- Learn to surf and teach the children how to surf
- Learn to skate and skate alongside the children or teach the children how to skate
- Spend most of your day outdoors and on the beach
- Learn to assist in classrooms with 0 - 6 year olds in the morning
- Help children develop life, sport, and educational skills
- Gain experience in working with children within an organisation
- Provide children with new experiences
- Learn about South African cultures and way of life
- Develop new friendships
The Western Cape, where the program is based, is a very culturally diverse area of South Africa. There is a large integration of the poor with the wealthy. The main cultures that you will be working with are English or Afrikaans South Africans. The children in this program range from 8 to 16 years old and live in the townships in Cape Town such as Dunoon. Most of them can speak English, yet their mother tongue may be Afrikaans or Xhosa. The homes they live in are often built from scrap metal and second-hand wood and usually do not have running water. Forty percent of the families in these areas lack a male head of household and the children often have no one to monitor their educational progress or after-school activities. Furthermore, alcohol and drug abuse is common in the townships where they live and especially at this age they are susceptible to recruitment by local gangs.
Day 1: Welcome to South Africa
You are collected from the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation in Tableview where you can check in and get comfortable before your welcome orientation and evening BBQ (braai).
Day 2: Orientation Tour of Cape Town
Start the day with breakfast and head to SaltyCrax backpackers. A staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town city centre.
- Walking Tour
Join the rest of the group on a walking tour visiting historical sites like St. George’s Cathedral, Company Gardens, the Slave Lodge and learn about life under apartheid in South Africa. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and the St. George’s mall.
After the walking tour 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 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: Surf Lesson (4 hours) or a Day Off
If you choose to book extra surf lessons at extra cost, on your first Sunday we’ll head down to the beach after breakfast to start your first surfing lesson with our qualified surf instructor. You will be briefed on correct board use, safety as well as the ocean before we hit the first waves. Your instructor will be by your side assisting you and the rest of the group with tips on how to stand and how to go catch a wave.
Alternatively you will have the day at your own leisure to relax and get ready before your project starts.
Volunteers work 5 days a week from Monday to Friday. Mondays are office based for both new and old volunteers. New volunteers receive their teacher training and additional information on our projects and the areas they will be working at. Old volunteers assist with planning for the week, equipment maintenance, re-organising storage spaces for equipment, donation sorting etc. Some days volunteers will work a full 8 hours and other days 4 to 5 hours depending on the needs of the project. Working hours are generally from 09:00-15:00. The volunteers’ mornings are spent assisting in one of the schools. In the afternoons volunteers are split into 3 groups that each get a day of surfing, skating and swimming during the week. Volunteers will also have a chance to learn how to surf with an instructor. These surf lessons take place on Fridays without the kids.
In this project volunteers receive a 1-hour surf lesson each week, but you can also book extra surf lessons (4+2 hours) at extra cost. Just inform your travel advisor when making the booking!
If you book the extra lessons, you'll have your first surfing lesson (4 hours) on your first Sunday (day 3) with our qualified surf instructor. On the following Sunday (day 10) we hit the beach again for some more intense surfing lessons (2 hours). By now you should be standing and catching small waves to the shore. You will have the day to practice on your own with our boards or explore some of Cape Town. In the evening we will have dinner and discuss your progress for the day with photo/video coaching.
This project runs all year round, however, during school holidays we run the project according to our holiday program. We give these children an opportunity to experience new activities outside of their townships. Every day is different, volunteers generally help with outdoor and educational activities such as beach days, hikes up the mountain, visits to the museums etc. Working hours are generally from 09:00 to 15:00. Please also note that during examination times (usually a week before the school holidays) the project may be effected. During the holiday program volunteers will receive their normal surf lessons.
School Holidays 2018:
29 Sep - 08 Oct
3 Dec - 08 Jan 2019
In addition there are a lot of public holidays spread throughout the year. Please note that 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.
Due to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations between December 25th - Jan 2nd, all projects in Cape Town 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.
3-day orientation in Cape Town
Three meals a day
Transport to and from your project
One 1-hour surf lesson per week (and 4+2 extra surf lessons at extra cost)
24-hour support and supervision
Weekly social events
Donation to the project
Certificate of appreciation
Minimum age of 18
Police clearance certificate
Basic level of competency in English
Copy of return flight itinerary
Acceptance subject to availability
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.