Izizwe Township Projects

Izizwe Projects was started in 2008 by Prof Mtyaleka and Martijn van der Put. They started introducing international guests to the township community by organizing township tours and school visits for those who were interested. The interaction with international tourists presented an opportunity to do more substantial things and people started volunteering at some of the crèches and schools for shorter or longer periods of time. In 2012 Izizwe Projects was registered as non-profit organization.

Project includes the following

Accommodation Yes
Meals Yes
Transport Yes
Project co-ordinator Yes

Cost of Project

1 week 330 euro 450 USD 270 GBP
2 weeks 590 euro 800 USD 480 GBP
3 weeks 830 euro 1130 USD 675 GBP
4 weeks 1060 euro 1440 USD 860 GBP
Extra weeks 220 euro 300 USD 175 GBP
Long Term: Once Off
Long Term: Per Week
495 euro
170 euro
675 USD
225 USD
400 GBP
135 GBP

About this project

History of the Project
Izizwe Projects was started in 2008 by Prof Mtyaleka and Martijn van der Put. They started introducing international guests to the township community by organizing township tours and school visits for those who were interested. The interaction with international tourists presented an opportunity to do more substantial things and people started volunteering at some of the crèches and schools for shorter or longer periods of time. In 2012 Izizwe Projects was registered as non-profit organization.

The incredible change these international volunteers have brought to this community shows the need to grow further and attract more international visitors that are willing to make a difference.

Walmer is one of the few places in South Africa where during Apartheid years a community of mostly Xhosa people remained to exist in the middle of the white communities. Even though the ruling party tried to evacuate this community it continued to exist through the support of the surrounding white employers. These employers preferred their domestic workers and gardeners living close by, as opposed to 30 km outside town where most black communities were forcefully relocated to. That is how this township nowadays forms the home of approximately 70,000 people.

Walmer is different from other townships because of its location. It is a relatively calm and easily accessible area. Poverty, child neglect, alcohol abuse and a high unemployment rate are some of the many challenges this community faces on a day-to-day basis. The diversity of needs and great lack of services for this community shows in terms of a shortage of educational institutes. There are only 2 primary schools and 1 high school available to the children of Walmer.

Mission of the project
Blowing bubblesThe focus of the Izizwe Projects are the community and especially the children of the townships of Gqebera, more commonly known as Walmer Township in Port Elizabeth (PE), South Africa. Izizwe Projects is a registered NPC (Non Profit) and strives to uplift the lives of underprivileged children in Walmer Township.

The children of Gqebera area are the main target group. They are members of the Xhosa (indigenous tribe and language). Communication can therefore be a challenge, especially with the very young, but fortunately English is also a commonly used language.

Many of the children have to deal directly or indirectly with HIV/AIDS. They are for example orphaned and are living with family members (e.g. grandparents) because their parents died of AIDS related diseases. The number of absentees at school is high due to a lack of guidance, family support and financial means. Volunteers are expected to guide and support these children through mentorship and social support.

Programs offer
The project consists of several programs all run and supervised by the Izizwe Volunteer Coordinator. The diversity of possibilities creates an opportunity for volunteers to suggest preferences for age groups and specific personal interest to be involved in.

Step Up Academy
The African Renaissance Dance group has existed for over 8 years. Florence Mtengwana, a local resident of Walmer, has been offering children the opportunity to come to her house in the afternoons to receive a meal and practice traditional dancing. Her gift of working with children and offering them a positive way of learning about their own Xhosa culture gives the 30-35 children who attend every day a sense of belonging and pride in their culture. The other options for these children are very limited and often will result in them being on the streets and getting involved with crime and drug abuse.Volunteers will interact with the children, give them attention and help create a safe place for them to do something po sitive. They assist in the dance classes, general care, cooking meals and homework guidance where needed.

Walmer High School
Follow different programsBefore the phasing out of the Apartheid government, Walmer Township had no high school to service its growing population. In 1991, Vernon Gamanda was established and merged with Walmer Township’s secondary school, Zanamafa, to become Walmer High School in 2003. The faculty, staff, and administration at Walmer High have been endeavouring to fully support its learners and instil in them a love for learning since then. The school serves a population of approximately 1400 pupils, in grades 8-12, 100% of who speak Xhosa as their mother tongue.

