The Southern Peninsula of Cape Town is a beautiful area visited by tourists every day. But there are still poor communities in which many residents are uneducated and unemployed. At the heart of one of these communities is a primary school which, despite a shortage of funds, is dedicated to providing a good education for their pupils to give them a chance for a better future. It’s at this school that you can use your education to help teach these enthusiastic youngsters and really make a difference to their lives. You’ll assist in their classes and also on other fantastic development projects which support the school and the rest of their community. Bring your smile, your creativity and all your great ideas about learning and help these children find their way out of poverty. These smiling little faces will make a permanent imprint on your heart and you’ll have an experience that you’ll never forget.
"What an experience of a lifetime. I took part in Volunteer & Explore’s two month TEFL internship program on the South Peninsula of Cape Town. Visiting and living in Cape Town for two months was one of the most rewarding and life changing experiences of my life. I was given the opportunity to work with kids from a wide variety of backgrounds whilst at the same time got to know my area in a way that backpacking simply can’t match.
I made friends which I still keep in contact with months after finishing and also had experiences that will stay with me for a lifetime. Our in country support team worked endlessly to help us out with any questions or emergencies that we had gotten ourselves into. What a fantastic time, I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to get a little more out of responsible travel."
Mike Arnott from Australia
Using and practicing your teaching skills to teach underprivileged children who really need your help
Learn about these communities, their history and culture – and how you can make a difference.
Experience beautiful Cape Town and all it has to offer.
At a Glance
Project duration: Four weeks
Location of project: Southern Peninsula, Cape Town
Arrival airport: Cape Town (airport code CPT) arrive by 4.15pm at the latest
Activities: Working as a teacher’s assistant, helping underprivileged children with learning and play activities
Working hours: Monday to Friday, 8am - 2pm, weekend are free
Requirements: Minimum age 18, police check required (fees apply)
Accommodation: Shared dormitory room in volunteer house, same sex rooms
Food: Food is not included. You’ll need to purchase your own food (budget approximately US$50 per week)
Airport pickup: Included on arrival date - ask us for details if you're arriving early
For you to organise: Flights, insurance, visas, return airport transfer (at the end of your trip)
Help teach these enthusiastic youngsters and really make a difference to their lives. You’ll have the opportunity to teach children aged 6 - 18 years old. You will assist teaches in their classes and on other fantastic development projects which support the school and the rest of their community.With only 33 teachers for nearly 750 children this is a fantastic opportunity to gain teaching experience or work along side a teacher.
Day 1 (Monday) – hello and welcome!
Arrive at Cape Town International Airport (airport code CPT) where you’ll be met at the airport and taken to our volunteer house in Fish Hoek. You’ll need to arrive before 4.15pm so that you’re in time for orientation at 5pm. The journey from the airport to Fish Hoek takes about 45 minutes and you’ll see the magnificent Table Mountain on the way! Orientation
will take you through what you can expect from your project, dos and don’ts and how to stay safe. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any burning questions you’ve got. Afterwards you can relax and prepare before your first day at the project.
Note: If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get you into Cape Town before 4.15pm then we recommend you fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pickup for you including one night’s accommodation. Please give us a call for more information.
Day 2 – let’s get started!
It’s a bright and early start to get to your project before the first bell. You’ll need to catch a minibus taxi at around 7.15am for the 15 minute ride and 10 minute walk to the school. Today you’ll meet the team of dedicated teachers that you will be assisting and of course the children. It’s a good day to get to know the kids as well as the school and its routine before
you get teaching properly tomorrow.
Day 3 to 5 – get stuck in!
Now is your chance to work hard and make a big difference. In the mornings you’ll be assisting the teacher and working with the children on a one to one basis. With only 33 teachers for nearly 750 children, your help is desperately needed and this one on one time makes the world of difference.
During lunch and break time you’ll assist in the playground and in the afternoon you’ll help with children from another local township as they wait an hour for their transport to arrive. You can help them with their homework, play games and read with them. Then it’s home time for you too.
Day 6-7 – it’s the weekend!
Spend your free time as you please. Cape Town offers so much to do. There are loads of stunning beaches to choose from, where you can get a tan and relax. Or you could visit the city, climb Table Mountain, check out a penguin colony, go wine tasting or pop in to the many fascinating museums and art galleries. Alternatively you could just chill at the volunteer house in the garden or around the swimming pool.
