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Khaya Volunteer Projects

Missionvale Medical Assistant

At this program in Missionvale Township, medical personnel or/and medical students are highly needed.

About the Program

The Missionvale Care Centre operates in the extremely poor informal shack land township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa - part of the wider Nelson Mandela Metropole. Sister Ethel Normoyle, founded it from humble beginnings, under a tree donated by a resident of Missionvale. It has grown into a Centre, which provides love and care for the poor and destitute, with particular emphasis on those living with HIV/AIDS.

Missionvale Care Centre is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality care and support to improve the life of the people of Missionvale through love, consultation, participation and self-development. They respond to the many needs of the people in the circumstances in which they live in a variety of ways.

Missionvale Medical is a program that focuses on the medical side of the Missionvale Care Centre. Within the care center there is a clinic and a pharmacist. Besides this, Missionvale’s medical team provides home visits and homebased care within the surrounding township. 


The clinic offers a one-step facility where the people of the surrounding community can get a general check-up and additional care with possible illnesses, especially TB and HIV/AIDS related illnesses. The caregivers need help from nurses or doctors (both qualified as still studying) to offer proper care during the daily home visits into the township. There are qualified nurses working at Missionvale but not enough can be done and we call out to anybody with a medical or nursing background to come and make a difference. Previous volunteers with a medical background have been able to assist the doctor and provide much needed services. Missionvale also runs its own small pharmacy to hand out needed medication.

Homebased Care

Due to the complexity of some illnesses and incapacity of patients to come to the Care Center, Missionvale goes out of their way to visit such patients in their own homes; homes that sometimes consist of little more than a homemade shack providing challenging living conditions for anyone living here. The Caregivers do their rounds through the township on a daily basis and provide basic medical care to those in need; changing dressings, checking blood pressure, administrating medication and other medical services. 

Program needs

Missionvale Medical is a program in need for volunteers who have a medical background. Fully qualified doctors, general practitioners, pediatricians, dentists, nurses but also medical students are more than welcome.

Besides volunteers, the program is always in need of medical equipment, supplies and financial donations. Some items there is always a shortage off are betadine, antibiotics, surgical gloves, cream for allergies, bandaging and gauze and all kinds of other basic medical supplies so if you have the chance to bring any; they will be put to good use. 

Suitable for


Typical day

You can be helpful in various ways and medical related activities such as seeing patients, cleaning wounds and taking blood as well as non-medical activities such as administration and helping in the pharmacy. On Thursday the focus is on medical help for women only. Help is needed in breast research, performing pap smaers and taking pregnancy tests.

You will work Monday-Thursday from about 8h00-15h00, while Friday is from 8h00-12h00 and weekends are off. Some days might start earlier or later and in summertime, due to the heat, hours can change.

The clinic opens at 8h00 and closes when the last patient leaves the clinic, however after 12h00 no new patients are accepted anymore.

Please be aware that Missionvale has huge challenges in providing continuous medical services and that your active role can help them to help more people. Some days however there is no doctor available and volunteers should expect to also be involved in other activities the center provides such as helping in the soup kitchen, clothing warehouse, school and feeding programs. This diversity however gives volunteers the great opportunity to see the bigger picture and assist with the care Missionvale provides in all its diversity. 

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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Education Requirements
Healthcare at Medical qualified volunteers or medical students level
Required Documents
CV and Proof of education
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 - 15:00

Any questions? Just ask. We at Khaya Volunteer Projects are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

The Eastern Cape and the surroundings of Port Elizabeth show a large variety of natural beauty and make PE a great central place to visit the variety of South Africa. To the East you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei) which is mostly rural and undeveloped, but closer you will find Addo Elephant Park and great coastal villages such as Port Alfred. To the North you will find the great Karoo; a semi desert area with wide open spaces, large nature areas and long open roads with historical places such as Graaff Reinet, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness and much more. To the East towards Cape Town, you will be amazed by the Tsitsikamma National Park, holiday villages such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and natures Valley or the surf mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay. This gives you plenty to see and visit while you are here. 
During the weekends or after work there are a few beautiful places in Port Elizabeth as well that you can visit. Such as SAMREC, where you have the biggest penguin colony in the world, Sardinia bay, or catch a boat and go sandboarding on the Sunday river.

Water Sports

Included Services

What's included?

Included in the full volunteering fee:

  • Information and assistance before departure
  • Pick up upon arrival and drop off at the end of your stay
  • Welcome pack with information guide, free SIM-card, maps, etc. upon arrival
  • City Tour and Introduction Program
  • Accommodation in volunteer house close to the beach (7 nights per week of volunteering booked)
  • Onsite volunteer coordinator available 24/7
  • 3 basic meals a day
  • 15% direct donation to the program’s needs
  • Transfers to and from the program daily
  • Offer of weekend trips and outings (extra costs apply) to enjoy yourself on the weekends
Airport Pickup at Port Elizabeth
One of our coordinators will pick you up from the airport when arriving. This is included in the volunteer program fee. There will also be a driver everyday who'll bring you to the program.
Our volunteer house is situated in Humewood, Port Elizabeth:
The volunteer house lies in the popular beach front area of Humewood, and is only a 5 minute walk away from the beach. Shops, beachfront cafés, restaurants and access to other facilities are all within easy reach. It’s the perfect location to enjoy the beach after work or during weekends. The volunteer house offers spacious living conditions and is shared with other volunteers. Depending how busy it is, you'll share a bedroom.
Dorm Room Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
Three meals per day are included and we work on a set menu per week. Volunteers do the cooking while we provide the groceries and together we set a menu per week.  There is free coffee, tea and cordial juice available at any time. For breakfast you will have toast, fruit, yoghurt, cereal and/or eggs. For lunch you can have sandwiches with cheese, marmalade, cold meats or other spreads. 
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.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Port Elizabeth/South Africa between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Khaya Volunteer Projects 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 Khaya Volunteer Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Port Elizabeth (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
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 South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
3 Chalmers Road, Humewood, 6013 Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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