October 15 - 21, 2023

Northern Cape, South Africa 2023 – This trip is full!

About the Trip: Global First Responder is proud to partner once more with Dr Errol Visser, FCFP FRCEM, to bring a multidisciplinary team of South African physicians, ophthalmology surgeons, social workers, dieticians, physiotherapists, and non-medical volunteers.  The team will deploy to the farming areas of the Northern Cape, bordering on Namibia within the Kalahari, the second oldest desert on earth.
The Northern Cape is a large geographic area with isolated towns, harsh climatic conditions, and a healthcare system with poor geographic reach.  The border area is extremely rural, with limited healthcare opportunities for farm workers, the focus of this trip.  The poverty is extreme and poorly supplied, with the primary population displaced or previously persecuted people.  For most, the healthcare system is inaccessible with long waiting times and limited transportation options.  We are fortunate to have a counseling occupational therapist and a counseling social worker to provide a more comprehensive service.
Sustainability: Building on work started in 2021, the emphasis of the mission is to augment mainly nurse-led health care in the farming communities of the Northern Cape which are far flung from most referral centres. Our emphasis is to bring a multi-disciplinary team to the community, to bring a different expertise to bear and to effect appropriate referrals while also assisting to strengthen existing healthcare networks towards sustainability of our efforts.  We will be conducting clinics at farms where the workers and their families are mostly migrants from neighboring provinces.  The emphasis continues to be on building and strengthening referral networks, and increasing community involvement, allowing more people to access services and to catalyze a patient-driven improvement in health care through education and government partnerships.    
GFR’s partnership with Dr. Visser has helped bring much needed education on gender based violence, domestic violence and substance abuse to the farming communities of the Northern Cape.  The population are descendants of the San, one of the oldest civilizations known to us.   The San peoples, or Bushmen, are members of various Khoe, Tuu, or Kxʼa-speaking indigenous hunter-gatherer cultures that are the first cultures of Southern Africa, and whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa. Due to economic and cultural persecution, they have now been relegated to the poorest of the communities. Their culture goes back 30 000 years in this area.

What’s Included: Your fee will cover your lodging, transportation and food.  All your funds will be used locally in the villages where we are working.   In addition to your donation, GFR will provide a separate donation to our partner organization for medications and general supplies.

What’s Not Included:  Your international airfare, snacks and drinks other than water, and pre/post trip travel costs and expenses are not included in the cost of your trip.
How is your cost calculated?: At Global First Responder we strive to keep your costs low and our quality high.   We value your participation and willingness to volunteer your time and expertise. Everyone at Global First Responder is also a volunteer, donating their time to administrative tasks and paying their own way to participate in medical and construction missions around the world and here at home.  The fee you pay covers the actual cost of your expenses in country including lodging, transportation, meals, and translator fees and expenses.  At GFR, no one is paid a salary and everyone is a passionate volunteer, doing our part to help drive our mission of “One World, One Family”.
Cost: You are only responsible for your airfare for this trip.  Please purchase airfare that meets the required arrival and departure times.  We always suggest giving yourself extra time for delayed or cancelled flights and that you purchase trip insurance from a reputable carrier.  This trip is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  You or your donors will receive a tax receipt upon making your donation.
Arrivals and Departures for the Medical/Dental Team:  This trip officially starts on October 15. 
      • October 14, 2023: Arrive in Cape Town and overnight “on your own” or arrive before 8am on October 15.
      • October 15: Meet the team’s ground transportation in Cape Town to head to the Northern Cape.  Expect a 10 hour drive (~800 km) to your clinic locations.
      • October 16 and October 17:  Klein Pella and Kromhout. These clinics have communities off the farm sites where we will be sending selected disciplines into the communities as well as being on the farms.
      • October 18: Roepersfontein and Plangeni. This is an informal settlement which we visited last year. We will be doing an afternoon clinic and general education. Lots of social issues which were managed last year will be followed up. This time round we will involve members of the municipality so it will be a more structured approach
      • October 19: Raap en Skraap.  This is another farming community with great need.
      • October 20: .  We are excited to return to Onsepkans, one of the most underserved communities in the Northern Cape.  We will have a full day clinic as there were many missed medical issues in our last visit.  There will be two optometrists who will test for and dispense spectacles, as well as two local optometrists who will volunteer two or three days. We hope to investigate the various possibilities to address this lack of access to healthcare with the different stakeholders and thereby start addressing solutions to remedy this.
      • October 21: Return bus to Cape Town. This is the final day of the trip.  We encourage you to stay longer to sightsee, go on a safari, or more, but your trip ends tonight.  You are responsible for lodging and food upon arrival in Cape Town.
      • Click here to apply for this trip:  I want to join the GFR team providing relief for South Africa 


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