Change from the Ground Up

Volunteer with Children in South Africa

This project involves providing a safe, fun and creative environment for local South African children, providing them with an educational foundation and assisting them to develop to their full potential.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Collaborate with us and our community partners in providing children with educational training through games, arts and crafts, and help create a fun, safe and creative learning environment. On top of this, you will experience the sights and sounds of one of the most beautiful regions in the world in your free time.

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undefined 31 May 2022
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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

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Michaela Jones

11 Oct, 2018
Teaching in South Africa was the most rewarding and enriching experience ever! GVI staff made me feel totally at ease from the moment I met them at the airport. They provided training and were extremely supportive as I was on my own and a little scared. They were very strict about personal safety, providing GVI transport and excursions with legitimate companies. I went shark cage diving by myself, as GVI signed me up with a great company and a taxi to and from the destination! Watching the children learn and develop is amazing. They are energetic and challenging... in a good way! I had so much fun and cried when I had to leave them! Every time an employer reads about this experience on my CV, they are always more impressed by this than the fact that I have a degree!

Claire D’Silva

11 Oct, 2018
I spent 6 weeks working with children on the Cape Town GVI project. Looking back on my time there, I think of GVI as one of the best volunteer experiences I have had. South Africa is so beautiful and working in a township offered a perspective I would not have experienced otherwise. I formed strong relationships with the children we were working with and feel proud of the work GVI continues to do in the community.

Rohini Datta

11 Oct, 2018
My time with GVI in Cape Town was the most fun, and also the most rewarding 2 weeks of my life. The memories I made with everyone I met - from my fellow volunteers to the kids at the sanctuary will stay with me forever. One of the highlights for me was our first day at the sanctuary; the kids were so happy to see us and we could hear them chanting “TEACHER, TEACHER” wherever we went. Throughout my time I was amazed by how much of an impact could be made by the smallest of things, be it teaching the kids a new game or painting a mural on one of their classrooms. Saying goodbye was heartbreaking, the kids wouldn’t let go of us! However, the experience has made me truly thankful for the opportunities and privileges I have and has inspired me to make a difference in my local community, as well as our global community.

Rhianna Mason

11 Oct, 2018
My name is Rhianna O’Regan, I am a 19-year-old from the Sunshine Coast Queensland! I’m a biomedical science student at my local university, before GVI I only studied and worked. After GVI I’ve joined more local volunteer agencies to give back to the community more. My previous project was in South Africa, Gordan’s Bay and it involved working with children, teaching, caring and all around making smiles. I came across GVI online and by doing research, reading reviews and comparing companies, I found GVI was the perfect match for me. My main highlights included meeting the kids and seeing them improve, making such good friends and experiencing and seeing such a beautiful abundant country that felt like home. On project, learning about each kid was a discovery. Finding their strengths and working on them, learning their weaknesses and helping them improve. Discovering how much I can care about a stranger was also a major thing for me personally. My main accomplishment was that I worked one on one with a little girl, Athule, she was autistic and loved math. Teaching her how to multiply and divide, and seeing her understand it made me so proud and happy! Nothing could compare to how amazing it was to teach someone something they love instantly. Anyone thinking about joining a GVI project I would say close your eyes and jump, you will never regret it. Not only is it life changing in the best way possible but you’re giving a project (childcare, animal conservation, etc.) undivided love and attention that will be everlasting and help the project improve. My regular day on project would include: 7am – wake up, yoga, eat breakfast, shower and get ready 8:40am – go to project 9am – get to project, get the kids eating porridge and circle time 10:30am – puzzles or reading 11am– snack time 11:30am – teacher snack time 12noon – class time 1pm – lunch time 1:30pm – teacher lunch time 2pm – outside play/reading/puzzles 3:30pm – go home 4pm – eat, go for a walk, hang out with other volunteers 6:30pm – dinner and clean up 8:30 – shower and bed

Emily Maher

11 Sep, 2018
My GVI experience was exactly what I need at that point in my life, and the perfect way to put it on a shelf and focus on those in need. The GVI Volunteer with children Program gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, see a country I had always been interested in, and meet people that I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life. The children were certainly characters and their ability to touch my heart at the same time as making me want to pull my hair out was phenomenal! They were just lovable and it was extremely difficult to not pick them up and cuddle them as if they were my own every day. I remember missing them over the weekends even when I was on my own adventures. The staff at GVI were very supportive and open to receiving feedback on areas of the project. Not to mention the excellent food, merchandise, and trips with Moses to project every day with his cool tunes. When I left the project I wanted to be more involved and would love to go back one day for a longer period of time should the opportunity arise. I am passionate about people and my background has always been dealing with people - this project gave me the opportunity to be exposed to different areas of my career.

