The project supports children from low income families by helping at short-staffed day care centres.
Volunteers assist staff at day care centres running fun and engaging sessions with the children to develop skills which will help them when they enter the school system. Despite the beautiful surroundings, this area outside of Cape Town is plagued with high levels of unemployment and poverty. The Children’s Day Care project provides child care for local communities so that families are able to earn a living and break the cycle of poverty.
The project is perfectly positioned to explore the vibrant city of Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Western Cape.
Volunteers are needed to provide care and education at this local community initiative.
The day care centres we work with are focussed on providing support to the children of local communities just outside Cape Town. For many of these children, their family life is affected by poverty and a lack of parental guidance; the projects seek to provide a structure for young children to develop their educational and social skills from an early age.
By focussing on early childhood development and learning through play, the staff help the young children to develop a routine of education. This method of learning encourages the children to enjoy being in an educational environment and gives them a head start when they join schools.
Each child receives support from the staff at the centre and interaction with other children which creates a positive environment for them to learn and grow in.
Each day will differ but volunteer tasks may include assisting with:
Volunteers normally work 4 days per week, Monday to Thursday, with long weekends off. Volunteers start at 8am and finish at 2pm. On your days off there are a variety of free time activities for you to get involved in.
There are usually 2-4 volunteers at each day care centre, but there may be up to 20 volunteers in total.
This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award, including a minimum number of other participants.
Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy.
All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.
Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our South Africa Children’s Day Care reviews.
As the day care centres are often short-staffed, volunteers are able to provide the one to one attention that the children would otherwise not receive. Volunteers also offer an extra pair of hands to the organisation’s staff by assisting with feeding, clothing and playing with the children.
The centres provide an environment where the children are safe, supported, well cared for, given nutritious meals and learning opportunities. Volunteers and local staff can act as positive role models for many children who may not have this at home. In some centres, the project also aims to teach and equip mothers who come to the centre with academic training and practical skills and volunteers free up local staff to focus on helping the children’s parents.
South Africa is situated at the southern tip of Africa and ranges from desert to sub-tropical. With dramatic landscapes, amazing wildlife and a rich and diverse culture and interesting history, South Africa has something for everyone. Popular activities in South Africa include:
To find out more, see the Lonely Planet South Africa.
The project is based in the town of Somerset West which is approximately 40 minutes from Cape Town. Somerset West is situated between the Cape winelands and one of the Western Cape’s longest stretches of beach. It combines landscapes of imposing mountains and views of the Indian Ocean, so it’s a beautiful place to be!
The town of Strand (where volunteers live) has beautiful long beaches and a promenade where volunteers often sit on the beachfront with an ice cream watching the world go by. The beach is well known for surfing too and many volunteers will spend their afternoons sunbathing or having a surfing lesson.
You can use your long weekends to explore the Western Cape. Being so close to Cape Town means that you can take advantage of the sights and activities it has to offer such as Table Mountain, Robben Island, wine tasting and whale watching. The historic town of Stellenbosch is only 25 minutes away and has an array of cafes, pubs and wildlife attractions.
Volunteer apartments are fully furnished and have all modern conveniences. Bedrooms are shared with 1-2 other volunteers. Bathrooms are shared between volunteers.
“This volunteer project of working at the day care center in Cape Town, South Africa was amazing. I loved the people I worked with and the kids were absolutely adorable. I gained a rapport with them all so quickly. I felt I was free to help when and where needed and at the same time was given direction on what was needed to be done. There was a good balance.
The second I walked in the door in the morning I was greeted with all the kids screaming, “hello” and when I was leaving and they were actually supposed to be in nap time, would all scream, “goodbye.” I would highly suggest anyone who wants to volunteer not only to do it but also to do it with this company POD. This was my second year volunteering for them and both times was perfect!”
“My experience working in South Africa was fantastic. I was slightly unsure about doing volunteering as I am slightly older than the average but would recommend it to anyone. I loved working at the crèche - the kids were so cheerful and welcoming. You felt you were really making a contribution. There was also plenty of opportunity to explore the area and make some memories.
Most rewarding was being asked to read one of the books I had brought to the kids. Just relax and enjoy it. Don’t worry about anything - you’ve got the support of a great company who can help you with anything. It is such a rewarding experience. You’ve feel so proud of yourself afterwards.”
“The staff at the project were friendly and obviously enjoyed having the volunteers there as I was made to feel very welcome. The children were a delight-always friendly and so appreciative of anything that was done for them. It helps to give us a perspective about what is important in our lives whilst doing something that is immensely rewarding. I loved my stay at the project and would love to return.
The routine was very well structured which meant that we knew exactly what we had to do each day. We just helped the children with all the things that they did in the centre. Each day I helped with feeding, playing, schoolwork and anything else I could do to be useful. Most rewarding was the work with the children and their appreciation of all that was done for them.”
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in such an amazing experience! I had a brilliant time! Seeing the children’s face light up when you walk in is something special that will stay with me forever! I’m 18 years old and was a bit wary about going to South Africa on my own! I can honestly say I had the most amazing time!
The sense of achievement the project brings, and the smile on the children’s face when they see you is something I can cherish for the rest of my life! It helped me to grow up and very much influenced my career path! The sense of achievement when the children come and hug you or when you teach them a new word and they remember it. Brilliant!”
Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), criminal records check, food. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.
|2 weeks||£895||GB Pounds|
|Each additional 2 weeks||£230||GB Pounds|
Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com
children provided with education and support
"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder
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“It’s a great experience and you come back with memories that you will never forget. Seeing the kids’ faces light up when you walk in is an amazing feeling. Having the weekends off meant I had time to explore Cape Town.”Read more volunteer reviews
“Volunteering was an amazing and life changing experience. It was an awesome experience and I would definitely recommend It if you are considering going. Working with the children was very rewarding”Read more volunteer reviews
“This trip to South Africa has been a life changing experience. I did so many things I never thought I would do. I also met friends that I will have for life. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!”Read more volunteer reviews