A Mission Church was established in the 90’s in the heart of Johannesburg. In 1999 the pastor at the time, and deacons learned with deep distress that a high number of newly born infants were being abandoned. At the time 40-50 babies were being dumped every month and left to die of starvation or exposure. The pastor realized that many of those desperate women and girls may well have acted differently had there been an alternative. The church made a hole in their wall and a ‘baby binstaff’ was installed allowing for mothers to leave their babies anytime day or night. The moment a baby is placed in the bin care workers on duty receive an electronic signal alerting them. The baby is taken in and the anonymity of the donor ensured. News has spread and other babies have been brought personally by their mothers or have come through other means such as the police, community members, hospitals or clinics. By faith and reliance on God alone and from small, humble beginnings, the ministry has grown and over 100 children’s’ lives are being saved every year. Whilst the baby bin was an innovative idea, the mission was criticized as it was felt that they were encouraging abandonment. However to date they have received only 10% of their babies through the baby bin. It was the uniqueness of this “hole in the wall” concept that has made them prominent and allowed them to become one of the foremost homes in Johannesburg for abandoned babies.

They have 3 baby houses: two in Glenvista and one in Hillbrow. Two of the homes have the potential to take up to 18 babies at a time, and the main house in Glenvista is now a registered children’s home allowing them to have 30 children at this one facility. The Glenvista Baby Home was their first and main house. This is where they have an office, receive donations and house volunteers. This home is their only registered children's home and houses 30 children. There are up to 10 newborns, 12 big babies, and 8 toddlers. The Hillbrow Home was opened in November 2003 to help them accommodate the increasing amount of abandoned babies and children. Although in a dangerous area, it is secure behind electric fencing and high walls. This is where the "hole in the wall" is situated. They have 18 babies in this house. The other Glenvista Baby home can cater for up to 12 babies.
  • Age: min. 20
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Requirements: min. 20 years, adaptable, flexible
  • Group size: max 8 int. volunteers
  • Project duration: 6 - 12 months
  • Laundry: There is a laundry room available to do your washing
  • WIFI: Need to buy airtime and use this as internet
  • Linen/towels: Linen is provided, please bring your own towels
This project is located in a house in the south of Johannesburg, South Africa and is approximately 50 km from OR Tambo, Johannesburg International Airport.

    You must be a born-again believer and disciples of Jesus Christ, have a God-given desire to work with abandoned and orphaned children and at least 20 years old. You need to be in good health and immunized Hepatitis A (TB vaccination is suggested.) and Hepatitis B. You will also need to sign a copy of Doctrine of Faith.

    You need to dress appropriately as they want to be professional in their image and behaviour for the Lord, so clothes must cover the chest area. Also when they receive visitors, they would like them to see their volunteers appropiately dresses as is suitable for a Christian. No low cut tops, no chest area exposed at all and no short ‘shorts’, they must be halfway down your thigh at least. They do have a swimming pool but only one piece swimming costumes, not bikini’s as there are men on the property. Bring T-shirts so that your body is appropriately covered as the babies pull on your clothing. ‘Going out’ clothes are also important to bring with, it could serve as your church clothes as some African churches prefer you to wear a long dress or skirt to their services. Other churches don’t mind what you wear as long as it‘s appropriate.

    Orientation begins either the day you arrive or the next day. The Volunteer Coordinator will take you through the Volunteer Manual, which you should have received and read via email beforehand. When you start your first day of work, the permanent care worker (aunty) will take you through the steps of bathing, feeding, caring for the babies, playing and exercising them properly. After a training period, night shifts are handled by one person. Therefore expect to be in charge of at most 12 children while working night shift. Don’t panic though, all past volunteers have managed very well.

    Accommodation & meals
    The orphanage has a 2-sleeper room and another 4-sleeper room. These rooms are for the shorter term (3 month) volunteers. There are shared facilities with the kids and you do your own cooking, cleaning and washing. This is ideal for shorter term volunteers who do not plan on hiring a car during their stay. It is a 15-20 minute walk to the mall which has grocery stores, chemists, a cinema, and other stores you may need access to.

    They also have a volunteer flat that houses 4 long term volunteers: 6 months - 1 year. This fully furnished garden flat is also situated on the premises of the Main House in Glenvista.

    Meals are the responsibility of the volunteer and at own expense. The orphanage will help, when possible, to drive you to the grocery store but there are stores within walking distance of the baby house, and walking for groceries is expected most of the time.

    The hours will be from 07:00 until 18:00 or it may vary depending on the needs of the baby house. Most commonly your schedule will be 3 days on/2 days off. Once here any questions regarding your work schedule must be discussed with the Baby House Manager. They ask that you work around the local staff’s times as many of them come via public transport and getting in early or leaving late is difficult. You will work 16-20 shifts per month.

    You are entitled to a 15-minute break in the morning and afternoon and 1 hour for lunch while on the job. On certain occasions you may be unable to take this much time.

    The daily duties will vary from department to department, but they will all consist of caring for, changing, feeding, and playing with the babies. It will also mean the challenge of coordinating programs to help meet the needs of the children physically, mentally, and spiritually. The work is not easy and the days are long but the rewards are great.

    The Starfish program was designed to give the toddlers and the special needs children a bit more attention, care, time and energy they require. This program requires a lot of dedication and hard work, but it pays off in the lives of these special and beautiful children. For this program you will need to have a passion for toddlers and special needs children and a willingness to work hard. A medical background would be helpful but not required. Physical therapists and Occupational Therapists would also be very beneficial. You also must be comfortable and capable with administering medications.

    In order to maintain the health of the premature and newborn babies they keep all of their small babies separated from the older ones who tend to carry more germs. A lot of the small babies are premature and need to start their lives fighting. These babies require a lot of attention and much patience. For this department they are looking for volunteers who have extensive experience with newborns or have some medical background. Nursing experience would be extremely helpful but is not required.

    Their biggest program is the Big Baby program, and it is the program that needs the most volunteers and attention. Their heart is to give these babies as much one on one interaction and love as possible. For this program they are looking for volunteers who have a love for babies and experience in caring for them.

    If you are staying for six or more months you will have the option of working in all the different departments. Based on your skills and interests they will place you in the department that suits you best.

Start date is very flexible, contact us for availability


Duration2017 Fee
6 months850 EUR
9 months1050 EUR
12 months1250 EUR
Rates includes
  • Accommodation
  • Assistance with booking a flexible flight
  • Advice regarding vaccinations, travel insurance, visa, international driving license and other relevant items
  • Pick up from airport to the project and back
  • Goodiebag with South African Simcard
  • Donation to the project
  • Helpdesk during your stay

Rates excludes
  • Flights to Johannesburg
  • Meals
  • Visa (if required)
  • Vaccination (if required)
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional trips
Application form volunteering

Personal information