Principal Lunga Dyani is seeking to build an atmosphere of learning and inquiry at Walmer High School. He tries to enhance the educational experience of learners and increase their communicative competence, allowing more students to pass their matriculation exams and continue on to tertiary level studies.

Volunteers can be involved in general teaching of Grade 8,9 and 10 classes, often 40-50 children in a class, on subjects such as general knowledge, science, math’s, biology, history and other topics of interest for the youth. Volunteers can help by running the school library, giving basic computer classes and offering sports activities.

More information can be found on the school’s website at www.walmerhigh.co.za.

Primary Schools
The two primary schools in Walmer each offer education to 700-800 learners in the ages of 6-12 years and have a big need for class assistants, support with remedial teaching, afterschool sports programmes and general interaction with the children.

Homework guidance school
After school there are very limited possibilities for children to study and learn under supervision or have an environment where they can get help with homework and assignments. Volunteers make a great impact by offering individual attention and helping children with their homework at the homework club. These 2 hour sessions also create moments to discuss issues such as teen pregnancy, HIV/Aids, self-image, dealing with bullying, personal hygiene and many other topics.

Volunteers can help at preschools caring for 20-30 children in the ages of 3-6 years by giving individual care and assistance to the children. It sounds so simple but with daily individual attention you can really help these childr en. You can for example teach them the English alphabet, how to count or about animals. Organizing and playing games can also be a part of your tasks. As a volunteer you play a big part in the individual development of the children.

Human Dignity Centre
The HDC is located just outside Walmer Township and offers several services to the community such as a small primary school, afterschool sports activities, sewing club for elderly women and holiday programmes for school children. Volunteers can help in assisting the teachers in the 4 classrooms, supporting the staff with the sports and crafts activities and interacting with the children. The holidays are especially a time to have lots of fun and organize daily activities for different age groups.

School restoration project
Help at pre-schoolsThe High School faces many challenges in terms of dilapidated facilities and during school holidays volunteers can get involved in painting class rooms, fixing broken ceilings, cleaning up and much more to give the school back its pride in their own buildings. These activities will be done under professional supervision and with the help of the school children who will work hand in hand with the volunteers.

Project needs
There is, besides daily aid and assistance, also a need for financial support. Any possible gifts and donations provided by volunteers and their network of people are extremely appreciated. Instead of collecting goods and materials for donation, it is recommended to purchase and donate these on location.


  • Learning materials and school stationary for the children
  • Sporting equipment and materials for the children
  • Toys, puzzles and educational games for the children
  • Food parcels for families and children in need
  • Clothing for families and children in need
  • School uniforms for the children

Daily guidance
Guidance will be offered in multiple ways as different people are involved in your stay with Izizwe.

First of all by one of the Volunteer Coordinators who will pick you up, shows you around and prepares your work activities with the projects before, supervises during and evaluates after your stay. They will transfer you to and from the project, make sure the shopping is done and organize fun outings for the weekends. The coordinators live at the volunteer house and will be looking after your needs in any way. They have lots of experience and have volunteered themselves before.

Help with individual developmentAt Izizwe Projects (within Walmer Township) we have several coordinators who are responsible for your daily duties and activities and will guide you during project hours.

Prof Mtyaleka is a young, enthusiastic resident of Walmer, who is also one of the founders and directors of Izizwe. He is very much involved with overseeing the programmes, identifying new projects and needs and offering you guidance and supervision where needed. He lives in the area with his wife and three children and will welcome you on your first day and will introduce you to all the people involved.

Then we have Theo Mvula, resident of Walmer Township and as project coordinator he is the one that will show you around, visit you once a week at the projects you are working and offering you all the practical help of getting around on project days and assisting where he can. Theo was previously unemployed and because of your contributions has a regular income now.

Other volunteers
You most likely won’t be alone when volunteering at Izizwe and meet both local as international volunteers at this project. We get volunteers from all over the world, such as the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and many other countries. We do focus on an individual and personal approach so there will not be more than 10 volunteers present.


The following costs have been carefully calculated and long term costs of the house, staff and vehicle has been taken in consideration. Don’t forget that 15% of all your fees are donated to this project directly.

