Volunteer Teaching in South Africa

Gain practical experience while teaching one-to-one literacy and numeracy classes to children from the local South African community.

Durations: 1 - 12 weeks
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Positive<br/>impact

Positive
impact

Build a better world by contributing to vital, locally-led project work that strives for a more just and equitable future.
Ethical<br/>work

Ethical
work

In line with the UN’s SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.
Beautiful<br/>community

Beautiful
community

Learn from the world’s most unique and significant cultures, in breathtaking remote locations.

Program information

Teach primary school children from under-resourced local township schools while participating on this program. You will be providing assistance via dedicated one-on-one sessions, assessing student abilities and boosting confidence levels in order for them to develop their potential and ability to further their education.

Join a community internship & receive our exclusive offer.

Book by 31 August 2022
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Overview
Dates & Prices
Life On Base
Covid-19 Response
publications
What's It like?
ExperiencesNew
Arrivals
Your Impact
Our Ethics
Flights
Testimonials
Program ethics
Qualifications
Training
Free time
Cultural Immersion
Parent Info
Support & Safety
What's Included
Live Updates

Program overview

This project involves teaching primary school children using dedicated one-on-one sessions to help improve local teaching standards in the area. The aim is to give students individualised attention, especially to those who may be experiencing more difficulty in grasping concepts than their peers. This often happens due to language barriers within the schools and you will assist in tackling this by providing direct attention where it simply isn’t possible for a teacher to run the class and do so as well.

The children assigned to the program have been selected by their teachers as candidates requiring extra tuition support. The sessions aim to improve literacy, numeracy, English language skills and confidence levels. The students enjoy reading stories and playing educational games during their sessions. They will also have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and get some individual attention which they are not getting in their classroom.

Your day will involve teaching individual students in a one on one tutoring lesson and reading to them to help improve their listening and comprehension skills. You may also get involved in teaching sports, running art projects and assisting with basic childcare for younger children. After school, you will have ample time to prepare your lessons for the next day.

*Please Note: During holiday periods, all participants will join Cape Town’s school holiday program. During the school holiday period, all of GVI’s projects come together to work on at a local library to provide a safe and educational space for children of all ages. Activities here possibly include a wide range, from tutoring, reading and arts & crafts, as well as sports and wellbeing. When possible to do so, the team also runs soup kitchens on the ground in the community.

Highlights

  • Teach one-to-one to students in the fields of literacy, sports and more
  • Get hands on experience working in the local community
  • Experience language immersion as you are exposed to a sample of South Africa’s 11 official languages
  • Visit the famous ‘mother city’, home to table mountain and the African penguin
  • Become a global citizen: meet other participants with an interest in conservation.

Program details

Program type
Volunteering
Group
program
Location
GVI Africa, South Africa, Cape Town
Focus
Teaching
Volunteer with Children
Sports

Dates and prices

Select a start date:

Exclusive offer. Book before the end of the month and receive up to 0 off this program.
COVID-19 flexibility. If COVID-19 prevents you from travelling, change your location and dates free of charge.
Payment plans. Flexible payment plans allow you to pay in instalments.

What happens next?

Once you apply, a personal Enrollment Manager will be assigned to walk you through the rest of the process.

Life On Base

The GVI Cape Town base is situated in Muizenberg, a colourful beachside town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Approximately 30 minutes away from the city centre, Muizenburg is in the Cape Peninsula, home to some of South Africa’s most famous beaches. “Surfer’s Corner” is considered one of the best surfing spots in Cape Town – some even view it as the birthplace of surfing in South Africa. With beautiful mountains as a backdrop and the beach on your doorstep, there is little that Muizenberg lacks in terms of world-class scenery and views. There are plenty of local shops, restaurants, bars and cafés to explore and enjoy. This is not a remote location, and other amenities are easily accessible nearby, but being a small beach community it has a laid-back, small-town feel.

Accommodation

A short distance from the beach, the accommodation includes dorm-style rooms, shared bathrooms with hot water, and communal spaces for training, ...

Transportation

A transfer will be provided from Cape Town International Airport to the base if arranged in advance with GVI. When necessary, transport will be a...

Communication

Wi-Fi is available on base for project related work, and to stay in touch with friends and family in your spare time. You can also bring a networ...

Meals

You will prepare your own breakfast from the food provided which usually consists of toast, eggs, oats, cereal, fresh fruit, and coffee or tea. D...

Climate

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate, with wet and cool winters from June to August, and mostly dry and warm summers from December to Febr...

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Covid-19 Response

Health and Hygiene

For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.

The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Read up on our COVID-19 protocols

Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research.

Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies.

We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.

