Volunteer Abroad Programs Since 1997

Help run educational workshops on primary healthcare in Cape Town’s townships

Project Overview

Live and work with our team in the beautiful city of Cape Town and experience the wonderful culture and people of South Africa.

This program focuses on setting up and running educational workshops on general health and hygiene practices. The audience for your classes will include childcare providers, teachers, children and their parents. As a volunteer, you will have direct responsibility for setting up and implementing these workshops, with the goal of creating a fun and interactive educational environment.

Our healthcare program provides advice on how to create a healthy living environment in order help to members of these communities to care for and protect their young children from preventable illnesses.

Volunteer and live in an attractive coastal village close to Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with direct exposure to local culture and communities. Optional side trips are available to Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape Town wildlife safari and wine tasting in Stellenbosch, to name but a few! Any side trips you wish to take can be arranged on arrival in Cape Town. For those travelling onwards there is easy access to the Garden Route and cheap domestic flights to Kruger National park from Cape Town.


We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This program offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the program for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!

Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.

GVI is real volunteering

Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.

Project Life

Monday to Friday

During training you will learn about the different customs and cultures in South Africa, general life inside a township as well as some common local language sayings. You will also be given an outline of the information covered in workshops, ideas on activities and lectures and information on childhood diseases and general hygiene practices. You will also receive training on how to deliver these workshops.

You will spend the week days in the townships working with the local communities and later in the day you will return to your shared accommodation and prepare for the next day’s workshops.

Field Conditions

Accommodation is in houses/apartments with shared rooms and bathrooms, with access to hot running water and electricity.

Free Time

Weekends have been left free for your own leisure so that you will have time to explore the spectacular sites and scenery in and around Cape Town.

Project Details

The workshops typically include a combination of lectures, stories, interactive games, activities, and role plays. Some of the topics you may cover include:

  • General hygiene practices
  • Healthy food and its importance
  • The importance of exercise and some examples
  • Common illnesses and their symptoms (chicken pox, mumps, diarrhea, dehydration, etc.)

The goal is the workshops is to teach local children about basic healthcare and also to educate parents and childcare providers on how to best care for their infants and children - including how to identify common childhood diseases as well as symptoms which require immediate medical attention.

How this project makes a difference:

In South Africa, approximately 75,000 children die before the age of 5 due, in part, to a lack of education in general healthcare practices. This program aims to increase knowledge and awareness about healthy eating and general hygiene in township communities.


I was charged with providing basic medical/healthcare lectures to the staff and with promoting hygiene practices amongst the children in attendance. I believe that the medical project has succeeded...
Darragh O’Shea,Ireland

I was charged with providing basic medical/healthcare lectures to the staff and with promoting hygiene practices amongst the children in attendance. I believe that the medical project has succeeded in providing these eager people with essential information that could potentially enable them to offer their children a safer and more fruitful environment. I can say without equivocation that I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I will not soon forget all the wonderful people I have met during my brief stay.

The knowledge we are providing the children and childcare providers is a gift you can’t put a price on. With the knowledge we are providing comes a healthier and happier environment, one that allows...
Amanda Lopes, USA

The knowledge we are providing the children and childcare providers is a gift you can’t put a price on. With the knowledge we are providing comes a healthier and happier environment, one that allows these children to live a longer life. Put all fears and doubts aside and join this GVI project that will change the lifestyle of those you will be working with. With the support of my project manager, coordinator and housemates I write these words with a heart full of joy and love while regretting that I will not be staying longer.

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Below is some information on trips and travel options in South Africa.

Optional Side Trips

Cape Town Cultural and Activity Weekend

This trip includes 2 nights in Cape Town near Long Street so that you can sample the lively weekend city life. On Friday afternoon you will travel through to Cape Town after finishing your volunteer work.. The Saturday is a free day and you may wish to take the opportunity to visit some of the following iconic Cape Town attractions: Robben Island, Table Mountain, District 6 Museum, Castle of Good Hope or the Green Market Square craft markets. Sunday includes a full day in Cape Point and a visit to an African Penguin colony. You will have the opportunity to explore the Cape Point nature reserve on mountain bike where you may see antelope, zebra, ostrich, seals and possibly even whales. During the day you will enjoy a picnic lunch on one of the reserves beautiful beaches.

Wildlife Safari

Visit a private game reserve which is located one and a half hours from Cape Town. Here you will enjoy lunch and an afternoon safari before returning home. Transfers to and from the project accommodation are included. There are many other fantastic trips in the area around Cape Town that can easily be arranged once in-country such as shark cage diving, skydiving, wine tasting tours, Hermanus day trips for whale watching (seasonal) or a typical township experience.

Please note that anyone booking on this project for the two week option will need to extend their stay if they want to take part in  more side trips.


Further Travelling Opportunities

South Africa has such a wealth of fantastic opportunities for further travel. In Cape Town, you have easy access to the famous Garden Route, chances to explore the Cederberg Mountain range or take more time to enjoy the vibrancy of Cape Town. Other possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the fantastic Southern Coast, the world-renowned National Parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more amazing options in this stunning country.

Latest from the Base...

Funds raised by our 100 book challenge will help us buy books for the children.
The children from the orphanage enjoyed a suf lesson.

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Program Details

Healthcare Volunteer Program in South Africa
South Africa

Build Your Program

Program Cost

  • $1777.00


(GBP250 / USD425 / EUR300 / AUD425) (4 week minimum program duration) Add a GVI internship certification to your program and receive additional training specifically designed to develop your leadership skills and prepare you for a career in the field. Interns receive one-on-one mentoring and complete focused assessments throughout their program. Participants will receive formal recognition and a professional reference on completion of the internship.
(GBP18 / USD31 / EUR22 / AUD31) The myTsafe online document store keeps copies of your most valuable and private information safe and you can share them easily and securely with others.
(GBP15 / USD26 / EUR18 / AUD26) By making a small contribution to GVI's Charitable Trust you will support conservation projects that can offset the impact of CO2 emissions associated with your international flights.  Visit www.gvi.org for more information.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Arrival orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunch
  • Transport to and from the project

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes