Elderly Care Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone
Interested in being an Elderly Care volunteer in Zambia? International Volunteer HQ’s Elderly Care project enables volunteers to assist in care facilities for seniors who have nobody else to look after them. Volunteers gain experience caring for the elderly while making a real difference in the lives of older people who are likely to be homeless, ill or have disabilities.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from $270 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Provide care and connection to vulnerable elderly people
Take a safari or adventure on the Zambezi
Stay with other volunteers near the buzzing town of Livingstone
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
In Zambian culture, it’s common for elderly people to move in with their family or extended family when they are unable to care for themselves. But not everyone has family, and not all families have the capacity to house and care for their elders. These older people can be left homeless, destitute and struggling to stay healthy and fend for themselves. Volunteers provide vital assistance at elderly care facilities and can make a meaningful difference to the quality of life of older people who live there.
As an Elderly Care volunteer you will work alongside local staff in elderly care facilities for those who have nowhere else to go. These facilities can be badly under-staffed, under-resourced and unstructured so you must be willing to work independently and use your initiative. Your role will vary but help is needed with all matter of general tasks such as:
- Caring for the elderly
- Providing companionship
- Serving meals
- General maintenance
Why do Elderly Care volunteering in Livingstone with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with the elderly in Zambia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Providing care to vulnerable older people
- Improving quality of life in elderly care facilities
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining elderly care experience
- Immersing yourself in Zambia’s culture
- Discovering Africa’s incredible wildlife
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Zambia photo gallery
”My husband and I had a great volunteer experience at our Elderly Care placement in Livingstone. It was very challenging as these are individuals who don't have any family to care for them and have very little means. The staff and elderly people warmed up to us quickly and even though we only learned a handful of Nyanja, communication was not an issue. We sha...red many laughs and a few tears. We will miss the smiles and characters and hope to return some day. Our advice would be to future volunteers to keep an open mind and your heart will be filled to the brim before you leave.” read more
Read reviews from Elderly Care volunteers in LivingstoneSee more reviews
The IVHQ Zambia volunteer program is based in the laid-back tourist town of Livingstone, named after the famous colonial explorer who was thought to be the first European to see and name the nearby Victoria Falls. Set in the southern edge of Zambia, Livingstone borders Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls - the world’s biggest and most breathtaking waterfall. The area is lush with national parks, abundant wildlife and the Zambezi River which provides an exciting array of outdoor activities for adventurous volunteers.
Volunteer placements are located in Livingstone and surrounding rural areas. On the Rural Teaching project, volunteers are placed and accommodated in the Makumba village, which is located 40 miles from Livingstone.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Livingstone on the Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Livingstone. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Zambia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Livingstone on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Zambia team at the volunteer house in Livingstone. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Zambia – an introduction to Zambia, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering (the day after your orientation), you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays - A typical volunteer day is as follows:
|7:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house|
|8:00 AM||Volunteers travel to their placements to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.|
|1:00 PM||Work at the placement usually breaks for lunch. Most volunteers will receive a packed lunch. After lunch, volunteers continue with their volunteer work.|
|3:00/4:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends and volunteers return to the volunteer house or spend their free time as they wish.|
|7:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house.|
During the weekend, volunteers in Zambia have an endless list of activities to join. The area’s major attraction, Victoria Falls, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. In addition to the wealth of nearby national parks, nature lovers have the opportunity to experience a range of safaris and tours in Zambia, as well as in other neighboring countries, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Thrill seekers are also well catered to in Zambia, with an abundance of activities, such as bungee jumping, devil’s pool, white water rafting, abseiling, gorge swinging, zip-lining and microlight flights. Within Livingstone itself, a range of restaurants, curio markets and various cultural activities offer a lot to take in for those wish to stay around town.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer house, approximately 10 minutes outside of Livingstone town. You can expect to share a bedroom and bathroom with 2 to 5 other volunteers of the same gender. The volunteer house has electricity, running water, western bathrooms, and a communal lounge and garden area for relaxing and socializing. It is important to note that power cuts are common in Zambia in times of drought, which in turn affects the running water supply.
If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Zambia. The local team can assist you with purchasing a SIM card during your program orientation. You can also access WiFi from cafes and restaurants located within walking distance of the volunteer house.
Private rooms can be arranged at an additional cost (see upgrade options below) and are subject to availability. This can be arranged directly through the local team once you have registered for the program. Bed linens are provided and during the hot months, a sheet should be adequate cover in the evenings. During the cooler months, you may wish to bring a sleeping bag for an extra layer of warmth.
Volunteers are also asked to bring their own towels. The volunteer accommodation has a nighttime security guard and is located in a safe area protected by an electric fence. On-site staff clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are also required to keep their rooms and common areas tidy.
Volunteers who choose to join the Rural Teaching placement are accommodated in a basic homestay with no electricity or running water in the village. The village is around 2 miles from the school and a 1 hour in a car from Livingstone. Volunteers will help with the general running of the home stay, including gardening, moulding bricks, milking cattle, collecting firewood, collecting water from the well, feeding chickens and collecting eggs, harvesting crops, cooking and cleaning.
Accommodation upgrades Upgrade to a private room with ensuite for the duration of your time on the program for only $55 per week. The local team have both double and twin rooms available, both with en suite bathrooms.
Extra nights of accommodation If you would like to arrive a day earlier than your recommended arrival date, or wish to spend a few extra nights after finishing your program, we can arrange extra nights of accommodation for you for $35 per person, per night, meals included, subject to availability. If you would like to arrange an upgrade or extra nights of accommodation, just contact your IVHQ Program Manager who will be happy to assist you.
Volunteers are served three meals per day, prepared by an on-site local cook. All meals will be a mix of western and traditional Zambian food.
Breakfast may include fruit, toast, spreads and cereal with tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is usually provided in the volunteer accommodation, although packed lunches of sandwiches and fruit are provided if requested for those who choose to remain at their placement. Dinners will commonly be a combination of meat, starches and vegetables.
The local staff are happy to accommodate special dietary requests (vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free etc). Please let an IVHQ staff member know of any special dietary requirements in advance, so we can ensure the local staff are prepared for you.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||$270 Equivalent to $39/day|
|2 weeks||$430 Equivalent to $31/day|
|3 weeks||$560 Equivalent to $27/day|
|4 weeks||$690 Equivalent to $25/day|
|5 weeks||$820 Equivalent to $24/day|
|6 weeks||$950 Equivalent to $23/day|
|8 weeks||$1,210 Equivalent to $22/day|
|10 weeks||$1,470 Equivalent to $21/day|
|12 weeks||$1,730 Equivalent to $21/day|
|16 weeks||$2,250 Equivalent to $21/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Please note: Volunteers staying for longer than 4 weeks will need to budget an extra US$620 (subject to exchange rate) to obtain a temporary work permit from Zambian Immigration in order to stay up to 90 days.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Zambia generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Languages||English, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga|
|Currency||Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)|
Weather and climate
There are three seasons in Zambia: the dry season (mid-April to August), when temperatures drop at night, but the landscape is green and lush; the hot season (September to mid-November), when the best time to see wildlife as flora is sparse; and, the wet season (mid-November to mid-April), which is ideal for bird-watching.