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Frequently Asked Questions

Kamamma Gerty
Volunteers painting
Bev teaching

We consider every volunteer, researcher and intern who joins us a valued part of the Dreamcatcher team. You can count on us for the following:

Below are examples of typical questions posed to us by aspiring volunteers, researchers and interns:

What is the process to register and be accepted by Dreamcatcher?

If you are:

  • referred by an agency, education institution, or employer – our registration document will be provided directly by them. You will complete this and forward it on to Dreamcatcher South Africa for processing, copying in your referrer.

Upon receipt of your completed registration form, a one-to-one meeting will be set up with Anthea on Facetime/Skype or Signal to discuss your interests and to answer any queries. Once you have formally registered you will be provided with comprehensive orientation document.

What is my accommodation like?

For the majority of your time with us you will reside in our globally recognised Homestays with Kamamma ™(meaning mother who carries her child and community on her back). This groundbreaking community-based accommodation service was developed and pioneered in South Africa over 20 years by the founder of Dreamcatcher. In 2003 it was acclaimed one of the top 3 tourism initiatives in the world for ‘Investment in People’ by the World Tourism Organization. Our Kamammas offer you comfortable home-from-home hospitality in the vicinity of your projects. They have been mentored to receive visitors, and with a high level of service ethic offer you a warm welcome throughout your stay. They are highly respected and established members of the community thereby ensuring your safety and well-being. Expect a lot of laughing and a whole lot of welcome. 

Do you cater for dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, medical, cultural, religious)?

Yes. On the registration document we ask you about your dietary requirements – this information is communicated to your Kamamma. As your food is home cooked -and prepared from scratch by your host, she gladly provides you with the meal ingredients, and excludes the items you do not eat. Many volunteers exchange recipes and at times make food alongside their hosts during their stay.

Do I share a room, or do I have my own room?

We usually encourage volunteers to have stay in their own room. However, we do accommodate twin bedded rooms where some volunteers request to share. Bathrooms are usually shared.

What are the medical facilities like in the communities and South Africa?

Pioneering the world’s first successful heart transplant, South Africa is viewed as a ‘medically advanced’ country. There are primary health care clinics throughout South Africa; our medical practitioners, nurses and paramedics are highly sought after internationally, and our medical research enjoys global standing. There are government run clinics in all the communities where Dreamcatcher functions, with accessible doctors, pharmacies and hospitals. We do expect you to have your own medical insurance cover. In this way you will be able to claim expenses back when you are home should this be necessary. All Dreamcatcher Homestay Kamammas are trained First Aid Responders, as are the project team members where you are deployed.

What can I expect from the daily activities, how many hours a day?

Times are dependent on the season and your programme activities:

  • In winter – projects generally take place Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 4.30pm with a 30-minute lunch and 2 x 15-minute beverage/comfort breaks.

  • In summer – projects generally take place Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 5.15pm. with a 45-minute lunch break due to heat, and 2 x 20-minute beverage/comfort breaks.

Note days and times may vary from project to project. Volunteers are encouraged to be flexible and be advised that changes may occur due to the needs of the projects and unforeseen circumstances.

Is there safe transport from airports to the volunteer community, and locally to my project?

Yes. Dreamcatcher has been collaborating and working with transfer enterprises and companies for many years – your airport transfers are pre-arranged. We ‘Go Truly Local’ which means most of the time your homestay will be within walking distance of the projects you will be engaged in – so you will be able to walk there with your local site mentor and project team member. Where projects are not within walking distance transport is provided.

Are Dreamcatcher South NPC aligned to any specific religious or political activities?

No. Grounded in diverse, multi-cultural communities, Dreamcatcher South Africa’s founding principles are based on leaving no one behind. We have an inclusive approach. We do HAPPY!  The following values are in place and we expect reciprocation from all visitors who join us:

Do I have support on the ground?

Embedded in the communities, support and advice is available on a 24/7/365 basis by a well-developed communication and mentoring mechanism.

Do I receive orientation?

Yes – besides one-on-one meetings before arrival in South Africa, all visitors receive orientation when they arrive in South Africa and when they arrive in their project host communities. We also provide guidance before you go on leisure trips.

Will I be safe?

Years of experience has taught us that embedding yourself in the community is the best way of ensuring safety, whilst optimising your chance to become fully integrated part of the community. Expect to meet up with happy, cheeky smiling children and adults within your host community. Together with your Homestay host, local site mentor and project team, we look after your well-being and will impart the right direction to take. Therefore it is expected you stay in the accommodation provided. Connected throughout Southern Africa, we recommend and are happy to facilitate comfortable, welcoming and affordable accommodation when you are away on your leisure time breaks.

What is included in your programme fees?

Your fees are applied to cover the following in your programme:

Transfers and transport:

Your transfers are covered from arrival to departure from South Africa. This means:

  • Return transfers to -and from international arrivals, to your orientation stay in Johannesburg.
  • Return transfers to domestic flight terminals, and to and from the community where your project is based.

If your projects are not situated in walking distance from your Homestay accommodation, return transfer to your project engagement site is also included. NOTE: Projects close to your Homestay will entail a fun return walk accompanied by your project peers and local site mentor.


  • Your 2 night/day orientation programme stay which includes accommodation, meals and tours to important sites of orientation and interest in Johannesburg. (Private personal costs such as phone data are excluded).
  • Full board and lodging at your project Homestay with Kamamma, including 3 meals a day of which your lunch is a takeaway lunch prepared by your Homestay host for you. Laundry is also included.

What else?

  • On-the-ground assistance from local project managers and site mentors for the duration of your stay.
  • Your orientation at your project community and the wider town peripheral to your community to familiarise yourself what is out there, shops, pharmacy, ATM and places of interest.

What is excluded in your programme fees?

  • All international – and domestic flights. We recommend that you fly into -and depart from Johannesburg – this is the flight hub connecting you to all the domestic airports around the country.
  • Personal travel -and medical insurance for the duration of the placement which must include cover for repatriation.
  • Travel and accommodation on leisure time activities. Note however that since we work around the country – there might be the opportunity for you to travel and visit projects/communities with us as part of your programme – in this instance travel and accommodation costs will be covered.
  • Local bus transportation over weekends and leisure time. (these tickets are inexpensive and used extensively by the local community.
  • Items of a personal nature – curios, gifts, clothing.
  • Email/internet and all telephone calls – Depending where you find yourself, while in office you may have access to free WiFi.
  • Beverages/soft drinks you may choose to purchase, otherwise than that at your accommodation.
  • All visas for border crossings if appropriate.
  • Any excursions and entrance fees over and above those you embark upon with Dreamcatcher South Africa in line with our work: For example: you may wish to travel down the Garden Route regions, to see the ostriches, the Cheetah conservation project etc. We help plan these for you in conjunction with our Founder,  whether she is in -or out of office, she is in constant contact.

In conclusion:

Spending years within a community at grass roots there exists a special bond between Dreamcatcher and the communities we assist to improve quality of life. Nurturing this level of kinship and respect is one which is earned, developed over time and valued. We recognize the community as the custodians of their environment where they live and they are consulted at all times. We have literally walked besides -and with the community over many years. Dreamcatcher South Africa will walk beside you too every step, every day. It’s the Dreamcatcher Way. 😊 It is who we are and what we do.  Expect thus to be welcome and accepted into the community.

Coby volunteering
DC Kids