South Africa Teaching Volunteers
2-12 weeks from $676
- Help provide valuable educational and life skills to some really deserving children
- Get to know the incredible staff who devote their time to helping children create a better future for themselves
- Live and volunteer in beautiful South Africa and spend your downtime exploring Cape Town
- Become a much-loved and valued member of the local community
- Get first-hand experience teaching in a classroom environment and contribute to development projects
- Meet some inspiring people and make friends with volunteers from other local projects
Join a team of dedicated teachers who do an amazing job educating enthusiastic and inquisitive children, with the ultimate goal of giving them the life skills needed to carve a brighter future for themselves. You’ll get to teach children from the ages of six to 18 in a poverty-stricken area in South Africa language and literacy skills, play games with them, build their confidence, and work on development programmes that will benefit both the school and local community. Living and volunteering in a beautiful area in Cape Town’s Southern Peninsular, you’ll be surrounded by spectacular scenery, with the school itself situated on the slopes of Simonsberg Mountain, which offers undulating views of the countryside, and staying close by to the gorgeous white-sand beach in the small coastal town of Fish Hoek.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to combine travel and volunteer work, this programme is a fantastic chance for you to get really involved; you’ll be getting hands-on teaching experience, but you’ll come away from the project having learnt as much as you’ve taught.
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
What to expect at the project
Arriving at Cape Town Airport on your programme start date, you’ll be met by one of our friendly team, who will take you to your volunteer accommodation in Fish Hoek (around a 45 minute drive). You’ll be given a full orientation of the local area, so you can find your way to all the local amenities. The team will also discuss what sort of thing you can expect from the project, dos and don’ts, and how to keep safe – this is also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions. Afterwards, you’ll have a traditional evening meal, with a bit of chill out time before your first day at the school.
You’ll be introduced to the teachers and children at the school on your first day at the project, and be given time to observe and understand the lessons before getting stuck in. You’ll be assisting teachers in various classes, as well as dedicating some of your time during working hours to other development projectsthat support the school and local community. You’ll be living with other volunteers (not necessarily from the same project as you), and gain a better understanding of life in South Africa. This is a rewarding programme, where you’ll help children develop useful life skills and encourage them to grow through the power of positivity, perseverance, and ambition.
Day in the life
Your working hours at the school will be from 8am to 2pm Monday to Friday, although you’ll need to catch the minibus taxi at 7:15am to allow for the 15 minute drive and 10 minute walk to the school. On your first day at the school (day two of your programme schedule) you’ll be introduced to the teachers and children you’ll be working with. You’ll get to observe the teachers in various classes to get to grips with the way the children are taught before assisting, and we’ll make sure you’re happy and ready before asking you to carry out any teaching activities.
You’ll be working closely with the fantastic teachers, taking their lead on where your skills will be best put to use, getting plenty of one-on-one time with various students, to help encourage and develop their understanding of specific subjects. During lunch and break times, you’ll be supervising in the school playground and other break areas, making sure everyone’s safe and behaving themselves! You’ll spend an hour each afternoonwith children from another local township, as they wait for their transport to arrive. You might help them with their homework, read together, or play games. Afterwards, you can head straight to the bus stop to make your way back to the volunteer accommodation, or take the opportunity to go and explore.
Your afternoons and weekends are yours to spend exactly as you like, so take the opportunity to meet up with your volunteer buddies and chill out around the pool at your accommodation, go and sample some delicious local food in town (Fish Hoek has some really good fresh fish restaurants right on the seafront), cook up a BBQ, go and peruse the market stalls, or laze on the beach. Transport links to Cape Town are pretty good, with the train taking less than an hour to get to the centre, although these stop running after 7pm, so if you’re making a night of it you’ll need to catch a taxi back (which costs in the region of 250R).
Please note that all activities, inclusions and itineraries are subject to change.
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
The school you’ll be teaching at is government-funded and open to children in the local area who are generally from very poor backgrounds. There are high levels of illiteracy and unemployment in the area, which the staff at the school, although with limited funds, work tirelessly to change by providing their students with as good an education as possible – giving them the chance to develop to their full potential, and in turn offering them far better opportunities and a better life for the future. Your help is integral to this, and you’ll be helping to instil initiative, individuality, and integrity, as well as building on the practical skills they already possess.
