from 382€

Fantastic 4.5rating (42)

Community Assistant

1 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Fantastic 4.5  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Very high response rate


  • Help a disadvantaged community by volunteering at this project.

Especially suitable

Age 18+

About the program

The Missionvale Care Centre focuses on people in need in Missionvale township, and offers a variety of services such as education, healthcare and more.

About the Program

The Missionvale Care Centre operates in the extremely poor shack township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The centre was founded by kindhearted Sister Ethel, an expatriate Irish nun, who started offering help to this needy community under a tree between the shacks. ..

About the program

About the Program

The Missionvale Care Centre operates in the extremely poor shack township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The centre was founded by kindhearted Sister Ethel, an expatriate Irish nun, who started offering help to this needy community under a tree between the shacks. Today, it is a centre that provides care, love and material support to the poor, with particular emphasis on and attention to those living with HIV/AIDS.

Missionvale Care Centre is a non-profit organisation committed to providing quality care and support to improve the lives of the residents through love, participation and self-development.

The help of all types of volunteers is desperately needed, but nursing and medical volunteers and anyone who doesn’t mind hard work, while coming face to face with extreme poverty, are especially welcome.

Participating in this project is both challenging and diverse. You will get acquainted with circumstances in which 70% of South Africans live today. By volunteering here, you get to experience their lifestyle and Xhosa culture. We need volunteers who are independent and mature as they will be facing misery and poverty every day.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • You need to respect the vision and mission of the project.
  • Have an independent attitude and be willing to get very busy.
  • Be flexible in the tasks and activities and changes that will happen.
  • Be open minded and mentally strong, and have the will to make a difference

Typical Tasks

Primary school: About 140 kids attend school here and need assistance with reading, writing, social skills and sports – as well as individual personal attention. Volunteers will also make sandwiches for the kids’ lunch, and their play time needs to be supervised.

Nutrition unit: Volunteers provide the people of Missionvale each day with half a loaf of bread and a scoop of nutritious soup powder; making it possible for them to go home and cook a meal for their families. This unit also distributes food parcels weekly to the families who are on the care centre’s adopted list.

Medical support and clinic: An optometrist visits the centre once a week and provides free eye tests and glasses where necessary. The centre is always looking for old glasses that can be recycled to use here because giving a person the ability to see again is an amazing gift.

The clinic acts as a one-stop facility where people can go for a check-up and other additional care – and it’s mainly aimed at people with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. There are qualified nurses working at Missionvale, but not enough can be done and we call out to anybody with a medical or nursing background to volunteer here and make a difference so more patients can be helped.

Crafter unit: The women working here work very hard on various projects such as curtains, placemats, handbags, aprons, pillows and more. These items go on sale at Missionvale Care Centre as well as at weekly fairs. These women are taught the basics of sewing and gain experience, which increases their chances of being employed by businesses in the area. Volunteers can assist and give creative input.

Child support and development: An afternoon program is available to make sure the children stay off the streets and are able to play safely. They get a meal, computer lessons, listen to stories, learn how to play the drums and take part in cultural dances and play sports outside. Volunteers must be energetic and patient!

Clothing warehouse: Clothing donations are cleaned and sorted so that anyone in need of clothing can be assigned a parcel with clothes that fit and are clean. Give us a hand!

Community gardens: The residents can plant and grow their own fruit and vegetables and donate some of their harvest to the soup kitchen. Volunteers with a green thumb can apply it here!

Guidance and Supervision

Coordinators of the different units will guide and supervise you throughout your stay. 

First, our Volunteer Coordinators who will be picking you up, shows you around and prepares your work activities with the projects before you start, supervises during your stay and evaluates after you leave. They will transfer you to and from the project, make sure the shopping is done and organize fun outings for the weekends. The coordinators lives at the volunteer home and will be looking after your needs in any way. They have lots of experience and have volunteered themselves. At Missionvale your work will be supervised by one of the staff who will introduce you and create your schedule. They will also be the people to report to in the mornings and sign out before you leave again at the end of the day. 


We host volunteers from all around the world including the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and many other countries.

Safety in South Africa

Despite general ideas of South Africa being very unsafe, it is important to know that South Africa is known to many as very friendly and welcoming. But please remember that you must realize, that in big cities you must stick to a certain conduct of behavior to avoid complicated situations. As 70% of people live in poverty and few are extremely rich, the differences in life and hope for a better future creates a situation that fuels crime, lack of education, substance abuse, domestic violence and many more problems.

To stay safe, we advise you to use your common sense and not to take unnecessary risks. But just to give you some advice:

  • Do not walk alone or at night, use an Uber.
  • Walk in a group where possible and stay on roads where you are in sight of other people.
  • Do not walk around with visible valuables.
  • Do not carry a backpack on your stomach; its shows you have valuables and are a tourist.
  • Be confident and know where you are going without standing on corners looking at your phone.
  • Have a phone on you but do not walk around while calling.

