Volunteer in South Africa - Table View
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 4 meaningful project options
- Projects based in Table View, 30 minutes from Cape Town
- Accommodation in volunteer houses
- Between 20 and 50 volunteers start in South Africa each month
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- Program fees from $265 for 1 week
- Opportunities for weekend safaris and travel
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in South Africa to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in South Africa will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore South Africa with your new-found friends.
The program is based in Table View, Cape Town which is one of South Africa’s three capital cities. Table View is about 30 minutes from Cape Town CBD and is where volunteer orientation and general administration is carried out by our local team as well as where the volunteer accommodation is situated. Projects are located in the Du Noon township, Wolwerivier settlement and Blouberg beach.
Volunteer programs begin every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.
Surf, Skate & Swim
The Surf, Swim and Skate project is run as an after school activity for youth from one of the local schools we work with and caters to students from low-income communities. The children range in age from 10 to 16 years and the main aim of the project is to keep the children occupied and off the streets after school, while providing them with confidence building activities. For many of the children this is the highlight of their day and the project is an incentive for them to do well in school as only those who attend school every day, behave in class and study diligently will be able to attend the project.
As a volunteer on the Surf, Swim and Skate project you will help teach valuable life lessons and teamwork through adventure activities including skateboarding, swimming and surfing. You can expect to teach swimming to any children who cannot yet swim, assist with water safety and teaching surfing to children who are competent swimmers as well as teaching children how to skateboard. Volunteers who cannot yet surf or skate will be provided a minimum of 1 lesson per week by our local instructor. As the Surf, Swim and Skate project is run in the afternoons you can expect to spend mornings assisting in the Kindergarten project or taking part in your designated surf/skate lesson. Extra surf lessons can also be arranged through our local team at an additional cost.
You must be a competent swimmer to take part on this project, however you do not need to know how to surf or skate. You are advised to bring your own wetsuit if you have one as the wetsuits provided by the program for volunteer use tend to be in a poor condition due to the better wetsuits being allocated to the children. Another option is to purchase a wetsuit while in Cape Town which you can then donate to the program if you do not wish to take it home with you. The Surf, Swim and Skate project will close for the school holidays which typically fall in January, April, July, October and December. If you apply for the Surf, Swim and Skate project during the school holidays, you will be switched to the Holiday Club project.
Many communities, preschools and schools in impoverished areas in South Africa are unable to provide effective programs due to a lack of funding, resources and skill levels. On the Kindergarten project volunteers are placed in pre-primary schools in disadvantaged communities which are facing these issues. You can expect to assist the local teachers and staff with teaching and caring for children who range in age from 1 to 6 years. Classroom activities include fine and gross motor skills development, mathematics development, language and literacy development in addition to other topics covered within the South African pre-school curriculum. You will have flexibility to run your own lessons if you wish to and are encouraged to use initiative to create activities for the children. You can also expect to assist with the feeding programs within the schools, supervising children, feeding babies, assisting with nap time and cleaning/chores.
The pre-schools run throughout the year and close for the school holidays which typically fall in January, April, July, October and December. As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you do not need to be a qualified or experienced teacher to participate. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Please note, if you apply for the Kindergarten project during the school holidays, you will be switched to the Holiday Club project.
Special Needs Care
Volunteers on the Special Needs Care project will work in a center which provides care and education for children with special needs within a low-income township in South Africa. The center is the only one of its kind in the township and surrounding informal settlements and provides education and care which these children would otherwise not receive. The children who attend the center are aged between 18 months to 18 years and have a range of disabilities from mild physical and mental disorders to children with severely limiting conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Volunteer tasks include, but are not limited to; one-on-one classroom assistance, teaching classes, mind stimulation, running developmental activities, assisting with feeding programs and helping during physiotherapy routines. Volunteers will also help with supervising the children, general care and cleaning/chores as required in the center.
There is also the possibility that volunteers may be placed in a settlement situated on the outskirts of Cape Town, working one on one with children in a Kindergarten who have special needs. These children don’t have the means of transport to be able to travel from the settlement to the main special needs center.
As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you do not need to be a qualified or experienced special needs teacher or carer to participate. The Special Needs Care project has a minimum duration requirement of 3 weeks and the center will close for the school holidays which typically fall in January, April, July, October and December. If you apply for the Special Needs Care project during the school holidays, you will be switched to the Holiday Club project.
The Sport Development project is designed for children from low-income areas to access after-school sport and activities which not only help with their development but also exposes them to better role models. The project also aims to keep the children busy after school and less likely to engage in negative behaviors, playing a key role in lowering some of the socio-economic problems often found within local townships in South Africa.
Volunteers on the Sport Development project will spend the morning assisting with educational activities in the schools and centres we work with and in the afternoon will run a variety of sport lessons with the children who range in age from 6 to 15 years. Sports include soccer, netball, cricket and other team sports. Volunteers are encouraged to bring activities and resources to teach sports they are passionate about to the children, who love to learn new skills. In addition to running sport lessons volunteers may sometimes run hygiene/health lessons, arrange fun days, and assist in some basic renovation projects such as fixing goal posts and refurbishing sport facilities.
The Sport Development project will close for the school holidays which typically fall in January, April, July, October and December. If you apply for the Sport Development project during the school holidays, you will be switched to the Holiday Club project.
The Holiday Club project is designed to keep students engaged during their school holidays and discourage any negative behaviors which could potentially occur if left to their own devices in the townships during the holidays. The school holidays typically fall in January, April, July, October and December and during this time only the Holiday Club project is available to volunteers. As a volunteer on the Holiday Club project you can expect to take part in a variety of activities with the children which include, but are not limited to; mini putt, picnics, hikes, visits to the aquarium or power station, beach days, game days, craft days, baking days and more. It’s important to note that if a holiday club activity requires payment of an entrance fee, you will have to cover this charge as the program covers the entry for the children.
The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Cape Town on the day before orientation.
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 Table View. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
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 Table View. 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, 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.
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:
Morning Self-prepared breakfast at the volunteer house.
8.00 AM - 9.00 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.
12.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends between 12pm and 5pm depending on the project. After project, volunteers are free to relax at the volunteer house, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.
7.00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.
Volunteers are accommodated in volunteer houses and can expect to share a room with one to nine other volunteers. Bedrooms are comprised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. You will just need to bring your own towel and toiletries. The accommodation is safe and secure, located within a safe suburb near the communities where our volunteers work. Living is comfortable and the volunteer houses have electricity (with occasional power outages) and running water with western toilets. To ensure volunteer safety and commitment to volunteer placements, there is a curfew in place at the volunteer house of 11.00pm. If you prefer a private room, couples room, or family room, accommodation upgrades can be arranged with our local team for an additional cost of approximately US$10 to US$20 per person, per night (subject to availability).
All volunteer houses have WiFi available which you are welcome to use.
Volunteers in Table View receive three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Meals served in the volunteer house are typically Western-style. Breakfast consists of self-prepared tea, coffee, toast, yoghurt, fruit and cereal. Lunch is also sef-prepared with food supplies in the volunteer house. This can range from sandwiches taken along to placement, leftovers from the previous night’s dinner and salad. Dinner is eaten together with all volunteers at one of the houses and is prepared by a local chef. Dinners can consist of dishes containing meat, vegetables and a starch, such as potatoes, bread or pasta. There are also two braai (BBQ) nights per week.
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 the volunteer houses and most other areas. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know and we will do our best to cater for you.
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 go 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.
See our South Africa Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in South Africa!
|Capital||Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)|
|Languages||Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana|
|Currency||South African Rand (ZAR)|
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).
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in South Africa.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.