Become a volunteer and provide structured assistance to the permanent caregiving staff. We currently have a team of semi-permanent volunteers who commit to serve at Baphumelele for a minimum of one year. We also work with a group of short-term volunteers that is typically made up of young people from overseas who come and help us for periods of eight weeks to several months.
Our permanent staff performs the primary caregiving duties, including feeding, nappy changing, dressing, holding, disciplining, etc. The intention is for the children to bond with the caregivers as they are the ones who can offer them love and attachment on an ongoing basis.
When volunteers are available to assist the staff with daily chores (such as bottle making, snack making, tooth brushing, cleaning syringes, preparing vegetables, tutoring, mentoring, coaching, and developmental play for infants and toddlers), the caregivers have more time to cuddle and nurture the children, especially the younger ones.
Volunteers are encouraged to build relationships with the older children (seven and up) who can understand that a volunteer is here for only a short time and needs to return home. Volunteers are not encouraged to build bonds with younger children as the steady changeover of volunteers is unhealthy for the younger children.
We train our volunteers to understand the developmental needs of our children at different ages, and they are expected to comply with our recommendations.
Baphumelele is ever grateful for the people who have devoted time, energy and love to the children and the Home throughout the years. As needs have shifted over time, we are finding that our children benefit from as much consistency as we can provide them. We are responding by migrating Baphumelele’s volunteer program towards more long-term placements.
Anyone considering volunteering at Baphumelele should understand that we are not in a position to pay for volunteer services, either directly or in-kind. In other words, we are only able to work with individuals and groups that are able to financially support themselves while serving at Baphumelele.