Go with Khaya looks after you the best we can, and your safety is very important to us, but it is only you that can stick to some reasonable rules and communicating to us where you go so, we can look out for you. We commit to: 

  • offer safe and well-equipped although basic accommodation. 
  • have coordinators that are prepared for your stay and have been instructed to keep you as safe as possible. 
  • All activities and visits are supervised by our coordinators, who will guide you and make sure they are safe.

Within walking distance from the Beach House, there are some shops such as a SPAR supermarket and you can easily take a taxi bus along the beachfront to go to the shopping centre. Otherwise, you can always join one of the coordinators on their shopping trips. 

If you like to do your own thing for the weekend and rent a car; no problem, you can easily book a rental car online. 

Free Wi-Fi at the volunteer accommodation so you can stay in touch with family and friends back home. You can also purchase a local SIM card and mobile data.

We all want to be healthy and stay that way and traveling Africa needs some attention. Obviously, we have the restrictions in place to deal with Covid-19 and adhere to all government regulations. We check temperatures and practice social distancing as required. Everyone is required to wear a face mask in public. Other aspects are protecting yourself against Malaria, Yellow Fever and other tropical diseases so please contact your local Travel Clinic to get the best advice.

Typical day

Volunteers will generally work from 8.30AM until 5PM on weekdays including the following tasks.
  • Food Distribution
  • Take care of children in school
  • Do sports with children
  • Gardening help
  • Home visits
The start of any volunteer at Missionvale will provide you a program to assist at all the units after which ...

Typical day

Volunteers will generally work from 8.30AM until 5PM on weekdays including the following tasks.
  • Food Distribution
  • Take care of children in school
  • Do sports with children
  • Gardening help
  • Home visits
The start of any volunteer at Missionvale will provide you a program to assist at all the units after which we will be able to look at your personal interests and talents to make a personalized program. 

Weekends are off! Some days might start earlier or later and in summertime, due to the heat, hours can change.

Free-time activities

The Eastern Cape and the surroundings of Port Elizabeth show a large variety of natural beauty and make PE a great central place to visit the variety of South Africa. To the East you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei) which is mostly rural and undeveloped, but closer you will find ...

Free-time activities

The Eastern Cape and the surroundings of Port Elizabeth show a large variety of natural beauty and make PE a great central place to visit the variety of South Africa. To the East you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei) which is mostly rural and undeveloped, but closer you will find Addo Elephant Park and great coastal villages such as Port Alfred. To the North you will find the great Karoo; a semi desert area with wide open spaces, large nature areas and long open roads with historical places such as Graaff Reinet, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness and much more. To the East towards Cape Town, you will be amazed by the Tsitsikamma National Park, holiday villages such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and natures Valley or the surf mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay. This gives you plenty to see and visit while you are here.



Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (basic level)

Criminal Background Check


Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

Be comfortable around another non-western culture and be ready to help with any tasks that might come up.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 15:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Go With Khaya

Included in your fees:  

  • Information and assistance before departure 
  • Pick up on arrival and drop off at the end of your stay (Monday to Friday)
  • 3 Family style meals per day
  • Shared accommodation in volunteer house 
  • Daily transport to and from the projects 
  • City Tour and Introduction Program
  • Donation to the project 
  • Volunteer support and coordinating 

Excluded from your fees: 

  • Private Luxuries (snacks, cool drinks, alcohol etc.) 
  • Costs for weekend outings to safari parks etc. 
  • Air tickets 
  • Insurance 
  • Laundry service
  • Arrival & departure transfers on weekends (Saturday/Sunday) 

Airport Pickup at Port Elizabeth International Airport

Our volunteers arrive on Mondays and start at the project on Tuesdays. We can pick you up from the airport or from any accommodation in Port Elizabet/Gqeberha.

Arrivals and departure transfers from Monday to Friday are included in the fees. If you need an arrival or departure transfer over the weekend (Saturday to Sunday), we ask for a local cash payment of ZAR 250 per transfer.


The volunteer house in Port Elizabeth is a gorgeous home with loads of space.  Whether you prefer to unwind in the garden, at the pool or in the lounge; this home has a special place for everyone. 

The home was built in grand old architectural style and is decorated with modern touches. A pool for summer and a fireplace for winter, what more do you need?

The property is well secured and superbly located within walking distance of the beach, restaurants, laundry & shops.

Food & Beverages

Our full time cook will provide all meals at the volunteer house on a daily basis. This means you will be able to enjoy great South African home cooked meals, learn how to cook some of these specialties and have a House Mother to comfort you when needed. Our cook is a lady with a warm heart and even bigger embrace for those that need it and she will look after the house and the meals to provide the best possible.

We believe in participation, so volunteers will not be sitting back and get served, they still need to help her cook at times, chop vegetables, clean dishes and warm up the food for dinner themselves.

Our cook will create weekly menus offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as alternate meals like stews, curries, stir-fry, soups, pastas and other wholesome options. Meals will be prepared and cooked from Monday to Friday, where on weekends volunteers will only have to heat up a meal or make their own similar meals.

There is free coffee, tea and cordial juice available at any time. For breakfast you will have toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal and/or eggs. For lunch you can have sandwiches with cheese, marmalade, cold meats or other spreads. Please tell our coordinators about any wishes, vegetarian wishes and allergies concerning food.

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE


If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival


Our volunteers arrive on Mondays and start at the project on Tuesdays. We can pick you up from the airport or from any accommodation in Port Elizabet/Gqeberha.

 Arrivals and departure transfers from Monday to Friday are included in the fees. If you need an arrival or departure transfer over the weekend (Saturday to Sunday), we ask for a local cash payment of ZAR 250 per transfer.

 Participation is in full weeks (7 nights) only. Please also keep in mind that projects close for 2-3 weeks over December/January each year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

1 week (min. stay) 382€
2 weeks 676€
3 weeks 965€
4 weeks 1,240€
8 weeks 2,038€
12 weeks (max. stay) 3,058€
Average fees 318€/week

Program fees

318€ per week 1 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal



1 - 12 weeks


The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.

Final Payment

Your final payment will be agreed with Go With Khaya during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Meet your organization

Go With Khaya

Fantastic 4.5 rating (42 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2005

Verified by Volunteer World

  Very high response rate

Coordinated by


Spoken languages: English

About the project

Go With Khaya provides responsible and affordable volunteer projects. Take a gap year, work with communities and children, teach sport or work with wildlife.

Meet your organization

“Khaya” means village or dwelling in several African languages – but it also has a deeper meaning, that of ‘belonging’. In Xhosa it also means home or homestead and in Swahili it means boma, which is an enclosed secure area for cattle. At Khaya Volunteer Projects, we make our volunteers feel that they belong. If you choose Khaya to organize your volunteering experience, you will feel secure and well-informed. You will also feel that you belong to the project you decide to work with, as Khaya fits the right people to the right projects.


Khaya Volunteer Projects was established in 2005. We offered international students the opportunity to come to South Africa and experience working with local companies and organisations as interns. Our goal was to offer an incomparable experience of the diverse culture and socio-political landscape of this amazing country, and our hope was to inspire people to offer their time and effort in return.

We soon found that many volunteering projects needed more hands and financial support than interns could provide, so in 2009 we started to offer volunteering opportunities to people of all ages and walks of life, such as gap year students, travellers, and conscientious older people with time to spare – whoever you are, you will find the right project for you and fit right in. Things took off from there and we didn’t look back - in 2011, Khaya expanded to Tanzania (Arusha and Zanzibar) and Zimbabwe. Today we have offices in South Africa, Zanzibar,Tanzania and Malawi.

Our Mission

Our mission is simple but resonant: we provide volunteering opportunities for international travellers that are both unique and as affordable as possible with high standards of service and facilities. Needless to say, we also prioritise our selected volunteer projects’ needs in ways that benefit both project and you, the volunteer.

At Khaya Volunteer Projects, our greatest desire is to show people the true Africa, with its dynamic cultures and its incredible raw beauty. To live and work locally in South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Zanzibar or Zimbabwe means immersing yourself in these countries and experiencing your travels in an entirely unique way you will never forget.

Our offer

Khaya Volunteer Projects will introduce you to affordable volunteer projects which have been personally chosen by or established by us. You can choose from a number of viable, sustainable, rewarding ventures: working with children, healthcare, sports development, education, conservation, animals – whatever you can think of, that project wants and needs your time and energy!

We have developed an extremely hands-on and personal approach to your experience. You will have a project facilitator working closely with you throughout your volunteering program to make sure your questions are answered and your concerns addressed. No question, suggestion or complaint is too silly, small or simple! This is just one of the many reasons Khaya has volunteers coming back to us year after year.

Dynamite comes in small packages! One of our points of pride is that our volunteering projects are selected and developed for quality over quantity. This means you won’t have to stand in a queue to touch an elephant or to take part in an activity – this isn’t Disneyworld!  Many other volunteer projects have 30 or 40 volunteers involved, which we feel dilutes your experience and denies the volunteer project your focus and enthusiasm. Some of our volunteer projects are rather new and in the process of improving, so we at Khaya make it our priority to uplift and support where we can and grow these projects to new heights – and for this, we want our volunteers to be as involved as possible and not just people who paid a fee to be ‘faces in the crowd’!

Why Khaya?


