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Gender equality is a large issue in South Africa. Half of the girls in this country never finish primary school, and a large percentage become mothers before they are adults. This is over and above the 33% of girls, who before they turn 18 will experience some form of sexual violence. The goal of this project is to improve the lives of young and adolescent girls and to equip them with the confidence they need to tap into their potential to become a bigger part of South African society. Volunteers will be able to help these girls overcome barriers to essential resources and tools, such as education. A large part of this project is dedicated to teaching English to the women caregivers, as the English language is an important tool in the working world. Volunteers will also lead discussions on topics such as birth control methods as well as participate in support groups.

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Location of the Project:  Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
Volunteer Work:  Teaching, discussion leading, mentoring
Age:  Min age of 18 (Volunteers aged 16 & 17 may apply with parental consent)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 6 international volunteers

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer house
Food:  3 meals per weekday are provided
Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days
Orientation:  A comprehensive training session is provided before the project work begins
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, weekend meals, personal expenses
Voted as 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 Mountain 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 or meandering through one of its bustling arts or food markets. 

The area of Cape Town where this project takes place is called Observatory, commonly referred to as “Obs.” Observatory is an artsy suburb of Cape Town that plays home to quirky restaurants, bars and countless art galleries that represent its cultural, bohemian vibe.
As a volunteer on this project you will be volunteering at several different placements. Morning placementes include volunteering at a Job Readiness Group that helps young adults who are studying computer programming and coding gain the skills and confidence they need to find employment in their field, and volunteering at a support group that provides young, impregnated women with the support they need to continue to go after their goals. Afternoon placements include volunteering at a Girls and Boys Club and working with children at an art therapy session that provides a safe afterschool space for them.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Leading group discussions
  • Encouraging young women to be self-confident
  • Implementing fun activities for the children 
  • Teaching English to the "Mamas" of the emergency foster care center

Primary Placement Descriptions:

Girls and Boys Club
Twice a week volunteers will go to a Girls and Boys Club to lead discussions around topics ranging from health, early pregnancy, self-confidence and more. The goal is to help the children make smart choices throughout their adolescent years and into adulthood. 

Youth Support Group
Volunteers may spend time at a youth support group, leading discussions or providing assistance with schoolwork assignments. The support group is a space where children can share their problems in a safe and supportive setting. 

English Lessons
The English lessons are taught at the Emergency Care Foster Home. Volunteers will be teaching English to “Mamas” who care for the children at the foster home. Improving their English language skills will help them to communicate with potential foster parents, run the home and help the children improve their English as well. 

Additional Placement Descriptions:

Emergency Care Foster Home
The Emergency Care Foster Home was built to provide shelter for abandoned and orphaned children up to age 8. About 40% of the children in the home are HIV-positive, so they physical and mental care. Volunteers will be responsible for organizing fun activities for the children, and will also lend a hand to the “Mamas” of the foster home with their daily tasks.

Teaching in a Preschool/ Educare Center
The local preschool and educare center are understaffed and lacking in resources. Volunteers at this placement will help to design lesson plans as well as give individualized attention to students during play time, arts and crafts lessons and more. 

A typical day: Volunteers will begin each morning in either the Emergency Care Foster Home or teaching in a preschool/educare center. After lunch, volunteers will move on to one of the primary placements on a rotating basis: English lessons, the youth support group or the Boys and Girls Club.

Workdays are Monday-Friday. Weekends are free time for the volunteers. 

Please note: Specific tasks and placements are subject to change at any time and depend on the current needs of the project placements.

(For more teaching, education and working with children volunteer programs, click here.)
Internet:  For an additional fee, volunteers can have access to Wifi at the volunteer house.
Laundry:  Weekly laundry service is available for a small fee.
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:  Three meals are provided on weekdays. Self-serve breakfast is provided, consisting of cereals, yogurt, fruit, toast, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner will be prepared for you by one of the cooks at the volunteer house. Some days a lunch will be packed for the volunteers.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Police clearance
Cape Town is one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations. For an additional fee, there is an endless list of possibilities for volunteer who want to venture off on the weekends and explore more of the area. Wildlife enthusiasts should plan a trip to the Aquila Private Game Reserve and for the fearless volunteers, we suggest cage diving with the Great White sharks. For the scenic volunteer, Table Mountain is a must, and for the active volunteers, there are beautiful beaches for surfing that even have lessons for beginners. Combine these activities and more for the ultimate experience!

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