Overseas Volunteers

john_kelly_ugandaIncreasingly, our health and development programmes involve volunteers drawn from the local community. In addition, we have a number of volunteers from overseas, like Birmingham obstetrician John Kelly, pictured here in Uganda.

Two-Year Contract

We ask those joining us as volunteers overseas to commit to a minimum contract of two years. This is needed because of increasing difficulties with visas and reciprocity of qualification, obtaining work permits, etc. The placement and processing of applications can take a long time so patience is needed! A period of orientation over several weekends is arranged before a volunteer's first placement with us.

There are exceptions for shorter placements in special circumstances, such as when the person has already completed a full contract and offers to return to the place he or she knows.

Current or recent volunteers have included doctors, especially surgeons and obstetricians, as well as nurses, pharmacists, accountants, and project managers.

Difficult Locations

Many of our missions are located in awesome but remote places where there are few outlets for recreation. We are unable to provide 'R&R' equivalent to that offered by other organizations that also work with volunteers. This is an important consideration for generous people thinking of spending two years aboard with us so we like to make this clear in the beginning.

Having read of the circumstances involved, if you would like to apply, we welcome your application and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please contact us.

Medical Students

Our medical facilities have long-standing arrangements with certain well established medical schools, whose students we facilitate for electives. They gain invaluable work and life experience in a new culture and in resource-challenged facilities. We benefit from learning about new techniques and therapies from visiting students. We will respond to enquiries from students outside these known medical schools but regretfully cannot promise placements, which are necessarily very limited. Nevertheless, we have been known to accommodate the occasional lucky student!

While we recognise the advantage to some young people to experience places of need during a gap year or college holidays, we are also very conscious that local people in all our missions need employment and would understandably wonder if untrained volunteers from overseas were doing jobs that they could be paid to do. In these circumstances we make a clear choice to support the local community. Thankfully, there are other organisations that undertake volunteer student-abroad experiences.