We focus on keeping our volunteer projects’ prices transparent and as low as possible while still offering the highest level of service. We encourage…no, we CHALLENGE you, our prospective volunteers, to compare our prices with other organisations. We offer incomparably affordable experiences for the level of service you will be receiving. We make sure to eliminate hidden costs and ‘fine print’ as far as possible in our volunteer project pricing. All your meals, transport and 24/7 supervision and guidance is included in our offering (this MAY differ per project, so please double-check with us).

Where does your money go?

We donate a good portion of your volunteering fee directly to the projects we work with (this can differ per project, you can check with us). This means that not only are you helping and supporting the projects with your time and energy, but you are also financially contributing to them! Khaya ensures that the costs involved in our projects are as transparent and uncomplicated as possible so that you know exactly where your hard-earned money is going to. Please contact us if you have ANY queries whatsoever regarding your fee, and what kind of mileage you are getting for your buck!

Locally based

Khaya has one fantastic advantage over other volunteer groups – we’re based right here in Africa, and are therefore directly involved with the volunteer projects on an ongoing, hands-on basis. We make every effort to visit all our projects regularly to ensure that everything is running smoothly, and to ensure that both projects AND volunteers receive all the necessary support and guidance. Our direct partnership with our projects allows us to see immediately how you, the volunteer, fit into the bigger picture, and at the same time we can help with the day-to-day details of your stay.

Very important to us: Khaya strives to create employment in Africa by employing local people at several of our projects and giving them much-needed income opportunities.

Going the extra mile

Khaya believes in going the extra mile. Whether you have questions specifically about the volunteer project you have embarked on, or just a general travel question (er no, lions and elephants don’t usually run rampant in city streets here! :). Ask away with impunity, nothing is too big or small for us to find the answer.

Khaya also conducts ongoing coaching and training of our local partners and coordinators. We train the staff of several projects on how to deal with volunteers, how to utilize them, and the best possible way to assist them. In doing so, we offer support for volunteers and at the same time foster an environment of empowerment for the full-time project workers.

Keeping it real

The pictures that you see on our website are authentic – they were taken by volunteers and Khaya staff. We want you to see exactly what you get if you sign up for a volunteering project with us. We are NOT involved in this industry merely to make a buck – we have a passion to make change happen, and to create a win-win situation for all involved. Also, we really want you to send us YOUR pictures and words, your vision of your experience, for our own knowledge and for potential future volunteers.

Pre-departure and feedback

Before you depart your home country, Khaya will supply you with a pre-departure guide with information about the project you choose. We will supply everything you need to know about visa requirements, and a list of what you need to bring with you; the climate; what to expect culturally and environmentally; and much, much more information!

We always aim to improve our services wherever possible, so once you have completed your time as a volunteer; we will ask you for feedback on your experience with us. Your feedback is of utmost importance to us to keep improving and growing our partnerships to new heights.

All volunteers will receive a Certificate of Participation after completion of their project.

42 reviews · rating4.5

Heather Halpern rating4.8

2020 at Community Assistant

Volunteering with Khaya was a great experience. My placement was Missionvale and I enjoyed my time there tremendously. I was only volunteering for 2 weeks so I understand that it is more difficult to walk away feeling like I made a huge impact. I felt like by the end of my time there I was just ...
Kevin rating4.8

2015 at Community Assistant

Missionvale run so many worthwhile activities it is almost impossible to select one however the community garden project stands out for me as it offers the prospect of becoming self-sufficient in vegetables which would enhance family nutritional intake. I also found making sandwiches for school ...
Roos rating4.4

2015 at Community Assistant

Missionvale is a very structured volunteer program that has an amazing impact in the community of Missionvale. All people within the organisation are extremely friendly and willing to help. I enjoyed working with the ladies of the sowing-club the most, and it gives me a smile on my face to chat to ...
Claudia Fiedler rating3

2024 at Teach Assistant

School: Overall the teaching experience is an experience that changed my view on the world. However, if you are visiting from europe you need to be aware, that things in africa work differently than at home. To me, the project seemed quite unorganised. The communication with the school was ...
David Mason-Williams rating4.4

2023 at Assistant at Siyafunda Game Reserve

Volunteering with Siyafunda was one of the best decisions of my life! Everyone involved in the project is passionate and knowledgable about their work, which I find inspirational. I learnt so much during my six weeks with Siyafunda, and I cannot wait to one day return and learn more! Anyone who is ...
Zeyneb Kasmi rating3.2

2022 at Teach Assistant

I spent in total 5 weeks in Zanzibar. The island became a second home. I taught mostly in a secondary school. It was a wonderful experience! However, I was living 25 min away from Stone Town / and the school. I did not like taking the bus/dali dali every single day. They only drive to up to a ...


Africa > Southern Africa > South Africa > Port Elizabeth

You might also be interested in

Contact Igna
  Very high response rate

Most volunteers ask about

Do you have any more questions? Send a message to Igna
Please do not share personal contact details for your privacy