VOLUNTEER INVEST BLOG

KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH OUR JOURNEY; WITH GUEST CONTRIBUTORS AND VOLUNTEER ABROAD EXPERIENCES THIS IS THE PLACE TO FOLLOW THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND READ OTHER VOLUNTEER STORIES.

Ultimate Guide to Volunteering and Visa Applications

Different countries have different visa requirements for volunteers. We know the visa process can be quite complicated and confusing, so we’ve jotted down some general information about obtaining a visa for Ghana, India, or South Africa as a U.K. citizen. We’re also...

VOLUNTEER DIARY: Pelin’s Story

Our volunteer opportunities at Faith Aalingan in Jaipur, India offer the unique experience of working directly with children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and helping them overcome the stigma associated with it to live full lives and follow their dreams....

Volunteering in Ghana: Your Questions Answered

Interested in volunteering in Ghana? Ghana is an incredible country full of friendly people, wonderful cuisine  and a long history. There are also a great number of people, especially children, facing adversity in Ghana. Choosing to volunteer in Ghana is a life...

Hear from a Volunteer – Why you Should Volunteer in Ghana

So you’re thinking about volunteering in Ghana? That’s great news! Volunteer Invest offers a number of programmes, in everything from teaching to sports to medicine. You can use your own unique talents and skills to help the people of Senya-Beraku and really become a...

VOLUNTEER DIARY: Megan’s Story

Every year, we have university students studying psychology, medicine, education and more volunteer at our sites. Recently, Morgan, a psychology student, volunteered with Bobbi Bear in South Africa helping children who have been victims of abuse. This experience made...

Orphanage in India – A Memoir

Ambika had called me her sister and I was brimming with joy. It was not until we walked down the street and she was calling complete strangers ‘Uncle’, and ‘Cousin’, and ‘Grandmother’, that I realised it may not have had the significance I once thought. That being...

A Personal Insight into Volunteering Solo

The Lone Traveller    “Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back” – Robert Frost, the road not taken   Personal insight number 1 I realised I was re affirming the point of my own existence through social media, purposeless...

We Will Support You

Volunteer Invest boasts a personal approach. We are here to support you… every step of the way. Whether that is tweeting your fundraising page, offering on-the-job moral support, or tailoring our projects to suit your needs.   Fancy a chat –  With a...

Well-Being: Getting Back while Giving Back

It is becoming increasingly common knowledge that keeping our mental health in mind is important for all of us. The daily stresses of modern life can send us spiralling into dizzy, anxious panics, aided by our eccentric obsessive and addictive culture. The media then...

Challenge

Challenge – those who test their abilities, fight for what they believe in, or try something new, achieve more in life.   While it is common knowledge that a little competition in work, or personal life can make you strive a little harder and achieve more,...

A Real Impact – The Story Behind Medical Impact

Volunteering is a complex process, especially when medicine is involved. When volunteers from developed countries travel to countries like Ghana or South Africa to help in medical clinics, they are often faced with diseases and problems they are not familiar with....

From Facebook to Football : Meeting People While Traveling

Travelling is an adventure. But it can get quite lonely, especially if you’re volunteering in a rural area with limited internet connection and lack of running water. If you’re travelling alone, staying in your location for a prolonged time, or just keen on making new...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Jamie’s Story

CREATING CONNECTIONS Today, we’re talking to one of our Ghana volunteers, Jamie. Jamie is an aspiring nurse who spent two weeks working with children in Senya-Beraku. Read her story below to find out about how Jamie’s experiences in Ghana changed not only...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Megan’s Story

Read the story of Megan, one of our volunteers who spent a month in Ghana. Megan worked in childcare, helping children both at the school and at the orphanage run by Becky’s Foundation. Despite the many hardships faced by these children, Megan saw their innate...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Kora’s Story

One of our past volunteers, Kora, spent 6 weeks volunteering in South Africa with Bobbi Bear. Read all about her experience below and how it contributed to her finding her purpose as a lawyer.    What did your volunteering work consist of? My volunteering...

