Global Handprints | Independent Volunteer Experiences at Locally Established Projects

Global Handprints - Independent Volunteer Experiences at Locally Established Projects

Global Handprints | Independent Volunteer Experiences at Locally Established Projects
Global Handprints | Independent Volunteer Experiences at Locally Established Projects

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Global Handprints | Independent Volunteer Experiences at Locally Established Projects
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What experience do I need?

Road Trips; You do not need any specific experience to join our Community Development Road Trips! All we ask is that you bring a sense of adventure with you.

TtT: In order to take part in this project, you will need to be either a fully qualified teacher or enrolled in a teacher training program. Global Handprints will ask for proof of your qualification or enrolment at the time of registration.

Will there be Global Handprints staff with me while I am in South Africa?

Road Trips: You will be met at the airport by your Guide who will be your driver / Guide / friend for the duration of your trip. In some cases, while you’re at work, the Guide will need to run errands to get things ready for your next stop. When this is the case, Road Trippers will be looked after by our partners at the community projects.

TtT: You will be met at the airport by a Coordinator who will take you to your accommodation and help you get settled. On a daily basis, you will be driven to, and accompanied in, school by a Zulu coordinator. Global Handprints staff will be on hand at the start and end of each day however the evenings are your free and independent time.

Are there any age restrictions?

No! We want people of all ages, sizes, colours, professions and backgrounds to get involved! However, we do ask that you read the itineraries carefully as some do include exhilarating or physical activities that you may not be comfortable with. Please do not let this put you off though as if there is something you’re less keen on doing we can just let your Guide or Coordinator know.

How do I know that my contribution will make a difference?

Global Handprints works with projects in small communities where development is important for all involved. As a Social Enterprise, we reinvest at least half of any surpluses towards our social purpose and are transparent about both how we operate and the impact that we have on communities. We try to set up projects in which both Volunteer Teachers and Road Trippers are able to see the difference their contributions make at the time. However, some projects are run on a more long term basis and the real difference can be much more clearly seen over a period of time. We encourage everyone to stay up to date with, and involved in, Global Handprints’ projects after they have left. Through our social media and newsletters it is easy for everyone to see the continuation of developments that they were involved in while here.

How does Global Handprints support the local communities?

Wherever possible we employ local staff and use locally established businesses and projects as well as locally grown or manufactured resources. Before starting work in any community, we meet the locals, so we can listen to, and incorporate, our partner’s ideas and visions. Above all, we only work in communities that want us involved and who are keen to establish an active, two way partnership in which we work together.

Do I need to speak the local languages?

No you will not need to speak any of the local languages (there are 11 in South Africa alone!) Global Handprints’ Guides and Coordinators speak the relevant languages for each region enabling them to communicate on your behalf. Most of our placements and Road Trips include an initial language lesson and the Guides and Coordinators and will be more than happy to help you learn and improve.

Will I be safe?

Global Handprints works very hard to ensure all the safety of all Road Trippers and volunteers. Please see the Safety page for more details.

Will I need a visa?

Yes, you will need a visa to enter South Africa. In most cases you will be able to get this on arrival at the airport however, all volunteers and Road Trippers are responsible for checking the requirements themselves. The South African Home Affairs website is a great starting point to find out what visas are needed.

What vaccinations do I need?

There are several vaccinations that are recommended for travel in South Africa however, what you will need does depend on your vaccination history. We suggest that you talk to your family doctor to make sure that you are up to date and to make arrangements for any that you may require.

Will I be at risk of malaria?

Although our projects operate in Malaria free zones or low risk areas, we encourage volunteers and Road Trippers to bring appropriate level mosquito protection and to use mosquito nets where possible. It is your personal preference as to whether you choose to take anti-malarials and your local doctor should be able to offer advice on the various options.

Do I need insurance?

