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Volunteer in South Africa - It Will Change You Forever...

  • World's most affordable fees guaranteed
  • Pay your program fees directly to your host families and projects
  • Experienced local staffs to attend to your every need
  • Flexible schedule that leaves evenings and weekends free for fun, travel and exploration

Think outside the box and travel to the breathtaking South Africa. With an abundance of diversity, the “big five” (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo), wine tasting, the famous sardine run (millions of sardines travel up the Indian Coast followed by predators such as gannets, dolphins, whales and sharks), the garden route, world famous seafood and the highest bungee jump in the world, the country will truly blow you away. South Africa has something for everybody from pristine beaches, unforgettable safaris, diverse wildlife, natural parks and vibrant cities. As a volunteer in South Africa you can experience all South Africa has to offer while forever changing your life as well as the lives of others.

Unfortunately, South Africa is still overwhelmed by problems such as food shortages, poor education, inadequate healthcare, HIV/AIDS, other diseases and slow development. Helping Abroad is inviting you to volunteer in South Africa to work in a variety of projects in various locations such as assisting orphanage homes, teaching English in schools, working in clinics/hospitals, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, aiding community development and working with children. As a volunteer in South Africa, you will have the remarkable opportunity to enhance the lives of others, gain professional experience, widen your perspectives and discover South Africa. Regardless of the project you choose, you have an extraordinary experience and return home with a sense of accomplishment knowing you traveled the world to help others. What are you waiting for? Email us now and we will gladly send you more information. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

Program Fee

Helping Abroad volunteers Program starts every 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.

Are you looking for a safe and affordable volunteer abroad experience? Do you want to see the fees you pay, being utilized towards the welfare of the project and host families? Helping abroad, a 501 c 3, offer volunteer programs at unbeatable, low prices. At Helping Abroad, we maintain a level of transparency of funds, especially for volunteers who want to know where and how the fee they pay are being channelized. The volunteer fee is paid directly to the families that host volunteers and the project that volunteers work on. The program fee is divided as registration fee ($299) and weekly fee. The registration fee is used to cover our expenses like advertisement and office expenses. The weekly fee is divided between room/local food (3 times a day, 50-70%) and project donation/ support to local project staff (30-50%) and local coordination fee (10%). The allocation may differ according to location and project type. Therefore, our coordinator will explain these issues before you pay the fees. Please find the breakdown of the cost in a weekly basis below:

Duration Cape Town Surf Project
  1 Week   N/A   N/A
  2 Weeks   $500   $800
  3 Weeks   $650   $1,100
  4 Weeks   $775   $1,400
  5 Weeks   $850   $1,700
  6 Weeks   $925   $2,000
  7 Weeks   $1,065   $2,300
  8 Weeks   $1,250   $2,650
  9 Weeks   $1,375   $2,875
  10 Weeks   $1,550   $3,100
  11 Weeks   $1,650   $3,375
  12 Weeks   $1,750   $3,650
  13 Weeks   $1,865
  14 Weeks   $2,025
  15 Weeks   $2,135
  16 Weeks   $2,250
Additional Fee
  • Mandatory Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day
Included in Fee
  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals a day
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Donation to project
  • In-country office expenses
  • Field support
  • Project coordination
  • Emergency support
  • Airport welcome
Not Included in Fee
  • International flights
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Immunizations
  • Personal food and beverages
  • Entertainment
  • Local transportation
  • Laundry
  • Communication (telephone, internet)
  • Personal items

Volunteer Programs

Work in Orphanage (Cape Town)

Orphanages Children

Because of disease, poverty, lack of government support and declining economic opportunity for the disadvantaged, there are more than 3 million orphaned children in South Africa. Most orphaned children travel to big urban centers like Cape Town to find better life but get stuck living in the streets or anywhere they can find. That is an appalling situation, but you can help.

As a volunteer in South Africa you will work in an orphanage to help local staff take care of orphaned children. You will enrich the lives of these orphans and give the lacking love, basic necessities and a quality education. Helping Abroad partners with several orphanages in Cape Town. Sadly, orphanages in South Africa are lacking funds, staff, amenities and governmental support. Through your work children can live wholesome, confident and positive childhoods.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

No specific qualifications or prior experiences are required to volunteer in an orphanage in South Africa. You are expected to have a basic knowledge of English to communicate with the project staff and local people. You should have qualities such as love & passion for children, genuine interest, patience, compassion, endurance and so on. You should also be flexible and have the desire to learn and serve people of a new culture and religion.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

As a volunteer in an orphanage in South Africa, you can who help children educationally, socially, and physically as you work as a role model, buddy and teacher for those who need it the most. Volunteers will work on a variety of activities depending on individual skills and interests and the needs of the orphanages in South Africa. Responsibilities may include:

  • Teaching English
  • Teaching other subjects such as math, science and physical education
  • Helping students successfully finish their homework
  • Promoting health, nutrition and sanitation
  • Singing songs and playing music/instruments
  • Helping children with art projects and drawing
  • Playing games and sports
  • Teaching children personal hygiene
  • Reinforcing life skills and chores such as cleaning and cooking
  • Teaching children to how to garden
  • Working on maintenance such as painting, building, and other activities to improve the facilities
  • Fundraising
  • Assisting orphanage with administrative and organizational tasks
  • Assisting local staff in various daily activities
  • Being a friend to the children
  • Making them smile

Please Note: The work is very flexible. You will get your work schedule from the local orphanage staff. You're expected to work 3 to 4 hours daily from Monday to Friday. If you have a desire to work on weekends, you are more than welcome. Remember, the activities mentioned above are just an outline, the project coordinator might also ask for help with other projects as well.

