Volunteer Programme

“For anyone thinking of volunteering – please do. Just a few days will not only change your life, but it will also change the lives of our doctors and community. There are so many ways to add value, and the team at Tshemba can guide you around how you can make an impact.”

— Dr Andries Maebela, Clinical Manager at Tintswalo Hospital

Our volunteer programme changes lives

Take a glimpse at how it works

Who do we need?

We recruit both South African and international healthcare professionals, including general practitioners and specialists, as well as allied professionals. Volunteers can contribute to any of the following areas:

Service: Involving direct or indirect patient care.
Some volunteers will be hands-on clinicians, others will be “backroomers” such as pathologists and radiologists.

Teaching: Skills transfer or more theoretical instruction.
From bedside one-on-ones to more formal ward rounds, from guidance on antibiotic use to interpretation of ultrasound results, weekly CPD sessions and more, we offer training to the full range of medical and allied professionals at the hospital and in the clinics.

Management support.
This support ranges from clinical guidance (for example, theatre protocols and equipment audits) to clinical criteria for referral. At the managerial level, this includes advice on, for example, queue management and reduced waiting times.

How long is the volunteer programme?

Ideally international volunteers should aim to stay for a minimum of 4 weeks, allowing for acclimatisation and integration. South African professionals are recommended to plan for a minimum of 2 weeks.

These times apply particularly to generalist disciplines. A case can be made for professionals in specialist disciplines such as anaesthesia and ophthalmology to make a shorter visit. If you would like to volunteer contact us and a duration of stay will always be negotiable within reason.

Where you'll be working

Tshemba has an MOU with the Mpumalanga Department of Health that allows us to place healthcare professionals in outlying hospitals and clinics within the province. Volunteers are primarily placed at Tintswalo Hospital, a government-run hospital which serves the 300 000 plus residents of Acornhoek, Mpumalanga. Volunteers can also choose to help out at many of the satellite clinics in the area. Volunteers are asked to put in time to support clinical outreach programmes, local school health and education programmes as well as in community facilities.

Specialised services

Our flagship project

Tshemba has partnered with the Mpumalanga Department of Health and Tintswalo Hospital to create a modern, state of the art, eye clinic and cataract operating theatre to screen and remedy common, treatable eye diseases. To date, Tshemba’s volunteering ophthalmologists, accompanied and assisted by volunteering optometrists and eye theatre nurses, have helped hundreds of people living in rural Mpumalanga to see once again.
The Hlokomela Women’s Clinic opened in July 2017 to provide healthcare specifically for women and young girls in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga area. Women were dying of both breast and cervical cancers and very little could be done about it. The Tshemba Foundation stepped in to build the clinic and today it provides a variety of services including pap smears, cryotherapy, breast ultrasounds, pelvic ultrasounds, abdominal ultrasounds and pregnancy ultrasounds.

The volunteer experience

Hear first hand accounts from our former volunteers.
Watch more volunteer stories here

What your volunteering days could look like

Our primary goal is servicing less-fortunate communities in dire need of medical attention, but we also aspire to help doctors find their love for medicine again and pass their knowledge on to local staff members who are eager to learn. We ask volunteers to help us do this by:
Teaching and training healthcare providers already onsite
Creating tools and processes that encourage training, mentoring, and shadowing
Motivating local professionals to actively continue upskilling themselves
In our volunteers’ down time, they’re invited to take a breather at the bushveld refuge that is the Tshemba Volunteer Centre. To take in the sights, sounds and experiences of the magnificent environment that surrounds it. The Tshemba Volunteer Centre is located midway between the world-famous Kruger National Park and the world’s largest green canyon, the Blyde River Canyon, so there’s never a shortage of things to do and sights to see.