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Sample Volunteer Abroad Projects — South Africa

Environmental Education Projects

Many old nature reserves are being redeveloped and re-launched, saving important habitat. Educational facilities are being developed in many of these sites, with the goal of fostering environmental awareness and appreciation in young South Africans. Archaeological excavation sites are being displayed to study evolution and the cradle of mankind. Alien vegetation is being cleared to make way for the rich diversity of indigenous plant species to grow and flourish. Volunteers are needed to work in the areas of biodiversity, education and tourism.

Example of a conservation project:

Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Zeekoevlei is a large reserve with a vlei (lake) providing a wetland refuge for birdlife. There are various flora and fauna in the reserve, including hippos. General duties for volunteers include maintaining the nursery, planting seedlings, general administrative duties, and assisting with environmental education programs for school and youth groups visiting the reserve. Requirements include loving the outdoors and getting your hands dirty!



There are several schools in and around Cape Town where volunteers are desperately needed to 'roll up their sleeves' and interact with the children, assist in teaching basic English, coaching sports or even help to create and maintain school gardens. Schools, such as the Thornton Road Primary and Belthorn Primary, are one of many projects struggling to provide better education for township children.

Example of preschool project:

Philippi Children’s Centre in Philippi offers accredited early learning to children from three months to six years.  It was started 20 years ago as a crèche and became a registered NPO in 1999.  The centre serves disadvantage children from the Philippi farming community and the nearly townships of Brown’s Farm, Heinz Park and Samora Machel.  It is recognized by (and receives small grants from) the Department of Education and the Department of Social Development. Teachers and assistants engage children in three languages – English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.  The Centre provides three mails daily. In some cases, this is the children’s main source of nourishment.  It is also essential to provide transport as children are drawn from a wide radius and most care providers have no means of delivering them to the school.


Example of primary school project:

The Thornton Road Primary School in Athlone has 207 learners and 7 full-time educators plus 1 support teacher.  Most of the learners come from the local area, especially the informal settlements.  The learners attend school under very challenging circumstances.  Most come from poor families where they don’t get a cooked meal everyday.  The school faces many challenges due to a lack of resources.  The facilities at the school are very basic and there are not much offered in terms of extramural activities for the learners.  They do however try and accommodate some sport activities such as soccer, netball, rugby and cricket. 


Social Welfare

There are various social projects where a lot of help is needed. These include non-profit organizations that seek to readdress the damages of Apartheid and support the budding South African democracy. These organizations train community members to assume leadership roles; and volunteers are now being placed within these projects. Duties for volunteers will vary from feeding young children, to playing and assisting with homework for those struggling at school. At the homes for abused women, volunteers will assist with day to day activities and will skills development.

Example of a social welfare project:

Leliebloem in Athlone offers a safe haven for abused, neglected or abandoned children or ones with behavioral problems. The project is subsidized by the Department of Social Welfare and also receives contributions through fundraising.  The kids are placed by the local courts and authorities.

New for 2012:

Note: The new programs below are individually priced with specific inclusions/exclusions. Please inquire at your home country office for more information.

Sports Development - This program involves coaching young people at primary school level. Volunteers can assist in coaching sports and teaching kids various skills such as fitness training. Lifestyle awareness and team building are sometimes taught as well.

SurferAdventure and Surf - This program takes underprivileged children out of the settlements and off the streets to teach them valuable life lessons in the form of sports, adventure activities, team work and educational classes.

English Language and Volunteer - This is a two-part program in which Volunteers enroll in a local language training college to learn Basic English while also enjoying local culture through volunteering at a Project and staying with a local Host Family.

two lionsWildlife - Volunteers will work mostly outdoors at The Game Reserve in Port Elizabeth. The reserve has well over a thousand acres of land which is filled with a variety of wild life, including the BIG 5!

Monkey Rehabilitation - Situated in the Limpopo Province – this project’s mission is to help raise orphaned and injured mokeys and animals and ultimately reintegrate them back into the wild.

*Please contact your home country office with regard to the individual pricing of the above programs.

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