Early Childhood Development

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Coordinator | Andrew
Coordinator | Andrew


Experience the real, un-cut Cape Town as a responsible traveler and volunteer daily in the township communities surrounding the city
Give children the opportunity to access one-to-one educational opportunities that would otherwise not exist in severely over-crowded and under-funded facilities
Through structured early learning development plans, support an emergency foster care home that takes in abused, neglected and orphaned children
Work alongside local teachers at community pre-schools, empowering them to be better able to educate the children in their care
Become a positive role model at after-school care programs that provide a safe and engaging environment that aims to keep vulnerable children off the street
Help provide a brighter future for disadvantaged children through educational activities in Cape Town's informal and formal settlements. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

What are South Africa’s Townships Like?

South Africa’s education system is ranked 133rd out of 142 countries in the world by the World Economic Forum. Lack of basic amenities, infrastructure and learning resources exist with many children coming from families affected by poverty, hunger and parents with little or no education themselves. The many townships in and around the Cape Town area, including Khayelitsha (second largest in South Africa), are a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities and languages.  Yet across these differences, there are many parallels; poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS. Locals live in a vast range of housing types from shacks built of wood and iron, to larger permanent buildings.  Schools are often over-crowded and short of qualified teachers. Visiting this township is an eye-opening experience where a communal standpipe for water and blocks of individual toilets shared among a number of families is the norm. It is also a wonderfully vibrant community where the streets are filled with smells of mealie (corn) cob and meat from makeshift grillers and the sounds of kwaito music blur from taxi windows.


Community Pre-Schools and Edu care Centers

We partner with pre-schools caring for children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years. These schools offer children from disadvantaged backgrounds an invaluable head start to their education and future, with a specific emphasis on helping them to prepare for their next step to primary school.

Unfortunately, understaffed and lacking in essential resources, these schools struggle to meet the needs of the children. Volunteers help the classes come alive, assisting teachers with lesson planning and making real progress for the next step to enter school. While the daily routine focuses on theme-based lessons, structured play, story time, and music and movement sessions, volunteers provide the most help when offering one-to-one attention to individuals who are falling behind.


Emergency Foster Care Home for Neglected and Orphaned Children

This foster care home - where our volunteers work - was established to care for abandoned and orphaned children aged between 0 and 8 years in Khayelitsha and the surrounding areas. This area has been hugely affected by HIV/AIDS and is thought to have the highest rates in the Western Cape. The home’s main aim is to place the children into foster care as soon as they are ready. On average, 40% of the children taken into the home are HIV+, therefore the first stage of the home’s process is to nurse the children back to health.  Once the children are medically and emotionally stable, the home will look to recruit a foster family so the children can be reintroduced into a family environment.

Your role is to help implement a fun plan of activities to help children with their basic development needs, which will enable them to grow and learn. The program works mainly with the younger children (0 – 3 years) and covers developmental areas such as social play, gross motor skills, language, numeracy and rhythm. 


Life-Skills Program

Throughout the week, a couple of afternoons are spent at a foster care center for children from various challenging backgrounds. These children live in a network of small family units, with a dedicated foster mother or father and no more than 6 children per household. The aim of the organization is to one day return the children to their biological families, or failing that, with the help of those families and our volunteers, help them lead happy successful lives.

Volunteers work regularly with approximately 15-20 children and teenagers, helping them develop life skills that will further their development and improve their chances of completing their education. More recently – and with the support of our volunteers – the children have been completing their ‘President’s Award’, which is very similar to the UK’s Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Enrichment and Educational Support

At an after-school care program set up to provide a safe space for children in the vulnerable hours after school finishes, volunteers help to plan and implement fun and educational games. These always have an emphasis on developing important life skills, such as teamwork and leadership.

Volunteers rotate through activities, so may also be involved in providing homework support, craft-making, gardening or holding a reading session. Your input and ideas are always welcomed as new inspiration, so this is the perfect place to share any unique skills you have.

You may also be involved in workshops which aim to provide a platform for sharing information and skills with the wonderful team of grandmothers that help to run the aftercare programs. This encourages our ethos of cross-learning and is based on the ‘Each One Teach One’ model what was implemented by Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates during their time on Robben Island.

