The incredible city of Cape Town is rich in history, culture and natural beauty. However, there are still many people living in poverty and JCR program partners is working in townships to offer orphans and disadvantaged children educational opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Situated just outside Stellenbosch and 45 minutes from Cape Town is a township where there is a sanctuary for children who are in desperate need of educational enhancement. This volunteer project involves providing a safe, fun and creative environment for these children, giving them the opportunity to develop to their full potential. You will be involved in planning and implementing a project which uses educational games, song and dance, arts and crafts, gross and fine motor co-ordination and storytelling to allow these children to have fun while learning and developing at the same time.
24-hour emergency phone
24-hour in-country support
Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
Airport transfers (before 10pm on scheduled days only)
All necessary project equipment and materials
All necessary project training by experienced staff
Daily transport to and from project sites
Long term experienced staff
Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
In order to attend formal school in South Africa students must be at a certain academic level and you will be helping the children we work with to reach this standard. For the children, a good understanding of English opens up many more opportunities in the future.
Sessions are intended to help the children develop their fine and gross motor skills as well as their English language ability. You will help organize and run outdoor exercises and games, arts and crafts, storytelling, music and drama lessons and assistance with homework.
Basic resources, art materials and games will be provided. If you would like to get involved in helping some of the children with special needs, you may have the opportunity to learn the required skills needed to play with and assist these children.
How this project makes a difference:
JCR program partners have partnered with a well-known sanctuary and various educare centres in townships across Cape Town to implement and deliver educational programs to underprivileged young children. We have been working with our current partners in the Nomzamo township for over six years and see the relationship as a long term commitment and one with underlying sustainable principles.
Prior to our involvement, these children received the safety and security that the sanctuary provides, food and clothing, but little to no access to education. JCR program partners work with nursery age children and primary school age children that have not yet been placed at a local school, children with special needs and others with a variety of behavioural and learning difficulties. In all cases, without JCR program partners involvement, they would not be receiving the bridging educational and developmental stimulation that they need to enable them to rejoin mainstream government education. We have seen a remarkable improvement in the children, but there is still a desperate need for extra hands and skills to help deliver and run these educational activities.
We have a strong read-to-children program which is an important part of child development, in particular language. Part of our work at the sanctuary is assisting the children with special needs. Our program provides stimulation and physical therapy for these children, including a sensory room that was developed using funds from the JCR program partners Charitable Trust.
We have a very strong child protection policy, implemented across our sites. Staff who take photos are required to ensure they are up to a standard approved by a social worker. We do not use faces or children’s names on social media or in any public domain. We have strict expectations of volunteers as far as how they interact with the children. We also give no information to the volunteers about the children’s backgrounds.
In addition to the childcare and education work, our work at the sanctuary at times includes construction, Health Care and Arts and Child Care, so our support of our partners is many-faceted and does not purely focus on volunteer enjoyment of time with the children.
*During the holiday time all participants will join Cape Town’s construction project and work on projects involved in the maintenance and beautification of Educational Institutions and Community Organisations in the Townships outside of Gordon’s Bay. Depending on the needs of the community, you will assist with basic construction aimed at improving or maintaining educational facilities and resources in line with SDG 4 – Quality Education.
Cape Town’s short, mid, and long-term objectives
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Cape Town:
Improve the quality of education in Nomzamo and Zola.
Promote gender equality in the local community
Increase the health and wellbeing of less privileged people in the community
Increase in-country capacity by providing training to less advantaged people in South Africa
Projects focused on: early Childhood education, preparation for Grade R, structured play, social/Life skills
Ages of the children are 3-6, however the number of children and ages present depends on each child’s circumstance at a given time.
We work with 5 different nurseries to best meet the needs of the community. You will be involved in planning and implementing a project which uses educational games, song and dance, arts and crafts, gross and fine motor co-ordination and story telling to allow these children to have fun while learning and developing at the same time
Volunteering with JCR not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangeredecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with JCR partner programs. Our Cape Town field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in South Africa!
Optional Side Trips
Cape Town Cultural and Activity Weekend – This trip includes 2 nights in Cape Town near Long Street so that you can sample the lively weekend city life. On Friday afternoon you will travel through to Cape Town after finishing your volunteer work.. The Saturday is a free day and you may wish to take the opportunity to visit some of the following iconic Cape Town attractions: Robben Island, Table Mountain, District 6 Museum, Castle of Good Hope or the Green Market Square craft markets. Sunday includes a full day in Cape Point and a visit to an African Penguin colony. You will have the opportunity to explore the Cape Point nature reserve on mountain bike where you may see antelope, zebra, ostrich, seals and possibly even whales. During the day you will enjoy a picnic lunch on one of the reserves beautiful beaches.
Wildlife Safari – Visit a private game reserve which is located one and a half hours from Cape Town. Here you will enjoy lunch and an afternoon safari before returning home. Transfers to and from the project accommodation are included. There are many other fantastic trips in the area around Cape Town that can easily be arranged once in-country such as shark cage diving, skydiving, wine tasting tours, Hermanus day trips for whale watching (seasonal) or a typical township experience.
Please note that anyone booking on this project for the two week option will need to extend their stay if they want to take part in more side trips.
Further Travelling Opportunities
South Africa has such a wealth of fantastic opportunities for further travel. In Cape Town, you have easy access to the famous Garden Route, chances to explore the Cederberg Mountain range or take more time to enjoy the vibrancy of Cape Town. Other possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the fantastic Southern Coast, the world-renowned National Parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more amazing options in this stunning country.
In your down time you will be free to travel in the local area and can expect weekends off. In this time we advise you could to arrange some of the optional side trips; Cape Town Cultural and Activity Weekend, Stellenbosch Wine Tour, Cape Town Wildlife Safari. Please note that you would not be able to do all of these within a 2 week duration.
Before and after your program you could visit the Garden Route or travel up to Kruger National Park – the possibilities are endless!
2 – 12 weeks
ZACT0224P South Africa Childcare
Cape Town South Africa
2 WEEKS $2,075
4 WEEKS $2,735
6 WEEKS $3,395
At JCR we have successfully been organising and sending young Australians on overseas placements for over 15 years. We think JCR has some great programs and we sincerely believe that cultural travel is a wonderful experience, an amazing learning curve and can help to positively prepare you for life’s rewards and challenges.
JCR have one goal and that is to make your volunteer experience the most amazing it can be. We work together to ensure that you are matched with the right program, we discuss your options and answer any questions you may have.
It is the reason JCR Volunteer overseas was created: to create lasting memories from amazing cultural exchanges.
Learn more about this volunteer program