The main objective of this project is the facilitation of poverty prevention programmes and upliftment in the settlements. Employment and education opportunities are provided where possible. We try to assist the community through specific programs such as "Winter Hope" whereby we provide warm clothing and shoes to the children, blankets to families as well as obtaining building materials to fix leaking roofs and rebuild structures where necessary to try and provide some relief from the winter cold which can be freezing when your only shelter is a damp, leaking corrugated iron structure.
Another regular program is to provide with, assist in or educate communities in agriculture projects such as subsistence farming. With this, we help start new vegetable gardens, work in existing vegetable gardens or educate about growing food for own use. This assists with food aid and poverty alleviation.
The main aim is empowering the local community and supporting them with their basic needs. We regularly distribute food hampers to the underprivileged and clothes in the winter. We engage these communities in regular education, motivation and social upliftment programs as well as exciting events such as fun at the beach, various sporting activities and movie outingst throughout the year.
Working with the educare centers
Working in settlements with disadvantaged families
Creating your own educational programs to teach children
Supporting and training adults
Learning about running a non-profit organization
Gaining experience in working with children and groups
Flexible projects and hours
Learning about South African culture and way of life
Making new friends for life
Day 1: Welcome to South Africa
You are collected from the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. Depending on your arrival time, you will meet your volunteer leader and learn more about your project, if you arrive late you will be given a time to meet your leader. You have the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, bars and restaurants. In the evening we have a traditional South African BBQ, called a braai, at the hostel.
Day 2: Orientation Tour of Cape Town
Start the day with breakfast and head to SaltyCrax backpackers. A SaltyCrax staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town city centre. You have two options to choose from:
1) Walking Tour
Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament buildings and the District Six Museum. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.
2) Hop-on Hop-off Bus Pass
Board this open rooftop bus that takes you to all the sites you need to see such as Camps Bay, the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain... all from the comfort of your seat!
After one of the above activities you can take a bus or walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sit back and sip a cocktail, enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around taking in the shops, markets and musicians on the sidewalks. Alternatively, you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era (own expense).
In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can start planning your next day. We will help you book and arrange all that you need. Later, you can join the staff, guests and the locals at one of the restaurants or bars along the beach front in Table View - all within rolling distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night.
Day 3: Sunday
You will have at your own leisure to relax and get ready before your project starts.
Weekly Schedule & Activities
Volunteers work 5 days a week from Monday to Friday. Some days volunteers will work a full 8 hours and other days 4 to 5 hours depending on the needs of the project. The Settlement Project is flexible and volunteers may need to use their initiative and run part of the project on their own. Volunteers can work in the office with fundraising or administrative tasks as well as in the settlements with the day-to-day activities and running of the educare centres. Volunteers can also help arrange annual events like Youth Day activities on June 16, a Christmas party and cooking competitions.
Previous projects include:
- Clearing ground, erecting pre-school classrooms, fencing and laying down grass for a pre-school
- Building a brick school for disabled children
- Planting and maintaining several vegetable gardens for families
- Planting and maintaining a vegetable garden for the pre-school
- Building a camp for goats who were kept in overcrowded, inhumane conditions
You may be required to do some of these tasks in your free time:
- Administration - lesson plan preparation, developmental activies, research, etc. (This is mostly done after project hours in preparation for upcoming days.)
- Helping with washing up after meals, cleaning classrooms, washing bedding and toys
- Maintaning a safe and hygienic environment for the children at all times
School & Public Holidays
This project runs all year round, however, during school holidays we run the project according to our holiday program which mainly takes place in the settlements/townships where they live. The program includes sports days, game days, outings to the beach or pools etc. During the holidays it's a time for the kids to have fun so the programs are less structured and may change depending on the number of children that arrive on the day. Working hours are generally from 08:00 to 14:00. Depending on the funds available you could also be involved in a construction or renovations program (building work, vegetable gardens, painting etc.).
School Holidays 2017:
31 Mar - 18 Apr
30 Jun - 24 Jul
29 Sep - 09 Oct
9 Dec - 11 Jan 2018
School Holidays 2018:
29 Mar - 09 Apr
23 Jun - 16 Jul
29 Sep - 08 Oct
3 Dec - 08 Jan 2019
Due to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations between December 25th - Jan 2nd, the projects are closed, however, volunteers may still use the accommodation and food and join us for Christmas lunch on the 25th.
With every new arrival we have a safety and orientation briefing where we discuss issues such as general safety in South Africa for example, what to do in the settlements, where not to go, what to do in case of an emergency, sea currents, HIV AIDS and crime. There is a volunteer co-ordinator with our volunteers at all times while on project to ensure the safety of the children and volunteer. We offer all our volunteers 24/7 support and assistance.
Volunteers will stay in one of our volunteer houses with bedrooms sleeping 2-6 people. All houses are facilitated with electricity, hot water, a kitchen, one or two toilets, a bathroom with a shower, beds with linen (no towels). Male and female volunteers will share rooms unless otherwise requested. Upgrades to private single or double rooms are available at extra cost.
Volunteers are responsible for keeping their own room and volunteer house tidy. Two to three times a week a cleaning lady will be there to clean the house and change linen. The volunteer houses are at walking distance from shops, restaurants, entertainment, bus stops and the beach. The volunteer accommodation has a pool. Accommodation can be upgraded to private rooms for an additional cost.
Participants are expected to keep their rooms and personal belongings tidy at all times and participate in any chores as required for the cleanliness and operation of the shared facilities.
Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport. On project days the volunteers will be transported by private car or mini bus. The vehicles are roadworthy and have all relevant licenses and liability insurance.
Volunteers will receive 3 meals a day which include:
Breakfast: self-catering breakfast of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast & spreads
Lunch: self-catering lunch of breads, fruit, cold meats, cheese, salad & spreads
Dinner: consists of a hot meal such as a traditional South African BBQ (braai) and stews (potjies).
Tea and coffee will be available all day.
All dinners will include meat, starch and vegetables.
A generous amount of food will always be given so no one will go hungry.
All other drinks will be at own expense.
A refrigerator is available for volunteer’s personal food.
PLEASE NOTE: Participants must advise us on their dietary needs when filling out the application form.
Visas & Insurances:
Visas and insurances are the responsibility of the volunteer.
Winter in South Africa:
Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from 5 degrees Celsius at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So, please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.