1 week 330 euro 450 USD 270 GBP
2 weeks 590 euro 800 USD 480 GBP
3 weeks 830 euro 1130 USD 675 GBP
4 weeks 1060 euro 1440 USD 860 GBP
Extra weeks 220 euro 300 USD 175 GBP
Long Term: Once Off
Long Term: Per Week
495 euro
170 euro
675 USD
225 USD
400 GBP
135 GBP

If you would like to stay for longer than 3 months, costs change drastically and we can offer a much cheaper option;

Once off Fee - 495 euro / 675 USD / 400 GBP
This includes all administrative costs, pickups, coordinating, salary costs etc.

Fee per week - 170 euro / 225 USD / 135 GBP
This includes all meals, daily transport and your accommodation

Included in the full Volunteering Fee:

  • Information and assistance before departure
  • Pick up upon arrival and drop off at the end of your stay
  • Welcome pack with information guide, free SIM-card, maps, etc. upon arrival
  • City Tour and Introduction Programme
  • Accommodation in volunteer house close to the beach (7 nights per week of volunteering booked)
  • On-site volunteer co-ordinator available 24/7
  • 3 basic meals a day
  • 15% direct donation to the project’s needs
  • Transfers to and from the project daily
  • Offer of weekend trips and outings (extra costs apply) to enjoy yourself on the weekends

Excluded are the following:

  • Private Luxuries (snacks, cool drinks, alcohol etc.)
  • Costs for weekend outings to safari parks etc.
  • Air tickets
  • Insurance

Start dates
Starting your volunteer work is on Mondays only. You will be picked up at either the airport or any accommodation in Port Elizabeth on Monday morning after which you will have time to settle in and explore the area. Tuesday will be you first day of introduction at the project. If you arrive before Monday we can assist with accommodation at a backpackers or guesthouse for you.

Participation is per full weeks only and the project will be closed for about 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year’s every year.


  • It is important that volunteers of this project understand the importance of the following:
  • To be enthusiastic and independent
  • To sign a ‘Code of Conduct’ when arriving
  • To show respect towards the people and culture of the local community. You might not agree with certain ways of conduct during your stay here, but don’t forget you are a guest here, and you can’t try to change everything in a period of just a few weeks.
  • To show flexibility towards responsibilities, tasks and activities.
  • To help out with cooking, setting the table and doing dishes; you will go to Heaven for this!

Work with younger or older childrenThis project is very diverse and challenging since you’ll be dealing with the local community. You will get acquainted with the circumstances in which 70% of South Africans live today, and experience their culture and situation. Be prepared to face misery and poverty. For this reason it is of absolute importance that volunteers are independent and mature individuals. You will be singing and dancing with the children, you will make them laugh, help them with schoolwork and teach them there’s a whole world waiting for them. This way you can change a mind-set that will enlarge their horizons and contribute to a better future.

Tasks and activities

Daily activities
Activities per volunteer can differ in many ways. The variety of projects allows us to customize your work and activities focussing on your personal experience and interests. Some volunteers will prefer to work with young children and babies and therefore work at a crèche, while others maybe want to teach at the High school and help with homework guidance during afternoons. Each volunteer will have the opportunity to get familiar with the variety of projects and choose the activities that appeal to them the most.

Working days and hours
This depends on which project you will be working at. Normally we work all weekdays from 8h30 until 16h00 and weekends are off. Some projects however might start earlier and in summertime, due to the heat, hours can change.

Area description

Port Elizabeth and Area
Port ElizabethPE is the biggest city of the Eastern Cape with approximately 1.2 million inhabitants (including the Northern areas, Despatch and Uitenhage). In the Eastern Cape you will find cities such as Bisho, King William’s Town and Umtata which are found in the regions of Transkei and Ciskei, which were previously known as ‘homelands’.

During the Apartheid era, the ‘homelands’ were the home of the Xhosa speaking people. There weren’t a lot of facilities and work opportunities in those areas. Many off the Xhosa people worked in the bigger cities, but went home every year to visit their families. Fort Hare University was the only university in the area where the Xhosa people were allowed to study. Famous politicians namely Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Steve Biko completed their studies at the university. Although Bisho is the capital of the Eastern Cape, it remains poor and an undeveloped city. Many people moved from these homelands to the bigger city in search of employment and a better life.