Cap Ternay Newsletter, Last Quarter 2019

Newsletter

2019

Reef Conservation UK 13th Annual Meeting, Zoological Society of London

Author(s)

Patsy Theresine1, Christophe Mason-Parker2, April Burt3, Pierre-Andre Adam4, Anna Koester2, Jennifer Appoo5, Nicholas Graham6, Shaun Wilson7, Rodney Quatre1, Isabelle Ravinia1, Dainise Quatre1, Mariliana Leotta2, Joanna Blumel4, Elke Talma8, Arjan de Groene5, Aurelie Duhec4, Richard Jeanne4, Jan Robinson9, Phillip Haupt3, Savi Leblond10, Josep Nogues11, Ariadna Fernandez11, Christopher Narty11, Jude Bijoux12

‘The Current Status of Coral Reefs along the North West Coast of Mahe, Seychelles Following the 1998 Mass Bleaching Event’

Newsletter

2019

Reef Conservation UK 13th Annual Meeting, Zoological Society of London

Author(s)

Patsy Theresine1

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Get a first-hand perspective

Meet us

GVI experiences

Make the most of your chance to live in – and contribute towards – diverse, unique wildernesses and communities. Introducing GVI Experiences – immersive adventure, cultural and wellness activities exclusive to GVI and specially designed in collaboration with our local partners to support and stimulate sustainable economic development. Enhance your impact. Expand your adventure. Explore your world.
Exclusive local GVI experiences
Experience a shisa nyama
Experience a shisa nyama
Soul fire...
Visit Africa's largest art collection
Visit Africa's largest art collection
Home is where the art is...
Take a sunrise beach yoga class
Take a sunrise beach yoga class
Flow at first light...
Snorkel in a kelp forest
Snorkel in a kelp forest
The great seaforest...
Paddle with endangered African penguins
Paddle with endangered African penguins
Boulders by water...
Try a sunrise cold-water immersion
Try a sunrise cold-water immersion
To transcend...
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island
Island of heroes...
Hike up Table Mountain
Hike up Table Mountain
Worldwide wonder...

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.

As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Your Impact

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). 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 visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the UN SDGs. Then once you arrive on base, you’ll learn about the specific goals we have in this particular location, our various objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to be an active global citizen after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Our Cape Town-based community development programs involve researching, planning, and delivering classes, as well as practical skills workshops in the local community alongside our local partners.

We also work closely with our primary partner and their network of organisations on capacity building. In doing so, we contribute to these organisations’ long-term viability, which means the sustainable provision of their support and services to the community.

Education Project

In South Africa, primary school education poses a real challenge to young students who do not come from English speaking households or have had minimal exposure to the English language within their community. Many schools teach  exclusively in English (or Afrikaans) resulting in some learners falling behind in their schooling from an early age. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 60% of South African students currently enrolled in grade 1 will not complete grade 12. Our education project aims to improve the students’ chance of completing secondary school and decrease the likelihood of them falling behind or dropping out of school. 

We assist in mentoring and tutoring local learners of all ages across a range of subjects, including life skills, general skills development, literacy, numeracy and computer literacy. We provide support to at-risk students in local communities through direct in-classroom learning, working with teachers and students, and indirect lessons at our partner organisation’s facilities within the communities. Another element of our lessons is basic health and well-being, which sometimes includes physical education and sports. Our project also aims to provide our partner organisations with additional knowledge and skills which they can use to address the educational issues faced by the youth in the communities in which we work.

Public Health Project

TB and HIV/AIDS continue to be major public health issues in South Africa, particularly in low-income and under-resourced communities. Lack of contraception and reproductive healthcare are also prevalent issues. As a result, teen pregnancies are common, and the infant mortality rate in South Africa is among the highest in the world (bottom 25% of countries). While there are available public health services, many community members face barriers to accessing them, such as lack of accurate knowledge on these issues and how to prevent or manage them, lack of information around what services and resources are available, how to apply for or access assistance and support programs, and lack of funds to cover transport to and from medical facilities.  

Our project is focused on raising awareness and assisting with educating adolescents from age 12 upwards on sexual and reproductive health issues, the risks of STIs and how to protect yourself from contracting them, teen pregnancy, and local health issues such as TB and HIV/AIDS. We aim to equip young community members with an “asset map” so that they are aware of all local resources and how they can access them, regardless of their situation or circumstances.

Gender Equality Project

Gender-based violence has been called South Africa’s “second pandemic”. It is estimated that more than 53% of South African women have experienced gender-based violence. This is a complex issue with many contributing factors. While our gender equality programs do not specifically focus on gender-based violence, our partner organisation has established facilities exclusively for young women, where they can learn, grow and develop in a safe environment. 

