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:
If you are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Times are dependent on the season and your programme activities:
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.
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.
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:
Embedded in the communities, support and advice is available on a 24/7/365 basis by a well-developed communication and mentoring mechanism.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.