About the Volunteer Program
The Volunteer project aims to engage a community of citizens from around the world interested in development projects that provide support to the vulnerable children of Zimbabwe and at the same time offering them with a unique and unforgettable experience.
Volunteers can be high school groups, college students, working professionals or retirees wishing to spend time in Zimbabwe and willing to bring to Nhaka Foundation knowledge, skills and abilities that will support its current programs and propel them forward.
Volunteers are needed to work in the field as well as in the office. While Team Nhaka will leverage the skills of any interested volunteer, teachers, health care workers (nurses, doctors, dentists), social workers, construction workers, researchers, analysts and administrators are of particular need.
During the volunteer period accommodations will be provided at Pamusha, a rural home which is a safe and secure compound in Goromonzi. Volunteers will stay in basic chalets with en-suite bathrooms. Each chalet can accommodate 2-4 people. Breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as transport to, and from, the field or office location assigned will be provided.
Depending on the length of commitment, volunteers will undergo training to prepare them for living and working in Zimbabwe. They will learn about Nhaka Foundation and its programs, be taught some basic Shona, and educated on the Shona culture. Volunteers will also have time to get acquainted with fellow volunteers and hopefully begin the process of building everlasting bonds.
The volunteer program is a fee-based program which provides for the volunteer’s
accommodations and ground transportation as well as funds a portion of the work carried out in the rural communities being served. Volunteers can make a two-, four- or eight week commitment.
Nhaka Foundation Volunteer Fee
Nhaka Foundation established the Volunteer Experience program for two reasons;
- As a mechanism for raising money to support the activities of Nhaka Foundation in Zimbabwe
- To give people from around the world the opportunity to volunteer and work on community initiated projects in Zimbabwe.
The combination of these two objectives works well as the money fundraised by volunteers enables much needed work to be accomplished in Zimbabwe and volunteers get to see and work with genuine locally led organizations that are making a real difference to the lives of people in their region.
The Volunteer Fee
Included in this fee is your accommodation, two meals (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner) and transportation to your volunteer sites during the duration of your stay.
Please note ALL costs of travel such as air tickets, travel and medical insurance are met by the volunteers.
What will you do?
Based on your interest and experience, Nhaka Foundation will place you to work in any one of the following programs:
Classroom and outdoor play ground renovations
PsychoSocial support program
Please bear in mind that Nhaka Foundation will encourage involvement across all program areas so as to ensure that this is a great learning opportunity meeting your personal and educational objectives.
Cost of living:
Below are some sample prices in Zimbabwe and estimates about spending per month to help you think about what life may cost. Keep in mind however that it is possible to live extremely frugally as well, especially whilst on volunteer status with accommodation, vehicle, and food provided through the Volunteer Program Fee.
|Groceries for 1 person per month:
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant:
Meal at a midrange restaurant:
|$75-$125, depending on your choices.
Home costs (these will not apply to you during your volunteer period)
Apartment rental in Harare (1 bedroom): $400-500/mo
Utilities (Electricity, Garbage, Water, Internet, Gas): $200-300/mo depending on your
$5.00 to start + $1.61 per mile
Based on what other volunteers have paid in the last year or so, the air ticket estimates are as follows:
From the US:
|Economy flight from BWI:
Economy flight from Dulles:
30-day tourist visa:
Experience has taught us that the earlier you purchase your return air ticket the better pricing options you have. Once you have agreed on dates with the Nhaka Team, go ahead and make your ticket reservation!
|Cinema, Sightseeing, going out for meals, etc:
Fitness club membership:
The most helpful thing you can do for yourself before you leave is to learn a bit of Shona, the native language. If you are just looking to pick up a few phrases, the English/Shona dictionary on Amazon would be really helpful. Although most Zimbabwean adults can speak a decent amount of English, knowing some Shona can really heighten your experience, especially amongst children who it is often much harder to communicate with in English.
The following are crucial to consider:
- Bring a passport carrying case that you can wear around your neck. It keeps your belongings safe and makes the process a bit quicker in the airport.
- Expect interrupted electricity availability. Protect your appliances accordingly with surge protectors, converters, etc.
- Use of credit cards is not always available. Be prepared to use mostly cash. Zimbabwe uses the American dollar. If you are uncomfortable with carrying cash, there are Western Unions available and arrangements can also be made with Nhaka Foundation for the safekeeping of your money
- Be conscious of your surroundings at all times. Use common sense. Don’t be surprised if people try to fool you into tipping them at the airport.
- The weather is extremely cold at night and very warm in the day. Pack accordingly.
- Be mindful of the dangers in Africa. Educate yourself on the politics of the country as well as types of animals you may want to avoid. We’ve included some specific thoughts about this below.
- You will be welcome to participate in preparation of meals as you also learn to be part of another culture
What to Bring
Waterproof work boots
Medications (especially pain and anti-diarrhea medication. Availability may be limited in
Thermal gear (for night-time cold weather)
Hot water bottle
CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. Find a travel medicine clinic near you, preferably 4-6 weeks prior to your trip.
|Vaccination or Disease
||Recommendations or Requirements for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
||Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots, such as measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
|Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
||Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection (see map) where exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of travel related hepatitis A can also occur in travelers to developing countries with “standard” tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food consumption behaviors.
||Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission (see map), especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
||Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Southern Africa, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.
||Recommended for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in rural areas, involved in activities such as bicycling, camping, or hiking. Also recommended for travelers with significant occupational risks (such as veterinarians), for long-term travelers and expatriates living in areas with a significant risk of exposure, and for travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats, carnivores, and other mammals. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals, may receive more severe bites, or may not report bites.
*Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Zimbabwe, the government requires some travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling to Zimbabwe from the United States, this requirement DOES NOT AFFECT YOU and you will not need to receive the vaccine.
Dangers in Zimbabwe
Malaria is a prevalent disease in Zimbabwe. Anti-malarial drugs are typically recommended- though speak to your health care provider about the length of time you plan to stay and the possible risks of long-term use of anti-malarial drugs. Keep in mind there are also other ways to protect yourself, including wearing long-sleeved shirts and
pants, and using mosquito repellent and mosquito nets to prevent bites. Some symptoms of Malaria are fever, chills, sweats, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
Snakes are common in the bush. It is wise to wear long pants, boots, or thick socks. Always check beds and shoes for snakes and scorpions.
HIV/AIDS is common in Zimbabwe. Be careful to avoid contact with blood. Use gloves if contact with blood is necessary.
Sightseeing and Tourism
It has been our experience that most volunteers also want to take some time to do some local tourism. Nhaka Foundation has partnerships with tourism agencies that will be able to arrange day safari, excursions and visits. By the way, Zimbabwe is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls.
All external activities are not part of the program fee and will have to be covered separately by each volunteer. Nhaka Foundation can provide technical support as required.
Be mindful of traveling alone. When possible, try to travel in groups of at least two. Always be careful with important documents and money. It is wise to make copies of important documents and keep them separate from the originals. It is also best not to keep all your money in the same place.
Do NOT wave to people! It is a sign of the opposition party in Zimbabwe.
Avoid demonstrations, street rallies and any political gatherings as they may turn violent. Police and security forces are likely to respond violently and may not distinguish between demonstrators and bystanders.
Nhaka Foundation Leadership and Staff prioritise your security, safety and comfort at ALL times. You will have their support and ears throughout your mission and you should not hesitate to highlight any areas of concern or comfort. Our priority is to ensure that you are comfortable and safe throughout the duration of your entire stay. It therefore goes without saying that you follow the instructions you will have been given by the Nhaka Team leaders as these come out of years of experience working with volunteers.