We work with our partner whose aim is to empower local women through knowledge and confidence building, and giving them access to support services and skills that can assist with removing themselves from unhealthy circumstances. For women on a path towards graduation or looking for employment we provide support by assisting with computer literacy and skills development, maths tutoring, job searches, resumé writing for school graduates, and workshops on gender roles and stereotypes. 

Gender equality and public health are often intertwined as public health services may have discriminatory practices or lack of resources that disproportionately affect women – resulting in an overlap between this project and our public health project. We focus on raising awareness on pertinent topics that affect women, including reproductive health issues, STIs and contraception. We equip women with the same type of “asset map” we create for our public health project – giving them access to the support that they need and the confidence to feel comfortable enough to do so.

Our partners

Project objectives

 

GVI Cape Town long-term objectives:

1. Improve English language skills of the youth within the community – with the goal of reducing the failure and drop-out rate in primary schools.

2. Raise awareness and educate the youth on public health issues, and improve access to support and resources.

3. Promote gender equality in the community through education and training.

4. Empower local women through knowledge learning and skills training and assist them on their path to graduation or employment. Raise awareness about prevalent health issues and ensure they have access to the relevant support services and resources.

5. Increase in-country capacity by providing our partners with skills development training that will assist them in achieving their objectives.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.

 

We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.

Our 10 ethical commitments

01

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.

02

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.

03

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.

04

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.

05

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.

06

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that every participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.

07

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.

08

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.

09

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.

10

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

Flights

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Testimonials

Isla O’Neill

11 Oct, 2018

I took part in GVI Cape Town. I started seriously considering volunteering in early 2017, when our youth group received funding from a charity which meant we could volunteer abroad...

Ceri Russell

11 Oct, 2018

When I first applied for the volunteer teaching program in South Africa, I had no expectations. All I knew was that I wanted to experience a different culture and that I wanted to ...

Suji Sogbesan

11 Oct, 2018

Prior to volunteering for GVI I was a PhD student and a volunteer at a local nursing home. I worked at ACJ Parkade school in Cape town teaching in the classing room and on the spor...

Taylor Vance

11 Oct, 2018

My name is Taylor Vance and I am currently studying Art Therapy at the University of Minnesota, Morris. I chose to come to South Africa to do an Internship as part of my studies. ...

Jack Allison

11 Sep, 2018

I’m a passionate advocate for change and a strong believer in the idea that ‘it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness’. I wanted an opportunity to make a difference an...

Alana Lacey

18 Mar, 2014

Volunteering and living in South Africa far exceeded any of my expectations. I fell in love with the school, the people, and the country so quickly. It has been an experience that ...

Program ethics

No entertainment-based activities

We don’t support the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This includes riding animals, having them perform tricks, feeding or bathing them or getting close to them to take photos

No orphaned animal sanctuaries

We don’t encourage, support or allow the rearing of “orphaned” wild baby animals kept at a “sanctuary”. The conservation value of these types of programs is negligent and would only ethically be used in extremely rare cases

Guidelines for touching or movement restriction

When wild animals are restricted for conservation purposes we follow the guidelines of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Animal welfare guidelines

We ensure that the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are followed. These include the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from distress, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear, pain, injury or disease.

Local community empowerment

We ensure that conservation efforts are also always locally led, that community needs are front-and centre of any conservation effort and that our participants, projects and partners work to increase local community engagement in local conservation efforts.

Learn more
No veterinary programs

We don’t offer any veterinary programs or animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. We don’t allow participants to do any work they would not be able to do in their home country.

Learn more
No orphanage programs

We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.

Learn more
Child and vulnerable adult protection policy

Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.

Learn more
No medical volunteering

We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.

Learn more
No disability support programs

We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.

Learn more

Qualifications

GVI Online Community Development course (optional)

In this course, you’ll explore the most common pitfalls of community development initiatives so that you can avoid them. You’ll also learn how to carry out community development work effectively and ethically and how local context impacts program development. After successfully completing the course, which you have the option of doing prior to your in-country program, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Richmond.

This online course, valued at £295, is included in all volunteering programs. Full course details can be found here.

Training

A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.

For all GVI participants

Orientation: Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Learn about COVID-19 pre-departure guidelines, base expectations, personal and area hygiene practices and what we are doing to keep you safe.

Orientation: Travelling Responsibly and Ethically

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.

Orientation: UN Sustainable Development Goals

Introduction to the history and evolution of sustainable development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and how these related to your project work.

Orientation: Further Opportunities for Impact

Learn about our country locations and further opportunities available to you during or after your program.

