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This renowned children’s hospital in Cape Town is currently the only pediatric hospital specializing in the treatment of  the children of Southern Africa. The existence of this hospital is deeply important to the community, as the institution provides treatment to children under 12 years of age who suffer from severe diseases and chronic illnesses. The hospital provides much needed medical aid including  renal and liver transplants, specialized burn care, neurosurgery, cancer treatment, intensive care, HIV/AIDS research, treatment for tuberculosis , re-hydration and maintenance of chronic disorders. Everyone deserves high quality, professional medical care, and it is the mission of this hospital to provide assistance regardless of parental income, race, gender, religion or place of residence. 

The most important priority is the health of the children, and providing their families with the foundation to be successful and to properly care for their children, post-treatment will promote a more complete healing of the children, both emotionally and physically. Engaging in play is a key part in in this success by keeping these children’s spirits up during their hospitalization.  
Location of the Project:  Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
Project length:  Minim 2 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
Volunteer Work:  Interaction and engagement with patients through play
Age:  Minimum age of 18
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers
Important Note:  The water is safe to drink but is scarce in many areas. Be responsible with water consumption by taking short showers and drinking bottled water.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared rooms in an volunteer hostel
Food:  Breakfast is included during the three days of orientation
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  Upon arrival volunteers receive an orientation in Cape Town including a walking tour of the area, an African barbecue and free time for sightseeing and relaxation before the program starts.
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, most meals, personal expenses.
Voted as one of the world's top tourist destinations, South Africa's Cape Town boasts an incredibly wide range of attractions. The area hosts several unique cultural and heritage sites, such as Robben Island, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. Interns on this specific program will be living in Observatory, which is a suburb of Cape Town. This suburb is often called “Obz” by Cape Town locals and is a neighborhood with a large population of college and university students. There is a varied selection of bars and restaurants as well as a shopping center. 
The overall health of the children is very important, and our volunteers can assist in the mental and emotional rehabilitation of the children while they are receiving treatment at this hospital. The demand for volunteer support is high, and exposing these children to different cultures, skills, knowledge and experience may even enhance and expedite the healing process. Additional caring hands improve the healing process of the children. As a participant on this program, volunteers will need an open mind and to be attentive to family, staff and patient needs. Our volunteers will engage with patients in a fun, informal and playful way to improve the lives of these children. Play breaks the routine cycle of being hospitalized; it alleviates stress from the parents and the kids and promotes literacy and cross-cultural interest

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Playing with patients using games and appropriate toys 
  • Spending time with lonely children
  • Attending to the children’s education and healing process
  • Collecting, knitting, painting and donating toys
Typical Schedule: 
Volunteers will work Monday-Friday assisting at the hospital and have weekends off for personal time.
Internet:  Wifi is available at the hostel
Laundry:  Laundry services are not included, but there are laundromats nearby that are available for a small fee
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in a hostel in Observatory in Cape Town, with up to 9 other people per room and shared bathrooms. Rooms are mixed gender, but same-gender rooms may be available with advance notice.. Sheets are provided, but volunteers must bring their own towels.
Food:  Breakfast is included during the three days of orientation, but volunteers will need to arrange all other meals.
Please take note of this program's minimum requirements:
  • Police clearance
  • High level  of English
  • Two professional references and one reference  from an educational institute
  • Letter of motivation
Arrival and Orientation in Cape Town (Included):
Prior to your volunteering, you'll 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 not only the city, but also 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 two weeks designated for volunteer work. Therefore, the minimum stay is 17 days for the 2-week option, 24 days for 3-week option , and so on. All prices include orientation.

Travel Extras (Not Included)
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, sandboarding 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 an ostrich ranch
  • Abseil Table Mountain
  • Shark cage diving
  • Game drive through a Big 5 safari
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