The Lifeline Clinic is based in Namibia's rural East and provides free primary health care services to more than 3,500 patients every year through both clinic-based healthcare and our outreach around the region. More than 40% of the patients treated there are children and more than 90% are San bushmen. A huge focus of our work at the Lifeline Clinic is to tackle the tuberculosis burden within the San population. The clinic is quite literally a lifeline for thousands of San bushmen. The clinic has two doctors, one nurse, one receptionist, and four translators. Medical volunteers are the lifeblood of the Lifeline Clinic. You will be fully immersed in the culture of Epukiro, home to the San bushmen and are able to experience the day-to-day life and the common struggles faced by this community.
You will work alongside the clinic’s doctors and nurse to learn about the common diseases affecting the local population and how to treat them. You will deal closely with patients from the local San community, learn more about their way of life and give care to patients living in extreme poverty at the clinic’s remote location.
Prospective medical students can expect teaching on basic clinical skills, history taking and examinations of patients. The teaching will be tailored to your skill level, background and knowledge. Trained professionals will be asked to run consultations with patients and assist during the outreach work. This will provide a great opportunity for trained professionals to have a greater impact on the people who are most in need of help.
Depending on the length of your stay and medical knowledge, you may be asked to undertake a research project/assignment. This should be something that you are interested in, as well as be something that is useful to the clinic and of benefit to our patients. Examples of projects include mapping distances patients travel to the clinic and local patterns of disease, rates of TB amongst our patients and compliance with medication, and our patients’ knowledge of HIV transmission and disease.
The daily tasks might include the following, but please note that the activities are subject to change:
Helping within the clinic to treat endemic issues such as TB
Assisting in the clinic pharmacy
Sorting and distributing donations
Assisting at outreach sessions
Participating in the twice weekly feeding program
Assisting in the education room.
Other Volunteer Tasks
Besides medical work there are a lot of other tasks you can help with at the Lifeline Clinic so no medical qualifications are needed. IT skills, painting, cooking, cleaning or anything an isolated clinic can use are highly valued. We encourage you to use any special skills you may have and suggest new activities that you feel the project will benefit from. Although it is true to say that "the more experience you have, the better" - what is more important than your qualifications and experience is your attitude and approach to life. We are looking for volunteers who are self-motivated, flexible, able to work both independently and in a team, patient, kind and considerate, able to cope with setbacks, and of course have a sense of humour!
The project is closed on the following public holidays, or you can assist at the sanctuary.
Public Holidays 2024
21, 29 & 31 March
01, 04, 09, & 25-26 May
10 & 25-26 Dec
Airport pick-up on arrival & drop-off at departure (Windhoek International)
Return transfer from Wildlife Sanctuary to Lifeline Clinic
Three meals a day
Transport to and from the project *
24-hour support & supervision
Donation to the project
Certificate of appreciation
* Please note that if you are staying for longer than two weeks, a weekend at the Wildlife Sanctuary (your arrival and departure base) might be necessary between rotations.
Minimum age of 18
Basic level of competency in English
Police Clearance Certificate
Completed application form
You will receive a 90 day tourist visa on arrival, remember to have a copy of your supporting letter.
Get out and explore the deserts of Namibia. Activities included are hiking (approximately 5k - 10km per day), Sossusvlei day trip, sleep outs in the bush, and wine tasting.
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.