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Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Volunteer

Cape Town South Africa
from £927 (10 days)

Ref: AV066

A great opportunity to design your own volunteer project in the world's top tourist destination and one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Cape Town. Volunteers can either choose to spend all their time working with orphaned or vulnerable children,  or combine this activity with teaching, healthcare, sports development or Girl Impact, thus broadening the volunteer experience in this exciting city. Cape Town has many cultural and heritage sites such as Robben Island and the V & A Waterfront as well as outdoor activities including Table Mountainand viewing African Penguins - Cape Town has it all! 

Who can join: Anyone aged 16 years of age and over
Accommodation: Dedicated Volunteer House
Transfer time: approx. 15 minutes
Pick up Point: Cape Town International Airport
Meals: Three meals a day - excluding weekends
Volunteer numbers: approx 10
Special Offer: £150 off the project fee for all new bookings to join during 2019

Duration & Fees

10 days£927
2 weeks£1,030
3 weeks£1,308
4 weeks£1,585
5 weeks£1,862
6 weeks£2,139
7 weeks£2,416
8 weeks£2,693

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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

Project start dates are on alternate Mondays throughout the year and volunteers must arrive on their Monday start date.

2019 Start Dates:

7 Jan | 14 Jan | 28 Jan | 11 Feb | 25 Feb | 11 Mar | 25 Mar | 8 Apr | 22 Apr | 6 May | 20 May | 3 Jun | 17 Jun | 1 Jul | 15 Jul | 29 Jul | 12 Aug | 26 Aug | 9 Sep | 23 Sep | 7 Oct | 21 Oct | 4 Nov | 18 Nov

2020 Start Dates:

6 Jan | 13 Jan | 27 Jan | 10 Feb | 24 Feb | 9 Mar | 23 Mar | 6 Apr | 20 Apr | 4 May | 18 May | 1 Jun | 15 Jun | 29 Jun | 6 Jul | 13 Jul | 20 Jul | 27 Jul | 3 Aug | 10 Aug | 17 Aug | 24 Aug | 31 Aug | 7 Sep | 21 Sep | 5 Oct | 19 Oct | 2 Nov | 16 Nov | 30 Nov

This project closes for the Christmas period in early December


£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • project fee which goes directly back into the project to provide funds for items such as building materials, equipment and project supplies as well as operational costs such as housing, communication and project vehicles
  • full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day at the volunteer house (excluding weekends)
  • transfers to and from Cape Town International Airport on arrival and departure
  • daily transfers to and from the projects during the placement
  • weekly housekeeping service
  • full orientation programme
  • help and support from project staff and from Amanzi Travel staff while at the project

What's not included

  • transport to Cape Town 
  • visa fees 
  • personal travel insurance for the duration of the placement including cover for repatriation 
  • laundry - this can be done weekly for 60 ZAR which covers one small pillow case filled with clothes
  • all items of a personal nature such as gifts, clothing etc
  • email and telephone calls made during the placement 
  • any activities and excursions outside of the planned project itinerary
  • soft drinks, snacks between meals and weekend food

Why Should You Join?

  • assist with local homes and organisations to integrate children into their care
  • use your creative side and work with the children on their fine and gross motor skills
  • become a positive role model for the children through one-to-one mentorship and guidance
  • make a difference to the population of at-risk youth, helping them to feel safe and comfortable in their home environments
  • be part of an amazing afternoon club run by dynamic grandmothers who are determined to keep the children safe and increase their social skills
  • don't stop at just one volunteer project - "Design Your Own" by combining the best fit for your interests and skills
  • judge for yourself why Cape Town is the number one place in the world to visit
  • immerse yourself in the Capetonian culture by exploring the mother city's many restaurants, museums, markets, beaches and night life
  • make friends for life with other international volunteers

Project Location

Cape Town nestles in the shadow of Table Mountain overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  It is a cosmopolitan city with a mix of East and West and Old and New, a vibrant nightlife and diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.  The city is rich in history and worth exploring, with Cape Point a scenic drive away and Robben Island just a boat trip over the water.  Further out are the wine farms and vast mountain ranges to explore.

Project Description

The focus of this project is to help educate, support and empower disadvantaged, orphaned and vulnerable children through a sustainable approach to community development.  A lack of basic amenities, infrastructure and learning resources exists with children often coming from devastating backgrounds. Volunteers play a vital role in helping these young people with better education and hence to a brighter future. The many townships around Cape Town, including Khayelitsha (second largest in South Africa) are a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities and languages, yet across these differences there are many parallels wuch as poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS.  Locals live in many housing types, from wooden shacks to larger permanent buildings.  Centres are often over-crowded with little financial support or qualified workers.  The townships are an eye-opening experience where a communal standpipe for water and blocks of individual toilets being shared among a number of families is the norm.  It is a wonderfully viibrant community where the streets are filled with smells of mealie (corn) cob and meat from makeshift grillers and the sounds of kwaito music blast from the taxi windows!

 Volunteers have a vast array of expertise, interests and passions and joining this project gives them the chance to design their own projec and volunteer experience.  The options range from teaching assistance to working with orphans and vulnerable children, sports development, healthcare or on the new Girl Impact initiative.  Volunteers can choose to work full-time on Orphan and Vulnerable Care or combine it with one of the options listed above.

Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Volunteer - Primary Project Full Time

Emergency Care Home for Abandoned and Orphaned Children
This home was established to care for abandoned and orphaned children aged between 0 - 8 years in Khayelitsha and the surrounding area.  This area of Cape Town has been badly affected by HIV/AIDS and is thought to have the highest rates in the Western Cape.  The home's main aim is to place the children into foster care as soon as they are ready.  On average 40% of the children taken into the home are HIV+ and therefore the first stage is to nurse them back to health.  Once the children are medically and emotionally stable the home will seek a foster family so that the children can be reintroduced into a family environment.  The role of the volunteers is to help implement fun activities to help the children with their basic developmental needs, so that they can grow and learn at an age appropriate level.  The programme works mainly with the younger children (0 - 3 years) and covers developmental areas such as social play, motor skills, language, numeracy and rhythm.  Volunteers can provide the much needed one-to-one attention that is essential for them to develop and enable them to progress into pre-school.

Enrichment Programme
Volunteers will work at a variety of after school care programmes where the focus will be on the children's development, and to give them vital attention during a very vulnerable time of the day before parents or caregivers get home.  At one particular centre volunteers will be working with older children who come from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds - and patience, intuition and creativity with activities will be rewarded with smiles and a willingness to learn.

Volunteers who choose to "Design Their Own" project and divide their time between caring for orphaned and vulnerable children and one of the other volunteer options, could assist in one of the following areas:


Educational Support
Abuse against children is most common in the immediate after-school hours when caregivers are not yet back from work.  Many organisations are got together to facilitate after school care programmes and volunteers help to plan and implement fun and educational games with an emphasis on developing important life skills such as team work and leadership.  Such activities could include games such as "Capture the Flag", "Buddies Up Buddies Down" and "What Time is it Mr Wolf?  Other activities include homework support, crafts, gardening and reading clubs and the input and ideas of volunteers are always welcomed as new inspiration.

Volunteers may also be involved in workshops which aim to provide a platform for sharing information and skills with the wonderful team of grandmothers who help to run the aftercare programmes.  In return volunteers will be taught a skill or craft which they can take home with them.  This encourages the ethos of cross-learning and is based on the "Each One Teach One" model that was implemented by Nelson Mandela and his inmates during their time on Robben Island.

Sports Development

After-School Care
In 1994, post-Apartheid, the South African Government removed physical education from the school curriculum.  Whilst it has now been re-introduced it only forms a small part of the lIfe orientation syllabus and as a result student involvement in physical activity is very low. Organising sports activities at several after-school care clubs is therefore fundamental to children's development and improves essential skills such as team work and leadership.  Some examples of the type of activities include fun games such as Ultimate Frisbee, baseball, cricket and American football.  This is a great chance to bring your interests to South Africa and teach the children (and their grannies) and your fellow volunteers a new skill.  Volunteers may also take part in workshops which aim to provide a platform for sharing information and skills - in the past there have been sessions on nutrition as well as on Kayleigh dancing.

Girl Impact

The evidence is clear - investing in adolescent girls will not only help them to realise their human rights, but is essential to reducing poverty and improving health, and future economic growth.  Securing the rights of these girls and their access to health, education and protection from violence and abuse, ensures that they have the chance to achieve their potential and can go on to become empowered women who can support their families, communities and countries.  In post-Apartheid South Africa girls are in real need of support; issues surrounding access to and remaining in education, restricted access to healthcare, high abuse rates and a patriarchal system where men hold primary authority all mean that girls are often left behind.

The Girl Impact initiative aims to provide opportunities for girls and create support networks within their communities.  Volunteers will be involved in three main areas to help achieve the UN Global Goal of Gender Equality:  a youth support group for a mixed group of 10 - 19 year old adolescents, exploring key issues that youth face today; girls and boys club building positive relationships with vulnerable children and helping to create a space that encourages trust; English language lessons for the "Mamas" at an emergency care home offering invaluable suppport.  This is fundamental in enabling them to community more effectively with social workers, visitors to their homes, volunteers and the wider community, as well as educating the children in their care in English.

The information given above should serve as a guide only and volunteers are asked to remain flexible as itineraries often change to meet the needs of the community at any time.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM Work on Children's development at an emergency foster care centre Work on Children's development at an emergency foster care centre Work on Children's development at an emergency foster care centre Work on Children's development at an emergency foster care centre Work on Children's development at an emergency foster care centre
Lunchtime Lunch at the Lion House Lunch with the community you are working at Go and be adventurous tasting some local delicacies Dine with a local view Lunch at the Lion House
PM Support an after school care programme Support an after school care programme Support an after school care programme Support an after school care programme Planning Party
Evening Volunteer Welcome Tours Talk Workship on topical issues Events Night Weekend Begins


Saturday  Sunday
Explore Cape Town and the surrounding areas on a day safari, wine tour or Peninsuala Trip Spend your morning Shark Cage Diving and your afternoon exploring Table Mountain through hiking.  Abseiling or the more leisurely cable car.

