Occupational therapists

We're occasionally looking for registered occupational therapists with at least three to five years' post-qualifying experience (for short-term roles, you'll need at least five years). Many roles require OTs with experience of management, teaching or training.

Roles are generally longer term, ranging from one to two years, but we sometimes have short-term assignments for up to six months.

What you'll be doing

The incidence of disability and mental ill-health is high in many countries VSO works in, and services - especially for people living in rural areas - often aren't up to the task .

Occupational therapists are needed to help develop and strengthen rehabilitation services, and train local staff to build their therapy skills. Together, you'll work to ensure more people with disabilities can fulfil their potential.

  • Example role

Please note this is just an example placement to illustrate the kind of roles that may come up in your skill area. To view our live roles, click ‘Get started’ below.

Occupational therapist

There are estimated to be as many as 150,000 disabled people in Namibia and the majority have little or no access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. VSO is working with a range of national and regional organisations to improve the standard of living for people with disabilities and eradicate stigma and misconceptions. The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) has a main objective of improving the health status of the Namibian population through the provision of preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services. As an occupational therapist you’ll strengthen the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) programme in the Kunene Region.

What you'll be doing

  • Providing on-the-job training and clinical supervision to community based carers to build their skills and confidence
  • Providing technical support to colleagues and advising on the development of services to support people with disabilities in their homes
  • Coordinating and implementing training events and workshops for community based carers
  • Networking with relevant professional groups to improve rehabilitation services in the region

What you'll need

You’ll need to be a qualified occupational therapist with a minimum of 3-5 years’ post-qualification experience, including training of others. Ideally you’ll also have previous experience in community based rehabilitation. You’ll also need to be a good team worker. Flexibility, patience and a good sense of humour are important traits in all VSO volunteers as things often either take much longer than what you are used to back home or everything happens at a moment’s notice.

And the rest...

Namibia is one of the largest and least known countries in Southern Africa, with vast landscapes, the spectacular red dunes of the Namib Desert and game-rich national parks. The Namibian climate varies from arid and semi-arid to sub-tropical with the hottest months being January and February. You’ll be based in the Kunene region in the northwest of the country. Beautiful Etosha National Park with its enormous variety of wildlife and the remote wilderness of the ‘Skeleton Coast’ are both accessible from the area.

We’ll ask you to commit to 12-24 months to make a sustainable contribution to our development goals. In return, we’ll give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We'll provide you with extensive training before your placement, and our financial package includes a local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, insurance and more. NHS employees can volunteer with continued membership of the NHS pensions scheme. When you return to your home country, we'll help you to resettle and many of our returned volunteers stay involved with us long after their placement ends.

Next steps

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Replacing rites with rights: amplifying the voice of Cameroon's widows

Lydia Swiri Ndikum  (Cameroon - Participation and governance)
Women living in rural parts of the developing world are disproportionately affected by marginalisation and poverty. In Cameroon, widows in particular suffer the risk of having their land grabbed, destitution, stigma and abuse. VSO works with partner MUSAB in Bamenda, north west Cameroon, to amplify the voices of disadvantaged women through advocacy and helps to facilitate their involvement in decision-making processes.



What expenses will I need to pay?

We will provide you with an allowance, basic accommodation and medical insurance.