Lisa Wheeler

11 Sep, 2018
I undertook the GVI Volunteer with Children in South Africa trip in December 2011. For two weeks we were blessed with the children of the Ikhayalathemba village just outside of Cape Town in the beautiful Gordons Bay. We were greeted with hugs smiles and laughter from the start! As it was the festive period we took the children to the beach, had a Christmas party, learnt the nativity play and even Santa Claus came to visit! Even though these children had the bare essentials they took hold of every experience given to them and worked hard during lesson times making you feel that every part of what we were doing was making a difference to them! Despite the glorious weather I managed to get flu! But the GVI team that were with me were so helpful taking me to the doctors and ensuring I made a speedy recovery! They helped with every small part we needed from where the local shops were to helping with teaching plans. GVI also helped with outside experiences from visiting Cape Town and Townships to wine tour safaris and scuba diving! Every part of my experience will stay with me for a very long time and I look forward to more trips with GVI and hopefully even return soon!

Emma Abel

11 Sep, 2018
The GVI project that I did in South Africa, working with children, was honestly the best and most amazing two weeks of my life.

Lauren-Amy Mond

11 Sep, 2018
My time volunteering in Cape Town was amazing. I spent two weeks working with some of the sweetest, funniest and cheekiest children I’ve ever met. Working in the school involved teaching the children basic maths and fine motor skills, reading to them, and participating in their music lessons. We also supervised their lunch times and sat them down for one on one sessions which involved them drawing and writing about themselves. On our final day we decided to make the children a slip ‘n’ slide which they LOVED! And I don’t know who had more fun, them or us! To top of an incredible two weeks, we were told that on our last day one of the children’s mothers was coming to collect him. I couldn’t have asked for a happier ending to my time there. To volunteer with GVI is such a great experience, as not only do you get to participate and gain knowledge in a vast area of work, but you also get to explore some amazing countries. Whilst in Cape Town I spent one weekend travelling to Robben Island, going to the top of Table Mountain, catching a boat through choppy waters to seal Island, and visited the Cape of Good Hope. I could not have asked for a better time and cannot wait to join GVI for my next volunteering adventure

Rebecca Shaw

11 Sep, 2018
Driving to project on my first day I had butterflies the size of bats in my stomach. I had worked with kids before back in the UK and yet I was more anxious and nervous about meeting these 20 children than I have ever been meeting anyone. Upon arrival I got to meet the local teacher who is without doubt one of the nicest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting and he instantly made me feel like part of the team. Then came the children and within minutes the butterflies had disappeared, they were so excited to see me and were all so affectionate. I was expecting them to have their guard up with me as I was new and yet they had this incredible way of making me feel instantly welcome and completely at ease. Toilet time is one of my favourite times of day. I have never seen children get so excited to wash their hands and I never get bored of seeing their faces light up every time they make bubbles with the soap. They get equally excited about brushing their teeth; even one girl who doesn’t have a single tooth in her head will sprint to brush her teeth. Both of these facts seem strange to me, as back home the kids will do all they can to avoid brushing their teeth and washing their hands and yet these are the things these children look forward to most and it makes you realise how amazing they really are and how grateful they are for all that we do even if they don’t always know how to show it. Lesson time is always fun. It still astounds me that at the age of 5 and 6, how good all of their English is considering that it’s their second language. They can be a handful, but once they’re settled they become completely enthralled and will hang onto your every word. Whether it is learning numbers 1 – 10, the alphabet or colours, they want to learn these things and are elated when they get an answer right. When you see that flip switch in a child’s head and they understand something you have taught them it is honestly one of the best feelings in the world! I feel as though during my month with the kids in Cape Town they have taught me just as much as I’ve taught them. I’ve learnt to appreciate the little things and how grateful I am for all that I have in my life. The simple things that as adults we forget and take for granted, these children remind you of every day. I have loved every minute of my time with these children and am going to miss each and every one of them equally. They have changed my life forever.

Hunter Hutchings

07 Sep, 2018
Global Visions international has allowed me to gain the experience that will allow me to prosper while looking for future jobs. This amazing organization has taught me teamwork skills, punctuality, and to maintain professionalism in a place of work. This project impacted my life by exposing me to cultural differences and expectations in parts of the world I would never otherwise known. Since the beginning of my process of planning my trip to South Africa, GVI has been there every step of the way. Easy to access and available to ask any questions or concerns I had prior to my trip. The process couldn’t have been made easier for me as a volunteer. Once on project the amazing GVI staff make everything as easy for you as they possibly can. It truly has been a life changing experience and I am very excited about my future with this organization.

Christopher Chung

25 Nov, 2013
Initially it was a bit intimidating and the children seemed so crazy. While the children are definitely still crazy (in a good way) each day has become easier. The children are so adorable and so much fun to play with. The days can be quite tiring but are ultimately extremely rewarding. I feel the children definitely have an advantage with their English ability when they start school. I’ve learnt something new every day. In fact, I think I’ve learnt more than the children! This is surely an experience I will never forget.