Volunteer Abroad in South Africa with IVHQ

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Volunteer in South Africa

Volunteer in South Africa with International Volunteer HQ! IVHQ has a wide range of volunteer abroad projects available in South Africa, including Teaching, Orphanage/Childcare, Surf Outreach, Sports Development and Computer Training.
Map of South Africa
Capital: 
Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)
Population: 
51.19 million
Official languages: 
Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana
Currency: 
South African Rand (ZAR)
Time zone: 
UTC+02:00
Weather and climate: 
The subtropical location, moderated by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides of the country and the altitude of the central plateau, are responsible for the warm temperatures typical of South Africa. Across much of the country, summer (December to February) is characterized by hot, sunny weather with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F). Winter (May to September) is cooler and drier with evening temperatures averaging around 10 °C (50°F). In Cape Town, sporadic showers and chilly winds are common during the winter months, but with daytime temperatures can average around 15°C (59°F).

LOCATION OF SOUTH AFRICA VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAM

The IVHQ South Africa volunteer program has volunteer placements located near central Cape Town. These placements are based in the Capricorn/Vrygrond community in Muizenberg, which is approximately 30 to 40 minutes from the Cape Town city center. 

START AND DURATION OF SOUTH AFRICA VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAM

Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Monday of each month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.

SOUTH AFRICA VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the volunteer program and must provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in South Africa. Volunteers wishing to participate on the Surf Outreach project must be competent swimmers. Volunteers wishing to participate on the Computer Teaching project must be computer literate. 

HOW MANY OTHER VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE?

Between 20 and 50 volunteers start on our volunteer programs in South Africa each month. What does this mean for you? More people to socialize with and travel with, more people to meet from different cultures, more people to volunteer with, more projects to work on, more staff support, better infrastructure for volunteers and lower fees! 

SOUTH AFRICA VOLUNTEER ABROAD REVIEWS

"When I arrived for my surf outreach program the lodge itself exceeded my expectations, it was very comfortable and nice. The surf program was so much fun. The surf instructor was amazing and I was surprised how quickly I learned to surf. I enjoyed working with the children very much and my only complaint was that I was only there for two weeks and just when I was starting to get to know the kids I had to leave." - Brianna Weeks (Surf Outreach Volunteer in South Africa)

Visit our Volunteer Abroad Reviews page to read more reviews from IVHQ Volunteers in South Africa.

South Africa volunteer project descriptions

Teaching

Volunteers on the Teaching project in South Africa are placed in one of two public schools where they work alongside local teachers and other volunteers. Typical subjects taught at the schools include English, Mathematics, Life Skills, Social Studies, Art and Physical Studies. Volunteers may also be asked to help to organize other activities for the students, including sports. The schools run throughout the year and a typical school year has holidays during January, April, June, September and December. Towards the end of each term, exams will be written and teaching work is therefore limited during these periods. Please note, if you apply for the Teaching project during the school holidays, you will be switched to the Holiday project, which is organized by our local team in South Africa. While there will not be any in-classroom teaching on the Holiday project, volunteers can expect to incorporate activities from the Childcare and Sports Development projects. Volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on this project, however IVHQ offers volunteers with the opportunity to upskill for their Teaching projects by gaining an internationally recognized TEFL certification. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn more.

Surf Outreach

You don’t need to be a pro surfer to appreciate the thrill and excitement involved in the sport of surfing and surf enthusiasts of all abilities are welcome to join our Surf Outreach project in South Africa! This is an after school project, in which volunteers facilitate local children in learning how to surf, while teaching them valuable life skills. Volunteers on the Surf Outreach project work with children aged between 9 and 15 years old, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds where poverty, abuse and violence is not uncommon. Surf Outreach volunteers influence these children in a positive way and build their self confidence through providing them with an opportunity to spend their free time in a healthy and productive way. Examples of volunteer duties on the Surf Outreach project include; cleaning wetsuits, cleaning the Surf Development Center, preparing sandwiches for the students, planning activities and teaching the children how to surf or play beach games. Volunteers on this project spend three days per week surfing and two days per week teaching beach games. Volunteers also spend one day per week in a local school to see how the students are performing in an academic setting, as surfing outside of school hours is treated as a privilege. Volunteers also have the opportunity to learn how to surf themselves with an instructor and have access to the surfboards in the morning, while the students are at school. Please note, volunteers on this project must be competent swimmers, however they do not need to know how to surf.

