Overseas Volunteering FAQs
Dentaid keeps in close contact with its in country partners and works hard to safeguard volunteers’ safety. We follow Foreign Office travel advice. You’ll be invited to attend a training day when you’ll be given safety instructions and advice. Your team leader is there to help keep you safe and you will be advised not to go off on your own.
Each country has its own entry visa requirements. We’ll give you advice once you have signed up for a trip or you can check on the Foreign Office website.
Dentaid strongly recommends that all overseas volunteers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Volunteers must adhere to and cover the cost of all Covid-19 related requirements for travel to the countries they are visiting or passing through.
Dentaid volunteering trips cost £3,250 for Malawi, Uganda and Cambodia and £1,750 for Morocco including a £300 non-refundable deposit. This includes your flights, accommodation, meals on working days, in-country travel, all the dental supplies to provide free care for thousands of patients and a Dentaid t-shirt.
Dentaid works tirelessly to improve oral health around the world all year round. Any extra money will support our projects and fund outreach clinics after you have gone home.
Extra costs include your visa, travel insurance, sightseeing trips, meals on non-working days and vaccinations.
You’ll only need a little money for food and drink on your days off and any gifts, personal shopping or sight seeing opportunities. We recommend that £300 is plenty.
Most flights depart from Heathrow but we occasionally use other London airports. On arrival, the team will travel together in privately hired mini-buses or vehicles driven by local drivers. On some trips there might be a short internal flight. You may also travel by boat, taxi or tuk-tuk.
No two trips are the same. You’ll receive an itinerary before you travel but we ask you to be flexible as things can change at short notice. Clinics will depend on the needs of the location population and the advice of our dental partners who you’ll be working alongside.
A typical day will involve travelling to a school, community building or health clinic, setting up portable equipment and a decon area and providing emergency treatment and oral health education for the local population. Some teams will visit prisons, refugee camps, orphanages, old people’s homes and schools for children with special needs.
Your duties will depend on your qualifications and role in the UK. Dental nurses will be asked to rotate between chairside and other tasks. Everyone will be involved in helping the clinic run smoothly and packing up at the end of the day.
Our teams usually stay in guest houses or small hotels. We work hard to ensure that accommodation is of a reasonable standard but our teams often work in remote regions so choice can be very limited. Volunteers share single-sex rooms – which can either be twin rooms or a dorm. Occasionally teams might stay in tents or hostels.
In most of our accommodation there will be western style toilets but when you are out doing clinics they will be long drop pit toilets. You should take your own loo roll and might want to practise your squats!
Most of the time but they won’t always be hot.
Our teams eat together in restaurants or their accommodation in the evenings and usually have lunch in the communities they are working in. There’s more choice in the cities and options can be limited in remote areas. You’ll usually eat local foods and your trip leader will tell you more about the local diet – although rice is included in most meals. Meat is seen as a luxury in many places where we work. Many Dentaid volunteers are vegetarian. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have any dietary requirements.
Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary and you’ll need to take a high DEET insect repellent. In many places we visit you’ll need to take malaria tablets and should ask your doctor about this before you travel.
Probably but Dentaid is not allowed to give you medical advice. Please contact your doctor’s surgery and arrange all your vaccinations in plenty of time before your trip.
We advise you to keep all of your valuables on you, in a travel belt and hidden from sight. Take particular care of your camera and phone and leave irreplaceable, sentimental items at home.
You’ll need to arrange this. Salt and Banner insurance companies offer good rates for overseas volunteering trips.
Yes there are normally a couple of free days for sightseeing either in the middle or end of the trip and some time to acclimatize before you start. Your trip leader will suggest trips and will try to help you experience the markets, sights and wildlife depending on your itinerary. Working days are fairly long but there will be time for meals and to relax in the evenings.
Yes our teams work with local dental professionals to support their work and allow them to do outreach in more communities. They will be your hosts, your guides and become firm friends. Dentaid supports its in-country partners all year round. They will help to devise your itinerary and you will also work with and visit other charities and NGOs who will host dental clinics.
We appreciate that fundraising can be difficult but we’ll give you lots of ideas and support as you fundraise for your trip. Some volunteers plan one big event that raises all the funds in one go while other people use social media and small events in their practice to fundraise over a longer period of time.
Our advice is to start early and devise a fundraising plan. We’ll help you to set up a Just Giving fundraising page so you can keep track of your donations online and the money will be transferred straight to Dentaid.
A £300 non- refundable deposit secures your place on your trip once we have approved your application.
Please give us a call on 01794 324249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be very happy to answer your questions. You can also read the blogs on our blogs page, or see videos about some trips on our videos page.
All volunteers are asked to attend a training day where you’ll meet your trip leader, Dentaid staff and other members of your team. At the training day, you’ll receive a detailed volunteering pack and itinerary, learn more about Dentaid’s work and be able to ask specific questions about your trip.
Dentaid’s Overseas Volunteer Agreement explains in detail how our overseas volunteering programme works.
It helps the volunteer understand what to expect and explains the funding, what’s included in the costs, the fundraising and payment plan, the volunteer’s responsibilities, the cancellation policy, our Covid policy etc.
It is important that all volunteers read this before they apply for a place on a trip.