00 44 (0)1457 891498 info@winniemabaso.org



What kind of volunteers are the Winnie Mabaso Foundation looking for?

We are looking for volunteers who are committed to throwing themselves fully into their adventure with us. Who are prepared to work hard and are open to new experiences, cultures and customs.

We are looking for individuals with specific skills (teachers, nursery nurses, horticulturists, medical professionals, photographers, film makers and those who are keen to muck in and help wherever needed…. That could mean helping in the kitchen, reading stories to the children or playing games, digging veggie gardens or even tackling the ironing pile!

You will never be expected to work alone and will always be partnered with one of our full-time staff members in South Africa.

Where will I stay?

The Winnie Mabaso Foundation is based in South Johannesburg – approximately one hour from O R Tambo International Airport.

Volunteers will be welcomed into our own accommodation in Mid Ennerdale where there are 3 bunk bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms with baths and showers. All rooms are provided with bedding, towels and face cloths.

There is a small kitchen area in the accommodation that you can use at your leisure, however running water and electricity often goes off so please be prepared for this.

There is a lounge area with books, and games, TV and DVD and a radio. We have a garden area where you can relax after work.

There is Wi-Fi in the volunteer house although this can be temperamental so please don’t bargain on having it 24/7!

We have 24-hour security and the property is alarmed.

Who will I be with?

There are 3 bunk bedrooms and you may well be expected to share with people you haven’t met before, but this is all part of the Mabaso adventure. There will be a maximum of 6 volunteers at any given time.

What is the age range for applications?

Volunteers should be aged 21 years and up (no upper age limit).

Families with children will be considered but no unaccompanied minors will be accepted.

What hours will I be expected to work?

You will be expected to work from 0800-1700 with 45 minutes break at lunchtime and 2 x 15 minute breaks in the morning and afternoon.

Volunteers will work 5 days per week and have 2 days off.

What could I find myself doing?

The purpose of our volunteer scheme is for you to partner and assist the staff who work for the Winnie Mabaso Foundation in SA and to support them in the day to day tasks of running our projects.

This might include helping the housemothers with the children, peeling vegetables, washing up, distributing food on the squatter camp, ironing, reading stories, playing games, weeding and watering veggie gardens, helping at the pre-school, assisting with homework, painting and decorating, helping with arts and craft activities for the children…. Alternatively you may be making films for our social networking sites, a video diary or taking photos to illustrate our work or as a medical professional you might be partnered with our local clinic in Ennerdale for a specific project…
And so much more! You will be looked after by a member of the Mabaso Team throughout your entire stay.

On the 2 days off we will organise day trips out which could include a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house, a trip to Soweto, an African Craft Market, The Apartheid Museum, The Hector Pieterson Museum, The Lion Park, a safari drive etc…

If volunteers have specific skills, these will be incorporated into a personalised schedule for their volunteer experience which will be received approximately two weeks before arrival in South Africa.

What projects does the Winnie Mabaso Foundation have?

Mid Ennerdale:

Ilamula House: A home for girls aged 2-16.

Meriting Informal Settlement:

• The Mabaso Early Childhood Development Centre: We have 30 pre-school children who come along and learn through play
• Our Library
• Gardening Project: We currently have 100 veggie gardens
• Feeding Station
• Granny Club
• Mama Nabantwana (Mother and baby club)
• Sports Activities
• Homework Club
• Sew Amazing (Sewing School)
• Clinic

What is provided when my application is accepted?

Upon successful completion of the application and all associated paperwork, we will be delighted to invite you to work with us at the Foundation, and will provide the following:

• Transport to and from the airport
• Accommodation
• 3 meals per day
• Unlimited tea, coffee and bottled water
• Fresh fruit
• Mabaso love uniform t-shirts to be worn during working hours which you can take home as souvenirs of your visit.

What will I need to pay for in order to be a volunteer?

• Up to date travel insurance
• Vaccinations
• An enhanced DBS certificate (£12 via The Winnie Mabaso Foundation)
• Your transportation to and from your departure airport in UK
• Return flights from UK to Johannesburg
• £250 per week for accommodation and meals (up to a month)
• Over a month (prices goes down to £100 for each additional week).

You may want to fundraise to pay for your trip and that is absolutely fine – please see our Volunteering Guidelines for further information. We have a Virgin Money Giving site where you can arrange your own fundraiser. The site is packed with ideas on how you can encourage people to donate from sponsored head shaves and zip wire challenges to marathon runs and bakeathons!

How long can I volunteer with the Winnie Mabaso Foundation for?

The minimum time is 1 week
The maximum time is 3 months

We would ask that you plan to arrive and leave on a Saturday.

There are a variety of airlines that fly to Johannesburg from the UK. A web comparison site like Sky Scanner is a useful tool to enable you to find the best deals.

Our team will meet you at the airport when you arrive.

How do I apply?

Please provide the following documentation by email to info@winniemabaso.org:

• A completed application form (download here)

• Everyone will be required to provide an enhanced DBS check (this will be applied for on your behalf by the Foundation at a cost of £12 unless you already have a valid one)

• A copy of your travel insurance

• A doctors certificate to confirm you are fit and well to volunteer with us.

• Confirmation that you have had the necessary travel vaccinations

• A written character reference

What others have said about volunteering with the Winnie Mabaso Foundation:

“Playing with the children and simply being involved in their day to day routine was so rewarding for me”

“I was only there for a week and I feel privileged to have been part of the team. I had an amazing experience”

“I found things out about myself as well. For example I learnt I can hold myself together in situations that are sad or overwhelming.”

“We saw some people who owned, in some cases, next to nothing, their unrelenting kindness and constant joy was truly inspiring and at times extremely moving.”