Volunteer Experiences


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volunteer3At the moment I work as a nurse in a home for disabled children in Germany, in a ward with ten children from 1 to 25 years of age. I enjoy the daily grind with the kids. I’m happy to get this job as it is similar to what I did at St. Joseph’s Home.
I’ve gained a lot of experience during my time at St. Joseph’s. I can use the educative and custodial experience in my career as a nurse. I also got to know a new culture, language and country. All these experiences opened my mind. Thank you for this wonderful time.

It’s now been 30 months since I was at St. Joseph’s and I took a leave from work to once again come back to St. Joseph’s Home. I was happy to re-connect with the children, the staff and with my South African friends. I’ve really enjoyed my stay at the Home, and now have an even deeper place in my heart for the great work that takes place at St. Joseph’s Home.


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volunteer1Hello, my name is Sanja and I did my internship for my social work studies at St. Joseph’s Home for about six months. I loved every bit of it. In Germany people always ask me if it was not too hard or too sad to be working with chronically sick children. I always say: “No, it is just such an amazing experience”. I look up to those children that are in the Home as they have to suffer a lot and usually the families can’t be there for them, as they are too poor. But they hardly complain. They gave me so much love that, in the beginning,I could not believe it as they are the ones that should need love the most. I think we can learn a lot from those children and I did. Although they were sick, they always had a smile for us.

I will always remember my time at St. Joseph’s and it will always be one of my best. The only thing I am sad about is that now I am so far away and it’s so expensive to go and visit them. But I will keep on praying for those children. They will always be in my heart. I also have to say that I am still in touch with the home and I am very thankful for that.


My name is Kristin. I am 22 years old. Back home in Germany I study media sciences. I came to St. Joseph’s because I wanted to help and find my own way into the future. As the Home wanted torefresh its public awareness, I got the chance to work in various fields and try a lot of things.

The team at St. Joseph’s is really amazing. The atmosphere is really nice and relaxed and I had a lot of fun.

Even though I spent most of the time in the office, I also enjoyed the work with the kids. Whenever I visited them or they came to see us in the office, it was really heartwarming. They give so much without knowing it. And, despite their sometimes severe conditions, I never heard any of them complaining.

Thank you, St. Joseph’s, for this great time.


volunteer5My time at St. Joseph’s Home has been unforgettable. This is a place where children who are sick are given medical care, an education and feel loved.

At St. Joseph’s, I have learnt what is to be strong. These children, though they are not well physically, never show this in their everyday life. You can always see them smiling, laughing and enjoying themselves. While people in the outside world are throwing away their lives by committing suicide, taking drugs and ruining their lives, children at St. Joseph’s are trying so hard just to see the new day come. Working with them and helping take care of them has brought great joy to my heart.

It is my hope to see the children recover and walk out healthy from St. Joseph’s with hearts filled with warmth and love. I love you all and am missing you all a lot. All the best and may God bless you all.


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volunteer6My name is Martijn.I am a 23 year old management student from Holland. I’m studying management and economics in Rotterdam and worked at St. Joseph’s for five months in 2008.

At St. Joseph’s I did HR related work and so I was located in the office with the director, Mrs. Patterson, and most of the managers. I was doing a project which had to do with the appraisal of the personnel and renewing all the job descriptions. In order to do this project I had to work closely with Mrs. Patterson and some of the managers. So, during my time at St. Joseph’s, I got to know some of these managers fairly well. I can only say that they were very nice to me at all times. This made me feel welcome soon after I joined St. Joseph’s and that makes everything easier.

Most of the interns/volunteers are doing social work and are working with the kids most of the day. I usually worked in the office and in the afternoons I would go and spend some time with the kids. Although I’m not used to this kind of work and I really had no experience of working with kids whatsoever, I must say that I really enjoyed it. Doing this work in addition to my regular tasks has really added to the experience of being in Africa and experiencing Africa in all its forms.
St. Joseph’s is a great place where very good work is being done. I am sure that anybody who is willing to make an effort will never regret having worked there and that this place is worthy of your time.


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volunteer2I worked in St.Joseph`s Home for one year, spending most of my time in Sunflower ward, where I played with the kids, fed the babies and nursed the sick ones, while the children taught me Afrikaans and, later, Xhosa.

During my time in Sunflower all the kids grew deep in my heart. When I had to leave I wished I could have taken all the kids with me! Working with the children at St. Joseph’s was challenging but I learned a lot and the time I spent with the kids is one of my most precious memories.


volunteer4My name is Mark Wijsman, I’m a 24 year old student from Holland and I’ve worked as a volunteer for 5 months at St. Joseph’s Home. Being a communications student, my focus was mainly on marketing and fundraising for the home. I’ve recently started the St. Joseph’s Home Foundation in Holland, so I can continue working for the home.

Having had no experience with working with children, I started working on Sweet Basil ward, with the boys between 2 and 9 years old. I’ve become greatly attached to them, and I wish them all the best. Working at St. Joseph’s home had a huge influence on me and it changed my perspective on life. I will definitely come back, because it has been far too short, and it has been a life changing experience. Thank you.