PE is the fifth biggest city in South Africa. PE has the biggest car manufactures (Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen and General Motors) in the city which provides employment opportunities. Besides that PE is developing the biggest harbour of South Africa, called the Coega Project. It contributes to the economic growth of the Eastern Cape in many ways.

The Eastern Cape is as culturally diverse as it is in nature and the climate of the region. The diversity in culture is represented by the black (mostly Xhosa speaking), coloured, Indian and white people of Port Elizabeth. You will recognise that the white people still have most economic power while the black people are still struggling economically. This is slowly changing with the growth of the black middle class.

When you look at the map of PE you’ll see how the city is divided due to the time of Apartheid. The rich, white areas are situated by the sea, the centre and the western part of the city.

The areas up to the north (called the Northern areas) are poorer where mostly the coloured and the black people live. The houses are smaller and more compressed than in the southern and western part of the city. These areas have their own schools, shops, sport fields, churches and hospitals. During Apartheid there were only two entrances to those areas, this made it easy for the police and the army to shut down the neighbourhood during demonstrations and uprisings.

The townships (black communities) are situated far away from the white, rich southern part of the city. The townships are known for poverty, small houses or shacks and bad infrastructure. The situation is slowly changing. The government and NGO’s are trying to improve the circumstances in which people are living, but it is a slow process.

A good way to understand and see this for yourself would be to volunteer with our volunteer project where we will introduce you to South Africa and its diversity, challenges and beautiful people.

Safety in South Africa
Walmer TownshipSafety is an issue that is paramount in the minds of volunteers visiting South Africa. Safety is important to us and by following just a few guidelines your safety in South Africa can be increased incredibly. Although South Africa is in many aspects a developed country, much of its population, particularly in rural areas, lives in great poverty.

There are continuing challenges for most of SA’s population and some will resort to crime and other petty crimes, which can affects foreigners as well as local residents, especially in the centre of major cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. Port Elizabeth however is not Johannesburg and safety is much less of an issue then in other cities. PE isn’t called the Friendly City for nothing!

When you stay in South Africa the odds are that you will have a safe and incident-free volunteering period. However, crime and violence, as well as unexpected difficulties, can happen.

Hoping to help you avoid serious difficulties during your visit to South Africa, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Safety on the Street: Use the same common sense traveling in South Africa that you would at home. Be especially cautious in or avoid areas where you are likely to be victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and marginal areas of cities.
  • Try not to travel alone at night. Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
  • Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. When possible, ask directions from individuals in authority.
  • If you are confronted, don't fight back. Give up your valuables. Your money and passport can be replaced, but you cannot.

Our project volunteer project co-ordinator looks after your safety in multiple ways during your stay:

  • We offer safe and well equipped accommodation. The volunteer house has perimeter walls, burglar bars and a dog on the premises.
  • Our coordinators are prepared for your stay and have been instructed to keep you as safe as possible.
  • Our Code of Conduct which will be spoken about and signed has clear ‘do’s and don’ts’ which we urge volunteers to stick to.
  • All activities and visits in the townships are supervised by our coordinators who will walk with our volunteers and make sure they are safe.


Address: 10 Chalmers road, Humewood, Port Elizabeth
The house lies in the popular area of Humewood and is a five minute walk away from the beach and is close to some shops, beachfront cafés and restaurants. It’s the perfect location to enjoy the beach after work or during weekends.

The house has all the facilities needed; two fridges, washing machine, microwave and all else that is needed in a kitchen. The lounge has a large dining room table and enough couches to relax. There is a private terrace with outside furniture and a braai (BBQ) area to cook those steaks on weekends. Wireless internet is free; just bring your own laptop or any other device to access the Wi-Fi network.

There is even a cleaning lady who comes several times a week as we believe in offering local employment and it helps to keep the house nice and tidy of course! Bedding is provided, but no towels, so please bring your own towels.

Depending on availability you will either have your own room or share a room with other volunteers (maximum 4 volunteers share). Male and female volunteers will have separate rooms and bathrooms to use. There are a total of 4 bathrooms in the house and 10 bedrooms, so it’s large and offers enough space to sit quietly or to enjoy each other’s company.

The house is safe and secure with a wall around the premises, an automatic gate with video security and safety bars. We also have our own volunteer dog Google, who loves to run around and bark at everybody, so if you like walking on the beach; Google is your man (dog)!

Shopping and supplies
Within walking distance there are some shops and you can easily take a taxi bus along the beachfront to go to the shopping centre, but Sonja will offer plenty of opportunities as well to shop for whatever you might need.

All meals are included and volunteers are expected to share in the preparing of meals and washing up. There is a set menu for the week which you can manipulate by talking to Sonja who also takes vegetarians in consideration. Coffee, tea and cordial are available at any time.

Breakfasts are self-service, so toast and cereals. Lunches can be made before going to the project and consist of sandwiches with cheese, cold meats or other spreads.
Dinners will be a grand mix of the cooking skills of the volunteers; so if you like cooking; show it!

The daily transport is included and the coordinators will drive you to and from the project on a daily basis. Our volunteer project co-ordinator makes use of Volkswagen Kombi’s which are 8 seated vehicles which are fully insured.

Possibilities for arranging own transport
If you like to do your own thing for the weekend and rent a car; no problem, there are several car rental options available with which we gladly help you when you are here. Car rentals start from R120 (12 euro or 17 USD per day) for a basic older car, but there are lots of options just ask us and we can help you out.

Travelling before or after your stay here can also be arranged by booking through your project co-ordinator and get some great discounts on;
- Bazbus www.bazbus.com 5% discount
- Nomad Overland Tours www.nomadtours.co.za 10% discount

Contact us for any travelling questions; you never know, we might get you a great discount.

Practical tips
On arrival you will receive a local SIM card. So make sure your Smartphone is SIM lock free so you can use this card. Otherwise bring an old phone to use the local SIM card and you can use your Smartphone for Whatsapp and such matters.

Summers get really warm and winters very cold. This is a summer rain fall area. There is usually no snow in winter, but it can get cold at night, so be prepared and bring something warm.

Summer (Dec, Jan and Feb): 16 – 40 ˚ Celsius
Autumn (Mar, April and May): 10 - 32 ˚ Celsius
Winter (June, July and Aug): 0 - 25 ˚ Celsius
Spring (Sep, Oct and Nov): 10 - 32 ˚ Celsius

A Beautiful young African boyBring clothing for a variety of weather conditions. Even though it is Africa it is not always hot and especially in winter the nights can be cold. So bring a wind jacket and some long trouser, a hat is always handy on sunny days and good shoes for weekend outings and running around with the children.

Cultural differences
South Africa has been referred to as the 'rainbow nation', a title which epitomises the country's cultural diversity. The population of South Africa is one of the most complex and diverse in the world. Of the 45 million South Africans, nearly 36 million are Black, 4 million White, 4 million Coloured and one million Indian. Very different from other countries we don’t take offence in SA if you are called black, white or coloured, that’s just the way it is and people are proud about their backgrounds and cultural group.

The Black population is divided into four major ethnic groups, namely Nguni, Sotho, Shangaan-Tsonga and Venda. There are numerous subgroups of which the Zulu and Xhosa (two subgroups of the Nguni) are the largest. The majority of the White population is of Afrikaans descent (60%), with many of the remaining 40% being of British descent. Most of the Coloured population live in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, whilst most of the Indian population lives in KwaZulu Natal. The Afrikaner population is concentrated in the Gauteng and Free State provinces and the English population in the Western, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

There are eleven official languages in South Africa, namely English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sepedi, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Zulu, Swazi and Tsonga.

South Africanisms
just now sometime soon, shortly
now now sooner than "just now"
howzit hello (a greeting), as in "how is it going?"
bakkie pick-up truck
robot traffic light
braai barbeque
garage petrol station

Zull and Xhosa sub groupsEspecially for a country like South Africa, researching the history before you go will explain the cultural differences you will see and will add a whole new dimension to your experience. If you understand the history of a country you will understand not only the country but the people, their culture and customs much better; so read up, rent a movie and come prepared!

