Volunteer with Children in South Africa

Assist with childcare & educational activities in a township educare centre while exploring South Africa.


Program Information

Experience South Africa's beautiful city of Cape Town when you volunteer at a township educare centre or sanctuary for disadvantaged children. Provide the children with much needed educational enhancement through educational games, arts and crafts, and help create a fun, safe and creative learning environment. Take in the sights and sounds of the magical Cape in your free time.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

The incredible city of Cape Town is rich in history, culture and natural beauty. However, there are still many people living in poverty and GVI is working in townships to provide children in these areas with educational opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Our project works with a number of educare centres within townships in Cape Town that provide early years education to local children. This volunteer project involves providing a safe, fun and creative environment for these children, giving them the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

You will be involved in planning and implementing a project which uses educational games, song and dance, arts and crafts, gross and fine motor co-ordination and storytelling to allow these children to have fun while learning and developing at the same time.



Living in an attractive coastal village close to Cape Town and Stellenbosch, you will experience direct exposure to local culture and communities. Optional side trips are available to the likes of Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape Town wildlife safari and wine tasting in Stellenbosch, to name but a few! You will be able to book your own side trips on arrival in Cape Town either with other volunteers or with local tour operators. For those travelling onwards there is easy access to the Garden Route and cheap domestic flights to Kruger National park from Cape Town.

This volunteer project will ensure that these children will be able to develop to their full potential in a safe, creative and caring environment. Please note, this program offers durations up to 24 weeks. Speak to your Country Expert for more details of extending your stay in-country.

Program Details

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Project Life

Monday to Friday

From Monday to Friday you will travel by minibus from your accommodation to the townships to work with the children. The typical day will run from around 9am to 4pm with an hour break for lunch. After returning to your accommodation you may then spend time planning and preparing resources for the next day’s lessons.

Training is provided on arrival and includes teacher training, lesson planning, a local language lesson and class management. Ongoing daily support is provided by GVI staff at the project sites.

Field Conditions

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

Free Time

Weekends are free for you to explore the local area with many different side trips and activities available such as a safari day trip and Cape Town cultural weekend.

Project Details

In order to attend formal school in South Africa students must be at a certain academic level and you will be helping the children we work with to reach this standard. For the children, a good understanding of English opens up many more opportunities in the future.

Sessions are intended to help the children develop their fine and gross motor skills as well as their English language ability.  You will help organize and run outdoor exercises and games, arts and crafts, storytelling, music and drama lessons and assistance with homework.

Basic resources, art materials and games will be provided.

How this project makes a difference:

GVI have partnered with various educare centres in townships across Cape Town to implement and deliver educational programs to underprivileged young children.

Prior to our involvement, these children had a minor, to no exposure to English in the school environment. Being a multicultural country like South Africa, skills and understanding of other languages can be the key reason for success. GVI work with nursery aged children that have not yet been place at a local primary school. With our support the children receive the bridging education and developmental stimulation that they need to enable them to continue their mainstream government education. We have seen a remarkable improvement in the children, but there is still a need for extra hands and skills to help deliver and run these educational activities.

We have a strong read-to-children program which is an important part of child development, in particular language. Our child protection policy is implemented across our sites. Staff who take photos are required to ensure they are up to a standard approved by a social worker. We do not use faces or children’s names on social media or in any public domain. We have strict expectations of volunteers as far as how they interact with the children. We also give no information to the volunteers about the children’s backgrounds.

In addition to the childcare and education work, our work  at times includes construction, Health Care and Arts and Child Care, so our support of our partners is many-faceted and does not purely focus on volunteer enjoyment of time with the children.

*During the holiday time all participants will join Cape Town’s Holiday Library program, which focuses on providing educational and interactive activities for students in the townships around Gordon’s bay. Depending on the needs of the community, you will assist with educational, sports and health related workshops aimed at improving or maintaining high educational standards. SDG 4 – Quality
Education.

Cape Town's short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Cape Town:


  1. Improve the quality of education in Nomzamo and Zola.

  2. Promote gender equality in the local community

  3. Increase the health and wellbeing of less privileged people in the community

  4. Increase in-country capacity by providing training to less advantaged people in South Africa

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Airport transfers (before 10pm on scheduled days only)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Daily transport to and from project sites
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Exploration

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. There are many local tour operators offering a wide variety of excursions; or alternatively, many of our volunteers like to team up in country to plan weekend trips together.

Here are some of the exciting local sights and activities that you might want to check out during your stay:

Scenery:

  • Take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain.

  • Go hiking in Table Mountain National Park or the many other nature reserves.

  • Travel to Cape Point, noted for its natural beauty, where you can see baboons, antelope, and zebra.

  • Make the trip to Cape Agulhas, Africa’s Southernmost point.

  • Visit a private game reserve, two hours outside Cape Town, where you can spot lions, leopards, cheetah, rhino, hippo, and buffalo.

  • Book a Garden Route tour, traveling along the lush Indian Ocean coast and visit the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. From June to November this is the ideal location for spotting whales.

  • Travel to the Cederberg mountains, to hike the mountain trails and admire San rock art.

  • Visit the vineyards of Costania, under the shadow of Table Mountain, or Stellenbosch, about one hour outside Cape Town.

  • Explore Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, where many of the indigenous plants unique to the region can be seen.



Adventure:

  • Surfing at one of the many beaches.

  • Diving or snorkeling.

  • Sea kayaking.

  • Shark cage diving.

  • Rock climbing and abseiling on Table Mountain or the many other ranges in the area.

  • Horse riding on the beach.

  • Skydiving.



History:

  • Robben Island, which use to function as a jail for notable political prisoners including Nelson Mandela.

  • Castle Of Good Hope, the first colonial building in Cape Town.

  • The District Six Museum, which honours the forcible removal of residents from the area during the apartheid era.

  • The Bo Kaap Museum, which reflects on the Islamic traditions in the area since colonial times.

  • The Slave Lodge, creates awareness around the past influences of slavery on the city.



Further Travel In South Africa:

  • Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest wildlife park, in the North of the country.

  • The Drakensberg Mountains, the ‘Mountain of Dragons’, and its famous river canyon.

  • Addo Elephant Park, a refuge for African Elephants.

  • The desert habitats of the Karoo and Kalahari.

  • The historic and verdant Zululand region.

The Team

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

Katelin Ryan

Service Learning Manager Cape Town

A sustainable development extraordinaire with a great commitment to create sustainable solutions for local communities. Katie has worked in South Africa for many years before her role with GVI and after completing her Master's degree in International Education she joined our team of professionals.




Her credentials include over eight years of volunteering, teaching, managing, and leading international education programs around the world. This includes working in zero-waste policy communities in New Zealand, and in an orphan bear refugee center in Croatia.




As our Service Learning Manager she is excited to use her experience designing experiential education programmes and managing community programmes.

Select a Start Date

  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

Select a Duration

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+ $30
 
+ $370
 

Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

live base updates

Follow GVI Cape-Town's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
GVISouthAfricaCapeTown