Stipend-paid volunteers in South Africa: A euphemism for low-paid work?

  • Hunter K
  • Ross E
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Given the high unemployment rates in South Africa, the government has introduced policies to assist individuals to enter the job market, including stipend-paid volunteering. This research sought the views of stipend-paid volunteers and managers from four Johannesburg-based non-governmental organisations. The aims were to investigate whether stipend-paid volunteering was more like low-paid work than volunteering, the motivations for stipend-paid volunteering, the relationship between livelihood strategies and stipend volunteering, and the challenges and opportunities facing stipend-paid volunteers. It emerged that stipend-paid volunteers were initially motivated by extrinsic factors, such as the stipend, but later their volunteerism was sustained by intrinsic motivations, such as their community service orientation. While stipend-paid volunteering provided opportunities for training and experience, the work also presented challenges in terms of emotional stress, low remuneration and minimal support. Findings suggest that stipend-paid volunteerism would seem to be a euphemism for low-paid work. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • South Africa
  • livelihood strategies
  • stipend-paid volunteer
  • volunteer policies
  • volunteerism

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  • Kirsty Hunter

  • Eleanor Ross

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