Neighbourhood Care Points Helper

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founded in 2006
people and places
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Coordinator | sallie
Coordinator | sallie
Help support a network of neighbourhood care points where staff care for disadvantaged children. Share your creative skills, life skills, education skills with them. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

About the Program

Volunteers are needed to help at one of the Neighbourhood Care Points in Swaziland, which care for orphaned and vulnerable children and their families within their local community.  They would like volunteers who could support them in any of the following ways:

  • helping to teach the children English, maths, life skills and creative subjects to prepare them for school
  • preparing resources to help the children learn
  • encouraging learning through play
  • organising activities, games and educational outings for the children
  • teacher training and curriculum development
  • therapists and counsellors to identify and work with children who have particular needs
  • taking part in community awareness initiatives - e.g. running parenting classes
  • providing expertise on nutrition
  • constructing basic shelters and helping to improve existing shelters
  • developing gardens, water systems and structures needed at the centres and at child-headed households
  • getting involved in fund-raising activities and events
The background

Despite its stable history and peaceful reputation, Swaziland has one of the world’s highest HIV/AIDs prevalence rates which has taken its toll on the population leaving many children orphaned or vulnerable.  It also has an unemployment rate of about 30% which rises to over 50% among the youth.  These factors combine leading to approximately 63% of the population living below the poverty line.  Young people in particular are increasingly becoming vulnerable to poverty; around 31% of children in Swaziland experience health challenges due to malnutrition, and on average children attend school for just seven years.  Many of Swaziland’s children have lost their parents and thus face food shortages and lack of adequate shelter and care.

About Neighbourhood Care Points

The NCP initiative was initially started by UNICEF to provide support and care for children left without adequate family support because of the effects of the HIV/AIDs epidemic.  There are many NCPs throughout Swaziland, some run by NGOs, some by churches and some by the local community.  Their over-riding aim is to provide orphaned and vulnerable children with the care and support they and their families need to enable them to continue to live within their community.  Many children are cared for by grandparents or other members of the extended family.  Many of them are more vulnerable to abuse in all its forms than children brought up in more conventional families.  The NCPs are an important source of stability in their lives.

In addition the NCPs supported by this project aim to provide the right nurturing and educational environment to get children ready for school.

The NCPs are basic, rough structures, located near community dwellings, although with volunteer help they are gradually being improved and extended.  The people of the community run the care points and in conjunction with volunteers from the communities look after the children, teach them and prepare their food.  All the NCPs have a garden where food is grown to supplement the meals.

Your Role as a Volunteer

Volunteers can provide support in so many ways. 

The NCPs cater for children from 3 to 6 years of age but usually only have one teacher so classroom support is urgently needed.  

Local teachers are mostly untrained so will welcome any sort of advice on teaching methods or ways to help the children learn through play - there is a curriculum in place with suggested activities but the teachers lack confidence in implementing it.  

You can help to organise activities for the children and prepare resources to make their classroom a more interesting place for them.  You can also help with children's individual needs - both educational and physical - or with community support projects, all with the aim of creating a healthier, more supportive environment for the children to live in.  

You can also help to develop the infrastructure of the NCPs, including the play areas and gardens.  Exactly what each volunteer does will be individually tailored to match their skills and experience, to maximise the contribution each volunteer makes towards addressing local needs.  Volunteers will work with our local partners and with people working at the NCPs to fulfill their placement outline.

Typical day

The NCPs operate in the mornings, for about 8.00 to about 12.30.  Volunteers' hours would vary according to their specific placement outline, but might include some work in the afternoons with teachers or the local community, or in the preparation of materials to support the curriculum.

Free-time activities

Take advantage of living and working in the beautiful African country of Swaziland to join a safari, either in Swaziland or in Kruger Park, just over the border into South Africa. Our local partners can organise this for you.  

You can also easily take a trip into Mozambique to see the wildlife or go to the coast.  

There are small museums in Lobamba and Mbabane.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at High school level
Required Documents
Life story and references
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00

What's Included

Services by people and places


  • private en-suite accommodation
  • three meals a day
  • transfers to and from Johannesburg Airport
  • full local orientation
  • project and placement liaison
  • contribution to project
Airport pickup, accommodation and food & drink are included in the fees.

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

For volunteers who arrive on the first Monday of the month, a pickup is arranged from the international airport in Johannesburg.  

Joining instructions will be provided before arrival, but usually volunteers make their way to an agreed meeting point somewhere in the arrivals hall. 

The journey to Swaziland by comfortable minibus takes about three hours and includes the immigration formalities for crossing the border into Swaziland.


You will stay in a private en-suite room in volunteer lodge. Each room has a private outdoor seating area though there are also communal areas where you can socialise with other guests.  

The lodge also has dormitory accommodation, usually used by groups of young volunteers.  There is a shared kitchen with a fridge where volunteers can keep and prepare their own food if required.  The lodge is conveniently located on the main Ezulwini road, less than 2km from many of the area's main facilities & attractions (craft markets, the Gables shopping centre, hotels, restaurants).  

There is a TV lounge with board games and book exchange and a large deck area and outdoor pool.  The lodge is surrounded by a spacious garden with plenty of trees and boulders, a communal barbecue (braai) and camp fire area. Often you can see monkeys roaming around the garden and the many plants attract a wide range of birds. 

Guesthouse or small hotel accommodation can also be provided, at additional cost.

Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Cooking and dishes are shared between volunteers on a fairly relaxed rotational basis organised by the accommodation manager. Facilities are communal and simple and food shopping is done by the manager to cater for three meals per day. 

Generally breakfast will be cereals and toast, lunch will be sandwiches and salad, and dinner will be a cooked meal. 

Cooked meals are healthy and nutritious and we try to cater for different needs and preferences as much as possible, but it may be difficult to please everyone all of the time therefore some compromise is needed. We ask you to be flexible and respectful about the food that has been prepared for you.  Alternatively volunteers may opt out of the meals arrangement and do their own cooking in the volunteer kitchen.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. We assist you to find cheap flights to Swaziland.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Swaziland provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Swaziland you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Swaziland.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The required arrival date is the first Monday of each month.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,777
5 weeks
$ 2,137
6 weeks
$ 2,497
7 weeks
$ 2,857
8 weeks
$ 3,217
9 weeks
$ 3,576
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 4,656
Average fees
$ 416 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. people and places will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with people and places during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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  Africa Southern Africa Swaziland  Lobamba, PO Box 153

Neighbourhood Care Points Helper

Help support a network of neighbourhood care points where staff care for disadvantaged children. Share your creative skills, life skills, education skills with them.


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from $ 1,777
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