Typical day


AM: Assist local teachers at a pre-school with a focus on child development

Lunch: Lunch at the volunteer accommodation

PM: Support an after-school care program

Evenings: Volunteer welcome night



AM: Assist local teachers at a pre-school with a focus on child development

Lunch: Lunch at the volunteer accommodation

PM: Support a community-based foster care home for the youth

Evenings: Tours talk and free time



AM: Work on children’s development at an emergency foster care center

Lunch: Try some of the local delicacies in the community that you volunteer in

PM: Support an after-school care program

Evenings: Workshop on topical issues and free time



AM: Work on children’s development at an emergency foster care center

Lunch: Lunch at an amazing viewpoint, getting to know the history of where you are working

PM: Support a community-based foster care home for the youth

Evenings: Events Night



AM: Work on children’s development at an emergency foster care center

Lunch: Lunch at the volunteer accommodation

PM: Plan the activities for the week

Evenings: Weekend begins!


* Meeting the team and full induction, depending on arrival time

Free-time activities

During your stay, you will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the incredible attractions Cape Town has to offer. These excursions are also a great time for volunteers to interact and get to know each other better. 

Popular Outings:

  • Cultural Community Tour
  • Aquila Safari - a “Big 5” private game reserve
  • Cape Point Peninsula Tour, including a visit to the penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Abseiling down Table Mountain
  • Shark Cage Diving R
  • Sky-diving
  • Hop-on, Hop-off Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus
  • Take a hike or cable car to the top of Table Mountain
  • Surfing lessons 
  • Experiencing fine wines and warm hospitality at Constantia and Stellenbosch wine farms

Water Sports


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
Education Requirements
at High school level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by African Impact

Our project fee includes:

  • Accommodation throughout your entire stay at our African Impact volunteer home in Cape Town – a cozy, safe and lively house shared by our volunteers, interns and staff
  • 3 delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by the African Impact team
  • Experienced international and local staff members who live and work alongside you every day
  • A full induction, orientation and training session to ensure you can contribute sustainably
  • All necessary project equipment and resources you’ll need on the ground


Our project fee excludes:

  • Flights to your chosen destination, but we can guide you on this
  • Medical or travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs
  • Laundry
  • WiFi – it’s pretty slow here anyway!

Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

Airport pickup and drop-off on selected Mondays are included in the volunteering fee. You will be accompanied by an African Impact staff member to and from the airport. Arriving and departing from the volunteer house to the airport is dependent on the flight details of other volunteers who may be arriving and departing on the same day as you. 


Where you will be staying

You will be staying in a fully-furnished house situated in Muizenberg, just 3 minutes away from the beach. This area is one of the major tourism attractions in Cape Town and a surfer’s paradise. The area is filled with vibey bars, cafes, and amazing restaurants, and you’ll be based just opposite a major grocery store for you to do extra shopping should you need.

The volunteer accommodation is a cozy, safe home shared by volunteers and African Impact staff. It boasts a central lounge and dining area, a living room with some comfortable couches for socializing and relaxing, preparing for your next day or chatting with fellow volunteers, as well as a spacious backyard in the sun to relax, or to enjoy a South African Braai. It is the perfect base from which to explore this incredible city.


Cape Town is an internationally renowned destination and has something for everyone. The Mother City (as it’s known to locals) is home to the iconic Table Mountain, Robben Island, beautiful beaches, stunning vineyards and incredible scenic drives. It’s been named The Number One food city on the planet, as well as regularly making the top lists for The Most Beautiful City in the world. Did we mention that it’s packed with adrenaline-fueled activities such as skydiving, shark-cage diving and surfing? During your free time, you could enjoy some of the most scenic drives in the world, spot exotic marine life along the coast, or sample some of the eclectic restaurants and markets.

What makes volunteering in Cape Town so unique, however, is discovering the often ‘unseen’ side to the city. The informal communities where we work are home to around two-thirds of Cape Town’s population yet is hidden away from the eyes of international tourists who rarely venture further than the bustling tourist-traps in the city. As a volunteer, you will get to know the real Cape Town and we can’t wait to show you around.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Three meals a day, freshly cooked from our team of great chefs. Please let any dietary requirements be known before you join us on project.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
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.
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.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

7, 14 and 28 January | 11 and 25 February | 11 and 25 March | 8 and 22 April | 6 and 20 May | 3 and 17 June | 1, 8,15, 22 and 29 July | 5, 12,19 and 26 August | 9 and 23 September | 7 and 21 October | 4 and 18 November| 2 December (2 weeks placement only)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 2,345
6 weeks
$ 3,165
8 weeks
$ 3,985
10 weeks
$ 4,805
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 5,625
Average fees
$ 528 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. African Impact will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
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 (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with African Impact during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if African Impact cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by African Impact.

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  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Cape Town, Muizenberg

Early Childhood Development

Help provide a brighter future for disadvantaged children through educational activities in Cape Town's informal and formal settlements.


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