Following weeks – just keep teaching!
Mondays to Fridays you’ll be teaching, weekends are yours. You’ll get settled in, learn the ropes and bond with these awesome kids. You can teach them so much – and in turn, they’ll teach you in so many different ways.
Your last day – goodbye, we’ll miss you!
It’s going to be hard to say goodbye but you’ll take so many memories with you. The return transfer from Fish Hoek to Cape Town International airport is not covered within your project fee but our regular transfer company will be able to organise the journey back for you. Budget for around US$35 / R250.
Your weeks will be spent experiencing life as a teacher or teaching assistant in Cape Town. This is a fantastic opportunity to work in a local school alongside a teacher or gain teaching experience.
The level of English varies and you will often find that classes are conducted in English. Most children will have a grasp of the language but their comprehension may be low.
Mondays to Fridays will be spent assisting the teachers and working one on one with the kids. You will assist during break time by keeping an eye on the children and in the afternoons you can help with homework.
Minimum qualifications and experience required to take part in this internship:
Grade 12 certificate
CV, including certification of any completed courses
Please note: work experience in the field of teaching is beneficial but not essential.
About the Project
This is a government primary school which is open to the kids in the area who generally don’t have much money. There are high levels of illiteracy and unemployment. Even though funds are short, the staff at this school work hard to provide these children with improved opportunities and the chance to develop to their full potential. They strive to foster initiative,
individuality and integrity and provide the children with the learning to be able to tackle life head on. They teach them the power of positivity, perseverance and ambition. Within their limited means, the kids are given a chance to have a promising future and stop the circle of poverty.
Your creativity and input is very much welcomed at the school, if you have any suggestions to help improve learning in the classroom please tell the local team.
While you're here
Our large volunteer house in Fish Hoek will be your happy home for this trip. It accommodates up to 20 people (our volunteers only) in dormitory-style, same sex rooms with bunk beds, a maximum of six people per room. There are three bathrooms with hot, running water, showers and regular flush loos. There’s also a lounge area, balcony, lush garden and barbeque. You’ll be only a short distance from the shops and beach. You’ll find lockers at the accommodation to lock your valuables away but please remember to bring a padlock and keys with you! You’ll need to pay R1000 deposit when you arrive which will be given back to you when you leave if everything’s still as you found it.
You’ll be self-catering while in the house. The kitchen has everything you need from cookers, loads of fridge space and microwave to toaster, kettle and kitchen utensils. You can eat at the dining room table or lounge on the balcony. There’s a barbeque outside or, as we call it in SA, a braai, which is the best way to cook on a warm evening. You can also grab
takeaways at the many spots in the town, about 10 minutes’ walk away.
Note: While in the house you will be responsible for keeping the place clean so please tidy up after yourself, especially in the kitchen. Budget around US$50 per week for groceries, as prices are similar to home.
Facilities and the area
There’s a phone at the house for incoming calls, and buy local phone cards to make outbound phone calls.
Washing can be done at the laundry down the road: simply drop off your clothes and pick them up later!
Cape Town has a temperate climate but winter is still chilly so pack warm jumpers and even some cosy socks as SA doesn’t have central heating.
Bedding is provided but bring a sleeping bag for away weekends and extra warmth.
Bring along a towel
Fish Hoek’s main street is only10 minutes’ walk away where you’ll find a supermarket, serviced laundry and internet café, as well as banks and other shopping. The beach is just a stone’s throw beyond that!
Bars, restaurants, more shopping and more beautiful beaches are only 10 minutes drive away.
Fish Hoek is on the train line and trains are a great way to travel but they stop running at 7pm.
Taxis to Cape Town CBD cost around US$35/ R250 each way.
Advice & Safety
Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay and someone will always be available in case of emergency.
This trip requires a Police Check to be carried out
What you get
We're always available to offer support and guidance before, during and after your trip.
Thorough project briefing materials
Once you’ve booked you'll receive a full pack of all the information you need for the project. It contains general information about volunteering, your specific project and South Africa as well as advice on safety, visas and inoculations.
Don’t worry about arriving in a new country on your own. We’ll be there to welcome you and take you to your accommodation.