This programme is a great opportunity for you to really get involved and contribute to the personal growth of some really deserving children. You’ll be passing on skills and knowledge that just aren’t available to these children otherwise, and will be helping them carve a better, brighter future for themselves.
As well as helping children in a deprived area of South Africa learn and grow, and ultimately giving them a more promising future, you’ll be gaining first-hand experience in the classroom as an assistant and teacher, which is perfect if you’re looking to work with children or follow a career in education. You’ll become a much-loved and respected member of the community and learn heaps about the culture and general way of life in South Africa. You’ll get to discover areas of this beautiful country in your own time, make friends with likeminded people, and take home some precious memories and brilliant travel stories.
- Airport transfer on arrival
- In-country orientation
- Local in-country team
- 24/7 emergency support
- Return airport transfer
- Local transport to and from the project (approx. 30R/£1.90 per person per day)
You'll be staying in a fantastic volunteer house for the duration of your stay, where you’ll share a single sex dorm-style room with up to five other volunteers (not all necessarily from the same project as you). The house has three bathrooms that include western-style toilets and hot water. There are also a number of communal areas including a comfortable lounge with sofas, large dining area, a balcony, and a garden area with BBQ area. Wifi is also available, and is paid for upfront on arrival (R100 per week). While in the house you will be responsible for keeping the place clean so please tidy up after yourself, especially in the kitchen.
Lockers are available so you can store valuables at the accommodation, but you’ll need to supply your own padlock and keys. There isn't a washing machine at the house but there is a laundry service close by, which costs aound 50R per load. A supermarket, shops, and bank are all close to the volunteer house.
Please note that there is a security deposit that will need to be paid to the in-country team on arrival, so please make sure you have budgeted for this. The deposit needs to be paid in your local currency and needs to be the equivalent of 1,000R. Your deposit will be returned when you leave the accommodation at the end of your project as long everything is left as you found it.
Your flight to South Africa should arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT) on your programme start date before 4pm, to ensure you are all ready for your orientation which will begin at 5pm on your programme start date. If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get you into Cape Town before 4pm on your programme start date, we recommend you fly in a day early, and we’ll arrange an early airport pick-up for you, including one night’s accommodation; contact us for more information. Your return flight or onward travel can be arranged any time on the last day of your programme.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
Minimum age 18, maximum dependent on health and fitness of participant.
UK nationals don’t require a visa to enter South Africa for stays of up to 3 months. You should ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
An enhanced DBS check is required for this programme. If you do not hold a certificate dated within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us as we can help you arrange the DBS check for an extra fee.
How Old Are The Children At The School?
The children are between the ages of six and 18 years old, we’ll double-check with you before you arrive which age groups you’dlike to work with.
How Many Volunteers Will Be On This Programme?
There are no minimum numbers on this programme, and therefore you may find you’re the only volunteer from this programme staying in the volunteer accommodation, but you will be sharing the house with volunteers from other projects, so you’ll be able to spend your evenings and spare time with them.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
Cost of living varies in South Africa, but as a rough guide, budget around 120R per week for the bus to the volunteer project (30R per day), 250R for a taxi into/from Cape Town (trains are far cheaper, but stop running after 7pm), 50R for each load of laundry, 600R for groceries each week, and between 100R-300R for a meal out. Budget around £150 per week for a comfortable stay, and add a bit extra if you want to really explore and travel around during the weekends.
Do I Need To Bring Anything Specific With Me?
You’ll need to bring a towel with you as these aren’t provided at your volunteer accommodation, and pack a sleeping bag and warm clothing if you’re travelling to South Africa during winter months (May to September). If you can, bring bits along for the children – things like pens and coloured pencils, exercise books, educational posters/maps, stationery, simple story books or basic educational books – you can always buy these sorts of things once you’re in Africa to save on luggage weight.
How Do I Get Back To The Airport On My Programme End Date?
The return transfer cost from Fish Hoek to Cape Town International isn’t covered within your project fee, but you can use our regular transfer company at a cost of approximately 350R.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.