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South Africa - Cape Town Community Projects

Make an impact on communities living in Cape Town settlements through education, skills development and community improvement projects.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectCape Town, South Africa
Project LengthMin 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks (Minimum stay is technically 17 days - 3 day orientation + 2 weeks volunteering)
Arrival AirportCape Town International Airport
Volunteer WorkWork with children, education, community development
Age17 - 80
Age Exceptions This project accepts volunteers who are 17 years old and younger with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
Program Schedule 3-day orientation is Fri-Sun; Volunteer work begins on Mon.

What's Included

AccommodationShared room in a volunteer house or shared dormitory
FoodThree meals a day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival and departure
Transportation Daily transfers between accommodation and project site
Donation Made to the organization to assist with programs
Social Activities Every week
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation Three days, including welcome BBQ and guided tour
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa (if required)


Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and is referred to as the ‘The Mother City’ by locals. It has a cultural heritage spanning more than 300 years and world renowned, breathtaking scenery, from the iconic Table Mountain to the glorious Cape beaches.  It is a modern city with cosmopolitan areas boasting nightclubs and trendy restaurants, as well as rustic and unique suburbs with quirky markets and cafés. With a comfortable Mediterranean climate, Cape Town is great place to volunteer all year round.


About the Project

This project aims to fulfill the various basic needs of the several settlements in Blaauwberg by creating sustainable community projects meant to facilitate development and empower local communities. These projects take place in the settlements (also known as townships) of Cape Town, which are home to many impoverished families, who often live in makeshift shacks built from scraps of wood and metal, with little running water or electricity. Overall, these project aims to uplift the children, adults and families of Blaauwberg.


Arrival and Orientation in Cape Town

Prior to your volunteering, you will participate in a three-day orientation in Cape Town. You will be picked up at the airport on Friday and transferred to your accommodations where you will be given a map and free time to explore the area before a traditional South African barbecue dinner, called a Braai. After breakfast on Saturday, you will be taken on a guided tour, a great opportunity to learn about the city and the history of the country. On Saturday evening, you can join other volunteers and staff for dinner and drinks at one of the many restaurants and bars along the beachfront and make plans for Sunday, which is a free day for sightseeing and more. 

Note: The orientation is required and is not a part of the 2 weeks designated for volunteer work. Therefore, the minimum stay is 17 days for the 2 week option, 24 days for 3 weeks, and so on. All prices include orientation.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

Volunteers will be able to choose between the following projects:

Settlement Project:  Volunteers at this project will split their time between helping in the morning at the community educare centers, which provide young children with education-focused play groups, and teaching adults in the settlements the skills they will need to gain employment in the afternoon. Volunteer tasks include:

  • Teaching children at the educare centers
  • Organizing sports activities, fun days, and holiday celebrations for the community
  • Assisting with the everyday operations of a nonprofit and its fundraising activities
  • Educating children in various health-related topics, such as HIV/AIDS, hygiene, etc.

Schools and Educare Project:  Volunteers will be placed in one of seven schools in the community. Six of the schools are preschools for children from 1 – 5 years old who speak Xhosa or Afrikaans. The preschools focus on early childhood development and preparing the children for regular schools by teaching basic English and cognitive skills. The other available placement is at a farm school for grades 1 – 7. Volunteer tasks include:

  • Teaching classes and/or assisting teachers
  • Teaching computer skills
  • One-on-one tutoring
  • Organizing fun days and sports activities
  • Educating children in various health-related topics, such as HIV/AIDS, hygiene, etc.
  • Assisting in afterschool programs and daycare after school is finished for the day
The Center for the Disabled: This center was established in 2008 and currently cares for 34 children between the ages of 18 months to 18 years.  This center is the only one of its kind in the settlements and is often the only place that children with special needs can be cared for and educated. Volunteer tasks include:
  • Teaching classes
  • Feeding the children
  • One-on-one classroom assistance
  • Mind stimulation exercises
  • Physiotherapy

Please note: Volunteers may only join the Center for the Disabled project for a maximum of 2 weeks.