Way of life in SA
It is important to prepare yourself and obtain local knowledge. Get a good guidebook and look into it to inform yourself about the country and its people. This will help you to avoid offending people or breaking local laws however unwittingly. Show respect towards the people and culture of local communities. You might not agree with certain ways of conduct during your stay here, but please don’t forget you are a guest here, and you can’t try to change everything in a period of just a few weeks. The people in the townships live in visible poverty but have a high self-esteem and their self-esteem and dignity must be honoured at all times.

The way of life and work in South Africa is a lot different from other continents.

Foreigners consider South Africans often as lazy, always late, talking loudly, chaotic and hot blooded. But are you, just because of the fact of being from overseas and not from South Africa, then automatically hectic, not enjoying life, always focused on work, always on time, humourless, serious and cold blooded? Pretty sure you are not like that, so please think twice before you form an opinion and you will learn to love the SA way of living.

Links to get further information

Nelson Mandela – ‘Long walk to freedom’: While not travel literature, Nelson Mandela’s superb and inspirational autobiography, is one of the best ways to prepare for a South Africa trip.
Alan Paton – ‘Cry - the beloved country’: A beautifully told and profoundly compassionate story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Khumalo and his son Absalom, set in the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940s.
Steven Otter –‘Khayelitsha’: The account of the years journalist Steven Otter spent in the township, drinking in shebeens (unlicensed bars) and challenging his preconceptions about race.
Jason Carter – ‘Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa’s Borders’: The chronicle of a Peace Corps volunteer’s perspectives on the still-deep divisions between white and black South Africa.

‘Invictus’: A biographical sports drama film about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted in that country following the dismantling of apartheid.
‘Bang bang club’: A drama based on the true-life experiences of four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa.
‘Tsotsi’: Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.
‘Goodbye Bafana’: The true story of a white South African racist whose life was profoundly altered by the black prisoner he guarded for twenty years. The prisoner's name was Nelson Mandela.

South Africa is pretty developed and modern. You will not find people in the cities living in mud huts or lions walking on the streets. And a word of fashion advice, when going to South Africa it is not necessary to bring multi-function safari khakis.

If you like to do more for your project and fundraise before you come we of course encourage this and although 15% of your fees will be donated directly to the project on an annual basis there is always a need for extra financial help.

If you are willing to fundraise we advise that you bring money instead of clothing, toys etc. as it tends to be much cheaper to buy things in South Africa and you learn while you are here where the biggest needs are at that moment.
Here are 10 tips to start fundraising;
1. Think, ‘who do I know'?
Successful fundraising costs nothing and reaches everyone. Think: "who can help me?" Build your strategy around what you already have and who you or your network knows.
2. Always keep your reasons for travelling in mind
Being passionate about what you want to do will bring in the donations - especially when you are ‘face-to face' fundraising. So don’t make up this nice story about the children that need you; be honest and tell with passion why you want to do this and you’ll see that people appreciate that even more.
3. Do research
Get busy and Google until late in the morning, there are loads of options and examples to be found on the internet that can help you with new ideas.
4. Make a fundraising leaflet or letter
Explain your plans and why you want to do more. Showing information and pictures of the project you are fundraising for will help a lot.
5. Have a goal
Set a goal for an amount you like to reach. Set your targets and focus on reaching those.
6. Ask for specific donations
Think of asking for 10 pounds or 20 euro. Make it a specific amount with the freedom for donors to give more of course and explain how far you are with reaching the final goal.
7. Write well-targeted letters
Target individuals, privately or in any company, this works much better then asking a company for a donation, go for the manager or owners and if you are passionate enough they will want to help.
8. Organize a fundraising event
Make it stand out and draw attention to your goals, get sponsorships and give publicity to any companies who have already donated to your cause or similar causes. It is a good idea to go for local press coverage too, so phone around and tell people why you are doing this and if they can help to give you exposure.
9. Offer something in return
To every sponsor who makes a donation it will be a great way of seeing something back for their donation. Offer to name their company in your weblog, to send a thank you letter to the local newspaper stating they helped you. Send them pictures and updates on how you are spending the donations and surely people will be moved by this.
10. Plan ahead
Plan this with a reasonable time limit. Don’t start 3 months before you want to go and get disappointed when things take time. Start with planning ahead and set smaller and bigger targets.

