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South Africa - Cape Town Orphan Care

Travel to the exciting tourist destination of Cape Town, South Africa, and give back to the orphaned children in extremely under-served communities. Teach, mentor, and play with these children who desperately seek attention and care.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectCape Town and surrounding area, South Africa
Project LengthMin 2 weeks – Max 12 weeks
Arrival AirportCape Town International Airport (CPT)
Volunteer WorkOrphanage work, childcare, teaching
Number of ParticipantsUp to 10 international volunteers
Age17 - 70
Age Exceptions This project accepts volunteers who are 16 years old with signed documentation from a parent or guardian.

What's Included

AccommodationShared rooms in a fully furnished house in Observatory, South Africa
Food3 meals a day (excluding weekends)
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival and departure day
Transportation Daily transfers between accommodations and project site
Laundry Weekly laundry services
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, visa (if required), meals on the weekend, personal expenses


Voted one of the world's top tourist destinations Cape Town boasts an incredibly wide range of attractions. The area hosts several unique cultural and heritage sites, such as Robben Island, Table Mountains, and the V&A Waterfront. As a city alive with creativity, color, sounds and tastes, Cape Town also offers an abundance of outdoor activites, from hiking, to surfing, to water skiiing. 

The area of Cape Town in which this project takes place is called Cape Flats. This area encompasses a number of townships, including Khayelitsha, Langa, and Philippi. These communities are a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities and languages. Yet across these differences, there are many parallels such as poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS.


About the Project

The focus of this project is to educate, support, and empower disadvantaged, orphaned, and vulnerable children and youth using a sustainable approach. By providing children and youth with a better education and a brighter future, this project aims to promote self-sufficiency and enable growth within Cape Town communities. 


Volunteer Work and Contribution

On this project, you will have the option to work solely with orphans at an emergency care home for abandoned and orphaned children, after-school care program, and/or literacy and mathematics support program. You may also choose to volunteer part-time with orphans, and devote the rest of your time to teaching, sports development, and healthcare intiatives. 

Emergency care home for abandoned and orphaned children: This is a home for children ages 0 – 8 whose mission is to find a stable foster home for abandoned or orphaned children as soon as they are ready. Unfortunately, this often takes time as it is estimated that about 60% of the children brought here are HIV+ and must first be medically and emotionally stable before moving on to a more permanent home. Your duties here will involve:

  • Implementing activities to help the children with basic developmental needs, such as motor skills, social play, and language
  • Provide one-on-one attention Helping to prepare the younger children for transitioning into pre-school 

After-school care program: This after-school program was created as a result of the increasing number of at-risk youth returning to empty homes at the end of the school day. You will assist by:

  • Providing reading support and homework help
  • Organizing outdoor activities such as gardening or arts-and-crafts
  • Planning and implementing fun and educational games to help develop skills such as team work and leadership.

Literacy and mathematics support program: This program runs twice a week to support children from Grades R - 7 develop their math and literacy skills. As a volunteer, you will be involved in:

  • Organizing small group activities aimed at addressing the areas in literacy and math that the children are struggling with, whilst also encouraging their strengths.
Volunteers who choose to volunteer part-time with orphans will assist with other initiatives in the community, including:
  • Sports development: coach children in a variety of after-school sports and assist with designing drills and fitness tests. 
  • Teaching: work with teachers or provide one-on-one attention to children struggling to keep up in school. 
  • Healthcare: assist caregivers prepare medication and vitamins for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

A typical day: Your day will begin at 7:00 am with a healthy breakfast before you head out to your morning project at 8:30 am. After lunch at 12:30 pm, it's time to resume your afternoon tasks. Your work day will end at 5:00 pm, at which point you will return to the volunteer house for a debriefing and to discuss the schedule for the next day. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm, followed by free time to relax, watch a movie, go to trivia nights, or head off to one of the local pubs, coffee shops, restaurants.

During school holidays activities may differ from the usual schedule, but the work will be equally engaging and rewarding. The school holidays are as follows:

January 1st - January 20th 
April 2nd - April 12th  
June 27th - July 19th 
October 3rd - October 11th
December 10th - December 31st

Living Arrangements

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a fully furnished, comfortable house in the charming, Bohemian suburb of Observatory, close to the Cape Town city center. Volunteers will share a room with 2-6 other volunteers and bathrooms are communal. The house is staffed with both a housekeeper and cook, and volunteers have access to a locked safe to store their valuables.

Food: Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast consists of hot or cold cereal, toast, coffee and tea, and is available on a serve-yourself basis. Lunch and dinner are prepared by the chef at the volunteer house. The chef has the weekends off, and during these days the volunteers will need to purchase and prepare their own food

Internet: WIFI available for a small fee.

Laundry: Weekly laundry service is provided.


Project Orientation

On arrival at the Cape Town project, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:

  • Introduction to Cape Town and the surrounding areas
  • Overview of the Cape Town project and the communities in which you will be working
  • Introduction to all project staff
  • Familiarization of the surrounding neighbourhood where you will be living

Travel Highlights

Most volunteers spend their free time out and about exploring the assortment of exciting opportunities in Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The program provides optional trips for an additional cost to the world-famous Table Mountain, Boulders Beach, and the Cape Point Peninsula. For volunteers looking to try something new, the program organizes surfing lessons, sky diving and shark cage diving for an additional fee.


Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age 17
  • Basic English
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Police background check 

Here's an excerpt of Sydney's experience:


" Those kids taught me that its a choice to be happy every single day and that no matter how bad you think something is, you’re completely wrong. They taught me how to have fun playing patty cake and singing songs. They taught me how to dance and poke fun. And most importantly they taught me how to love something unconditionally and never look back; those kids taught me how to love. And for that, I am forever grateful."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!



Here's an excerpt of Cierra's experience:


" I feel that I gained as much as the children did from my experience that month. I really learned a lot of life lessons from the children and people of the town. One thing that I really enjoyed was getting to teach them new things and see their faces light up with their new found knowledge. I even got to learn a little of the Xhosa language throughout my stay from the children who were not afraid to share. I really enjoyed watching the children progress with the new things that I had taught them throughout my stay. All in all it was a surreal experience that I hope to soon experience again."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!



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