Teaching in Africa

What can I expect?

ALERT’s holistic approach to conservation includes bringing benefits to our communities through a variety of conservation programs, thus creating a link between community and wildlife.  As a Teaching in Africa intern, you will be working alongside staff at schools and orphanages, both urban and rural, in the areas around our program sites.  Wherever the facility is located, resources are stretched to the limit and each will benefit from your time and passion, as well as from the funding that your placement will bring.  The days will be long but at the end of each one, you can be sure that you have helped to make a real difference to the people you have met.

What will I be doing?

You will spend much of your day - particularly mornings - in a classroom assisting the local teacher.  The age range and class sizes will vary, but you will usually be working with students from Grade 4 up to Grade 7 (ages 9 to 12).  Your input may involve planning and delivering lessons, marking students’ work, supporting small groups of children who are struggling, and providing one-to-one learning support to those who need it most.  This is something class teachers in Africa simply do not have time for, but is vitally important to ensure that every child has an equal chance to learn and work towards a brighter future.  To this end, we also provide project volunteers to assist in classes, so you may be involved in helping to coordinate their efforts. 

One of the benefits of welcoming visitors from around the world is the opportunity for local children to widen their knowledge of different countries and traditions.  You may want to plan an extra-curricular lesson based on your experiences.  You may also be involved in programs to deliver health education to the community on a wide range of topics, from the importance of dental hygiene and good nutrition, to learning to recognise the symptoms of TB.

Special Needs Teaching

For interns with a background in Special Needs teaching, or wishing to gain practical experience of supporting students with learning challenges, ALERT works in schools that require specialist assistance.  This is a challenging role, but one that offers the opportunity to make a positive difference to a child’s life.

There are two schools you will be working in, both in Zimbabwe.  At Mkoba 4 Primary School, one qualified teacher hosts a class of 24 children, aged from 9 to 14 years, with a variety of learning disabilities.  Mudavanhu School for the Disabled specialises in providing essential life skills and runs classes in self-care (such as toileting, feeding, self-hygiene) and managing a home, as well as education in literacy, maths, science, computing, sports, and vocational projects.  All lessons are designed to meet the national curriculum where possible, but mainly to facilitate coordination, movement, cognition, and give children the skills and coping mechanisms to integrate into mainstream society, where possible.  Children are assessed and streamed into levels in accordance with ability, rather than chronological age. 

You will be responsible for providing support to children in both of these schools who have been identified as having Special Needs, helping them work towards standards required for national educational assessment.  While students and school staff will benefit from your specialised help, this internship offers the opportunity for teachers in training and anyone interested in Special Needs education to gain hands-on experience with the support of ALERT’s community projects team.  

Please note for all teaching internships, outside of school term times we run a series of holiday clubs.  As these sessions are not compulsory, class sizes can be significantly smaller.  If you would prefer to avoid the holiday period, the term dates for 2018 are as follows:

Zambia (Livingstone)

  • Term One: 15th January - 13th April
  • Term Two: 14th May - 10th August
  • Term Three: 10th September - 7th December

Zimbabwe (Gweru and Victoria Falls)

  • Term One: 8th January - 28th March
  • Term Two: 7th May - 9th August
  • Term Three: 10th September - 6th December

You can download our Teaching in Africa internship brochure here.

What are we looking for?

Interns on our Teaching in Africa program will need to be creative.  Designing and making educational materials with limited resources requires lots of imagination.  We are looking for candidates with a relevant background in teaching and the ability to plan and deliver lessons on a wide range of topics to students of all abilities.  As many of these children live under extremely difficult circumstances, we are particularly interested in hearing from applicants with a social science background who can assist in helping these children to reach their potential, as well as carrying out research into appropriate teaching methods.

On a personal level, initiative and a ‘go to’ attitude are a must! Class teachers are busy and are looking for interns who are reliable and can do a good job under minimum supervision.  You will need to be able to think on your feet, have the confidence to lead classes, and engage children from often difficult backgrounds.

Click on these links for more information on the locations currently available:

An experience too good to miss, but don’t take our word for it.  Here’s what some of our previous Teaching in Africa interns have to say about taking part in the Program...


Program fees for arrivals between 1st January and 31st December 2018 are GB£ 1,295 / US$ 2,390 per four weeks with a minimum stay of four weeks.  

Your fee includes collection from the nearest airport to the project site, shared accommodation, three meals per day and memories to last a lifetime!.  Invoice amount is charged on a per day basis.

The cost of flights, visas and permits, travel insurance, optional trips and activities are not included in this price.

If you wish to intern with ALERT, you will need to obtain a Police Check.  As an intern, you may be working closely with children or vulnerable adults to some extent during your stay; therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that these people are adequately safeguarded.  For applicants from the UK, we will arrange the check for you at a cost of £20, which will be added to your invoice and payable along with your deposit.  For applicants from all other countries, please contact your local police department for advice on how to go about arranging your check.  All participants on all of our programs are required to undertake a police check before their placement commences.

If the only thing stopping you from realising your dream of interning in Africa is the financial cost involved, why not join 1000s of other travellers around the world who fundraise to pay for their trip.  Volunteer Forever is an online fundraising resource that allows you to appeal for donations towards your costs while keeping family, friends and other potential donors up-to-date with your progress.  We also encourage you to download our fundraising guide here with lots of helpful ideas on how you can make your appeal effective.


To assess your suitability for this program, please read the What Are We Looking For? section of your chosen internship before submitting your application.  The minimum age for this program is 21 years.

Your application should be sent to intern@lionalert.org and accompanied by:

  • A cover letter detailing your motivation for applying and the skills and experience you hope to bring to bear whilst with us
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae
  • A letter of reference from an appropriate academic or business source that confirms your experience
  • First choice of project location

Your application will be reviewed within one week of receipt and additional references may be requested.  Only candidates with skills appropriate to their chosen internship will be considered.  Successful candidates will be offered a placement at a location most appropriate for their skills and experience to ensure that both the intern and the project gain the maximum from the program.  Please note that you may be onsite at the same time as other Teaching in Africa interns.  We regret that not all applications will be accepted and no appeals will be considered.

You may consider yourself ineligible for this program but still want to become involved in the work that we do. Our volunteer programs give a wide range of opportunities, whatever your background. Click here for more details.
Please ensure you have read our terms and conditions before making your applicationOur internships operate under a responsible tourism policy to ensure your presence will have a positive effect on the environments and communities in which we work.



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