An innovative local foundation is marrying the appeal of luxury accommodation and an African bush experience, with the opportunity to make a difference, to attract a different kind of visitor; one that will roll up their sleeves and work in under-resourced rural hospitals and clinics.
The Tshemba Foundation has a mission: to improve access to healthcare in low-income communities in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, while enriching the lives of the qualified medical professionals who join their volunteer programme. Integrated agency Stratitude has been appointed to handle all PR and social media requirements, and they will be working closely with the foundation to actively change the perception of medical volunteering or voluntourism.
“When done correctly, voluntourism provides communities with much-needed help, by carefully placing volunteers who have crucial skills, expertise and knowledge,” says Sylvia Schutte, managing director of Stratitude. “The Tshemba Foundation has taken a different approach to medical volunteering and their programme is planned and run by highly-qualified medical professionals. We are excited to be part of a team that is creating positive change in communities that need it the most.”
The Tshemba Foundation has combined a luxury African bush experience with a volunteer programme that is attracting doctors and healthcare professionals from South Africa and around the world. While these volunteers provide essential medical care at community hospitals and clinics, they are also expected to upskill local healthcare providers.
A unique aspect of the programme is that it provides the volunteers with a stimulating and challenging learning environment. This is because all the medical professionals are housed in the newly built, luxurious Tshemba Volunteer Centre in the Moditlo Game Reserve. It’s a tranquil, beautiful space where the volunteers can unwind, share ideas, enhance their own skills and collaborate on healthcare obstacles they encounter.
The Tshemba Foundation is changing the face of voluntourism, by giving their volunteers the opportunity to teach and learn, while treating patients and positively contributing to change in rural Limpopo and Mpumalanga.