South Africa – Cape Town Children’s Development Program

Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Africa or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.


Make a difference as you assist in the education efforts in disadvantaged communities. Spend time in the culturally and historically rich city of Cape Town and its surrounds during your free time.

Program Highlights:

  • Impact the lives of disadvantaged children by offering them the opportunity for a better education
  • Gain lifelong skills as you assist teachers during class as well as participate in afterschool care
  • Enjoy all that South Africa has to offer by living in the heart of Cape Town
  • Spend your weekends going on adventures such as taking a safari tour or cage diving with sharks


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT). You will be picked up from the airport and taken to your new home in Cape Town. Take the time to settle in, meet other volunteers and enjoy your first night in South Africa.

Days 1-4, Tuesday-Friday: Spend your days working in numerous areas that support underprivileged children in Cape Town. Projects include assisting in a pre-school and afterschool care program, as well as an emergency foster care center. You will also participate in community lunches, event nights and talks about the surrounding area.

Days 5-6, Saturday-Sunday: Your weekends are free to explore Cape Town. Spend some time on the beach or take a safari day tour. The possibilities are endless in South Africa!

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday off. Use your weekends to go on adventures such as hiking up Table Mountain or cage diving with sharks. You can also get to know more about South Africa’s past by taking a trip to Robben Island. Departures are on a Monday.


Click to see additional volunteering projects in South Africa.


Location icon Location of the Project: Cape Town and surrounding area, South Africa

Project length Project length: Min 2 weeks – Max 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Childcare, teaching

Age Age:  18 – 70. Age Exceptions: this project accepts volunteers who are 16 and 17 years old with signed documentation from a parent or guardian.

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 10 international volunteers


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms in a fully furnished house in Observatory, South Africa

Food Food: Three meals a day (excluding weekends) are included

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are included on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: Orientation is included upon arrival and includes introductions to staff members, fellow volunteers, Cape Town, and the local communities.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, meals on the weekends, 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 activities, from hiking, to surfing, to water skiing.

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.


On this project, you will be partaking in three main projects: caring for children at an emergency care home for abandoned children, working in a pre-school and assisting in an after-school care program.

Pre-school assistance: There are several pre-school and educare centers that care for children aged between six months to seven years who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of these educational centers are understaffed, and therefore volunteers will be assisting with lesson planning, story time, music sessions and other daily teaching tasks.

Emergency care home: This is a home for children aged 0 – 8 whose mission is to find a stable foster home for abandoned 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.


A typical day: Your day will begin at 7:00 AM with a healthy breakfast before you head out to your morning project (either working in the preschool or the emergency care home) at 8:30 AM. After lunch at 12:30 PM, it’s time to resume your afternoon project (either the afterschool program or working in the emergency care home.) 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.


Holidays: During school holidays activities may differ from the usual schedule, but the work will be equally engaging and rewarding. Please ask your placement advisor about specific dates.

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available for a small fee.

Laundry icon Laundry: A weekly laundry service is available for a small fee.

Accommodations icon  Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in a fully furnished, comfortable house in Muizenberg that is just five minutes from the beach and half an hour away from the Cape Town city center. Volunteers will share a room with 5-7 other volunteers of the same gender 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. Daily transportation between accommodations and project site is provided.

Food icon  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 therefore during these days the volunteers will need to purchase and prepare their own food.

Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

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

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.

Add on our eight-day Garden Route Road Trip to enhance your South Africa experience!

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