MEDI TRIP VOLUNTEERS
Frequently Asked Questions!
Who is Medi Trip?
Medi Trip is a private limited organisation registered in the United Kingdom which facilitates clinical, law, education and social volunteer placements in Africa. We are not a travel agent. We have our own grass roots projects in Tanzania and have partnered with project leaders in other parts of Africa.
Medi Trip was founded by a qualified Nurse, Pearl Sakoane Nogi (a student at the time of registering her company in 2014), who was a volunteer and found a dire need for clinically led volunteer organisation which centred around healthcare practise and not just voluntourism. In 2015 Pearl was named as the Edith Cavell Leadership award winner and used her scholarship opportunity to return to Tanzania and conduct a quantitative study on nursing leadership values. At this time was when Medi Trip really began to take form as many or the nursing and medical leaders in Arusha Tanzania took an interest and contributed ideas and guidance. Nine months later the first nurse volunteers arrived and an organisation was born.
Although we are not a charity, we are certainly not driven by profits, the focus remains to make a positive healthcare implication through voluntary clinical work abroad. We love what we do and naturally we work with people who love and respect Africa.
Where can I volunteer?
We have an every growing array of project partners, however we don't just work with any project as not every project is suitable or meets our standards which are simple: person centred care, a focus on development and a focus on partnership, exchange of knowledge and ideas.
We have carefully and thoroughly assessed placement areas with very experienced professionals who share these values. Our speciality lies in successfully matching your skills to projects that want volunteer support.
What's included in my fees?
Volunteer placement facilitation-full program scheduling and supervision
Pre-arrival support & preparation of your project/work placement
Airport pick up and transfer
Orientation (usually begins on a Monday)
Room & Board (Breakfast & Dinner)
Daily in-person availability of a local coordinator
What's not included?
Flights, VISA's, Permits, insurance, transfer on departure date, additional accommodation stay or in some cases, upgraded accommodation and direct charitable contribution on your behalf to your project.
Where do my fees go?
Most of your fees are spent locally. Fees ensure you have above standard accommodation, that you have someone personally picking you up at the airport, orientating you and you have a coordinator day to day and a supervisor at placement.
Do any fees go directly to the projects?
Yes they do. Although we don't necessarily think that making financial contributions solve the complex issues faced by deprived areas, we do make a charitable donation on your behalf to your project placement. This is not mandatory. We do this as we know how challenging it can be for our partners to host, supervise and very often teach volunteers, taking time away from their primary work. We want our partners to know they are valued and respected for their time as best we can.
Should I fundraise for my trip?
Absolutely. We have seen amazing examples of volunteers who successfully crowdfunded and raised additional donations for their placements areas. We've seen volunteers sponsor children's education, build, refurbish, equip whole new departments/buildings through monetary donations involving and connecting their communities back home with Africa. We would absolutely encourage you to do the same. We centre our work around giving and making a meaning difference in the lives of individuals.
What should I wear to placement?
Scrubs for medical placements are a great option as they will be kind to you in the warm working conditions, easily identify you as a volunteer and can be discarded if damaged or contaminated.
In general, clothes for placement should fully cover your legs, be bare below the elbow and shoes should protect and cover your feet.
Should I bring any gloves, personal protective equipment or medical equipment?
Remember you're going into poorly resourced area, they will not have access to the same equipment you would at home. We usually encourage volunteers to bring personal protective equipment for personal use and to share with colleagues. Second hand medical books/information you may want to leave behind is also a simple but great resource to share with your colleagues and use to together on placement.
What insurance should I get?
You should ensure you're adequately covered by comprehensive travel insurance for the duration of your stay. For medical placements, you should also ensure you have indemnity insurance (UK: RCN membership for nurses/student nurses and BMA/MDU membership for doctors/medical students). For our students/interns, please check with your employers/university/college or national employment body on indemnity.
What vaccinations should I get?
Please visit the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for excellent up to date travel vaccination information.
What about COVID 19?
Currently amongst our locations, Tanzania has received the safe travel stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (See here) in the wake of the current pandemic.
Aside from that, you will receive full safety guidance and protocol once you have registered with us.
Where can I get cheap flights?
There are dozens of great websites online for cheap flights. It is advisable to get your flights as early as possible to be able to logistically plan your trip.
Is Africa safe for me to travel alone? Do I need to be with other volunteers?
Regardless of whether you're volunteering on a clinical mission, you're still a tourist. Foward planning is key to protecting yourself from risk as you would anywhere in the world. As a group or a solo traveller from abroad, you will attract attention but, you will also have a great support system in your volunteer coordinators, fellow travellers/volunteers and supervisors. It's important to try and be conscientious of your new surroundings and respect and follow local customs as much as possible and insure yourself from any possible risks.
Africa is a large continent with every country varying greatly in local culture, customs, rules and regulations. Research your destination as much as possible and ask as many questions as possible. We would never place you at risk or in harm's way, however it is important you take ownership of your journey and behave responsibly.
What about ethical volunteering?
We've written extensively about volunteering ethically, check our blog for our view points and our statement on ethical engagement right here.
Still have more questions? Ask away and get in touch!