Criminology Volunteer Programme, Operation Bobbi Bear, South Africa

Use Your Criminology Degree at Operation Bobbi Bear


Each year, we receive international volunteers who come to offer their skills and support our work. Without these volunteers, Bobbi Bear would not be able to operate in the way we do. These international volunteers bring crucial funding to us, as well as education and development that we really appreciate.

Operation Bobbi Bear is a community-based response to a complex set of issues that undermine children’s right and children who have been victims of sexual abuse. Children who have been victims of sexual abuse are thrown into a criminal justice system that is ill equipped to enable them to communicate about their ordeal in a way that safeguards their well-being. The added trauma of children struggling to communicate with police officers who are not trained in working sensitively with abused children means that justice is often not done for the child.

During your stay you’ll be able to apply your research methodologies, gather insights and understand how people’s way of life has developed in South Africa. In addition, you will deal with everyday cases that come in, as well as follow up with closed cases and community outreach programmes. where you’ll be involved as a supporting member of the team.

This is a great volunteer abroad programme to acquire research for a 3rd year dissertation or to simply apply your degree education in communities in need. You can research while at Bobbi Bear based on your academic interests and dissertation topic.



– Contemporary Criminological Issues

– Criminal Justice and Punishment

– Crime, Media and Culture

– Criminological Psychology

– Crime and Humanity

– Criminal Investigation

– Wellbeing of Children & Young People


Criminology Volunteer Programme, Operation Bobbi Bear, South Africa



      Go to emergency call-outs and support the Operation Bobbi Bear Child Safety Officers (CSOs) throughout the abuse cases that come in during your programme.

      Visit local police stations, hospitals and the High Court to assist with trauma recovery and support victims throughout the process.

      Be closely involved with the rescued children when they come to the rescue centre, and/or support on site where the case is attended too on location, this will include comforting them, counselling them and loving them, using your experience and knowable working in this field.

      During your stay you will shadow the Bobbi Bear staff and support where needed. You will give guidance, listen and learn about the different cultures and policies within them.

      You will gain insight and experience the social welfare system of South Africa

      You will participate in lectures at rural schools to raise awareness about sensitive issues such as HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse and sex education through the use of the ‘Edu-Toy’

      Attend ‘The Tree’ clinic and help develop outreach programmes that bring rural communities together to share stores and empower women and children.

      You will learn about the ‘Bobbi Bear bear’ a toy used to support the case building from first contact to prosecution.


You can also hear from our founder, Jackie Branfield, talking about how impactful international volunteers are to the work we do here in South Africa


Want to apply to volunteer? We work with partner organisation Volunteer Invest who help us process all our volunteers. They will support your through every step of the volunteer journey. Contact them or fill out the application form here and someone will contact you.