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Ethical Volunteering with the best range of Community, Childcare, Wildlife and Conservation Projects in South Africa.

We are passionate about ethical volunteering, and only support sustainable long term projects that are developed through genuine community and conservation needs.

We will provide you with excellent support to help you prepare for every aspect of your journey, and will make sure you have all the information you need to plan your trip.

During your stay, our team will be available to assist you with organizing activities, giving advice, getting you to a doctor if needed and lots more.

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  • Education & Literacy
  • Alternative Break
  • Children & Youth
  • Internship
  • Community Development
  • Conservation
  • Ecotourism
  • Animals
  • Intern Abroad
  • Environment
  • Homeless & Housing
+6 more

103 Participant reviews

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Friederike Strickstrock

11 May 2020

My time at Baphumelele Children’s Home was very special and filled with experiences I’ll never forget. Everyone is very friendly and even though some of the caretakers might struggle to communicate with you because English isn’t their first language, they are very thankful and appreciating any help and also trying to support you at all times. There is always something to do which is amazing because you can always choose for yourself where you want to help or where your support is needed the most. I created my own routine after a few days which made every day very interesting and structured at the same time and it was guaranteed not to get boring. It was challenging in the beginning to always be on one’s own initiative but I learned to love it after getting used to it! I’ve spent time with the babies as well as the older children which was nice because I’ve got to play, talk and help them on different levels, depending on their age and personality so I really got the chance to get to know them individually which made every effort so much worth it. A big part of my experience at the project were also the other volunteers who made working hours as well as the free time wonderful, because you can share so much and create projects or activities together and have a fun time in the evenings. They’ve become friends I’ll hopefully keep for a long time. I would definitely recommend this project to everyone who enjoys being around children. You will not only support the children and caretakers but also enrich your own personality and growth as your work will arise from your own initiative. I can assure you that your help will be much appreciated and that you’ll be in good hands. The support I’ve received during and before my stay was amazing! As soon as I contacted Ed about wanting to volunteer at Baphumelele he made the process of applying very easy for me and I felt welcomed from the beginning. I was always able to reach Ed via Facebook messenger if I needed information or wanted to book something which he always organized in impressively short time so I knew from the start I could rely on him. Same goes for Gary and Chantal who always dropped me off in Khayelitsha and fetched me at the end of the week, it was lovely to talk to them on a regular basis, they were always punctual, very supporting and I always had a good time with them which made me feel welcomed and safe. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet Heather but I want to thank all four of you for making my time in Cape Town so special.

Ellen Winick

8 May 2020

The Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Sanctuary was an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget! The people with whom I worked were wonderful and getting to know the chimpanzees was extraordinary! The full flavor of the South African culture came through: love, generosity, gratitude, playfulness! I was lucky enough to try so many volunteer experiences and also able to participate in staff training which taught us about chimp behavior and being good caretakers. My volunteer tasks included: feeding vitamins/supplements to chimps in the am, cutting up fruit and vegetables and carrying buckets to visitor center for use on tours, cleaning out the chimp night rooms, assisting with tours, assisting in the visitor center including doing inventory and serving drinks, creating enrichment activities for chimps, feeding them dinner and going to farms and groceries to collect donated food for chimps as well as shop for food for the kitchen staff. One must realize that the chimps at this sanctuary will never return to the wild, nor could I, as a volunteer, have hands-on touch with them. Many of them were abused prior to arriving and are too unpredictable in their behavior toward humans. Nonetheless, I could help care for them by feeding, observing and creating enrichment activities for them. I liked my accommodations in a small cabin with wonderful meals provided. And, though I worked a full day, I did take time for walks along the road nearby where I saw a variety of wildlife. Via Volunteers is a top-notch volunteer organization! Ed was wonderful, before the trip, at answering my questions, no matter how many times he may have answered the same questions before and Face-timing with me to help me choose the best experience. The written communications, including what to pack were spot-on and answered questions I didn’t even know I had! Heather was great at communicating and showing enthusiasm for my volunteer assignment and Facebook posts while I was in South Africa. I was honored that you shared some of your other volunteer opportunities near Cape Town with me when I was there.

