Use a passion for caring for others to good use by volunteering in understaffed and under-resourced clinics in rural Zimbabwe. Most members of the Mkoba community in Gweru, on the doorstep of Antelope Park, rely on local clinics for medical aid. Volunteers are always needed to provide basic healthcare and support to the tens of thousands of patients who have nowhere else to turn when they need medical assistance. Improving the quality of life of people in need is incredibly rewarding, and no experience or skills are necessary for volunteers on this project.
Volunteers will be of great help in under-resourced clinics as they assist with tasks such as weighing babies, documenting and filing, and cleaning and maintenance. Volunteers will gain valuable healthcare and medical work experience by observing patient care being provided by local staff and also assist in the dispensary with packaging medication. Volunteers may also be given the extraordinary opportunity to experience night shift in a busy maternity ward.
Soak up the tranquility and beauty of the African bush while you stay in the private game reserve Antelope Park.
Learn about healthcare services in the developing world.
Participate in education drives on a range of subjects, from nutrition to immunization.
Join healthcare workers on home visits, where you'll get to learn more about the local community's way of life.
Assist healthcare workers in providing services in maternity care (yes, that does include weighing babies!), opportunistic infection (HIV and TB) management, immunization of children, outpatient consultations and pharmacy tasks in local clinics.
A fantastic 2 month stay at Antelope Park! I spent 7 weeks on the community project splitting my time between teaching and the clinics to get the best overall view of the community. I also upgraded to a week on the Lion project to see what the bulk of the work here is like. It is an amazing project doing great work both with the lions and in the community.
the team of the community project are very good, Team very involved
I find that there is a real meaning with this project
If I can I will return to work with the Stoben team.
A real revelation for me
I meet some incredible people and got to experience living situations and the culture first hand. The people at Antelope Park are very friendly and helpful! I appreciated that we also got a chance to work with the lions, horses and the community.
Originally somewhat apprehensive about my age though I am fit and healthy. However on arrival was made welcome by all -
staff the project and other volunteers. Never felt out of place. Amazing experience. Learnt about health care in Zimbabwe along with the social conditions in both Mkoba and Gweru. Was given and took all opportunities that were made available to me and ave learnt a lot about Zimbabwe. Have really enjoyed my time here and feel that I may have made small helpful differences at the clinics. Also experienced the drop in for street kids, the bush school, special needs and AET. Enjoyed all the opportunities offered and taken by me. Having been a community nurse in England for several years was particularly interested in the home visits - mostly social in nature of extremely deprived families. Will never forget this experience and would consider returning.
I would like to say that in the information packet or on the information page there should be something that mentions that there is a introduction week. other than that i had an amazing time here and will miss it dearly.
I found my time with the community project a very interesting experience. There are many options to choose from regarding what you're most interested in learning about, or have a passion for. Spending my time within the special needs class of Mkoba 4 seemed to fit me best, as I found it was more rewarding and I genuinely felt as if I was really making a difference to other human lives. Initially it wasn't what I set out to do whilst spending my time at Antelope Park, but after only one day of being in the clinic and teaching I knew I had to switch projects which I'm very glad I had the option to do so. The special needs class is a challenging part of the project, but it is also, I found, the most rewarding. A lot of time and patience is required if you wish to make the most out of being around the wonderful children there, but soon enough you will start to see small improvements. The downside to the special needs class isn't the children themselves, nor the classroom, but rather the attitude of the teachers and staff there. More often than not I would hear the teacher talk negatively about a child, or the children in general, regarding their learning abilities, where they ranked in the class and was told "not to bother" spending time with one boy as he was "messy" with his work. Instantly you are able to actually acknowledge that perhaps he is dyslexic (as his English, even copied direct from the blackboard was spelled incorrectly and jumbled, whereas his maths was written much neater) and also, possibly, suffering from lack of encouragement and support at home due to often not doing his homework. I spent well over an hour with him, answering five mathematical questions, and slowly but surely he was able to get them all correct. It takes time, but it is beyond worth it. The upsides to the class is the option to be able to influence their afternoon of learning, whether it be English, reading, writing, spelling, alphabetical learning, numbers, learning through play... all the children there are keen to be apart of something, and will welcome you with open arms and smiling faces.
What I did think could be improved was the twice weekly drop-in center. The two whole days spent with the street kids is an incredible experience, as they open your mind to a completely different life. However, I felt as if my money which I am paying to be here isn't really going to these minor projects. A small amount of money a week could really change the whole system and set up. When I first arrived there were three blunt kitchen knives, one without a handle, and several very old and worn chopping boards. Thanks to new volunteers and myself, the drop in center now has two new sharp knives, a new chopping board and spoons - but more is needed! A bottle of kitchen cleaning spray and paper towels would be perfect for sanitizing the preparation and cooking areas, as would skills of a carpenter or builder to help perhaps install kitchen units to store kitchen and table wear out of the way of dust, dirt and bugs. I also thought that more planning could go in to progressing the drop in center. We would go there all day, twice a week, and interact with the kids through games and songs but they're not young children, they are teenagers in need of learning life skills that could help so much with their future in finding a job, or income of some sort. Another problem was the food that was served for them - the cheapest meat and sadza with some kind of cabbage, sometimes the meat portion would be the size of a fifty pence piece. I really felt as if my money here was wasted, as it did not contribute to the community project from what I experienced, therefore the price needs to be lowered, or the funds used in the correct manner. Whilst we ate exceptionally well at AP, the children we volunteered to help didn't even have cutlery to eat their lunch with.
I had a great experience at Antelope Park. I see a lot from the culture and how the people live here in Zimbabwe. I helped a lot of people in the clinic. It is good to see how different the medical situation here is. Before I start with the project I didn't know that all of the volunteers get the animals induction in the first week. I think it is good to explain that part more in the pre-departure papers to make sure that everyone knows that the first week all animals induction is and no community.
This is my second African Impact that I have done this year, before this I was in Capetown for a month. I chose this program after the one in Capetown because I wanted to see different things of Africa. Capetown ofcourse is a big city and still has a lot of signs left of apartheid, but after that experience I wanted to experience the more 'real feeling' while also staying hands on in the community. I think that's the best way of really exploring the culture. I chose the health program because I am a medical student and really wanted to see the differences in culture in the medical field here as well. I think I have achieved that and I'm really glad for that. If you show initiative in the clinic you're able to see a lot of different things and indebted as well. Overall, I think I can say these two months in Africa has been one of the best experiences of my life.