What’s required to volunteer in Africa?

You’re probably wondering what’s required to volunteer in Africa. To participate on an African Volunteer Aid (AVA) volunteer program, all volunteers are required to provide a criminal background check to our partner organization during their program orientation. The background check requirement is a key part of the AVA Responsible Volunteer Travel Policy and AVA Child Protection Policy.

Please ensure you allow sufficient time to acquire this document before you depart, as processing times vary. A background check is important to determine whether any serious criminal offense has been recorded against your name. The check must be issued within 12 months of your program start date and is required to be presented in English. If your background check cannot be issued in English, the original must be accompanied by an English translation done by a professional translation service or notary public.

Below is some guidance on criminal background check providers for a number of nationalities. Please be aware that each provider will have different requirements for what is to be supplied as part of the background check, prices and anticipated turnaround times. AVV recommends applying for your criminal background check well in advance of your departure.

While AVV has tried to make sure that each provider will provide you with a quality service, we do not take responsibility for the quality or completeness of the report provided by the organization selected.

For nationalities not listed below, please contact your local police station for advice or contact your AVV Program Manager or Consultant.