Volunteer Projects

Gap Year, Graduate, Post-graduate Internships

South Africa

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Children of Fire wants volunteers to help brave children and young adults from across Africa who have been accidentally or intentionally burned and are recovering. We make shanty towns safer. We mitigate fire disasters. We get kids the best possible surgery and education; we foster their talents in art, sport, law and more, so that they can pursue their dreams. We speak out about social reaction towards disfigurement. We rebuild lives by pushing the limits (e.g. climbing Mt Kilimanjaro & Mt Cameroon with the children). Volunteering is geared towards bright gap year pupils, graduates and Masters students.

We offer 5 key internships:

  • Human rights & general law intern
  • Media intern
  • Medical African outreach/research intern
  • African hospital design Intern
  • Primary school teaching in inclusive environment intern

Volunteers often ask to stay longer than they had initially intended. It is challenging, hard work, makes you think out of the box and it is life-changing. We see potential in all ages so don't think you can't be useful at 17 or at 70 because you probably can be.

Children of Fire is a non-tobacco organisation and it is also pacifist. All faiths, non-faiths, colours, orientations, welcome.

Children of Fire

Project title
Gap Year, Graduate, Post-graduate Internships

Project location
Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa

Bronwen or Lungisani

Year round

English, French

Who can volunteer?
Adults of both sexes 18+

3 months but longer preferred

There is no cost to participate other than having your return airfare, meeting your visa requirements and your own travel insurance, but interns are responsible for covering their living expenses. Occasionally there is space to live on site - this is usually offered until you find your own accommodation with our help. Graduates in needed sectors can usually receive a gross monthly stipend of R4000 (pro rata) for the duration of the internship but not for the first month which they must self-fund. We travel around the country and the region, so a manual driving licence and a clean driving record, is useful. If travelling on behalf of the charity, the basic costs are met. The cost of living is cheap compared to many northern hemisphere countries and as we are in a student area between two universities, accommodation is available within walking distance.

Our kids are super-heroes to us. They literally climb the highest peaks in Africa - no mountain too high for the mind or the body; they have won medals at the Commonwealth Games and the Paralympics. They have qualified in engineering, medicine, microbiology, law, plumbing, catering, music and more. We work with the poorest of the poor, the most-badly-injured, and by being given the best surgery achievable and by being given hope, they go on to have normal lives that many people doubted they could ever have. People who work with them, look at life differently. They lose prejudices that they maybe came with, develop a little righteous anger and then shape that emotion into constructive change. The Founder works all the hours that God sends and you'll want to keep up with her - but you'll find so much fun along the chaotic, energetic, way in incredible scenery - that you will look back at this as a fascinating chapter in your life. Good for people who love humanity, have an interest in medicine, who enjoy the pursuit of excellence, who have a philosophical grounded perspective, who want to right wrongs. Graduates can get a monthly stipend of up to R4000 for the second month; shared rudimentary accommodation might be available; basic meals are usually available and you usually get to travel so arrive vaccinated. Manual driving licences and up to date First Aid skills help.

How to apply
Read instruction on our website (don\'t worry if dates not up to date there) or email to ask for a volunteer form and then send application package to; if you don\'t meet the qualifications, still ask for a volunteer form and let\'s see if there is a niche for you. We have a small base in London and can sometimes meet UK applicants there; additionally a former volunteer in Hamburg could answer questions in German.

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