Yes! As with any overseas trip, it is always recommended that you purchase a travel and / or medical insurance policy. For your time with Global Handprints, you will need a policy that covers you for volunteer activities in Africa. Please also make sure that the policy covers any specific activities that are listed as being included in your itinerary. Global Handprints requires your policy details prior to departure and we ask that you keep a copy of your policy on you at all times while Road Tripping or on placement.


Why are there no set dates on the website for me to choose from?

Both the Community Development Road Trips and the TtT projects are relatively new. For now, we are taking bookings to meet demand from volunteers (as long as it fits in with our partners) In the long run, there will be set dates for both programs but right now we want to be able to accommodate people’s individual availability as much as possible.

When do I pay for my placement or Road Trip?

Global Handprints will require both the 25% non-refundable deposit and the balance at the time of booking. Should you need to cancel for some reason, please let us know as soon as possible and we will discuss alternative dates or refund options as listed below;

Amount of notice given More than 8 weeks prior to departure 8 – 2 weeks prior to departure Less than 2 weeks prior to departure
% of full price to be refunded 75% 60% 0%
Amount of notice given More than 8 weeks prior to departure
% of full price to be refunded 75%
8 – 2 weeks prior to departure Less than 2 weeks prior to departure
60% 0%
What do I need to pay for in addition to the Global Handprints fee?

Please follow these links to see what is and isn’t included in each specific fee; Community Development Road Trips Teachers teaching Teachers

Where do I have to fly to and will I be met there?

We ask all volunteers to fly into Durban (King Shakka) airport where you will be met at 1pm on the first day of your program. Details of where to meet and contact numbers, should there be a problem, will be sent out with your Welcome Pack.

Do you meet any dietary requirements?

We do our best to accommodate any dietary requirements Road Trippers or volunteers may have. However, our placements and Road Trips are based in rural South Africa where availability of items can sometimes be restricted. Please make sure you accurately complete the dietary requirements section when registering and we will make your Guide or Coordinator aware of this.

What should I bring?

Please click to download our suggested Packing List.

While You're Here

What will an average day as a volunteer Teacher look like?

Please see the TtT Daily Schedule page for an idea of what to expect.

How many will be in my group?

Road Trips: Our vehicles seat 5 people (plus the Guide) and we choose not to have more than 2 vehicles on each route at any one time.

TtT: This depends on the school you are working at and how many Volunteer Teachers they can host.

Can I be with my friends / family / colleagues?

We try our best to keep everyone together like one happy family; Road Trips: Depending on the numbers in your group you will have the sole use of a vehicle (or of two if there’s lots of you!)

TtT: Volunteers will all be accommodated together but depending on the schools we will be working in at the time of your placement, Volunteer Teachers may be split up during the day.

How many hours a day will I be travelling?

Road Trips: We try to limit the amount of time spent in vehicles as much as possible. But, South Africa is a big country and we want you to see as much as possible! Our itineraries have been carefully put together to try and break journeys up with fun and cultural activities.

TtT: In most cases, our schools are within an hours drive of the accommodation and we do our best to always place Volunteer Teachers in schools as close to their accommodation as possible.

What happens if a vehicle breaks down?

All our vehicles are fitted with an emergency break down kit and all drivers are trained to deal with basics for example flat tyres.

What if I don’t want to take part in all the activities?

Unfortunately, because our programs are fixed, we are not able to offer discounts if you choose not to take part in something. However, you will be able to replace the activity with free time to relax and take part in other activities depending on where you are at the time. Just let us know prior to your departure if there is something you’re not keen on and we can chat through this with you.

How will I contact home while I’m away?

Road Trips: Where possible we choose accommodation that has either WiFi to use with your personal devices or computer access. While on the road, Road Trippers will have access to the global Handprints tablet enabling them to check up on social media and emails. We have chosen to provided this because we think it is important that Road Trippers get to spend evenings and free time hanging out, meeting people and socializing rather than online.

TtT: Volunteer Teachers stay at a backpackers with WiFi and can also use WiFi at many places in town for free.

Global Handprints | Independent Volunteer Experiences at Locally Established Projects
  • han(d) | print/: (noun) impression or mark made by a hand