Volunteering in Cape Town
Due to its breathtaking landscapes, excellent wildlife and its cultural diversity, South Africa is one of the most fascinating countries in the world and often described as "a whole world in one country". Besides South Africa's natural beauty, there are also downsides, which often go unheeded. While South Africa has a relatively strong economy and modern infrastructure, the country is still fighting profound social and economic pressures. The country struggles with a high unemployment and crime rate, a growing number of HIV/AIDS-infections and a deficit in the education and health care system. Contrary to the hopes of many South Africans, the situation of those living in poverty has changed little since the end of apartheid.
The role of volunteering in the social sector in South Africa
With the implementation of various development initiatives, the government, non-governmental (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) attempt to alleviate the desperate situation of the population by responding to a diversity of social and economic problems. Although the number of social interventions has increased, many organisations often have to deal with the lack of staff, equipment or funds and are in severe need for assistance. This is particularly reflected in the lack of staff in many organisations, which often plays a crucial role for the deficit or even the failure of a project. Therefore, most organisations have to rely on the willingness and commitment of people who offer their knowledge and assistance on a voluntary basis.
Volunteering plays an important role in the fight against poverty and social inequality in South Africa. Volunteering is of great value to social organisations and both the recipient and the volunteer can benefit equally. By contributing to the services provided by a social institution volunteers often relieve staff from their heavy workload. Several children's homes, facilities for disabled people, youth projects, schools and many others could not sufficiently operate without the assistance of volunteers. While the commitment of volunteers and their assistance contributes to the improvement of social services, volunteers themselves benefit greatly from personal and practical experiences as well as a broadened cultural horizon.
Volunteering in wildlife and nature conservation projects in South Africa
Volunteer programmes in South Africa do not only focus on projects in the social field, but also in wildlife and nature conservation. South Africa is well known for its abundant wildlife and for the high level of biodiversity. In the course of nature and wildlife projects, volunteers will be given the opportunity to participate in the conservation and protection of the natural environment. Whether in an animal rescue centre or a conservation project – there are many opportunities to engage with wildlife and nature.
Volunteer Projects - Volunteer Opportunities
There are various opportunities for volunteers to get involved in social projects. You can apply for projects in the following field:
- School Projects
- Life-Skills Projects
- Projects for Street Kids
- Adult Education
- Old-Age Homes
Wildlife and Nature Conversation Projects
- Animal Rescue Centre
- Seabird Rescue and Conservation
- Cheetah Project
- Nature Conservation Projects
Application process for volunteering
Do you wish to apply for a volunteer project in Cape Town? Please find some information below regarding the application process.
You can apply for a volunteer project if you are 18 years of age or older and you would like to get involved with one of our social projects. The requirements are good English skills, the willingness to learn about different cultural aspects and to approach them with much openness and sensitivity. Further requirements are project dependent and will be included in the respective project description.
How to apply for a volunteer project in Cape Town?
Planning for your stay abroad
After checking your documents (i. e. resume, application or letter of motivation), we will begin the actual search for a volunteer project in relevant organisations. We will then send you suitable options in and around Cape Town. Once the placement of the volunteer project is completed, we conduct all other organisational matters, such as finding accommodation, a rental car, etc. We also offer advice regarding your visa requirements, flight deals, tours, etc.
Do I get paid or is board and lodging included?
As a volunteer in South Africa you will get a visa that only allows you to carry out any unpaid volunteer work. Given that most organisations don’t have the funds to provide board and lodging for volunteers, accommodation and meals are generally not included. It is therefore important to calculate the costs for your entire stay abroad well in advance.
Application deadlines and duration of placements procedure
For most volunteer projects there are no application deadlines, but you should apply about 3-6 months in advance to allow enough time for the organisation and planning process. It usually takes between 2-4 weeks to find a suitable volunteer project. Depending on the availability of suitable volunteer projects and accommodation, short-term applications and placements are also possible.
Period of volunteer projects
The minimum length of a volunteer project is programme-specific and can range from 4 weeks to 6 months. Some organisations require longer periods (3 months+), especially in projects where building relationships (e. g. with children) is important. The duration of the orientation and adaption phase varies, but you should expect about 2-4 weeks to get used to the new environment. For short-term stays we offer programmes that were specifically designed for shorter periods. Please send us an e-mail for more information on short-term programmes.
Apply for a volunteer project now by providing the information needed:
To apply for a volunteer project in South Africa please fill out the below enquiry form or send us e-mail. We are looking forward to assisting you in finding a suitable volunteer project and coordinating your stay abroad.
First name + Surname
Country of origin
Email + Mobile number
Length of stay
Language course ?