Put the Fun in Fundraising

Signing up to volunteer abroad is a wonderful experience. You’re probably feeling excited about the trip, a bit nervous about what will come, and generally eager to get going! But you’re also probably wondering how you’re going to fundraise. We believe fundraising...

Building your CV Overseas

There’s no doubt that volunteering abroad is enormously impactful to those who participate. And we know that employers like to see it in applicants. Up to 82% of job interviewers said they prefer applicants that have some sort of volunteer experience on their resume....

Empowering Women through Education in Ghana

Ghana is a developing nation. As they develop economically, the country also develops socially. There have been significant social improvements over the past several years, but there is still progress to be made. As with many developing nations, Ghana is still working...

Making an Impact while Volunteering Abroad

Choosing to volunteer abroad can be a stressful process. There are an overwhelming number of organisations to volunteer with and it can be difficult to find the best one for you. While everyone has different specificities that they are looking for with their volunteer...

What to Pack on Your Volunteer Abroad Trip

One of the questions at the front of everyone’s mind as they get ready to volunteer abroad is “what in the world am I going to pack?” If this is your first time volunteering, this can be an especially daunting task. To help get you started, we have prepared a small...

What Inspires You?

Everyone is inspired by something different. Here at Volunteer Invest, we are inspired by the foundations we work with and all the good they do to help children in Ghana, India, and South Africa. We’re also inspired by the passion of our volunteers, who...

Cape Coast Castle | Volunteer Abroad Extras

This World Heritage Site is reputed to have been one of the largest slave-holding sites in the world during the colonial ear, where Ghanaians – many of them traded to the British by the Ashanti in return for alcohol and guns – were stored before being cramped into...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Kerry’s Story | Part Two

  One morning, at 7am I dragged myself away from bed, realising my bed was soaking wet. During the night my ‘soggy’ cold water bottle had leaked, the bed broke and I cried for the first time. I had found the end of my tether. It was very humid and the...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Kerry’s Story | Part One

We arrived at Accra airport at 8pm. We had read this part could be ‘hectic and busy with hundreds of people not allowed inside the airport’ so we were on high alert. The heat hit us immediately as we stepped off the plane and we both reflected on a time when we lived...

Ultimate Volunteering Abroad Opportunities

With thousands of volunteer abroad opportunities available, how do you choose the right one for you? We are here to help. Volunteer Invest doesn’t advertise hundreds of opportunities, in hundreds of countries, as we believe in making your volunteer programme exclusive...

Under the Illovo Tree | Bobbi Bear

The Tree Clinic was started in 1996 as a way of addressing HIV/AIDS, human rights, empowerment and democracy development. The Tree Clinic is run every Friday by Bobbi Bear staff and Volunteer Invest international volunteers. At the Tree Clinic, members of the...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Inga Part 2

Action and Acceptance Since the two children left our house my volunteer work at Bobbi Bear was more structured. Going to the center in the morning, counselling, police stations, fresh cases, old cases, quiet evenings. Then it became busier again for me since the...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Inga’s Story

Thrown in at the Deep End   My first few days in South Africa, what can I say… I did my homework beforehand but I was still surprised in both a positive and negative way. There was my lovely host and her family giving me a home and making me feel like a...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Volunteering For My Career

When did you volunteer with Bobbi Bear? How long were you with them? I was there twice, once in 2006 at the Tree Clinic and then I went back in 2010 for six weeks. What inspired you to go to Bobbi Bear? What were your expectations before staying there? The first time...

Why Should I Pay to Volunteer?

  So the conversation goes……. “I heard about your travels and volunteering abroad project? That’s amazing. It sounds so rewarding and life changing. I would love to do this one day. I have always wanted to go to India and Africa!” “How much is...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Optional Extras

After another restful night, I was excited for our day out; a trip to Cape Coast. Ghana was the main port used to process slaves from all over Africa, before they were sent to the Americas for a lifetime of slavery. It is a harrowing history, that I feel we skirt over...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Saying Goodbye

This fantastic testimony was provided by one of our volunteers who has asked to remain anonymous. In her story, you will find the very essence of volunteering work. The desire to give back to the community took this volunteer to the Bobbi Bear centre in South Africa...

DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER | Kiki Rops

  Those weeks at Bobbi Bear have been the most memorable and fantastic I have ever experienced in my life. I am so happy and grateful that I was able to volunteer for them. Thinking of Bobbi Bear gives me this feeling which is really hard to explain in words, but...

How To Fund Your Volunteer Programme

Don’t let financial barriers keep you from participating in such a meaningful adventure Volunteering abroad is a fantastic way to travel and see the world while using your skills and time to help a community in need. It can also be a source of personal transformation...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Sarah’s Story

The Keys to a Better Life   Can you tell me a bit about your volunteer experience at Faith with Arms Around the Child in India? I went to India to volunteer with Arms Around the Child to volunteer with kids with HIV/AIDS and I stayed with a family whose mother...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Shauna’s Story

  Volunteering at Bobbi Bear has changed my life. Before this experience, I was just a psychology student at a university, extracting information from books, and I never had any practical experience working with victims of abuse. I had never travelled this far to...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Nienke’S Story

A Community Empowered   What follows is the testimony of one of our volunteers who’ve come back to Bobbi Bear after they had truly embraced the organisation’s ethos in their first volunteering experience. The strength of Bobbi Bear lies in a true...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Wendy’s Story

Aim for the Smile Like most people, I decided to do volunteering work abroad out of a very simple desire to help other people. My only metric for success? To be able to put a smile on just one face, although I aimed (and got!) many more smiles. Before I started I...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Austin’s Story

A Search For Meaning    What made you decide to volunteer with Bobbi Bear? In 2008 I was working as a sales manager when I was caught in the crossfire of an armed robbery, a bullet hit me in the face and I came out alive to tell the story. This life changing...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Jennifer’s Story

When did you volunteer with Bobbi Bear? I first went in 2006 and then returned in 2010 to research my Anthropology dissertation titled ‘Bearing Witness to Child Rape: negotiating adult perceptions of childhood in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa’.   How long were you with...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Richard and Natalie’s story

Whilst travelling around Rajesthan in December 2016 we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit Faith Orphanage in Jaipur. This was a fantastic experience, and while neither of us were sure of what to expect, we were both completely bowled over by the...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Joyce’s Story

Bobbi Bear made me a better mother   How long did you volunteer with Bobbi Bear and what did the work consist of? I volunteered with Bobbi Bear for 6 weeks from the end of August until the beginning of October. My work involved playing with the children and...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Viola’s Story

  Inspired to be a better person   When did you volunteer with Bobbi Bear and how long were you there for? When I first started looking for a volunteering project as part of my studies in Psychology and Law, I was unsure of what to do but when I came across...

Ghana, India and South Africa

Considering volunteering this summer? With thousands of volunteer abroad opportunities available, how do you choose the right one for you? We are here to help. Volunteer Invest doesn’t advertise hundreds of opportunities, in hundreds of countries, as we believe...

Nature, History and Culture | A Travel guide for Ghana

GHANA    Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana deserves its place in the sun. As one of Africa’s success stories, the country is benefiting from its stable democracy in the form of fast-paced development. A trip to Ghana will give you the chance to enjoy...

A Brief History of Ghana

Castles, Gold and Coups   Much was expected from Ghana when it gained its independence from Britain in 1957, in an event widely celebrated by the African diaspora –  with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr visiting the country – in a time where most...

Food: Ghana

Discover Ghana’s Cuisine   From fresh out of the ocean grilled fish with a spicy sauce to the classic African jollof rice, there is enough variety in Ghanaian gastronomy to keep your appetite busy regardless of how long you’re in the country for. We...

Food: India

As India is known for its cultural melting pot, it’s no surprise to find a high variety of delicious food cooking in several pots all over the country. We’ve taken the liberty of putting together some of the best dishes but feel free to explore by yourself –...

Food: South Africa

Beautiful landscapes, a nearly unlimited variety of wildlife and a rich cultural history – you’d think that would be enough to make up all the benefits of visiting South Africa but you’d be wrong to leave out its delicious culinary treats. Luckily for you,...

Volunteer Testimonials from Ghana

Restoring hope for generations in Ghana   In Senya-Beraku, a very historic coastal town in Ghana a wonderful community project is developing. Primarily established to provide love and kindness to abandoned children and orphans in Senya-Beraku. With tremendous...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Art Around the World

Paul Broomfield is a taxidermy assemblage artist who seeks out vintage and found objects to create his work. He was honoured to have been invited to work with Arms Around The Child on an art project that has taken him to work with HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India. Over...

Tips on Travelling to India

India is the seventh largest country in the world and the second most-populous with 1.2 billion people. It’s traditionally known for its cultural diversity and almost unlimited natural beauty so there are only a few things to keep in mind when visiting it. So...

India: A Brief History

A look at the History of India India’s exceptional history is intimately tied to its place in the globe as a meeting point between the East and the West, which brought about the unwanted attention of conquerors.  With a remarkable ability to absorb the new...

India’s Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is the most famous tour of India, a route between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, named for the nearly perfect triangle formed by the three cities. Starting in the capital, Delhi, and taking in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, it’ll give...

GUEST POST | India Banking Crisis Explained

There’s a good chance you may have heard a thing or two regarding India’s recent financial turmoil on the back of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement in early November that 500 (£6) and 1,000 rupee notes would be taken out of...

The Big Bear Appeal 2017

Volunteer Invest, in association with Arms Around the Child has launched an appeal for Operation Bobbi Bear and the work they do in the Amanzimtoti community.  We are aiming to raise £5000 by March 31st You can donate here In an emergency rescue home for victims of...

South African History: A Freedom Worth Fighting For

I first came across South Africa in school, when I was studying the Discoveries – a period in which Portuguese and Spanish ships ventured to discover the new world. In Portugal’s case, it meant finding a maritime route to India that could offer a clear...

Jamie Hay’s Blog: Sat With a Twig Up His Nose

The kids at Faith take dress rehearsal to another level! When we were youngsters our nativity plays would involve 20 children, dressed in bed sheets to look like the ancient people of Jerusalem. A couple of boxes painted grey to look like boulders, and a child sat...

Jamie Hay’s Blog: The Pink City

“You could fry an egg on Phil’s head!” it’s day two of vegas2jaipur, and after reaching 40 degrees earlier, we’re starting to fry. We set off from Delhi at 8.30am and arrived in Jaipur (The Pink city) at about 2 pm. It is a stunning place, lots more colour than Delhi...

History of HIV/AIDS in Women

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, women have remained at a much higher risk of infection than men. Young women and teenage girls in particular account for a startling majority of new HIV infections among young people living with the virus. This is more...

10 Things to do in Johannesburg

As the largest city in South Africa and the vibrant heart of the country, Johannesburg boasts a vast range of attractions, which are sure to keep you busy, interested and always on the go. Apartheid Museum For anyone wanting to understand and experience the full...

Tips on travelling to South Africa

Travelling to South Africa? With more beautiful landscapes than one can count alongside one of the highest violent crime rates in the world, the main concern when travelling to South Africa is how to stay safe.   Before you dismiss this country due to its bad...

Most Popular Attractions in South Africa

If you’re planning to visit South Africa in the future you’re very likely to be overwhelmed by the immense possibilities this beautiful country has to offer. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list so all you need to do is have fun! Kruger...

10 Places to Visit in Cape Town

If the awe-inspiring aerial photos of this port city weren’t enough to lure you to visit this stunning postcard land, we’re happy to put in writing all the wonderful things you can do in Cape Town. Table Mountain National Park Table Mountain is the most...

Family Comes First

When I was about 8 years old I left my home to stay with my mother’s relatives. My mother could not take care of me because she was sick. I could not stay with my father because he was injured during work. Both my parents were unable to take care of me so I stayed...

The Growing Tree

I’m 29 years-old, I was born in South Africa, I am the youngest of the three children and lost my son when he was only 7 in 2008, only a year after my father had passed away. My parents’ divorce took its toll on the rest of the family as it was extremely hard on us...

A triumph of Hope

I was born in 1952 in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. My mother and father were born in Yorkshire and were part of the “colonize the colonies campaign” by the British Government after the Second World War. They were extremely proud of having paid for their own passage. They...

A CASE FOR FAITH: PEDRO JACOB

The aptly named Faith was founded in 2005 by Smriti Singh, in the capital of Rajasthan, the pink city of Jaipur, with the ultimate objective of assuring equality for children living with HIV and ensuring the provision of education, food, shelter, security, growth and...

Volunteering Abroad: The Experience

In recent research conducted by multiple Volunteering services, they have seen a dramatic increase in students volunteering abroad between the ages of 16-25. But what’s shocking is the fact that university millennial are thinking about other people rather than...

Sports Academy: Ghana

SPORTS ACADEMY  Volunteers with a love of sport and real enthusiasm for working with children are well suited to our Sports Teaching project in Ghana. Volunteers on this project work with young children and older Ghanaians to help develop their interest in a range of...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Kim’s Story

A Child Welfare and Development Project   Content in her job Kim became inspired to do all she could for vulnerable children of the world after seeing the film ‘Machine Gun Preacher’. She discovered the Operation Bobbi Bear project when a relative encouraged her...

Ghana Programme

  Invest in YOUR career working with children and gain valuable experience on the ground    Founded by the dedicated team of teacher, Seth Aseidu and his wife Vivian, Becky’s foundation in Senya-Beraku, a very historic coastal town in Ghana was primarily...

India Volunteer Programme 2017

This is an exciting opportunity for students and career breakers interested in the areas of child therapy, health and development to gain experience working with vulnerable young people in India   The project is based at Faith. A Jaipur based charity providing...

Mental Illness in Children – Kai Raine

Mental Illness in Children – Kai Raine   In a world of sophisticated medicine, mental health is one of the slowest areas to catch up. In many cases, there are no tests to prove the presence or absence of an illness. Instead, doctors must look at symptoms...

Higher Education… Things can only get better -Tim Phillips

Higher Education… Things can only get better -Tim Phillips    Learners need to be inspired to achieve more. Teachers need to be trained to enable higher quality learning.   South Africa, as far as the developing world goes, has a well-structured and very...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Rebecca’s Story

  A small but significant proportion of Indians are HIV positive, including a number of children. Rebecca Jones visits Faith, an NGO in Jaipur that cares for children living with the disease.   I visited Faith Sansthan Aalingan Care Home in Jaipur, India on 11...

Complimentary Child Therapy & HIV/AIDS

Complimentary Child Therapy & HIV/AIDS The Case for Mixing Eastern & Western Traditions   By Pedro Jacob Orphans infected and affected by HIV/AIDS experience emotional turmoil and cease receiving parental support even prior to the death of their parents...

The Role of Child Therapy in Trauma Recovery

The Role of Child Therapy in Trauma Recovery By Ally Macleod Hope. It is a feeling of forward momentum, one expectant of what the future might hold. Built upon the foundation of hope, the Volunteer Invest Programme was founded in 2015 by Arms Around The Child to...

Children in Ghana – What You Need to Know

Children in Ghana – What You Need to Know   By Rebecca Lawes   Facts in brief    Population – around 20 million, 20% live in Accra the capital Capital – Accra Official language – English but other dialects are widely spoken too...

Volunteer Investment Programme: Psychology, South Africa

Psychology Programme, South Africa   Working or interested in Psychology and looking to gain in-field experience? Join human rights organisation Bobbi Bear as a Psychology Volunteer, working with vulnerable children affected by sexual abuse and HIV/AIDS....

Volunteer South Africa

Invest in YOUR career working with children and gain valuable experience on the ground    Do you long to give back to those most in need? Do you also wish to gain hands on experience in an area that you have studied or been working in but want to add a new level...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Sian’s Story

  I stayed with Smriti, the founder and manager of ‘Faith’ for over three months. I lived in her home with her family, it became my home, they became my family.   It can be hard to describe the experience in India as a western person. Such a huge part of it...

The Importance of Early Intervention in Child Trauma

By Ally MacLeod Happy children, are children who are loved. Here at Volunteer Invest, we speak about the unspeakable things that happen to children, and find the people prepared to act first, and intervene before the child’s experience has time to manifest itself for...

Diary of a volunteer: Rebecca Jones Week 2

Week 2  Monday 17 October 2016 My second week volunteering at Operation Bobbi Bear began with a visit to Bekethemba Police Station with child safety officer (CSO) Sarah*, who was scheduled to meet a client for counselling. She introduced me to Captain Thomas*, a long...

Diary of a volunteer: Rebecca Jones Week 1

 Tuesday 11 October 2016 My first morning of volunteering at Operation Bobbi Bear was spent with centre founder Jackie Branfield who introduced me to organisation manager Eureka as well as a number of the staff including Queenie* – an inspirational woman who was...

Building A Career In Medicine

Building a Career in Medicine   Nursing, midwifery, paediatrics, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, psychiatric, dentistry, neurological or genetics. Whatever the area of interest, a placement abroad is often the best opportunity for aspiring medics...

Creative Volunteering 2017

  Creative & Performing Arts Volunteer Programme   Calling all drama students, music buffs and arts enthusiasts! This is an exciting opportunity for a music student on a gap year keen to work abroad, or a career breaker with a passion for the arts to share...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Rebecca’s Story

  The devastating link between HIV/AIDs, child sexual abuse and women’s rights in South Africa   My first day as a volunteer at Operation Bobbi Bear in Amanzimtoti, a coastal town south of Durban, South Africa, began with an introduction to Bobbi Bear’s...

The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS

  The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS   By Pedro Jacob As the HIV and AIDS epidemic has crossed generations, the face of the disease has got younger. The most common causes of HIV in children are mother to child transmission and sexual abuse, each with its own...

Volunteer Sports Teaching Academy Leader

  Volunteer in Ghana   Volunteers with a love of sport and real enthusiasm for working with children are well suited to our Sports Teaching project in Ghana. Volunteers on this project work with young children and older Ghanaians to help develop their...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Claire’s Story

Child Welfare and Development    My first impression of Faith was of all-enveloping warmth. From the moment I set foot in the centre, the affection of the staff and children enveloped me like a warm blanket. The kids cajoled and laughed with one another as I...

THE BEAUTY OF VOLUNTEERING: PEDRO JACOB

In the land of the religious sanctuary of Fatima in Portugal, there’s a centre for people with varying degrees of brain paralysis where, led by conflicting cynicism and the will to actually do something with my time, I found myself at the age of 16. It was a...

You, me and the ANC… Tim Phillips

  1994 was a landmark year for South Africa. Under the leadership of Nelson Mandela the African National Congress (ANC) secured an historic election victory ending 46 years of apartheid under the National Party. Mandela was, to people around the world, a beacon...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Lauren Gage

I spent three weeks at Bobbi Bear in Summer 2016 and it was a very valuable experience. The aim of Bobbi Bear is to assist young victims of sexual assault and mistreatment, although they offer their helping hand to all those in need no matter their age. As a...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Zulu Church and Family Visit

We set our alarms for 6:30am to attend the local Zulu church and visit a traditional Zulu family. An early start considering the time difference with London. My body definitely felt like it was a 4:30am start to the day. All the volunteers had breakfast together and...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Victoria Street Market

We have breakfast with the other volunteers and there is a calm atmosphere before we head out to Victoria Street Market. We talk about our thoughts since arriving. We sit in the morning sun and share more of our life stories. We talk more about the challenges facing...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | The Bobbi Bear Tree Clinic

I woke after another deep sleep. The Bobbi Bear house was alive when we came down to the kitchen for breakfast, everyone busy packing bags for The Tree. Eureka brings the whole team together and introduces them all to the volunteers. There is over 20 Bobbi Bear staff,...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Durban Night Tour

We are collected by a local police officer to go on the Durban Night Tour. The sun was setting as we drove towards the ‘hostel’ area made up of government housing, a mass relocation of people. It looked like a ghetto and it was evident that South Africa also had...

Volunteer Investment Programme: Faith

Faith was founded in 2005 in the heart of Rajasthan in the pink city of Jaipur. Faith brings hope to the lives of children living in extreme adversity, orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS under the loving care of Smriti Singh who has made caring for children in need her...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Children’s Day at The Illovo Tree

I made my way downstairs after a shower and a slightly restless night. My mind was full of ideas and thoughts; a new country, a new venture, new opportunity, new sights, sounds and emotions. Today we attended the Illovo tree, an outreach project that Bobbi Bear has...

Volunteer Investment Programme: Operation Bobbi Bear

Abuse of children in South Africa is still growing. HIV/AIDS is one of the main causes of this because there is a persistent superstition that sexual acts with minors can cure this disease. Operation Bobbi Bear fight tirelessly for the rights of young victims, to...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Wendy’s Memories

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Wendy’s Memories   Could you tell volunteerinvest.org a bit about your volunteer abroad experience in South Africa?   I’m honoured to tell you something about my experience at Bobbi Bear because it’s an amazing...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Safari

Monday morning was safari day and a flurry of activity at the Bobbi Bear house when we came down form our rooms. I sat in the sunshine and talk to one of the Bobbi Bear staff, one of the longest serving. We talk about the history of South Africa, the challenges with...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Tanja’s Story

  Wow.. where to begin…   I was studying Psychology in Vancouver and I was aware my experience was going to be over soon. My time in Vancouver had ignited the travel spark within me and I really wanted to go somewhere once I returned from Canada.  ...

YOUR Story: Deepak

Deepak, a well-disciplined child at FAITH – AALINGAN admitted with a history of continuous health problems (prominently skin infections) and limited access to treatment facilities, which resulted in deteriorated health condition. Proper care could not be ensured after...

YOUR Story: Annu

Mrs. Prem Devi with her daughters Annu and Madhu came to Jaipur after being evicted by her own family after the demise of her husband. Her husband was in the Indian Army and passed away due to AIDS followed by prolonged illness. When he was diagnosed with HIV, he...

YOUR Story: Aman

Aman originally comes from Bhilwara district of Rajasthan, he was left alone in this world at the little age of 8 when he lost his parents because of AIDS. It was like everything spoiled when Aman tested reactive for HIV which resulted in total refusal in his paternal...

When You Take Your Mother Along

‘It’s a funny thing about a mother and father, even if their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful’ Roald Dahl, Matilda   I loved Matilda when I was a small girl. When I say I loved...

VOLUNTEER DIARY | Kimberley’s Story

Kimberley van den Berg is from Holland and volunteered with Bobbi Bear for six months following her friend who had already volunteered and enjoyed the experience. She studied Mental Health and Child Development.   I was with Bobbi Bear for almost six months and...

India VIP Programme: It’s an Equality Thing…..

The Faith Volunteer Abroad Programme in Jaipur, India is aiming for equality for children living with HIV and ensuring the provision of education, food, shelter, security, growth and development through Faith’s intervention with quality care.   Faith’s Equality...

Never Too Old To Volunteer – Shelagh Harris

I had recently retired when my daughter asked if I would like to go to South Africa with her and volunteer. We had enjoyed a number of weekend breaks together; time for informal chats, pampering and re-charging of our batteries. I had no idea what this South African...

FAITH – India VIP Programme Launched

Volunteerinvest.org was created as part of the amazing Arms Around the Child charity, which has spent over 15 years supporting incredible child protection initiatives around the world, particularly in South Africa and India. The Volunteer Investment Programme in...

The Secret of Happiness – Rebecca Jones

Happiness, and the pursuit of it, is perhaps one of the most important drivers for many of us. From our work, to our marriages, to what we eat, see and do every day – we want it to make us happy.   Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of us believe that wealth, fame...

Keep A Child Smiling

We recently returned from a trip to South Africa, to visit the child protection charity Bobbi Bear. For the past decade, the Bobbi Bear Child Safety Officers have been keeping children smiling, following traumatic abuse. We at VolunteerInvest.org will be launching a...

Rough Aunties – Kim Loninotto

‘The day you stop crying for these children, is the day you’ve lost your heart’ Rough Aunties, an award winning documentary by Kim Loninotto, takes you on the Bobbi Bear journey, through child-abuse cases, murder and loss. It will make you cry and...

The Way We Think About Charity Is Wrong

The first time I heard this TED talk I was sitting in a corporate office, working in the financial sector, putting on huge conferences for lawyers in Asia. If that sounds boring, then you are RIGHT (apart from the living in Asia part, which was pretty awesome). I...

Volunteer Investment Programme

What is the Volunteer Investment Programme? We recognised that charities needed volunteers, and we also recognised that charities were struggling to pay their running costs. The traditional idea behind ‘volunteering’ has confused individuals for years. Why...

The ‘Tree’

The Tree Every Friday and Saturday, the Bobbi Bear staff gather donations, make hundreds of sandwiches and make their way to ‘The Tree’, a short drive from the safe house in Amanzimtoti. From 6am, local township women and children walk the long distances...

The ‘Exorcism’ case that sets precedence in South Africa

On Friday 22nd January 2016, these women achieved justice We entered the court room, cool air, dark wood, to listen to the final plea of the defence, representing four women accused of South Africa’s first ‘exorcism’ case. We had been volunteering...

Operation Bobbi Bear: Rough Auntie ‘Eureka’

I was asked to write my life story, so here goes. I will try to keep it as short as I can, and be as honest as I can. I was born 47 years ago to a very poor family and have two sisters younger than me, and two older who had already left the home. My father died when I...

Operation Bobbi Bear: Rough Auntie ‘Jackie’

I was born in 1952 in Bullawayo in Zimbabwe. My mother and father were born in Yorkshire and were part of the “colonize the colonies campaign” by the British Government after the Second World War. They always, very proudly said, that they paid for their own passage....

Operation Bobbi Bear: Rough Auntie ‘Thuli’

My name is Thuli Sibiya and I was born in South Africa. I was born on the 17 may, both my parents are deceased. My father died in 1976 he was in a car accident, my mother died in 1987 from cancer of the esophagus. I have 3 brothers and 4 sisters, 3 of my sisters and 1...

Operation Bobbi Bear: Rough Auntie ‘Sdudla’

My name is nontando “sdudla” maphumulo. I am 29 years of age; I was born in South Africa and I am a Bobbi Bear Rough auntie. I have one brother and one sister and I also have 3 nieces from my sister. My father died in 2007/04/12, I just have my mother that is still...

Operation Bobbi Bear: Rough Aunties

  My name is Mildred, born in Umzinto in 1971. When I was about 8 years old I left my home to stay with my mothers relatives. My mother could not take care of me because, she was sick. I could not stay with my father, because he was inured during work. So both my...

#isatoafrica

In South Africa, orphaned children often live alone without adults. We want to measure what is needed for these kids to be happy and successful young adults. PART ONE With your help, we send photographer Isa Woods to South Africa to make a visual log of what is needed...

Crystal of Hope Award for Bobbi Bear

Through Arms Around The Child, Bobbi Bear secured the Crystal of Hope award which was given to honour the incredible work of Operation Bobbi Bear in Durban South Africa. Jackie Branfield the founder of Bobbi Bear was presented with the award by Antonio Banderas and...

Case study of Bobbi Bear

A naturally occurring, empowerment based approach to social change in South Africa by Schlottman, Priscilla L., Ph.D., SAYBROOK UNIVERSITY, 2010,   Abstract This work is a single-case study of a point-of-rescue child rape crisis center in KwaZulu-Natal, South...