Off the shore of the African mainland, Zanzibar is an archipelago which is a part of Tanzania. Like the case in most Third World regions, Zanzibar has the tradition of early marriages and the case of teen pregnancy can be found in abundance. Healthcare system of Zanzibar is not very strong and often faces infrastructural and administrative challenges. The patient-doctor ratio is also a huge challenge. Medical Volunteering Program in Zanzibar will give you the opportunity to assist in 2 hospitals in a variety of medical disciplines for, both, students and qualified nurses as well as doctors.
The following departments are available for volunteers:
It will be a challenging experience to assist and work in a hospital that doesn't have adequate staff, has limited resources and long queues of patients waiting to be treated. One of the challenges is that the wards do not have its own sterilization facilities and everything needs to be sent to the main hospital to be sterilized.
Your role as a volunteer in the medical program will be primarily to assist the local staff on duty. This can differ depending on what level of expertise you have, and for students, it will be more about shadowing the professionals. The challenging circumstances will help you to learn from practical experiences. Volunteers in the past have delivered babies, taken blood, changed dressings, assisted with minor surgery and other activities. This is an opportunity for volunteers to gain international work experience and come out of their comfort zone. It will be challenging, so volunteers with a healthy dose of independence and flexibility will enjoy learning how the healthcare system works in Zanzibar.
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As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is recommended that potential volunteers book their programs well in advance to get confirmed placements. You can book your slot by filling the application form online and pay the application fee of $225. You can pay your program fee later and also, in installments, however, the complete payment should be made 45 days prior the start of the program. If you are volunteering in a group, you can also fill a group application form.
After you complete your application, your personalized ‘My Account’ will be active.You will need to upload your CV/Resume along with your photo in the same. Our backend team and the placement site takes around 10-12 days to review your application. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and booking confirmation is updated in your ‘My Account’. Some projects need a mandatory criminal background check and the same is mentioned in the project info of your program. Approval of your application depends on your qualification and eligibility criteria for each project.
The program requirements for the program in Zanzibar are as follows:
The minimum age requirement for the programs in Zanzibar is 18 years.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing students or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field such as CNA or EMT. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join this program.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
The participant must be in good health.
We encourage our participants to volunteer in a group. We take special care in providing you a placement and also customize your itinerary to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for. Also, we can design special group programs for groups of 5 or more. Our programs are designed to be safe, affordable and offer a great group volunteering experience to the volunteers.
In our experience of more than 10+ years we have enabled and facilitated volunteer program placements for student groups- college groups, university groups, high school groups, group of families, group of couples as well as groups of colleagues.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
If you are planning to come for multiple programs in your trip, you will have to pay the application fees just once. Your application fee is valid for a year's time (from the date of application). You will not have to pay the application fees again if you come within the mentioned time frame.
For our returning volunteers, $50 discount is provided for the application fee for their next Vol Sol program.
Volunteers are picked up from the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport located in the Unguja Island by the in-country coordinator or representative. Those coming via the sea route would be picked up from their docking station. Upon arrival at either the airport or ferry terminus, you will be welcomed by one of the coordinators who will show you around and take you to your accommodation. After freshening up and getting to know the staff, you will be given an introduction and go through some rules and regulations.
Visa in Zanzibar can be attained upon arrival for $50 as the Visa fee. Volunteers also have to attain a volunteering permit of 250 USD upon arrival. You can also write to [email protected] for your visa queries.
There are very few direct flights to Zanzibar and there are mostly charter planes from the UK. For commercial airline users, you will have to fly via Tanzania or Kenya.
From the UK, the recommended flights are:
Connecting flight to Zanzibar is Air Tanzania. You can also catch a ferry from Dar.
Ethiopian Airlines fly from London via Addis Ababa and Dar to Zanzibar.
From the USA, there are no direct flights to Tanzania. The best option is to fly from London or Amsterdam.
The in-country coordinator will be there at the airport to receive you and will ensure that you safely reach the accommodation.
Zanzibar thrives on tourism. The stone town attracts many tourists from around the world. The beach area is crowded with tourists and is safe. However, during the evening avoid going out alone. Consult your in-country coordinator for information on nightlife and where all to go in the evening. Since Zanzibar is a Muslim country, it is advisable for all to dress decently and wear full trousers and full sleeved casual shirts. Beachwear can be worn when on the beaches.
Some pointers for the project:
Ensure that you are modestly dressed.
If you are diving or snorkeling, you may be tempted to collect some shells from Zanzibar's many coral reefs. Please do not, as this kills entire reefs, the devastating effects of which can be seen in the well-trodden areas of the East African coast. Although there are shell sellers, you are asked not to buy shells from them, as it simply encourages this harmful industry.
Zanzibar is an amazingly photogenic place but if you want to take photographs of people, please ask for their permission first, out of respect for them.
If you are not Muslim, do not enter any of Zanzibar's mosques.
Keep in mind that your safety comes with your own behavior and looking for your personal items. Lock your room if possible, give valuables to the coordinators to keep for you and be aware of your surroundings.
Zanzibar is alluring to many different tourists and many women from the west will find their African lovers here. Be aware of the smooth talking beach boys that you will encounter and can organize everything for ‘free’ for you or very cheap, there usually is a price to pay somewhere down the line.
Volunteers should carry general medicines along with them on their travel. Medicines like antacid, aspirin and basic painkillers should be carried. You are recommended to take advice from your general physician before you embark on your journey.
We recommend these basic vaccinations for your safety:
Hepatitis A and B
Yes, for all participants it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
Your program coordinator will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program, city, culture etc.You will be briefed about the local transportation and also about your transfers to the project every day from the accommodation.
Your accommodation would be in the Stone Town area. Volunteers stay at the volunteer’s house on sharing basis with other volunteers. The rooms are provided on same gender sharing basis. The volunteer house is very spacious and is equipped with a fully functional kitchen. Meals are provided 3 times a day by the cook who is present at the volunteer house. Your meal will include meat, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. Within walking distance, you will find the white beaches and clear blue sea of the Indian Ocean where you can swim safely, enjoy sunbathing and watch mind-boggling sunsets.
Depending on your project VolSol volunteers are required to put around 5-6 hours of volunteer work for 5 days in a week. Evenings and Weekends are free for you to explore in and around the city and indulge in your personal work or activity. You can:
Visit the old forts, museums and beautiful streets of Stone Town.
Eat the seafood you can at Forodhani Gardens in the evening.
Go on a spice tour to see how cloves, nutmeg and much more are grown.
Go swimming in crystal clear water.
Snorkel or dive in some of the beautiful reefs of the world.
Relax and enjoy the island!
Your program fee covers your accommodation, airport pick-up, orientation, pre-departure information, and in-country staff support. You will need to cover your personal expenses, such as traveling, telephone, the internet, shopping, sightseeing, return airport drop, weekend tours etc. However, you should carry around $50 - $60 per week for your basic personal expenses, such as water, local transport, phone etc.
For an additional extra cost of $50, we can arrange for your airport drop as well.
VolSol volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day for 5 days a week. The working hours can vary and is dependent on your program type. You will have the weekend off so you can go to travel on weekends.
There is one Bureau De change at Airport and an ATM point. Also, there is another Barclays ATM point on the way to Pongwe at Mwanakwerekwe Barclays branch, just 10 minutes from Airport. Stone Town also has one Bureau De Change. Most shops in the Stone Town accept Dollars, Pounds, and Euros.
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to connect with other participants and our team.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
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