Healthcare Project (Cape Town)

volunteer vaccinating child

Are you looking to experience healthcare works in a developing country and explore the local effervescent culture? Look no further. As a volunteer in South Africa in the Healthcare Project, you will have the chance to observe and help local doctors and nurses, and educate local South Africa communities about basic healthcare.

There are many South Africans who struggle to receive proper healthcare and with your help, more patients who need attention can be reached. Therefore, Helping Abroad is working together with clinics and hospitals in Cape Town to send volunteers to educate locals about the imperative value of general health, nutrition, personal hygiene, sanitation, disease prevention, basic care, family planning and much more. At the same time, volunteers have the valuable opportunity to gain experience in their field by working with local doctors and nurses and caring for in-need and low-income patients. Volunteers assist clinics and hospitals to treat as many patients as possible so that more people can live healthy and productive lives. As a medical volunteer in South Africa working in the healthcare project, you can educate people, prevent diseases and enrich lives while discovering the magical beauty behind South Africa.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

To be a medical volunteer in South Africa and work in clinics and hospitals, you must submit proof of a medical certification such as a medical ID, EMT, paramedic, nursing, etc. You are expected to have a basic knowledge of English to communicate with the project staff and local people. You must be flexible when dealing with organizations, doctors, curses and patients. For this project, volunteers must be open minded, patient, enthusiastic, hardworking, resourceful and willing to learn. Helping Abroad will require a copy of volunteer's credentials, resume and qualifications. Depending on your host organization, additional application materials may be required.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

As a medical and healthcare volunteer in South Africa, you will act as an assistant to local doctors and nurses. Activities will range widely depending on individual skills, interests and medical qualifications. Volunteers will not be allowed to perform major exams or surgeries and will mostly shadow local doctors and learn from observation. Volunteer duties may include:

  • Promoting disease prevention through education
  • Planning and leading educational workshops
  • Planning and leading trainings
  • Shadowing local medical professionals
  • Helping local doctors provide basic care to patients
  • Taking and recording vital statistics such as height, weight, blood pressure, etc.
  • Helping clinics and hospitals with administrative tasks
  • Assisting with vaccinations and basic care
  • Observing basic functions of clinics and hospitals

Please Note: The above examples of activities may vary depending on individual skills and interests and the needs of the hospital and/or clinic. You will be provided with a very flexible schedule from local teachers, doctors or nurses so that you can adjust in the new environment. Along with Helping Abroad in-country staff, these counterparts will support you throughout your project. You will normally work for 3-4 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. All other time you are free to relax and explore the beautiful country of South Africa.

Teaching Project (Cape Town)

volunteer teachers with students

Volunteer in South Africa to teach English and expand opportunities for your students while exploring a stunning country! The demand for English is on the rise in South Africa as international tourism and trade increase. Regrettably, children from low-income families are left without the chance to learn English due to the fact that many schools lack qualified teachers and adequate resources. Helping Abroad invites you to volunteer in South Africa to teach English so you brighten the futures of your students and enhance their career opportunities. You will immerse yourself into daily South African life, gain teaching experience, explore Africa and most importantly, truly make a difference in the lives of South African students.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

No specific qualifications or prior experiences are required to volunteer in the teaching English project in South Africa. You are expected to have a solid knowledge of English to communicate with the project staff and teach local people. You should have qualities such as love & passion for children, genuine interest, patience, compassion, endurance and so on. You should also be flexible and have the desire to learn and serve the people of South Africa within a new culture and religion.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, your experience will be valuable for both you and your students. Depending on skills and interests, volunteers teaching English in South Africa will work closely with local teachers and follow the set South African English curriculum. Volunteers will work as an assistant to the local English teacher and daily activities may include:

  • Teaching basic English
  • Aiding local teachers with lessons and activities
  • Teaching other subjects such as math or science
  • Organizing extracurricular activities such as music, dancing, sports, art, games, etc.
  • Teaching life skills such as basic business, painting, sewing, cooking, etc.
  • Teaching basic health and sanitation
  • Fundraising for educational programs
  • Assisting with local curriculum development
  • Maintaining the schools
  • Playing with the children
  • Assisting school/organization staff with local projects

Please Note: The teaching schedule is very flexible. You will receive direction from local school/organization staff. You're expected to work 3 to 4 hours a day from Monday to Friday. You will have enough time to go on holidays and explore South Africa's tourism.

