Volunteering at St Joseph's Home

Volunteering is simple enough. It’s about donating your time. In return you will meet new people, learn new skills, gain useful experience and real life work experience. You will also have fun doing so. At St.Joseph’s Home we have any number of opportunities for volunteers. Your involvement might range from one-on- one care of a bedridden child to play activities with the children, story telling or helping out as a nursing ward assistant. You will work with the volunteer co-ordinator to design a set of responsibilities that suits the needs of St. Joseph’s and your skills.

In addition, we use volunteers in our Resource Development Office to assist us with marketing, journalism, research, fundraising and other administrative duties. Our volunteers mostly spend time with the children and the Resource Development Office. St. Joseph’s hosts international volunteers as well. Many young volunteers from Europe spend their gap year at St Joseph’s and then are able to explore South Africa after their time with us. North American volunteers come during their school breaks and immediately upon graduating. Some come as part of their internship duties, as we supervise students from many local and international universities.

Our most recent volunteers have come from Germany, England, Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, South Africa and the USA. Many have been studying or have degrees in Journalism, Marketing, Social Work, Nursing, Education, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Medicine. Some volunteers come to explore possible career options before going for advanced degrees. We also have volunteers who are taking a sabbatical from teaching, or just taking some time off to re-assess their career options. In all of these cases the key ingredient is the desire of the volunteer to help children in need.

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


QUESTIONIf I want to volunteer, where do I start?

ANSWERTo become a volunteer, you need to obtain police clearance from your nearest police station. Application forms and further information is available on request.


QUESTIONDo I have to have specific qualifications? Are there different categories of volunteers accommodated at St Joseph’s?

ANSWERYou don’t need qualifications, unless there are specific requirements needed for an allocated project or task. General volunteers can work in the wards, performing basic ward duties, play with and supervise the children, or perform basic admin duties. Interns are assigned to more specific tasks according to their study requirements and stipulations.


QUESTIONHow long is the volunteer period at St Joseph’s?

ANSWERVolunteers should commit for at least 2 consecutive months, unless otherwise agreed upon by the volunteer and the organisation.


QUESTIONWhere do your volunteers come from?

ANSWERVolunteers come from overseas and locally


QUESTIONWhere will I be working?

ANSWERDepending on where the need arises, you will be assisting in one of our medical wards. Interns will be allocated to the department specific to their studies, e.g. Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Speech Therapy or all - rounder volunteer.


QUESTIONDo you have on-site accommodation?

ANSWERWe offer on-site accommodation to volunteers from overseas at a minimal cost.


QUESTIONAnything I need to keep in mind when volunteering at STH?

ANSWERTake your vitamins, the kids have lots of energy…!

Last Thoughts


It takes a little time to settle in to the routines, new surroundings and people. However, it promises to be a very rewarding experience.

The organisation is situated away from major shopping malls and entertainment areas (about 20 minutes’ drive from town).  Public transport is not very reliable. It is therefore advisable to secure your own transport.

What do our previous volunteers say?


volunteersSalome (left in picture) writes: I’m a 20 year old nursing student from the Netherlands. This big adventure was both good for personal and professional development. I found my way and mixed my habits from the Netherlands with my African nursing experiences.  In the future I would like to be a nurse in hospital, specializing in children.

Dagmar (middle in picture) shares her thoughts: I had an amazing time in St Joseph’s Home! It was also difficult to learn all the children’s names, all the medication, and different diseases. Switching wards was also difficult– I had to start all over again!

Cathrin, (right in picture) who became our resident photographer: Significantly the time I spent with the children were the greatest lessons for me. It was an honor for me to give them my time, attention, strength and above all love, as they spoilt me with theirs. My greatest wish for the children and staff of St. Joseph’s home is that they are blessed with love, health, vitality, luck and happiness. I do not want to say “goodbye” as it sounds so final … I say: “See you later!”