For all participants at Cape Town

Education Workshop

Learn strategies for reflecting on, developing and facilitating educational programs. Learn how to plan engaging, meaningful lessons, and how to manage a classroom.

Free time

Joining a GVI program not only allows you to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems – but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer over weekends.

Field staff are a great source of advice and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. You can choose to travel before or after your experience with GVI (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships you’ve established on the program. Please note that the below options are not included in the program fee, and would be up to you to arrange at your own expense.

Weekend Trips

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Located in the oldest working harbour in the southern hemisphere, the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has a wide variety of exciting acti...

The Cape Winelands

Known for its world-class and award-winning wines, a visit to the winelands will allow you to experience various tastings, giving you an insight ...

The Two Oceans Aquarium

This unique marine rehabilitation centre is informative, tranquil, and a full-on sensory experience. There are various programs and information s...

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Set against the slopes of Table Mountain, you’ll find sprawling manicured lawns, a treetop bridge called the “Boomslang”, and over 7,000 species ...

Robben Island

During South Africa’s apartheid era, Robben Island was home to over 3,000 political prisoners, including former President Nelson Mandela, who spe...

Table Mountain

A visit to Cape Town is not complete without experiencing Table Mountain. The name comes from its unique flat-topped shape that resembles a table...

African penguins at Boulders Beach

Home to an entire colony of African penguins, this beach is partially open to the public, allowing you to observe these majestic birds in their n...

Local Adventures

Lion’s Head

For incredible panoramic views of Cape Town and the Atlantic Seaboard, hike the circular route to the top of Lion’s Head. The hike isn’t to...

Shark cage diving

Cape Town and its coastal regions offer an array of shark cage diving options – where you’ll possibly spot great white sharks, as well as other s...

Further Travels

The West Coast

On the other side of the Western Cape, the West Coast offers multiple Blue-Flag beaches, exceptional views, and the opportunity to visit ostrich ...

Hermanus

Located about 2 hours from Cape Town, this small seaside town is one of the best whale watching destinations in the world. Whale watching season ...

Garden Route

Following the South African coastline, this scenic route is dotted with various coastal towns, cities, forests, lagoons and much more. Perfect as...

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches global awareness, adaptability and critical thinking – skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and will also be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many different activities that you can get involved in during your free time, or before and after your program.

On our community programs, the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore topics like local cuisine and religion, or how sustainable development challenges are affecting local contexts.

Cooking

From a fisherman’s meal of fish and chips to a spicy curry with naan, the diversity of South Africa lives in the dishes available in most communi...

Festivals

South Africans love to celebrate, especially over the December holiday season. Depending on the time of year and the location, you will be able t...

Religion

The most dominant religion in South Africa is Christianity. As a land of acceptance and diversity, you will find many people of different faiths,...

Culture

The diversity of South Africa is most noted in the cultural practice of the various tribes, clans, and communities – from the Xhosa customs to th...

Languages

South Africa has 11 official languages. English is widely spoken and you will always be able to communicate, no matter where you are. Within the ...

Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Download parent pack

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Safety

Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.

Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Health and safety case studies

How GVI upholds health and safety

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays ju...

GVI's commitment to safety and security

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the heal...

How GVI remains prepared for natural disasters

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes ...

How GVI manages participants expectations

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations a...

What’s included?

What's Included
General
Volunteer
Intern
24-hour emergency desk
24-hour in-country support
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
All project equipment
Food (except on long-term internship placements
Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
Pre-program training
Volunteer
Intern
Group introductory call
Welcome presentation
Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course
Endorsed Leadership Course
Project work
Volunteer
Intern
Sustainable project work
Leadership responsibilities
Data collection and research
Real projects with partners
Remote support
Volunteer
Intern
Program training
Remote Internship Supervisor
Remote Academic Internship Supervisor
Remote Career Internship Supervisor
Post-program
Volunteer
Intern
Preferential recruitment on GVI positions
Job portal access
Endorsed Careers Course
Career coaching sessions
Certificates and achievements
Volunteer
Intern
PDF reference - upon request
Linkedin reference and skills endorsement
What's Excluded
General
Volunteer
Intern
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
Flights
International and domestic airport taxes
Medical and travel insurance
Personal items and toiletries
Police or background check
Visa costs

Live Updates

Our Cape Town projects focus on Community Development. We work in the townships of Nomzamo and Zola. Our programmes have a strong emphasis on building relationships with the local community and working together to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Stay up to date

Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Experience a shisa nyama

Visit Africa's largest art collection

Take a sunrise beach yoga class

Snorkel in a kelp forest

Paddle with endangered African penguins

Try a sunrise cold-water immersion

Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island

Hike up Table Mountain