Provide an essential pair of
hands at the Lifeline Clinic
Quite literally the lifeline for thousands of San Bushman
- Selected Saturdays throughout the year
- Selected Saturdays throughout the year
Namibia Lifeline Clinic
Provide an essential pair of hands at the Lifeline Clinic in Epukrio, where you will contribute to the medical welfare of the San Busman community as well as gaining first-hand experience of healthcare in a developing country.
The Lifeline Clinic provides free primary health care services to more than 3,500 patients every year – with over 40% being children aged under 5. The clinic (along with the medical volunteers) are quite literally the lifeline for thousands of people within the local area.
At the rural clinic in the remote eastern region of Namibia, you will work alongside the clinic’s doctor and nurse to learn about the common diseases affecting the local population and how to treat them.
You will deal closely with patients from the local San community, where you will get the chance learn more about their way of life. You will be fully immersed in the local culture and get to experience day-to-day life and the common struggles faced by the community.
The San community are considered to be the oldest culture in the world and are traditionally hunter gatherers. They have been forced from their original lands, which are increasingly being used for grazing cattle, leaving them unable to survive in their traditional lifestyle.
Living in remote areas, the San community have considerable difficulty accessing healthcare. The region of Omaheke in Namibia covers a total area of 85000km2 with only one hospital and eleven nurse-led state clinics in this region.
More often than not, the San Bushman are treated as third class citizens and live in extreme poverty. Not only this, but recent research conducted at our clinic has shown that the San have a 15 times higher risk of tuberculosis than other tribes in the region.
The Lifeline Clinic receives no government funding and is reliant on the generosity of donors and the funds raised from medical volunteers to continue the lifesaving work.
Our aim is to give the next generation of this poverty-stricken community the education, healthcare and help they need to survive and build a brighter, healthier future.
Situated in the heart of the community that is home to around 500 San and Herero villagers, you will help within the clinic assisting the doctor and nurse with the daily tasks and help provide primary healthcare to everyone in need.
You will provide hands on support at the clinic, participating in observation, running reception and helping in the dispensary. Whatever your background or experience, you shall assist with the daily duties, which may include:
- Primary healthcare; observations, reassurance to patients, treatments and emergency referrals
- Observations; pregnancy tests, urine tests and recording findings
- Weighing babies and recording growth charts
- Blood pressure recordings
- Glucose testing and recording
- Wound dressings and cleaning of wounds
- Help in the pharmacy; stock control, packing medicines and new orders
- Family planning
- Financial record keeping and data capture input
- Accompanying the nurse into the community to carry out procedures
- General maintenance and cleaning of the clinic
- Helping with projects around the clinic such as the vegetable garden
During your time here, you will find that tuberculous and HIV are prevalent in the area. Not only this, but you will also see lots of patients with aches and pains and everyday problems. Common diseases amongst our child patients include fungal infections, intestinal worms, diarrhoea, dehydration, malnutrition and mouth infections. By themselves, these infections and illnesses may not be particularly severe, however, if left untreated they will get much worse leading to complications and sometimes even death.
In addition to the GP clinic, you’ll be able to head out into the village with the doctor, who regularly operates an outreach programme at the local primary school and Skoonheid (a resettlement programme). We also hand out donations of clothes, shoes, soap and toothbrushes to adults and children where possible.
As well as examining and treating patients at the clinic and at the outreach sites, we transport and admit patients in urgent need of medical attention to the nearest hospital in Gobabis, 120km away.
This unique programme will also allow you to spend a few days at the wildlife sanctuary, the base for your arrival and departure that is close to Windhoek airport. You will be able to assist with the many tasks at the sanctuary and you’ll be able to get up close to many different species of animal.
Prospective medical students can expect teaching on basic clinical skills, history taking and examinations of patients. Trained professionals will be asked to run consultations with patients and assist during the outreach work. This will provide a great opportunity for trained professionals to have a greater impact on the people who are a t the most in need of help.
Accommodation & meals
Accommodation & meals
While volunteering at the Lifeline Clinic you will be staying within a modern bungalow along with the resident doctor and nurse. Here you will be able to become good friends with the local team and other volunteers and learn so much about the local way of life.
Depending on the total number of volunteers at the time, you will have a bedroom all to yourself or at the most share with one of other person. All rooms are single sex, with bedding and essentials being provided.
Although the house is fairly basic, it’s more than adequate for your time volunteering. The clean and comfortable house has a kitchen where volunteers prepare their meals together as well as a large living room where everyone congregates around the TV in the evening to share stories from the day.
The communal bathroom has a western style toilet and hot water (although this can be intermittent at times).
You will receive three meals each day, which you will prepare and cook along with the local team and other volunteers. You can expect some of the following:
Breakfast – Cereal, toast, coffee, tea, sometimes eggs, bacon and muffins
Lunch & Dinner – meat, fish, pizza, quiches, wraps, stews, pasta, rice, curries
Most dietary requirements can be catered for, please just let us know in advance.
All of the below prices exclude the £149 registration fee. The total price payable is the below price + £149, as will be confirmed in the application process. To find out exactly what's included as part of fees, please click the What's Included box on the programme page.