Soon after you arrive you’ll attend a thorough orientation with our team. It covers everything you need to know about your next few days, dos and don’ts and your safety. You can ask any questions and find out more about the fun stuff to do around Cape Town and South Africa.
Accommodation and meals
Accommodation is included with all projects and meals are included with some. We only use locally-owned and operated accommodation so that part of your placement fee is filtering back into the local economy. Most projects offer homestay, guesthouse or shared volunteer houses as standard accommodation, but some offer the chance to upgrade to a more comfortable living standard.
24/7 emergency support
We’re always on hand in case of an emergency.
After you've booked
- You will receive a welcome email confirming your booking
- You’ll receive a full project pack with all the info you need
- You’ll be asked for any extra info if we need it – such as doctor’s notes for medical conditions, or maybe a CV on some projects
- You’ll need to pay if you haven’t paid already (at least 90 days before travelling)
Then the fun starts! Next you should:
- Book your flights
- Arrange suitable travel insurance
- Get a visa for your trip if it's needed
- Visit a nurse or travel clinic for advice on inoculations and malaria prevention
- Start packing and come and join us!
*Remember to keep our contact details in a safe place in your hand luggage in case you need to contact us during your travels.
About South Africa
South Africans are patriotic and passionate about their country. And it’s not despite the country’s famously troubled history – it’s because of it! The people of this democratic country are so proud of how far they have come from the dark days of Apartheid and it makes us grateful for the diversity of cultures and languages that make up our amazing rainbow nation.
South Africa is a country of diversity in so many ways. It’s not a big country but travelling across the length and breadth of it, you’ll encounter an incredible range of climates and landscapes. There’s beautiful Cape Town, with its Mediterranean feel, pristine white beaches, sparkling oceans and magnificent Table Mountain providing the craggy backdrop for every setting. Travel east along the Garden Route with its picture-postcard coastal villages and you’ll eventually reach Durban and surrounds, a tropical area where the sun shines almost every day, the sea is warm and the surfing is fantastic! Then there’s the rugged Drakensberg mountain range, a place of rich Zulu heritage, spectacular views and jagged sweeps of peaks. Further north you’ll hit South Africa’s famous ‘veld’ or bush where you’ll find Africa’s big five and many thousands of other species of animals, hiding out in landscapes that are lit at sunset by the most vivid orange, pinks and purples.
There are so many things to see and do here that you’ll need years. But if your time is limited, here’s our top five must-dos:
You can’t come to Africa and not experience the amazing animals, the wild and beautiful African bush and the chorus of an African dawn. Kruger National Park is the most popular choice but there are a host of other parks in the northern parts of South Africa and the Free State as well as KwaZulu-Natal, offering a range of options from the most luxurious accommodation with chefs at your service to DIY game viewing and camping.
Adventure is the name of the game in this crazy country and if it’s outdoors and adrenalin-inducing, you’ll find it here. From the highest bungee jump and highest commercial abseiling in the world to shark cage diving, downhill mountain biking, trail running, walking safaris, big wave surfing and multi-day hiking, there’s something for ever thrill seeker.
South Africa has thousands of miles of glorious coastline, with Blue Flag beaches and hidden gems dotted along its length. There’s beaches for the glamorous, where you can go to see and be seen, beaches perfect for families, beaches for walking, beaches for swimming and beaches for watersports. There’s probably beaches which have never been trodden by a tourist before. Go on, we dare you to find it!
Nightlife, restaurants and entertainment
No holiday would be complete without a few good nights out and South Africa knows how to entertain. With so many cultures making up our population, there’s loads of delicious food on offer full of every fresh ingredient you could think of. There are pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes to suit every taste. South Africa is famous for its wonderful wines and there’s a craft beer revolution happening right here. Pack your dancing shoes!
A taste of township and culture
South Africa has a rich, tumultuous history dotted with dismal lows and incredible highs – and full of astounding stories from amazing people. It’s what makes South Africa the colourful place it is. Museums of every shape and size document the various aspects of our human and natural history, arts and culture – you’ll find them all over the country. Or why not take a township tour and experience the true heart of South African culture? If you’re visiting Cape Town, come to Kommetjie and visit Masiphumelele with the Township Sisters, our special Volunteer and Explore partners, and help support the sustainable development of this vibrant township.