 

Sport Development

Like most African countries, South Africa has a significant number of children living in poverty. Although most children attend school during the day, many have limited access to extra-curricular activities to keep them occupied after school, which can lead to troublesome behaviour, such as begging, stealing, drinking and engaging in substance abuse. Our Sport Development project operates in schools around the Western Cape region and focuses on developing both the physical skills and general life skills of the children. Volunteers generally work with children from Grade 1 to Grade 7 and are responsible for the planning and delivery of creative and innovative Physical Education lessons which link directly to the Learning Outcomes set out by the Western Cape Education Department. During the school holidays, a holiday project is organized for the children by volunteers and the local coordinator, which involves a variety of activities aimed at promoting the physical, social and personal development of the children.

Childcare

Providing care and education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds is the top priority of volunteers on the Childcare project in South Africa. Volunteers on this project are placed in day care centers attended by children from poor backgrounds and broken homes. Some of the children have lost their parents to crime, alcohol or drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS, forcing them to live with their relatives or neighbors, who often do not have the means to take proper care of them. In addition to teaching and caring for these children, volunteers on this project are also involved in organizing games and activities, and helping with general duties of the center, including cooking and feeding the children.

Computer Training

A number of small towns and townships in Cape Town have computer facilities available for public use, however very few locals are computer literate and therefore are unable to utilize these facilities. The Computer Training project allows volunteers to make a valuable contribution to these communities by teaching basic computer skills, providing local children with access to the Internet and the opportunity to up-skill and improve their future employment prospects. The Computer Training project is run through a local school, with school holidays running in January, April, June, September and December. This means volunteers are required to participate in an alternative project during school holidays, such as Childcare or Sports Development. Towards the end of each school term, exams will be written and computer training is limited during the exam periods. Computer Training volunteers can therefore assist with the Teaching project to ensure they have sufficient work each day. Please note, volunteers on this project must be computer literate and ideally have some relevant qualifications.

VOLUNTEER ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

Volunteers are accommodated in volunteer houses and can expect to share a room with one to three other volunteers. Bedrooms are comprised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided and we recommend volunteers bring their own towel and toiletries. The accommodation is safe and secure with the volunteer houses located in a safe suburb near the community where volunteers work. Living is comfortable and the volunteer houses have electricity and running water with Western toilets.

Volunteers in South Africa receive three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and meals served in the volunteer house are typically Western-style. Breakfast generally consists of tea, toast and cereal and volunteers are provided with food for making a sandwich at breakfast time to prepare a packed lunch. Dinner usually consists of dishes containing meat, vegetables and a starch, such as potatoes, bread or pasta. Bottled water is readily available in South Africa and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 liters per day), however tap water is fine to drink in most areas. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. 

VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION

Orientation is taken by our South Africa team at their offices in Cape Town. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in South Africa – Introduction to South Africa, South African Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in South Africa, Introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. Once your orientation is complete, you will be transported to your accommodation.

VOLUNTEER WEEK 

First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays: A typical volunteer day would be as follows:

7.00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house.

8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.

1.00 PM - 2.00 PM Lunch break. Volunteers take a packed lunch to their placements, prepared in the morning.

12.00 PM - 2.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.

7.00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.

VOLUNTEER WEEKENDS

On the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Cape Town or other areas in South Africa. Long weekends can be taken if volunteers wish to on safari, or travel to places further afield, such as the Garden Route. Although there are no cooks on staff during the weekend, food supplies are stored in the kitchen at the volunteer houses for volunteers to use to prepare their own meals.

South Africa Volunteer Fees: 
Volunteer periodProgram fee US$
1 Week250
2 Weeks400
3 Weeks550
4 Weeks675
6 Weeks 925
8 Weeks1175
10 Weeks1425
12 Weeks1675
16 Weeks2175
20 Weeks2675
24 Weeks3175

To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $249 USD on top of the Program Fee.

What do my fees pay for?

Registration Fee (refundable if you choose not to go*) – ongoing support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, IVHQ Fund, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

What additional costs will I have?

Visa, flightstravel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, in-country trips and tours, souvenirs, spending money (volunteers in South Africa generally find US$30 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).

* - Terms and conditions do apply.

South Africa Surf Outreach fees: 
Volunteer periodProgram fee US$
1 Week320
2 Weeks540
3 Weeks760
4 Weeks955
6 Weeks 1345
8 Weeks1735
10 Weeks2125
12 Weeks2515
16 Weeks3295
20 Weeks4075
24 Weeks4855

To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $249 USD on top of the Program Fee.

What do my fees pay for?

Registration Fee (refundable if you choose not to go*) – 24/7 support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, IVHQ Fund, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

What additional costs will I have?

Visa, flightstravel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours and spending money (volunteers in South Africa generally find US$30 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).

* - Terms and conditions do apply.