The holidays are a time for the kids to have fun, so the programs are less structured and may change depending on the amount of children that arrive on the day. During this time, the Center for the Disabled will be closed and the School and Educare Project will only run from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm and will be limited to sports days, game days, outings to the beach or pools, etc. Depending on the funds available, you could also be involved in building or renovations projects. The school holidays for 2017 are as follows:
31th March - 18th April
30th June - 24th July
29st September - 9th October
9th December 2016 - 11th January 2018
25th December - 2nd January 2018: During the period from Christmas to New Year's, there will be little to no volunteer work available. It is therefore not recommended that volunteers book short-term stays during this time. However, food and accommodations will still be available and therefore volunteers booking a longer stay will be able to remain at the project during these dates.

Living Arrangements

Accommodations: You will stay in a volunteer dormatory, which has shared mixed-gender rooms of 2-5 people, a communal lounge, and a kitchen. Upgrades to private rooms are available in both the hostel and the volunteer house. 

Food: Three meals per day are provided. Breakfast consists of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast, and spreads and is available on a serve yourself basis. Lunch is a buffet of breads, fruit, cold meats and spreads for sandwiches.  A hot meal will be served every night for dinner and includes a meat, a starch, and vegetables. 

Internet: Free WIFI is available at the volunteer house. There is Internet available at the backpacker's hostel for a small fee.

Laundry: Laundry service is available for a small fee. 


Travel Extras

Make the most out of your time in Cape Town by signing up for any of these activities for your weekend or days off. You may sign up following registration. Please note there is an additional fee for these activities. 

  • Kitesurfing, windsurfing, sand boarding and/or paragliding lessons
  • Tours of Cape Point, Cape Town, Robben Island, and/or the Townships
  • Wine Route Tour 
  • Kloofing (cliff jumping), skydiving, and/or quad biking outings
  • Walking tour of the ostrich ranch
  • Abseil Table Mountain
  • Shark cage diving
  • Game drive through the Big 5 safari

Minimum Requirements

  • Ability to work well with others
  • Desire to work with the underserved population in the settlements
  • Immunizations (consult doctor)
  • CV/Resume
  • Police clearance

Here's an excerpt of Ula's experience:


"I couldn’t imagine how those township kids’ childhood would be until I participated in their life. We had a totally different life with them. Finally I realized how happy and lucky I am and I’ve never felt regret to join this volunteer experience. I could deeply felt the happiness during my trip and I felt that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I did learn a lot and also received a lot during the volunteering trip."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Marguerite's experience:


"I sort of became the head teacher there quickly. And the kids listen to me and trust me – and I learned a little Xhosa (pronounced kosa) too. I’m such a mess right now because I love them and I feel awful leaving them. In a perfect world I would stay and make sure I saw them all graduate from high school."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Hope's experience:


"Although living conditions were unimaginable, the children greeted us with endless smiles and laughter. They were so happy and appreciative of our attention and interactions. I spent the next 4 weeks at Skandaalkamp helping improve the education and lives of the beautiful children of Skandaalkamp."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Trisha's experience:


"The most memorable moment of my whole time was seeing the children for the first time. They were waiting at the fence of the school, HUGE smiles on their faces, cheering and screaming for all of us. I could feel their love just by looking at their faces."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Sean's experience:


"...I was amazed how quickly the kids gravitated toward us. Even the new guy was mobbed by hugs upon arrival and frequently throughout the day. The love from these kids is simply amazing. This in and of itself was worth the trip. These kids, who have so very little, adore the “teachers”. Most everyone is called “teacher” until you hang around for a few days then they might start with “Teacher Sean.” So, so cool!

Read the rest of his story on the GoEco blog!


Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org to read experiences written by GoEco volunteers from all over the world!


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