Help us care for South Africa's most vulnerable!

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TLC's international volunteer program has been running for over 15 years receiving people from almost every continent. Our program is definitely not for the faint-hearted and requires volunteers to be completely committed to giving the best of themselves to the care of our children. We take volunteers because we NEED them. Our volunteer team works both day and nights shifts with the little ones and is deeply involved in the day to day work of our project.

Located on a small farm we also contribute to the local informal community through the sharing of our resources, including the hands of our volunteers wherever possible. As a family project, most of Thea's 24 children (both adopted and biological) work and live at TLC in an endeavor to create a better future for every little one that comes through TLC's doors. It has taken many hands to create our legacy and it will continue to need more, perhaps yours?

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Questions & Answers


based on 3 reviews
  • Impact 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 8.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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TLC will always have a place in my heart

I first volunteered at TLC in July/August 2005, and went back every year whenever I could until 2011. Overall I think I spent a year there but spread over different times. During my times there, I got to love and cherish so many precious little and not so little human beings and truly felt a part of the family.

I felt very well looked after at TLC and learnt a lot, both about childcare but also about myself. It led me to train as a primary school teacher and I'm still in touch with the friends I made there from all over the world.

Volunteering at TLC is, however, extremely hard work and you have to be dedicated to the lives of the little souls you look after. Waking up at 5.30 every day can be tough, until you walk into the nursery and get early morning cuddles from the most adorable babies whose faces light up as you go to pick them up out of their cots. Even though I loved my time there, I would make potential volunteers aware that this is not something you do to have a good social life. I did manage to explore some local sites and joined in the family / volunteer fun, but primarily you are there to dedicate your every waking hour to these wonderful babies.

I loved TLC so much, I had to keep coming back- that surely speaks volumes. Once you've been to TLC, it's forever a part of you.

How can this program be improved?
I was always happy to get on with the jobs that needed doing, and keep the interests of the children at heart. However, this was often a female dominated environment, and added to that were different cultures, and this occasionally led to misunderstanding. It's an exhausting and at times stressful job, so you have to be prepare for that.
Yes, I recommend
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Amazing experience, really!

Guys, if you are in your gap year and looking for international experience while wanting to make an impact - this program is for you! I was at TLC twice for 6 months each time, and I loved every minute of it! Working with the babies is the most rewarding experience I ever had in my life. And even if you don't have much experience with the kids - no worries, TLC will teach you everything you'll need to become a great caregiver!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

I miss TLC everyday.

When I arrived at TLC I was only 18 years old, I was worried that I would feel alone, being my first solo trip overseas. Thea and her entire family made me feel welcome and loved. From the moment I stepped on to the farm I love every minute of being apart of this amazing ministry. Not only did I get to help raise beautiful children, I got to love babies who needed it the most. The friendships I made I still have many, many years later. You become a family with all the people you work with, and you work together to help save, and care for the most beautiful babies and children. TLC makes sure you are safe, and at no point was I worried for my safety.
I can honestly say that TLC changed my heart, and my life. I believe that I left a huge part of my heart in Africa at TLC and I cannot wait for the day I return.

How can this program be improved?
The program has been perfected over the years. The only issue is when there is a shortage on volunteers which they try their hardest.
Yes, I recommend

About TLC Children's Home

TLC was started by Thea Jarvis in 1993 in response to the cruelties of the Apartheid regime against South Africa's newborn and abandoned babies. More than 20 years later and with the help of almost 1000 volunteers over these many years, TLC has...