Physical Education Project (Cape Town)

volunteer playing with children

Travel to one of the most beautiful cities in Southern Africa to enjoy the scenery and the urban culture while also participating in physical education program to help the deprived youth. Volunteers with experience of participating or coaching in sports will enjoy this program and contribute a lot. Our partner organization also welcomes new ideas or sports programs from our volunteers. By supporting this effort you will be offering a dynamic platform to educate and empower youth as well as keep them off the streets and inspire them to become active.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

Volunteers must be healthy, fit and a sports lover. You are expected to have a solid knowledge of English to communicate with the project staff and teach local people. You should have qualities such as love & passion for children, genuine interest, patience, compassion, endurance and so on. You should also be flexible and have the desire to learn and serve the people of South Africa within a new culture and religion.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

Volunteers will work from Monday to Friday for about 30-40 hours. Volunteers are responsible for helping organize with basic sports coaching and fitness training, helping teach a healthy lifestyle awareness program, and contribute to team building exercises. Activities may include:

  • Playing sports with the youth
  • Educating youth about the benefits of being active
  • Providing positive mentorship
  • Improving the educational and recreational environment
  • Leading extracurricular activities such as playing sports, teaching games
  • Lending a hand to the staff with any administrative task, office duty or any other project they may need
  • Teaching basic skills that pertain to the activity at hand
  • Providing a positive environment for youth to feel safe and also have fun

Please Note: The activities above are mere examples of volunteers' daily activities, but this may change due to requests from local staff members. You will receive your work schedule at the start of the project

Major FAQ's

  • Who will meet me in airport? What should I do if I am delayed or miss my flight? When should I arrive?
  • Please book your flight for Cape Town International Airport which is the pick-up point for all Helping Abroad volunteers in South Africa. The Helping Abroad country coordinator will be waiting for you at the “Arrival” gate. Please look for a person with both the Helping Abroad company logo and your name on a sign card. In case your contact person is not there, please contact the Helping Abroad office and we will immediately follow up on your contact persons’ whereabouts. Coordinators’ contact details are available on the pre-departure handbook. If your flight is delayed, immediately contact Helping Abroad so we can make adjustments to your program. Helping Abroad will be responsible for creating the necessary changes in your program.

    The program fee covers expenses from the first day of the program to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program and/or stay beyond the last day of the program, you will be responsible for these expenses.

  • What are the visa requirements to volunteer in South Africa?
  • Volunteers must acquire a tourist Visa in their home country prior to departure for South Africa. You can contact your local South African embassy for more information.

  • What do I need to know about health and safety in South Africa?
  • Volunteers should be aware of all health and safety information before traveling to South Africa. You can read about health and safety in South Africa on the website below:

    • WHO South Africa (http://www.who.int/countries/en/)
  • What immunizations/vaccinations are recommended before arriving to South Africa?
  • We strongly recommend that volunteers obtain vaccinations before arriving in South Africa. You can speak with your health-care provider to determine which vaccinations you will need. Please read CDC recommendations about vaccinations and preventive medicine: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/South Africa.htm

  • What is the local currency and exchange rate?
  • The South African Rand is the official currency of the country. You can exchange money when you arrive at the international airport in Cape Town and ATM machines are widely available. ATM cards are the best way to get money and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in some larger cities. Make sure you notify your bank that you will be out of the country and give them your expected arrival/departure dates. This will prevent your account from being locked and you will be advised about any fraudulent charges.

    Please visit XE, a privately held online foreign exchange tool for rates. XE.com

  • How can I communicate with my family/friends while I am abroad? Is there Internet access?
  • You will have an in-country coordinator and Helping Abroad staff members to support you throughout your volunteer stay. Helping abroad in-country staff will always make sure that your questions and concerns are addressed and that your volunteer experience goes as smoothly as possible. Depending on your project location, our staff will visit volunteers regularly. In addition, you are more than welcome to visit our office. We recommend that the volunteers check in at least once a week to give feedback on their accommodation and project. If you are located far from our office, our local staff will communicate through email and/or phone.

  • How is the climate in South Africa?
  • South Africa is typically warm and dry all year around with rain next to the coast.

    For accurate weather please visit ACCU Weather (http://www.accuweather.com/)

  • What should I bring?
  • You can purchase basic necessities in South Africa at reasonable prices, but we suggest bringing the following:

    • An unlocked mobile phone (you can use it after buying a South African card)
    • Camera
    • Sleeping bag
    • Mosquito repellent
    • Insect repellent
    • Sunscreen
    • Books about South Africa
    • Map of South Africa
    • Toiletries
    • First aid kit
    • Flash light
    • Electricity adapter/converter
    • Sun glasses
    • Good shoes (for work and travel)
    • Towel
  • Should I bring gifts for my host family?
  • You are not required to bring a gift but it is common courtesy as a token of appreciation for hosting you. If you are working in orphanages or schools, you can bring items such as school supplies and games. Remember that many children will desire what you bring, so you may want to bring a large amount of one item (pencils, pens, notebooks, games, art supplies, etc).

NOTE:Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is derived from generic information about the country, and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly, and the information contained here may not be up to date. Participants should consult Helping Abroad staff or travel advisors to verify this information