For EDGE volunteers, we aim to meet expectations —
Not only for your trip, but also for your career and any other life-goals you may have whilst in our care. We want to make sure our volunteers have a well rounded experience with us.
You will undergo all the necessary training you need in order to be confident in the project work. This way you will gain skills to add to your CV or just to boast about to your friends and family! When you return home, we will happily act as a reference for your time with us and we hope you will remain involved in EDGE long after your departure.
It is important to us that as a volunteer you gain a clear perspective of the environment you are working in, over an above what you would see as a tourist passing though. We work hard to expose our volunteers to as many aspects of the country they are visiting as possible, providing local language and cultural lessons, exposing them to traditional food and visiting the local attractions.
We take your safety very seriously. We conduct intensive safety briefings on arrival and have co-ordinators with our volunteers during project work. We also have a code of conduct that needs to be adhered to at all times which is in place for your safety and ease of your stay.
Why should I pay to volunteer?
We operate independently.
EDGE of AFRICA is fully supported by past and present volunteers. We are not a government organization, although we do align with numerous government institutions to develop our projects and assist where possible.
We thus do not receive any on-going funding from the government or any other organization - we rely totally on the goodwill and hard work of our volunteers and team members, and the financial contributions from volunteers.
Your contribution is tangible.
Paying to volunteer allows us to cover our basic costs, as well as contribute directly to projects that are sustainable even long after their experience has ended. This results in making an honest, real difference in the various project fields.
For volunteers, paying for their volunteering still costs considerably less than it would if they were to visit the country as mere tourists, with the added benefit of leaving a valuable footprint behind.
We help you every step of the way.
When you choose to become part of the EDGE of AFRICA international team and join one of our initiatives you will receive all the necessary support and documentation relevant to your placement before you arrive.
Because we have already established strong connections with the local communities you visit, you'll have access to experiences tourists can only dream of.
Where does my money go?
Included in your fee:
- The confidence that every effort will be made to ensure your safety and enjoyment during your stay
- Rapid pre-departure support and information
- Travel arrangements to and from the project (on allocated days)
- Full orientation and training
- 3 healthy meals a day
- Project-related transport
- Thorough orientation for the area and chosen projects
- Introduction and orientation to your projects and colleagues
- Project support and feedback sessions throughout your stay
- Assistance with optional activities and tours
- 24/7 emergency support
- A local sim-card for your phone
- An EDGE Volunteer t-shirt
- A community and cultural tour experience
- Post-project involvement and updates
Excluded from your fee:
- Flights and visas
- Travel insurance (a necessity!)
- Excursions and optional activities
- Arrival transport outside of the arrival dates
- Alcoholic beverages
- Post-placement transport
You will need to join us for a minimum of 2 weeks and can stay for up to 12 weeks.
If you would like to extend you can apply to stay once you are on the placement.
Each one of our EDGE of AFRICA Initiatives is made up of various projects. When you join an EDGE Initiative you will have the chance to be involved in one more of these projects. You will have a clear timetable of your weeks work, extra activities and excursions planned for your stay.
Depending on your projects your work hours will vary. As a community volunteer you will usually work 8-4 Monday to Friday and as a conservation volunteer, you will start earlier and sometimes be assigned to weekend work, but this doesn’t mean you will miss out on any of the fun activities available.
What kind of living conditions can I expect?
Living conditions vary by the initiative and country that you choose.
In Knysna, South Africa, our initiatives are based at a comfortable volunteer house with TV, Internet and comfortable beds.
In Zimbabwe, you have access to most amenities and you stay in beautiful accommodation just outside of Harare, however, you may go for a few hours a day with no electricity, running water or internet.
In Madagascar, some accommodation may be camping with pit toilets and no running water- this is obviously for the more adventurous volunteer but is a very rewarding experience.
There are also home-stays available in most of our branches, the standards of which vary according to the community.
An example of what your first week may consist of:
Remember, we have specific arrival and departure dates, and we recommend a minimum of a 2 weeks stay.
There is also a minimum work requirement, and what you put in over and above this is entirely up to you. We appreciate all the help we can get from our ever-growing international team!
|Saturday||Arrival / Departures and introduction to accommodation. We then try to give you a good idea of your surroundings and provide you with a short ‘Town and Surrounds’ Orientation.|
|Sunday||Rest and Recuperate after your travels and get to know your fellow volunteers and team, spend the day relaxing or exploring the area.|
|Monday||EDGE of AFRICA Background and Operation Introduction followed by a project orientation, Lunch and then Project Training|
|Tuesday||You are now ready to start your Project Work under the supervision of your project coordinator|
|Wednesday||Now that you are confident in the work you have to do, we encourage you to work on a small project of your own that you can work on in any free time you have after your daily Project Work. This is not a necessity but we would like you to leave behind a legacy.|
|Friday||Half-day on a project, return home for lunch and will have the choice to join in on a Fun Afternoon Group Activity|
|Saturday||Exciting Excursion arranged by EDGE of AFRICA|
Want to know your options?
We offer a wide range of volunteering experiences to choose from!
See our volunteer initiatives