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Volunteer at a surf and adventure club for children from disadvantaged areas in Cape Town. Teach underprivileged kids life-saving skills, such as swimming, whilst having fun surfing and skating in Cape Town while discovering the beauty of South Africa!

Program Highlights: 
  • Teach local youth useful skills such as swimming and surfing at picturesque Cape Town beaches
  • Gain experience working with children and leading groups in social activities
  • Spend time skating with the children and assisting in sports activities
  • Enjoy a two-day orientation, including tours and a traditional South African barbeque
  • Use your free time to explore Cape Town or join an extreme activity on the weekend such as sky diving and shark cage diving

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment, plus two-day orientation):

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT). You will be picked up by the local team and taken to your accommodation in Cape Town.  After everyone has arrived, there will be a welcome barbecue dinner for all the volunteers (a South African Braai), and free time for sightseeing.

Day 1, Sunday: Continuation of your orientation, which includes tours of the city. 

Day 2, Monday: Weekly volunteer meeting day - consists of training for new volunteers, administrative tasks, preparation for the program for the rest of the week.

Days 3-5, Tuesday-Friday: Spend your mornings assisting at schools or relaxing on the beach (depending on the needs of the program). During your afternoons, your will spend time surfing, skating or swimming with the kids. Once a week you will also receive a surf lesson.

Days 6-7, Saturday-Sunday: Enjoy your days off exploring Cape Town or take a relaxing day trip on an organized tour.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.  

Program Accomplishments:  Since this program was created, over 300 children have learned to swim and 80 have learned how to surf! Some of the kids from the adventure club have even gone on to become sponsored by major surf brands and compete in national and international surfing contests! 

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

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Location of the Project:  Cape Town, South Africa
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
Volunteer Work:  Teaching kids to surf, helping with other outdoor activities, assisting in schools
Age:  18-80.
Important Note:  Program Schedule: 2-day orientation is Sat-Sun; Volunteer work begins Mon. Daily transfers between accommodations and project site.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared room in volunteer house or hostel
Food:  Three meals per day are included
Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are included on both arrival and departure days
Orientation:  Two-day orientation (Sat-Sun) in Cape Town included upon arrival that includes tours of the area, an African barbecue, and free time for sightseeing. Volunteer work begins on Monday.
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, personal expenses
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and is referred to as ‘The Mother City’ by locals. It has a cultural heritage spanning more than 300 years and 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 a great place to volunteer all year round.
Arrival and Orientation in Cape Town (Included):
Prior to your volunteering, you will participate in an orientation in Cape Town. Orientation is on Saturday and Sunday and includes a traditional South African barbecue dinner, called a Braai and a guided tour of the area.

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 weeks, and so on. All prices include orientation.

This project aims to teach underprivileged children valuable life lessons and skills, such as leadership and teamwork, through sports and adventure activities, specifically surfing and swimming (no previous surf experience required!). The project hosts an adventure club for 12-14 year old children who come from disadvantaged areas of Cape Town, where facilities and equipment for outdoor activities are not readily available for them. Furthermore, the incentive of learning to surf is appealing to the local children, most of whom do not yet know how to swim, which is a large issue in this oceanside area. Children must take swimming lessons before they begin their surf lessons.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Teaching kids to swim
  • Teaching kids to surf
  • Teaching kids to skate or leading sports activities in the afternoons
  • Helping on hikes
  • Organizing fun days and sports programs
  • Educating children about important topics, such as HIV/AIDS, drugs, etc.
  • Assisting in schools
  • Fundraising events
  • Administrative work
  • Some training days
  • Maintenance work
A typical day: Your mornings will begin around 8:30 AM and are spent either learning to surf, helping in a school, or relaxing on the beach. In the afternoon, once the children are done with school, you'll teach the kids how to surf, swim, or any other activity. Volunteers will work five days a week with the children. Some days volunteers will work a full eight hours and other days four to five hours, depending on the needs of the project. Volunteers will also have a chance to learn how to surf with an instructor. Volunteers will receive a minimum of one surf lesson a week. Extra surf lessons can be booked for an additional fee.

Please note: Surfing is a weather dependent sport and this activity can be cancelled on short notice.

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. Children 16-years old and younger are given the opportunity to experience new activities outside of their townships. Every day is different and you will work generally from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, helping with outdoor activities, such as beach days, surfing, swimming, hikes up the mountain, visits to the museum, and more. During Christmas and New Years celebrations, projects are very limited, however volunteers may still use the accommodation and food.

The school holidays for 2018/19 are as follows:
  • ​March 29-April 9
  • June 23-July 16
  • September 29-October 8
  • December 13-January 8, 2019 (This project is officially closed between Christmas and New Years)
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.
Accommodations:  You will stay in a volunteer dormitory, which has shared mixed-gender rooms of 2-10 people per room, 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 self-serve 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 carbohydrate, and vegetables.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Police clearance
  • Basic level of English
  • Ability to swim
  • Immunizations (consult local travel clinic)
  • Motivation to work with children
  • CV/Resume
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 the ostrich ranch
  • Abseil Table Mountain
  • Shark cage diving
  • Game drive through the Big 5 Safari

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