Why OHS?

More than just an adventure

OHS service learning programs are meaningful opportunities that allow you to engage with highly impactful models for positive change and social uplift.

Volunteer Satisfaction

In 2014, OHS received the Top-Rated Non-Profit award, from Great Nonprofits due to positive volunteer feedback.


In the past six years over 800 volunteers from over 100 leading universities worldwide have actively participated in One Heart Source. By joining One Heart Source, you are welcomed into a diverse family of game changers that can support you in your further endeavors.


Safety is our number one priority. We are constantly refining our safety and security strategies to meet and exceed the needs of our volunteers. We have policies and procedures to take care of just about anything that may come up while on the program, and the staff to take appropriate action.

Collaboration, Not Placement Program

Unlike other organizations, OHS is not a placement program. Our volunteer opportunities are methodically designed, developed, staffed, and run by the organization, in collaboration with the communities we serve.

Global Leaders Fellowship

All volunteers are eligible to apply for the 3-year Global Leaders Fellowship in order to continue their development of international leadership, social consciousness, and entrepreneurial acumen by engaging with and developing impactful models for social uplift.

University Credit and Funding

If you are enrolled in a university, participation in our programs may earn you course credit or funding from your institution. Once accepted, our team can work with you to create strategies through which you can identify an engage with your university’s appropriate department or office.

Programs for All Age Groups

One Heart Source has designed meaningful and fulfilling opportunities for all age groups excited about actualizing their impact through proven models for communal uplift. In 2015, we will be offering Family, High School, University, Professional and Seniors programs.

Fundraising Your Trip

  1. Charitable Giving

    As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the U.S., most donations to OHS are considered to be tax-deductible for US Taxpayers. This means that if an individual or business makes a direct donation from a U.S. bank account to One Heart Source, they are able to claim a tax deduction for their donation. Therefore, people can make a donation on your behalf to OHS and have it count towards your program fee while also receiving a tax deduction!

  2. Initiate a Fundraising Campaign

    Leverage social media, email resources like MailChimp, and traditional letter-writing to raise awareness about your trip (Why and How) and build a community of stakeholders to support and engage with you while you travel and work abroad. Traditionally, this has been one of the most popular and effective methods of offsetting one’s program fee. This is a wonderful opportunity for others to experience this journey by investing in you.

  3. Bring a Friend

    OHS believes in building value collectively as a community.  We encourage applicants and newly accepted volunteers to recruit other members of their home community to join OHS.  We offer a referral credit of $200 for each applicant that you personally refer to OHS that is accepted and pays their deposit.

  4. Travel as a Group

    Recognizing that our collective impact is increased when we work and serve in groups, OHS is providing group pricing. For groups of 5-9 who apply and serve together, each participant will receive 10% off the program fee. Groups of 10-14 will receive 15% off program fee. Groups of 15 or more will receive 20% off program fee.

  5. University Funding/Credit

    If you are enrolled in a university, you may be eligible for funding  or course credit through your institution. Once accepted, our team can work with you to create strategies through which you can identify and engage with your university’s appropriate department or office, and apply for funding/credit.

  6. Employee Gift Matching Programs

    If you or someone you know work for a company that offers Employee Gift Matching Programs, you may be able to significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expense. In many cases, Employers will match a donation made by their employee to a non-profit organization.

  7. Local and National Service Clubs

    Service-oriented clubs often contribute to a socially-conscious endeavors. Get in touch with a club around you, give a presentation on what you are hoping to do and why, and partner with the club to create a fundraising strategy around your shared mission.

  8. Religious Organization

    Are you a member of a religious organization or assembly? Reach out to fellow members or leadership. Supporting your ambition to serve may go a long way to contributing positively to the groups collective consciousness and global awareness while giving you the opportunity to further put your ideas to action.

  9. Social Clubs

    Social and academic societies including clubs, sororities/fraternities, are often eager to support one of their own. Partner with your organization’s diverse network and build your own network of stakeholders for your experience.

  10. Host An Event

    Host a cook-out, open-mic, potluck, fashion show, art exhibit, yoga class, benefit concert or anything else that brings people together and builds a sense of community. Spread the word, raise awareness, and collect donations.

Our Reach

SINCE 2008, OHS has united 880 VOLUNTEERS

From 15 Countries


Frequently Asked Questions

The Experience

Will I be trained before the start of my program?

Our volunteer training is done differently each year—you can expect to undergo some training before your program start date. The first few days of your program will be when you receive the majority of your training.

Can you inform me more about how your organization and programs are different from other agents or platforms that place volunteers into the programs by charging a fee?

One Heart Source does rely partially on volunteer fees to run our programs, but we also rely on private donations and other fundraising activities.

Our programs are designed and led entirely by One Heart Source personnel. Full-time, in-country program leaders run the volunteer orientation and facilitate cultural awareness and understanding by leading relevant group discussions and by connecting volunteers to community members, cultural sites, and museums throughout the duration of your stay. The program leaders have a minimum of three years experience working with One Heart Source. By working directly with local schools and communities we are able to dictate the quality and sustainability of volunteer projects in ways that placement agencies may not be able to.

What is the level of leadership and involvement of OHS volunteers in the program, and how can I contribute to the design and implementation of the program?

Our volunteers hail from all academic and social backgrounds, which, we believe, adds to the evolution and development of our programs and our organization. Throughout all OHS programs we strongly encourage volunteers to take initiative and develop ideas and projects that utilize their individual strengths and skills to benefit the communities we work with. One example of volunteer initiative from this past summer is a volunteer who wanted to share her passion for meditation and yoga with the students we were teaching. With our support, she set up and ran a popular evening wellness club, where she taught about physical and mental well-being and led students in yoga and meditation. In order to make the club sustainable, she invited local community members and teachers to participate and learn the concepts and practice together, which has allowed the club to continue even after she returned home.

