and disadvantaged women and children. Volunteers have the opportunity to facilitate seminars, workshops, camps and conferences.
Volunteer with organizations and centers that work with disadvantaged teenage girls. Most of these teen girls have children, the volunteers have an opportunity to provide these girls with a hope for a better future and teach them skills that allow them to become self-supporting and take care of their children.
Work with project that cares for environment, agriculture, perm culture, wetlands and natural resources management. These projects are dedicated to environmental conservation, the populations welfare and community development. Volunteers will work in partnership with local governments, as well as other civil organizations.
Most of the centers and projects accept internship opportunities for students and participants. Students can earn College or University credits by participation and professional references are produced to indicate the level and extent of volunteer’s involvement in the skill transfer and participation.
TYPICAL VOLUNTEER SCHEDULE
Day 1: The volunteers will be oriented the route to the project site, introduced to the staff and people at the project you will be working with and taken back to the hostel or home stay.
Monday to Friday: A typical week depends on the project site and activities done, office oriented work may extend to regular hours while labor intensive outside work may not be typical and usually ends early. A typical day may be as follows:
You will be given a detailed duty plan for your work for the entire week ahead of time so you have an idea what to expect and how to make adjustments.
Saturday and Sunday: During the weekend, volunteers have free time to chill and relax, take the opportunity to explore the country and learn more about culture. Whenever there are long weekends volunteers could go on safari or travel further afield to places of interest, your country representative will give you all possible places to have fun and tour. If volunteers wish to work over the weekends they can visit other projects that are active during these times, such projects as orphanages (or other children helping organizations) to spend time simply playing with and entertaining the children.
What the fee excludes: