An OHS Volunteer Program is an experiential service-learning and leadership program designed to promote empowerment through education and positive social uplift. The programs offer an unparalleled opportunity for personal and collective growth for students, professionals, and other dedicated individuals.
*These classifications are meant for people to best understand the program’s intended content and style – it is not necessary to be an enrolled student or employed professional in order to participate in the respective program.
Regardless of length and location of the program, as an OHS volunteer you will:
- Integrate yourself into and work closely with local communities
- Gain a multi-disciplinary understanding of the local environment and culture
- Work closely with members of the community to create positive social uplift
- Work with a small, dynamic team of international university and graduate students
- Develop yourself intellectually through leadership, service, and dialogue
- Apply the knowledge and skills learned while abroad in your home community upon return
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be trained before the start of my program?
Can you inform me more about how your organization and programs are different from other agents or platforms that place volunteers into the programs by charging a fee?
Our programs are designed and led entirely by One Heart Source personnel. Full-time, in-country program leaders run the volunteer orientation and facilitate cultural awareness and understanding by leading relevant group discussions and by connecting volunteers to community members, cultural sites, and museums throughout the duration of your stay. The program leaders have a minimum of three years experience working with One Heart Source. By working directly with local schools and communities we are able to dictate the quality and sustainability of volunteer projects in ways that placement agencies may not be able to.
What is the level of leadership and involvement of OHS volunteers in the program, and how can I contribute to the design and implementation of the program?
Our volunteers hail from all academic and social backgrounds, which, we believe, adds to the evolution and development of our programs and our organization. Throughout all OHS programs we strongly encourage volunteers to take initiative and develop ideas and projects that utilize their individual strengths and skills to benefit the communities we work with. One example of volunteer initiative from this past summer is a volunteer who wanted to share her passion for meditation and yoga with the students we were teaching. With our support, she set up and ran a popular evening wellness club, where she taught about physical and mental well-being and led students in yoga and meditation. In order to make the club sustainable, she invited local community members and teachers to participate and learn the concepts and practice together, which has allowed the club to continue even after she returned home.
Additionally, we offer a variety of programs that each requires different levels of initiative and leadership from our volunteers. For specific program details, please view our location specific pages for Cape Town and Zanzibar.
Where do OHS volunteers come from?
What learning theory and approach does your program adopt to nurture the volunteers?
As educators, we believe in keeping students engaged and allowing discussion to flow, showing students that learning can be a fun, interactive experience. There will always be support available from our staff in order to provide feedback, assistance, and counseling when dealing with the challenges of teaching.
Will there be time for personal travel during the programs?
What are the safety concerns and/or procedures in Cape Town? Zanzibar?
Though many countries in Africa are portrayed as violent and unstable, we are confident that you will find both locations to be warm and welcoming. However, as is the case in any foreign country or city, travel within each location does pose risks and requires safe, smart travel techniques. Upon arrival, you will be educated on and familiarized with your immediate location to ensure a comfortable stay. OHS Management is available 24/7 should there be any concerns.
OHS Volunteers & the Application Process
I noticed there are many application deadlines—when should I apply?
Do you have to be a student to qualify for the programs?
What prior experience, if any, is required to volunteer?
Fundraising & Program Fees
Does OHS offer any financial aid or sponsorships?
Is the deposit included in the program fee?
Are donations tax-deductible for non-U.S. residents?
What is the source of funding for One Heart Source?
Does OHS book flights for volunteers?
As a volunteer, will I travel alone or with a group of volunteers?
During the program, transportation is provided by OHS, and volunteers travel together.
Will I be picked up upon arrival?
When am I expected to arrive in country?
Are volunteer positions paid?
Am I responsible for finding my own accommodations?
Can I go on multiple or consecutive programs?
Can I receive academic credit or volunteer hours for my program?
Is it possible for OHS Staff to write a letter of recommendation, if necessary?