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FAQ’s: CANSA Volunteers

FAQ’s: CANSA Volunteers

Q: What is the definition of a CANSA Volunteer?

A: A CANSA Volunteer can be defined as:

Any person, who willingly and without any payment, or other monetary reward, performs a defined task or tasks, for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) after having been duly trained and appointed as a CANSA volunteer.

A person can only call him/herself a CANSA volunteer, once he/she has been issued with a letter of appointment as a volunteer from a CANSA volunteer programme coordinator or other CANSA authorised person. In the letter of appointment as a volunteer the defined task(s) to be performed are stipulated. The task or tasks are to be performed by the volunteer for, or on behalf of CANSA. Furthermore a CANSA volunteer is someone who identifies with CANSA by being a paid-up Member of CANSA for (at least) the duration of his/her period of voluntary service.

Q: Do we get paid as Volunteers?

A: The Volunteer provides his/her service or time freely:

Anyone who decides to become a volunteer should provide his/her service or time of their own free will. No matter why someone decides to become a volunteer, there must never be any coercion by anyone to cause an individual to become a volunteer. There must also never be any ulterior motives, of any kind, by the person who wants to be a volunteer.

CANSA will reimburse volunteers for out of pocket expenses as per contract and prior negotiations.

Q: Who can become a CANSA Volunteer?

A: Anyone:

  • Housewives / husbands
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Individual schoolchildren and teenagers
  • Students
  • Overseas visitors
  • Unemployed individuals (both jobseekers and non-job seekers)
  • Full-time employed individuals
  • Professional individuals, for example police officers, lawyers, bookkeepers, etc
  • Retired individuals and couples
  • Persons with disabilities or those in poor health
  • Church groups (from various religious denominations)
  • School groups
  • Service groups, for example Rotary
  • Other organised groups

Q: What services can Volunteers offer to communities?

A: The following offerings can be provided by Volunteers to communities:

All newly recruited Volunteers can choose to assist staff with one of the following 3 areas and will receive training prior to commencing with their responsibilities:

Care & Support – which includes educational prevention campaigns:

Care & Support (by Professional Nurses only) – early detection services:

  • Early detection and screening services by means of CANSA’s Mobile Units for Pap smears, clinical breast examinations, prostate and skin cancer
  • Colorectal cancer screening – dipstick method
  • Healthy Lifestyle risk assessments (general)
  • Risk assessments on the following cancers: bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer and prostate cancer
  • Blood pressure tests
  • Blood glucose tests
  • HIV Rapid tests
  • Cholesterol rapid tests

Administrative Support:

  • Answering telephone
  • Taking messages
  • Filing
  • General office support

Assistance with Fundraising Projects & Events:

Q: How does CANSA motivate Volunteers?

A: We motivate our Volunteers by:

  • Creating a climate in which volunteers can feel welcome and supported
  • We match the volunteer’s desires with the CANSA’s needs
  • We provide excellent training and guidance
  • We give the volunteer a title which reflects the work they do (not just ‘volunteer’)
  • We provide a clear role description for every volunteer
  • We set solid goals for volunteers and provide feedback re progress
  • We give volunteers a real voice within the organisation, by involving them in decision-making processes
  • We encourage volunteers to attend seminars, conferences and workshops for enrichment purposes
  • We highlight the impact that volunteers’ contributions have on CANSA
  • We pass on any positive comments about volunteers from clients to the volunteers themselves
  • We inform the local press about the excellent work of our volunteers
  • We give certificates to commemorate anniversaries of involvement
  • We show an interest in volunteers’ personal interests and their outside life
  • We allow volunteers the opportunity to debrief, especially if they work in stressful situations
  • We provide the opportunity for ‘leave of absence’
  • We offer to write volunteers letters of reference

Q: What are the responsibilities of CANSA Volunteers?

A: The following forms part of their responsibilities:

  • To stick to the contract and volunteer policy of CANSA
  • To follow the task description provided to them with their letter of appointment
  • To remember that the public sees them as a representative of CANSA
  • Not to damage the image of CANSA in any way
  • To always accurately state what position they hold in the volunteer programme
  • To provide CANSA sufficient notice of their intention to leave the volunteer programme, or go on holiday, etc
  • To accurately and timeously account for their expenses if they are to be reimbursed for them
  • To work as a volunteer for the period of time they committed themselves to
  • To adhere to the policy and regulations regarding confidentiality
  • To adhere to the policy and regulations to protect the safety of volunteers
  • To be have knowledge of the mission statement and aims of CANSA
  • To deliver the services assigned to them, for which they received the necessary training

Q: What are the benefits of being a CANSA Volunteer?

A: Benefits include:

  • Opportunities to meet new people
  • Opportunities to acquire new skills
  • Initial and in-service training
  • Opportunities to learn about the environment
  • The chance to work for a worthy cause
  • The chance to feel valued
  • A letter of reference and service record after serving CANSA for one year
  • An opportunity to gain experience in a particular field of work
  • Access to tangible benefits such as: name tag, CANSA T-shirt, etc
  • An opportunity to go on excursions / participate in functions (educational)
  • Continuing in-service training (with the possibility of eventual accreditation)
  • Opportunity to contribute towards the fight against cancer


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