Nazareth House in Cape Town provides long term care to babies and children (0 to 18 years old) with severe disabilities and terminal illnesses, who need specialised end of life / palliative care.
Many of these children have been abandoned in hospitals by their families as they cannot cope with their intense medical care needs. The types of children that we care for, are those who have very severe disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Bifida, Gross global developmental delay, Epilepsy and Microcephaly.
These children have been given very poor prognoses by their Doctors, and have limited life expectancies due to the severity of their disabilities. The children are placed at Nazareth House for end of life palliative care – they are placed with us for their last stages of life.
As a long-term volunteer, you can play a vital role by assisting the carers with feeding, bathing, and nappy changes. You will also be directly involved with the well-structured daily stimulation program. You will receive basic training in the program, and will work with the carers to implement the stimulation activities with the children each day.
Nazareth House is one of the oldest non-profit organisations in South Africa and is at the coal face of specialised child and geriatric care. They were also one of the first organisations to open their doors to HIV-positive babies.
What makes Nazareth House so unique is that it has over 130 years of experience in medical and relational care. This combination of specialist care and love is unique to their personnel and services.
To join this project, you will need to be in good physical condition and aged 21 years or older by the time you arrive in Cape Town.
Personal characteristics like emotionally maturity, commitment, flexibility, an ability to take initiative, and a compassionate heart for disabled children will be key. To ensure effective communication between all team members, a good understanding of the English language is also required.
We particularly welcome volunteers who are studying in this field, or intend to work with disabled children, including those with medical backgrounds such as student nurses, qualified nurses, health care workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and doctors.
|Main activities||Assisting the carers with feeding, bathing, nappy changes and the daily stimulation program.|
|Location||Cape Town in South Africa.|
|Arrival day||You can arrive in Cape Town on any Friday throughout the year, subject to availability. Your first day at Nazareth House will be on the Monday, so you will have the weekend to settle in and make yourself at home.|
|Meeting point||One of our team will meet you when you land at Cape Town Airport.|
|Duration||You can volunteer in a care role for 12 weeks or more.|
|Working hours||Variable hours. Approximately 8am - 4pm, 5 days per week.|
|Age limit||You must be aged 21 years or older when you arrive.|
|Volunteer Fee||Volunteer fees for each duration are shown on the top-right of this page with the option to select from several currencies.|
|Pre-arrival support||Our experienced Cape Town based team are on hand with expert advice and assistance to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip to South Africa.|
|Airport transfers||We provide escorted transfers between Cape Town Airport and your accommodation in Cape Town.|
|Accommodation||You will stay at one of Cape Town's best backpackers with excellent facilities including a pool, restaurant, bar and wonderful views of Table Mountain.|
|Breakfast||A basic breakfast is included at Ashanti Lodge. All other meals are self-catering.|
|Orientation||You will receive a comprehensive welcome brief when you arrive. We will also escort you to Nazareth House on your first day where you will receive a full orientation.|
|Badge||We will provide you with a personalised Via Volunteers badge to wear while you are at Nazareth House. This will be yours to keep and take home.|
|T-Shirt||An attractive Navy Blue Via Volunteers T-Shirt|
|In-country support||Being based in South Africa means that we can give you real support during your stay.|
|Certificate||On completion of your placement we will send you a special thank you to accompany your CV or resume.|
|Visas||Citizens from most countries can arrive in South Africa and stay for up to 90 days without a Visa. Refer to our FAQ section for more details if you are unsure.|
|Flights||Please ask us if you need any recommendations for keeping your flight costs to a minimum.|
|Insurance||We have partnered with World Nomads Insurance to give you access to great value insurance for volunteers. Check out our Insurance page under the FAQ tab for more details.|
|Transport||We will take you to Nazareth House on your first morning. Thereafter, you will need to book your remaining transfers between Ashanti Lodge and Nazareth House using the Uber app on your phone.|
Your first visit to Nazareth House will be on the first Monday after you arrive in Cape Town. One of the Via Volunteers team will collect you from Ashanti Lodge and escort you to Nazareth House for an introduction to Jackie, the on-site social worker and volunteer coordinator.
You will have a 2-hour orientation session with Jackie at 10:00, with the rest of the day free for exploring Cape Town. The following day (Tuesday) will be your first full day at Nazareth House.
You will be provided with a schedule so that you can see in advance when you will be helping out. Typically you can expect to be busy from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00. Jackie will let you know if there any changes to your schedule, which is possible as the schedule has to revolve around the needs of Nazareth House.
Make sure you eat breakfast before you leave Ashanti Lodge in the morning, and don't forget to take a packed lunch - there are fridge and microwave facilities at Nazareth House for storing and preparing your lunch. If you prefer to stretch your legs at lunch time, you can always walk 10 minutes to the local SPAR or shopping centre.
Remember to take your phone with you each day if you are planning to use Uber for your transfers between Nazareth House and Ashanti Lodge.
As one of Cape Town’s best backpackers, Ashanti Lodge has excellent facilities and is perfectly positioned in central Cape Town as an ideal base for volunteers. This will be your ‘home from home’ while you are volunteering with Nazareth House, and the perfect place to relax when you aren’t out exploring everything Cape Town has to offer.
Ashanti is just a couple of minutes away from the excellent MyCiti bus route which provides cheap, safe and reliable transport to Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Hout Bay and much more. Close by you will also find an incredible variety of restaurants and bars, plenty of great hangouts in Long Street, a well-equipped shopping mall, supermarkets, health shops, cafes…the list goes on.
While you’re at Ashanti you can enjoy all of the facilities below. Whether you’re having a dip in the pool, watching Table Mountain while you have breakfast, or booking an adventurous activity at the Travel Desk, you will find that Ashanti have thought of everything:
If you would prefer to stay on the grounds of Nazareth House, a limited number of cottages are available for volunteers. This can be a good option for volunteers that prefer a tranquil environment, or for those that would rather be within easy walking access of the home. It is also a good choice for couples or friends volunteering together. Please ask us for more information and availability if you are interested in the Cottage accommodation option.
Nazareth House is located in Vredehoek, close to the centre of Cape Town with Table Mountain providing an impressive backdrop to the home.
We have arrival dates for this project every Friday throughout the year.
It’s easy to add extra nights to your stay, so if you find a cheaper flight that arrives earlier than your Friday arrival date just let us know. You can also add extra nights after your placement for the same reason.
If you want to add another project, a Scuba Diving Course, Surfing lessons, or even a longer tour, we can help you with that too. Please ask one of our friendly team at any time before you arrive in Cape Town.