Volunteers should note that during school holidays activities may be different from the usual schedule but the work will still be really valuable and rewarding. The project will be closed for the Christmas Holidays.  A guide to the school terms dates for Cape Town are as follows:

Term 1:  17 January - 28 March
Term 2:  10 April - 22 June
Term 3:  17 July - 28 September
Term 4:  9 October - 12 December

All volunteers will be involved in a wide range of project work which is continuously evolving and developing and the focus of a project may change or the project may become self-sufficient and no longer require input from volunteers who are asked to remain flexible and join their project with an open mind. 

Extra Information

During evenings and weekends there will be time to enjoy some of the fantastic attractions on offer in Cape Town, including wine tasting, sightseeing, hiking and even shark cage diving. These excursions are a great time for volunteers to interact and get to know each other better. Popular excursions include:

  • Aquila Safari - a "Big 5" private game reserve - (minimum of 4 people)
  • Cape Point Peninsula Tour including a visit with the penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Experiencing the great wines and hospitality at Constantia and Stellenbosch wine farms
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus
  • Hike or take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain
  • Shop at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
  • Take surf lesson
  • Shark cage diving
  • Sky-diving
  • Abseil down Table Mountain

Getting There

Volunteers should fly into Cape Town International Airport where they will be met by a member of the project staff and transferred to the volunteer house in Observatory. Flights should be timed to arrive between 7.00am and  5.00pm on the Monday start day of the placement (alternate Mondays).

Amanzi Travel has an ATOL licence and can help with all flight arrangements if required. Please ask about this service when booking.

A perfect way to explore more of Africa

Before heading straight back home, why not take an Overland Journey through Africa to explore more of the wonderful sights and experiences that this beautiful continent has to offer.  You can take a trip that starts and finishes in the same city (eg Windhoek to Windhoek) or you can use it as an opportunity to get your from one city to another (eg Cape Town to Nairobi).

“This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ... brilliant. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. The overland trip was excellent - really well run”
Southern Sun 21 days, Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, aged 32 and 34.

“I didn’t know I could become such close friends with people in just a week. The trip attracts a great group of people who are so easy to get along with. My group ranged from 20 to 70 and we all sat down with a drink, played cards together and just gathered around the campfire.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family”
Tanzanian Game Parks and Zanzibar, 10 Days and Masai Mara Safari, 3 Days - Sara, Canada/Malaysia, aged 20.

 From 3 days to 56 days, take a look at the exciting Overland Trips here.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Cape Town South Africa, Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children VolunteerCape Town South Africa, Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children VolunteerCape Town South Africa, Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children VolunteerCape Town South Africa, Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children VolunteerVolunteers will be accommodated in a fully furnished house in Observatory - the most bohemian suburb of Cape Town, about a ten minute drive from the city centre. It is an arty district with plenty of interesting restaurants and bars with live music. The house is on a secure site and is comfortable and spacious and a real home-from-home. The house is staffed with a cook and housekeeper and all bedding is provided, but volunteers should take their own towels. Rooms will be shared between 2 - 6 volunteers and bathrooms are communal. Wifi is available for a small charge (approximately R20 per week) for volunteers' own compatible devices and there is access to a lock-up safe for valuables.  There are plenty of shops within walking distance.

Three meals a day are provided at the volunteer house Monday - Friday, prepared by a team of great chefs. 

Click here to view the full interactive mapSouth Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started

Why visit South Africa?

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.

Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.

The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.

Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.

Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.

Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.

Highlights of South Africa

  • Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
  • Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
  • Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
  • See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
  • Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
  • Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
  • Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.


For Johannesburg:

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 25 °C 10 °C
Winter (May - August) 19 °C 4 °C
Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest

South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.

In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception -  the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).

Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.

Key Facts

Population – 50 million

Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)

Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours

Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00

Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Volunteer

Great memories, it all worked out really well. The volunteer house is lovely, and all volunteers get on very well together. The work is very well organised. We spend every morning in a pre school (plus a visit to a medical center) and get to know the routines and teachers very well. In the afternoons we do different community projects depending on what needs doing, such as making curtains. At the Teaching Project I sensed a real care for the volunteers and a desire to make sure that the volunteers had a good experience as well as the benefits to the projects.

Mourjin, Holland, aged 51 (Cape Town Sports Development Volunteer, Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Volunteer, Cape Town Teaching Volunteer)

Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Volunteer

The highlight was the general interaction with the children and the contribution that I made to their learning in what was a relatively short time. The people I have met even though they have limited material possessions are very positive and happy and it has been a real and genuine pleasure to meet them. I can honestly say that there is nothing that sticks out that has been a major issue in terms of something that I have not enjoyed.  I have only been on the project for 3 weeks but I have got more than I imagined out of my participation. I have met some genuinely nice people and I think my whole experience will prompt a career change into a more social orientated role.  The project as a whole is well run and structured. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to others. The Project has made me realise what is really important in life. I would also like to say that the people involved in running the project who I have met on a day to day basis are a real credit to the organization generally.

Robert, UK, aged 33 (Cape Town Sports Development Volunteer, Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Volunteer, Cape Town Teaching Volunteer)

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