Hege Simonsen

21 Nov 2019

I thought that by doing volunteer work I could make a difference in this world. After eight weeks at Masigcine Children’s Home I understood that I wouldn’t be able to make a difference in this world, but I could make a huge difference for 25-30 kids for eight weeks! I could give them someone to hug, play with, talk to and to share everything with for eight weeks. And that’s simply everything a kid in their situation needs. They need love. And being able to give them that for eight weeks is amazing.

By doing volunteer work through Via Volunteers, especially at Masigcine, you really get to experience the huge differences in South Africa. In the weekends you stay at Ashanti hostel and live your best life with all kinds of activities that Cape Town has to offer. And during the week you live in a township where you are helping kids who have experienced things that anyone never should have to experience. I learned a lot from this experience. I met a lot of awesome people. I had the coolest weekends with awesome activities. But most important I learned to know 27 amazing kids that I’m thinking about everyday.

If you’re ever considering doing volunteer work, then I will highly recommend Masigcine children’s home. I will also highly recommend travel through Via Volunteers. Thank you so much for all the help Ed and Heather!!

I am forever grateful for this experience. I’ll be back at Masigcine someday.

Ava Spielman

19 Sep 2019

My 5 weeks at Baphumelele children’s home were absolutely incredible and extremely eye opening. During my time, I spent most mornings in Baby house and most afternoons in either the clinic or doing homework help with the older kids. Baphumelele is an amazing space to grow for anyone interested in a youth serving profession as you get to wake up each day and make the most out of your time with any project that interests you.

During my time, I was lucky to be able to work with the child-headed home project and go into the township to help build shacks as well as sit in on their support groups to get a deeper understanding of life in Khayelitsha. To all future volunteers, do not be afraid to dive in head first and reach out to staff about other projects you can get involved with.

My biggest piece of advice to future volunteers is to stay for as long as possible and make the most of every second. Although this was my second time at Baphumelele and the mama’s teach you routine right away, it still takes a week or two to fully settle in and get to know the kids. As tiring as the days may be, take advantage of your lunch breaks to recharge in order to spend as much time as possible with the kids. The kids you will meet radiate happiness , love and passion. Not a day goes by that I do not think of the kids and the lessons they taught me.

Ed and Heather were extremely helpful and responsive both before my arrival and during my time in Capetown. They were always available to answer any questions, set up weekend excursions and offer support when needed.

Madeleine Løken

28 Jun 2019

I experienced that the manager at St. Georges Home for Girls was very kind and helpful. Whenever I had a question he would answer me. All of the other employees was also very kind and really showed their appreciation. Quickly I connected with both employees and the children, and grew friendships that I will never forget.

Furthermore I could use my education – I had workshops with groups of 6-8 girls. In these workshops I used my knowledge from my education as a social worker. I found this very rewarding and the response was positive.

I´m happy with the information and support I got both before and during my stay. Whenever I had a question I got an answer fast.

Hedvig Løge Stendal

7 May 2019

Volunteering at Fikelela Child and Youth Care Centre was simply amazing! I spent 7 incredible weeks here, and I wish I could have stayed longer. Time flies here. Before you know it you are on your way home.

In this program, you get the best of both worlds: you can explore Cape Towns magical places during the weekends and interact with wonderful children monday-friday. Every day is different and you will always have something to do. You will have lessons (planned by a qualified teacher) with some of the older children who need extra help . When I look back at my time volunteering at Fikelela, this is what I miss the most. Not only do you get to know them better, but you also get to make a difference in their lives by helping them a lot. I learned a lot about myself and others.

In addition to all of this, you will also meet a lot of people, especially during the weekends, and probably make friends for life.

Via Volunteers will help you with everything and anything during your stay. Thank you Ed and Heather for always answering questions, planning amazing educational lessons for the children, booking activities and being my ‘Cape Town parents’! I am forever grateful for this incredible experience.

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