Where do OHS volunteers come from?

Our volunteers come from all over the world! In 2013, our volunteer family was made up of individuals from 41 Universities, representing 9 countries worldwide.

What learning theory and approach does your program adopt to nurture the volunteers?

The learning theory that we incorporate into our programs is based on alternative team teaching methods, creativity, and high-quality mentorship. As a volunteer you will have a chance to bring your unique style and influence in order to most effectively reach the students you are working with.  You might teach in groups of two or three, allowing yourself and fellow mentors to present information to students in a variety of creative ways, or you might teach 1-3 students at a time, focusing on the students’ most urgent academic needs.

As educators, we believe in keeping students engaged and allowing discussion to flow, showing students that learning can be a fun, interactive experience. There will always be support available from our staff in order to provide feedback, assistance, and counseling when dealing with the challenges of teaching.

Will there be time for personal travel during the programs?

Yes! Both Cape Town and Zanzibar are beautiful cities with rich history and culture. You will be able to spend time exploring the city and local community during weekends. If you are interested in more extensive travel, we ask that you schedule time before or after your program start and ends dates to do so.

What are the safety concerns and/or procedures in Cape Town? Zanzibar?

Safety is our number one priority. All volunteer experiences are planned and executed with your safety as our first concern. During program hours, Volunteers are always under supervision of OHS Program Management. In all locations, a vehicle is available 24/7 in case of emergency. Volunteer living accommodations are secure.

Though many countries in Africa are portrayed as violent and unstable, we are confident that you will find both locations to be warm and welcoming. However, as is the case in any foreign country or city, travel within each location does pose risks and requires safe, smart travel techniques. Upon arrival, you will be educated on and familiarized with your immediate location to ensure a comfortable stay.  OHS Management is available 24/7 should there be any concerns.

OHS Volunteers & the Application Process

I noticed there are many application deadlines—when should I apply?

You can apply at any time, for any program, before any of the application deadlines. We encourage you to apply as early as possible, as spaces do fill up fast.

Do you have to be a student to qualify for the programs?

We do not require that you be currently enrolled as a student in order to qualify for an OHS program.

What prior experience, if any, is required to volunteer?

No prior experience is necessary! We welcome applicants from all backgrounds with various levels and types of previous experience. We believe that this adds to the diversity and collaborative nature of our programs and organization.

Fundraising & Program Fees

What does the program fee cover?

The Pro­gram Fee is tax-deductible for U.S. res­i­dents and includes:

  • Food, clean drink­ing water, hous­ing, inter­net access dur­ing your stay
  • Program / teach­ing sup­plies
  • Full-time in-country leadership and support
  • On-site ori­en­ta­tion and pre-field ori­en­ta­tion training
  • Arranged trans­porta­tion from air­port to program location
  • Trans­porta­tion within program location for program activities
  • 24-hour on-call support in case of health emergency
  • Cell phone with domes­tic and inter­na­tional capability

Pro­gram Fee does not include:

  • Inter­na­tional or domes­tic airfare
  • Costs of immu­niza­tions or travel insurance
  • Costs of week­end travel trips and cul­tural activ­i­ties on free time

Please note: the pro­gram fee is non-refundable.

Does OHS offer any financial aid or sponsorships?

As a non-profit, NGO, One Heart Source does not currently offer any financial aid or sponsorships. We do, however, strongly encourage fundraising your program fee through the help of friends, family, and various fundraising campaigns.

Are donations tax-deductible for non-U.S. residents?

OHS is a registered non-profit in the U.S.; therefore, donations are tax-deductible if and only if the donor currently pays taxes in the U.S.

What is the source of funding for One Heart Source?

Your volunteer program fees, private donations, and various fundraising campaigns are the main source of funding for OHS.


Does OHS book flights for volunteers?

Because our volunteers come from all over the world, OHS does not book flights for our volunteers. We do, however, encourage volunteers to travel together when possible.

As a volunteer, will I travel alone or with a group of volunteers?

Once our volunteer positions are filled, contact information is exchanged with fellow members so that you can book flights together if you would like. We encourage traveling together when possible!

During the program, transportation is provided by OHS, and volunteers travel together.

Will I be picked up upon arrival?

Yes! OHS staff will pick up all volunteers, regardless of the airline or time of arrival.

When am I expected to arrive in country?

We ask that you arrive at least one day before your program start date and depart at least one day after your program end date. Therefore, if your program starts on May 25th, we ask that you arrive in country no later than May 24th. Participating for the full length of the program is mandatory. If you are concerned about time conflicts, please contact an OHS staff member.


Are volunteer positions paid?

All volunteer positions are unpaid.

Am I responsible for finding my own accommodations?

You are not responsible for finding your own accommodations. OHS will arrange all accommodations for the duration of your program.

Can I go on multiple or consecutive programs?

Sure! You can apply to as many programs as you would like. You are also able to volunteer in multiple locations. You will be responsible for paying the program fee for each program; however, a 10% discount will be applied to the cost of the second program.

Can I receive academic credit or volunteer hours for my program?

Absolutely. Many volunteers have received academic credit or certified volunteer hours for participating in a program. We suggest that you contact your school advisor or Department Head to inquire about any opportunities that may be available for you to receive academic credit.

Is it possible for OHS Staff to write a letter of recommendation, if necessary?

Yes! If you need, our staff is happy to write a letter of recommendation for you after your time spent with us.