Some fundraising ideas that worked:
Rik Beijer from the Netherlands asked the local supermarket to have a table setup in their shop which displayed several products which are much needed at his project of choice in South Africa. Things like a bag of rice, soap, baby nappies, and drinking water. With easy to read and clear explanations the customer could buy one of these products on top of their own shopping and donate the product for Rik’s fundraising event. Rik then ‘sold’ the product back to the supermarket and used the money they gave in return to partly fund his volunteer trip and use the money to buy sports equipment for the local high school.

Gracia Smith from the USA held a sponsored car wash. Nothing unusual there you may think, except that the people doing the washing were ten of her good looking girl friends in bikinis! Maybe this is not for everybody, but it brought in enough money to supply a school with stationary and learning material for a long time to go.

Marius Voss from Germany organized a fun run with the local primary school and the whole school got involved to sponsor every kilometre walked by the kids for his cause. His fundraised money covered the renovation of a children’s home which was much needed.

Think out of the box and you will be successful. If you like to ask any questions about your fundraising ideas please let us know.

Extra money
This depends on your spending habits. South Africa is not an expensive destination but we all like an ice-cream, beer or greasy snack at times! Maybe you like to buy some souvenirs or see as much as you can by joining the weekend outings; bring some pocket money so you can.


Accidents can happen to anyone. Make sure you get comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Shop around and make sure it’s right for you. Think about activities you may be doing, even spur of moment ones, and make sure you're covered for these. Your policy also needs to cover medical costs. If you do not take out proper insurance, you will foot the bill.

Next to your international travel insurance we advise you to get the VOLUNTEER CARD. This will not only cover your volunteering activities but will also give you an incredible amount of discount options throughout the world! US and Canada nationals can order the card online, other internationals can email us for the order form! www.volunteercard.com 

Immunization, Vaccination & Health Tips

This is a malaria free area, in fact we have very little mosquitoes at all. It is best to contact your local physician before you leave your country to check what inoculations they advise you to have. Rabies is not common here and no real risk, so no need for that.

However, while there are risks anywhere you travel, South Africa has a relatively salubrious climate and the levels of hygiene, health care, and water treatment make it a pretty safe destination. Our policy is that we do not allow volunteers to be exposed to any serious health risks. Guarantees are impossible to give but we do believe that we can offer healthy working environments for volunteers, staying within reasonability of risks involved of course.

Education and awareness are vital in preventing HIV spread and obviously avoidance of activities and behaviours that can transmit HIV. HIV can be transmitted by unprotected sexual intercourse; Mother to child transmission during pregnancy, at the time of birth and through breast feeding; intravenous injection of infected blood. HIV cannot be transmitted by salvia, sweat, urine or faeces. It cannot be transmitted by touching, hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing food utensils, towels, bedding, baths, swimming pools, telephones or toilet seats.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major problem in South Africa. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease, spread through the air when a person with untreated TB coughs or sneezes. But prolonged exposure to a person with untreated TB usually is necessary for infection to occur. With the right treatment TB can be cured. Once on treatment a person is no longer able to spread TB to their family or community. Signs of TB: coughing for more than 2 weeks, coughing up blood, loss of weight and appetite, sweating a night, feeling tired and weak, pain in the chest, short of breath, lumps or swellings, a fever that comes and goes.


Your passport must have enough pages for any visa. Your passport should have 2 pages free for every country to be visited. Please ensure that you take your own passport out from your hotel / backpackers safe the night before departure. It is absolutely necessary that you make a copy of your passport and give it to your supervisors; we strongly recommend that you also leave a copy at home or with some friends. Please note that South Africa insists on people having 2-free pages available when you enter. Keep this in mind if you are going to fly home from South Africa after completing a tour to multiple African countries.

Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your date of departure from Africa. You are personally responsible for ensuring that passports, visas, vaccination certificates and other travel documents are in order and for all costs relating thereto.


As visa requirements vary considerably, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agent to recheck, visa requirements at least 4 weeks prior to departing. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that the project co-ordinatorwill not be held responsible for clients being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas. All travellers must be in possession of a valid onward/return air ticket.


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