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Teaching Volunteer Project in South Africa - Cape Town

Teaching Volunteer Project in South Africa - Cape Town

Purpose
Improve access to quality education
Start dates
Programs start on the first and third Monday of each month
Duration
Choose from 1-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Accommodation
Volunteer house
Program fees
From $275 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are interested in education and teaching English, maths and life skills. As you’ll be volunteering with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to participate, but some relevant experience or training like a TEFL course would be useful.

Project details

Interested in being a volunteer Teacher in South Africa? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching project empowers volunteers to assist in local elementary schools in Cape Town. Volunteers gain teaching experience assisting local teachers and working with students in entry-level classes. Schools in low-income communities often have too few teachers and there is little chance for students to get individual attention, so volunteers provide valuable help creating an all-round better learning environment.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Many schools in low-income parts of Cape Town lack funds, staff and have high workloads and little chance for students to get close attention. As a volunteer, you’ll help to address these factors and give students a higher standard of education.

As a Teaching volunteer you will be placed in public primary schools, assisting local teachers and working in classrooms for students in entry-level classes. Teaching duties may vary but usually include:

  • Teaching English
  • Assisting with other lessons including basic maths
  • Teaching life skills
  • Helping a local teacher in the classroom
  • Arranging educational activities and sports
  • Tutoring children one-on-one or in small groups

Please note, if you apply for the Teaching project during the school holidays, you will be switched to a school holiday project. Keep in mind that towards the end of each term, exams will be written and teaching work is therefore limited during these periods.

School Holidays 2024:

  • 21 March - 2 April
  • 17 June - 8 July
  • 23 September - 30 September
  • 11 December - end date in January 2025 to be determined
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Teaching volunteering in Cape Town with IVHQ?

When you volunteer to teach in South Africa you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged communities
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself in South African culture
  • Discovering South Africa’s amazing wildlife

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

ER
Ellie Reed
15 Aug 2023

I had the most amazing five weeks of my life. I created special bonds with children from difficult backgrounds and had a really eye-opening experience into what they have to deal with daily at such a young age. I would definitely recommend to take the children gifts and help the local school you are placed in as you can see the impact this has on the children and the staff. I made so many friends from all over the world and formed lifelong friendships. I really enjoyed getting to know all of the staff and it really felt like a big family. I always felt supported and safe when I was with these people. I have definitely grown as a person since my trip and my outlook on life is very different. I will forever be grateful to everyone I met on my IVHQ trip. I would love to do it again some day!

...
ZD
Zoe De Zeeuw
08 Aug 2023

It was the most amazing five weeks, having met great friends and doing unexpected things. Volunteering in the morning gave up the opportunity to explore and do activities in the afternoons and weekends, making the best of both worlds. The close link that the local team has with the community meant that we all befriended locals and felt apart of the community, getting a completely different perspective on the whole trip. As cheesy as it sounds, living in such close proximity to everyone, we all became one family and I was sad to leave. Would definitely recommend and I would love to go again!

...
SB
Sarah Bryans
22 Mar 2023

The program guide had every question answered I felt fully prepared for my journey before flying! The local team couldn’t have been more welcoming, helpful, and on top of everything! As soon as I landed I felt like I was a part of a new family. My impact may be small, but it all feels so worth while to have been there. I can take away with me so many of the things I’ve learned and share them with people back home. And now I’ve met people that I would like to continue to keep in touch with. Playing in the school yard with the kids I was helping was just awesome. They were bright friendly kids who taught me so much. I love the social aspect of both the volunteer house and the school. I was able to go into the schools and teach and then trade stories and experiences with the volunteers after. We all really connected in the experience and that was just as much an impact as being with the kids. If you’re thinking about it you’re halfway there. The program really lays everything out for you and helps give structure to a place away from home.

...
MF
Maruka Fernandez
15 Feb 2023

I am 75 years old and felt completely accepted and supported by my fellow volunteers who were on average 19 year olds. This is the best way to travel, support the environment, the community and make a difference volunteering.

...
BS
Bertram Scott
20 Dec 2022

The guidance and preparation resources were excellent. The format was easy to access and all my questions before departure were answered. The local team and the Program Manager run an excellent IVHQ volunteer experience. At the program, I enjoyed teaching the first graders, learning about different cultures, stretching yourself and your perspective of the world. This is my second time volunteering in South Africa - first time was in 2018 - where I spent 3 months.

