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Love Volunteers

Help in Childcare Center

Dakar, Senegal show on map

While helping in a childcare center, providing lessons, playing, caring and cleaning are essential tasks that are truly needed and appreciated.

The program

The mission of this program is to care for the underprivileged children of Dakar. Volunteers are placed in one of several nursery schools and community centers that provide support for children aged 0 to 18 years. Some of the children have been abandoned as a result of HIV/AIDS, many have families who cannot afford to support them, while others have been taken off the streets or were abandoned at birth. By supporting the overstretched staff in these centers, volunteers in Senegal provide much needed assistance. The volunteer’s contribution can help bring a brighter future for these children. At one project, volunteers can assist at La Pouponniere, a children's center run by nuns where orphaned babies up to one year old are cared for. Regardless of the assigned project, volunteers in Dakar are helping make the lives of vulnerable children better, and can rest assured that they are helping to make a difference to the lives of children in great need.

Goals of this Project:

  • Provide essential care to vulnerable children in Dakar
  • Improve the future prospects of the children in Dakar
  • Give underprivileged children quality care, compassion and a sense of hope
  • Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
How you can help

Volunteers play an essential role in helping disadvantaged children on this varied and important program. Volunteer opportunities in Senegal include teaching school-age children, counselling, helping to cook, feeding the children, cleaning, and devising and organizing fun activities and recreation. Volunteers in Senegal are instrumental is ensuring that the children in their care are well looked after, that they adhere to a routine and carry out their homework. Those volunteers working at La Pouponniere will spend time with around 60 babies, assisting the nuns and local nurses to feed, bathe, change and engage with babies. A lot of time is spent giving babies the attention they need they need and assisting with age appropriate development. Volunteers make a huge difference to the lives of these vulnerable children, and are truly needed and appreciated at these projects. 

Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:

  • Help to feed and care for the babies or children
  • Attend to, teach and interact with the babies or children
  • Create activities and entertain the children with games and songs, etc
  • Carry out duties required in the facilities such as cooking and cleaning

Typical day

A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:

7:00am Breakfast with host family

8:00am Walk or bus to project site

8:30am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor

9:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES

Midday Lunch break

1:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES

4:00pm Debrief with project supervisor

4:30pm Walk or bus back to home stay

6:00pm Dinner with host family

Evenings Free time to relax or explore the sights and sounds of the local area!

Details on Arrival

This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.

Free-time activities

Dakar is a sprawling, lively cosmopolitan city of 1.5 million. Beautiful contemporary buildings stand side by side with impressive colonial architecture. It is a vibrant city with bustling open-air markets, cafe terraces, a wide range of hotels, delicious food and an exciting night life. It’s a big African city so it’s chaotic, crowded, dusty and hustlers abound especially around the beaches and markets. Art lovers will find an abundance of studios, galleries, museums, and festivals. Senegal is a shopper’s paradise and exquisite crafts can be found in markets, on the streets, and in stores throughout in Dakar.

You can discover Dakar by taking a walk along the ocean or the busy city streets. The central Place d’Independence is a good place to orientate yourself from. If you speak French, you’ll have no problem conversing with anyone in Dakar.

Most visitors head to Senegal for its beaches, and for good reason. North and South of Dakar, wide strips of white sand invite swimming and sunbathing, both to built-up resort zones, or in one of the coast’s charming fishing villages where you can go boating in a wooden pirogue and spot flamingos and kingfishers. Dakar’s main beaches include the Plage Bel-Air and the cleaner and safer N’Gor and Yoff. Other good beaches within reach are Toubab Dialao and Yenn, which are well known for their spectacular red cliffs. For the sport enthusiast, this city by the beach offers all water sports and golf, tennis, biking, and more. What a place to volunteer!

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

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 (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School, University level
Required Documents
Emergency Contact
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
A volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language French in order to communicate effectively with staff and students, though this is not a pre-requisite. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

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Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Love Volunteers (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Love Volunteers
  • Airport pick-up on arrival
  • Orientation & full safety briefing
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 local support network
  • Project placement & onsite supervision
  • Breakfast & dinner provided
  • Return airport transfer
  • registration fee included
Airport Pickup at Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport

Upon your arrival in Dakar you will collected at the airport (Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport) by a representative of the local project team and taken to your host family accommodation. Here you will be welcomed and settled into your new surroundings. 

On Monday morning, you will be collected and taken to the local team offices where will receive a full arrival orientation. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your projects site where you will be introduced to the onsite project team and settled into your project work. Easy!

  • Project Arrival Day: SUNDAY (Between 8am and 10pm only)
  • Project Departure Day: SATURDAY
  • Arrival/Departure Airport: Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, Dakar, Senegal (CODE: DKR)

Accommodation

Volunteers on this program will be accommodated with a local host family, and will gain the opportunity to become immersed in the local culture and custom, improving their knowledge of the people, culture and language. Senegalese families are renowned for their kindness and hospitality and they love to learn about different cultures. Living with a local family truly is the best way to throw oneself into the local culture and to meet people who will often become lifelong friends!

All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have extensive experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers, but private rooms are often available upon request (additional fees may apply). Volunteers will be provided access to a shared bathroom. Host families are often happy to wash clothes for volunteers for a small fee to cover the additional electricity, though mostly volunteers will use a local laundromat. In either case you can expect to pay a small amount for the service. Alternatively, you can do your own washing, but remember that washing machines are not common so you’ll likely have to use the tub or wash basin.  For access to the internet you can purchase an internet key, the local partner will help you with this when you arrive.

It is important to remember that the living conditions in Senegal are different from home. Most families have running water, but hot water is still uncommon in some areas. Although the accommodation is basic, this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.

Dorm Room Guest Family Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Host families will provide volunteers with breakfast and dinner during the working week. Lunch is not included but can be purchased at a nearby café while at your project site – a wonderful opportunity to try the many cheap and tasty local food options!

Internet Access
Limited 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 Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport (DKR) in Dakar. We assist you to find cheap flights to Senegal.
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 Senegal provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Senegal you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Senegal.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$968.00
5 weeks
$1,128.00
6 weeks
$1,188.00
7 weeks
$1,328.00
8 weeks
$1,408.00
9 weeks
$1,538.00
10 weeks
$1,628.00
11 weeks
$1,758.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$1,848.00
Average fees
$198.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Dakar/Senegal between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Love Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Senegal.
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 Love Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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