The fees you pay go towards the structure and support put in place in order to provide you with an organised and safe environment in which to volunteer. The programme fee goes directly to our local team in Namibia and is used towards the following:
- 24-hour airport pickup and return transfer
- Three meals per day
- In-country orientation
- 24-hour in-country support
The registration fee that you pay to confirm your place on the volunteer programme is retained by our team in the United Kingdom. This fee is used towards the following:
- 24-hour UK based emergency support
- Unlimited telephone and email support
- A comprehensive volunteer handbook
- Assistance with all aspects of your trip
- 100% financial protection
- Regular programme inspections
- Certificate of completion
What's not included
There are still some parts of your trip that will need to be funded by yourself, these include:
- Flights to Windhoek (£400 - £700)
- Travel insurance
- Visa (£0)
- Criminal background check (£25)
- Spending money (estimated at £50 - £100 per week)
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality, as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check. In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 years old on the programme start date.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it does not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek (WDH) on your selected start date ( a Thursday). You will be met by one of our local team members or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign and who will then take you straight to the wildlife sanctuary.
The programme ends on a Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day. Our local team will take you back to the airport.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 18 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 - 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise that you apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates. Some of our programmes have limited capacity and spaces can get filled up quickly.
If you are wanting to volunteer within the next few weeks, then please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
It is possible to change your start dates once you have been accepted, however this is subject to availability and can attract a small administration fee.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback from previous volunteers, we believe 3 - 6 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved with the programme. This also allows you to make the most of your free time, to explore this beautiful country and to participate in any activities.
We regularly have volunteers come for 2 weeks that tell us that they did not believe they had enough time and wish they had stayed for longer.
What will my itinerary be?
Please make sure you arrive into Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek (WDH) on Thursday.
Day 1 (Thursday) – Arrival
A member of our local team will be waiting for you in arrivals holding a named sign. You will be taken straight to the wildlife sanctuary (around a 45 minute drive) where you will have the rest of the day to meet everyone else and settle in.
Day 2 (Friday) – Orientation & Animals
After a good nights rest and some breakfast, it is then time for your orientation. Our local team will go through all of the important health and safety information as well as give an overview of how the sanctuary operates. You will then assist within the wildlife sanctuary, helping all of the animals that re currently resident here.
Day 3 (Saturday) - Wildlife Sanctuary
You will continue to assist where needed within the wildlife sanctuary and enjoy your new surroundings on the reserve.
Day 4 (Sunday) - Travel East
Today we will head to the Lifeline Clinic in the East of Namibia. In total, the journey will take around 4 hours. Upon arriving, you will be shown around the accommodation and introduced to the local team and other volunteers.
Weekdays (Monday - Friday)
You will be assisting within the Lifeline Clinic for around 8 hours everyday, from Monday to Friday. You will find that time flies by, so it’s important to make the most of it! Don’t forget, our local team are there to support you and to answer any questions you may have
Weekends (Saturday - Sunday)
The weekends are free for you to enjoy the accommodation or to travel to one of the nearby villages to learn even more about the San Bushman. A popular activity is playing with the local children.
Last Few Days
During your last week, you will be transported back to the wildlife sanctuary on your final Friday. You will then spend a night at the wildlife sanctuary and be taken back to the airport for your flight on Saturday.
How will I get to the project?
As you will be staying very close to the clinic, you will make the short walk with the local team and other volunteers.
Is there Internet and phone signal?
There is no Wi-Fi within the volunteer accommodation. If you are wanting to call home or use the internet, we recommend that you bring an unlocked phone and purchase a local sim card. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap phone while in Namibia for under £15.
The Mighty Roar Local Team in Namibia
Our programmes in Namibia are run by a dedicated local team, who are committed to ensuring you have the best time ever. These team members provide the structure for your stay, including the accommodation, meals, airport pickup, in-country orientation and of course support.
They are sure to become your good friends and you will not meet nicer people that are willing to do everything in their power to make your stay the most memorable.
Will I get an in-country orientation?
Yes. Your orientation will be on Friday morning and will go through everything you need to know for your time at the sanctuary. You will be shown around the sanctuary where all of the important places will be pointed out to you and you will go through all of the important health and safety information.
What is the weather like in Namibia?
As a desert country, Namibia experiences an average of 300 days of sunshine in the year with hot summers and generally mild winters, with temperatures tending to drop at night.
The dry winter season generally runs from May until September, where daytime temperatures remain pleasant and warm, ranging from 18 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius and often plummeting in the evenings. Be sure to pack some warm clothing and a sleeping bag for the chilly evenings in this season!
The summer season runs from October to April and consists of hot days ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to sometimes 40 degrees Celsius and cooler nights. From November to March, Namibia experiences its rainy season and is sometimes blessed with sporadic rainfall which can include flash floods and heavy thunderstorms.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are. The majority of volunteers that we host come from the UK, US, Germany, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
We have many volunteers that travel with their friends, family members or with their partner. If required, we can ensure that you are based on the same project and stay within the same accommodation. On request, we can normally organise a private room too.
Is it safe to travel to Namibia?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer in Namibia to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of £149 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application has been successful.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a compulsory part of your volunteering trip, that’s why we have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy. It is suitable for all of the programmes we offer and can be taken out at any time. You can read more about our insurance here.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try our best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would affect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that affect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. It's recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that £50 - £100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.