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NH
Nicole Hayaux du Tilly
02 Feb 2022

Volunteering in South Africa... Wow! the best decision I’ve ever made. I just fell in love with the place, the culture and the people. Cape Town is a beautiful city with infinite activities and places to go. The staff is supportive and the program is great!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ South Africa volunteer program is based in Muizenberg, a beautiful, small coastal town with excellent surfing. It is about a 30 minute drive from the Cape Town City, and up to 15 minutes from volunteer placements located in the Philippi, Steenberg, Capricorn, and Grassy Park townships.

South Africa is known for its natural beauty, wildlife, sporting prowess, and diversity of culture and ethinic groups. It’s turbulent socio-political history is also well known, and is important to learn about in order to gain insight and understanding of the country’s people, culture and attitudes. There are many places where you can do this in Cape Town and the surrounding areas.

The IVHQ South Africa program is one of our longest running volunteer programs and has the aim of delivering positive outcomes in communities throughout the area by placing volunteers on a wide range of impactful projects. There is a focus on animal welfare as well as supporting children and young people who have had a challenging start to life because of exposure to drugs, alcohol or physical abuse.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive in Cape Town on the day before orientation. If your start date falls on a public holiday, your orientation will begin on the day following the public holiday.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Your airport pick-up is included in your program fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Muizenberg. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation and checkout is on Saturday.

If you are traveling in South Africa prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up within the Cape Town CBD area on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is taken by our South Africa team in Muizenberg, 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 – an introduction to South Africa, South African customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in South Africa, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and make plans for weekend travel and socializing. Once your orientation is complete you will take a trip into Cape Town before returning to your volunteer accommodation.

Volunteer schedule example

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:

07:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house.
8:00 - 8:30 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.
12:00 - 2:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house for lunch, go sightseeing, or do some shopping.
5:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner is available at the volunteer house.

Weekends

On the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Cape Town or other areas in South Africa. See unusual wildlife like antelope and penguins, visit the spot where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, paraglide off a rock high above the city, visit a local vineyard, or watch the sun sink into the Atlantic ocean with a glass of the region’s finest wine in your hand.

Long weekends can be taken if volunteers wish to go on safari, bungy jump, or travel to places further afield, such as the Garden Route or Stellenbosch.

Accommodation and WiFi

All volunteers are accommodated in a large two-storey dormitory style volunteer house with capacity for around 40 volunteers, with rooms separated by gender. It is a 7 bedroom house that comfortably sleeps 6 people per room. The rooms on the second floor lead out to a balcony that overlooks the village. The house has 6 bathrooms, a TV lounge, a dining area and a volunteer kitchen.

The beach, convenient stores, ATMs, restaurants etc. are all in walking distance from the house. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. The house is clean and well looked after, and living is comfortable.

The accommodation is safe and secure with the volunteer house located in Muizenberg, a safe suburb near the communities where volunteers work. Muizenberg is a very historical part of Cape Town and the house you will be living in for the duration of your stay is about 150 years old.

The volunteer house has electricity and running water with Western toilets, but you’ll need to bring your own towel and toiletries. During the Winter (June through August) Cape Town can get quite cold and it’s recommended to bring an extra blanket.

The volunteer house has unlimited Wifi 5G with a very good connection.

Meals

Volunteers in South Africa receive three meals a day, Monday through Friday. Breakfast will also be available on weekends. Meals served in the volunteer house are typically Western-style and can be high in carbohydrates.

Breakfast consists of self-serve tea, coffee, toast and cereal. For lunch volunteers will be provided with supplies to make their own sandwiches, and dinner consists of dishes containing meat, vegetables and a starch, such as potatoes, bread or pasta.

It is not possible to drink the tap water in South Africa, however, bottled water is readily available in South Africa, and you should budget approximately $5 (approximately $5) per week for 2 liters a day.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately $329) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $275 Equivalent to $39/day
2 weeks $445 Equivalent to $32/day
3 weeks $615 Equivalent to $29/day
4 weeks $785 Equivalent to $28/day
5 weeks $955 Equivalent to $27/day
6 weeks $1,125 Equivalent to $27/day
8 weeks $1,465 Equivalent to $26/day
10 weeks $1,805 Equivalent to $26/day
12 weeks $2,145 Equivalent to $26/day
16 weeks $2,825 Equivalent to $25/day
20 weeks $3,505 Equivalent to $25/day
24 weeks $4,185 Equivalent to $25/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in South Africa generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Transport to and from your placement
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit South Africa

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)
Population 58.6 million
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).

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