Why we ask for a fee to volunteer or intern at BCSS

November 13, 2020 | Mario Lebrato

Do you want to join our Marine Science Program, but are you concerned that you have to pay? We understand that you might be wondering if joining BCSS will be real value, what is included and where your money goes to exactly. BCSS is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which means that BCSS is a non-profit […]

Do you want to join our Marine Science Program, but are you concerned that you have to pay?

We understand that you might be wondering if joining BCSS will be real value, what is included and where your money goes to exactly.

BCSS is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which means that BCSS is a non-profit that functions independently of any government and is organized on community, national and international levels to, in this case, serve the goal of marine science for environmental education and conservation. As an NGO, it is important to us to be completely transparent about why we ask our volunteers and interns to pay a fee, and where that money is going.

The end goal of your funds is to support the first permanent multi-ecosystem Ocean Observatory in the Indian Ocean, which is a unique platform facilitating critical data transfer, environmental knowledge, and opportunity for local, national, and international students and communities. Your funds contribute significantly to this initiative that aims to provide both opportunity and support towards critical ecosystem management and the well-being of natural resources.

When you join the Marine Science Program as an intern or volunteer, you are directly contributing to the education and development of the local community and the efficiency and benefits of projects in the long run. You ensure that the projects and station can develop, so the impact of the projects will be bigger. You are also investing in your own training and development, so you can continue making changes in the world long after you have finished the Marine Science Program.

In short, your money goes to the following (and more):

  • Pre-departure support: paperwork, brochures and support
  • Comprehensive training and education
  • Transfers from and to the airport (taxi + boat)
  • Safe and comfortable accommodation
  • Healthy and nutritious food (cooked by our in-house chefs)
  • Local field staff salaries
  • 24/7 support from our local management team
  • Logistics (e.g. getting maintenance materials, food and other from mainland)
  • Dive equipment and maintenance
  • Mentorship, goal-setting and evaluations with the team on site
  • Insurances, taxes and legal and auditing fees
  • General development and expansion of BCSS’s projects and impact

Keeping your well-being, comfort, training and satisfaction into account, your internship needs to contain the following in order for you to have a quality experience:

Professional support
We have a team of experienced managers living on site, at the station on Benguerra Island. They will not only teach you e.g. how to conduct marine research, they will guide you through your internship and are your first point of contact when you have questions, problems or specific requests. The team works together with you to achieve your internship objective and requirements.

Living costs
Our price includes everything for a comfortable stay at our field station, like high-standard accommodation, quality food and all logistics (boat fuel etc.)  The accommodation is cleaned every day, laundry is done 3 times a week and the beds have high-quality mosquito nets. The three meals a day are being freshly prepared by our local chefs, who use partly our organically grown vegetables from our permaculture garden.

Other extras
All transfers (except for international flights/travel) are taken care of for you and included in the price. The bedrooms contain storage space, a sink, fans and a comfortable mattress with pillows and sheets. There is internet available so you can keep in touch with your home front, though it’s limited so to be used sparingly only.

Your well-being is our priority
Our team is available 24/7 and trained both medically and for emergencies. When there is an issue, you do not need to think twice. The team lives and works with you, putting your safety and welfare first.

Learn and grow
Education is one of our core values, therefore our team will make sure you are getting the most out of your internship. Working with you from the start, we will clearly define and meet your learning objectives.  Then, we will mentor you so you will be able to reach your goals. You will have regular evaluation and feedback sessions with your intern mentor to make sure you’re on track.

Space for own input
We appreciate initiatives, ideas and new perspectives. We’re always open to facilitate specific ideas or research you would like to conduct.

Long-lasting impact
Everyone who joins BCSS, whether it is for 2 weeks or 6 months, contributes to the mission and vision of the marine field station. While you are learning and growing, you contribute to this wider cause, leaving an impact in Mozambique.

Opportunity to connect
Our scientists and management team have a significant network of professionals, academics and peers that you can connect with, allowing you to grow into the new opportunity.

If you are still not sure why we ask for a fee in exchange for a volunteer or internship position, please feel free to contact us directly with any questions you may have. For more information on the Marine Science Program, please find the brochure here. If you are interested in applying for a volunteer or internship program, please send an e-mail to info@bcssmz.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you are an agent and would like to offer our Marine Science Program on your website, please send an e-mail to Claire.Ward@bcssmz.org