Teach at schools in disadvantaged communities

Volunteer Int. Adventures
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Coordinator | Sharon
Coordinator | Sharon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Assist with teaching English and help with small reading groups
Help with sports and physical education in Life Orientation lessons
Share your love and knowledge of Creative Arts in Music, Drama and Dance classes and inspire learners.
Help a child grasp a subject they were battling with, teach a choir a new song, show the teacher different drama exercises or helped coach a new sport
Visit animals sanctuaries, take part in extreme sports activities, visit local craft markets, hike magical forests or enjoy spectacular beaches in your free time
Volunteer teaching from foundation phase to high school with various subjects like English, Sport, Creative Arts, the Sciences and Mathematics in Knysna, South AfricA This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

We work within several schools in the townships of Knysna. Mainly primary schools although we also do work with a local high school too. All these schools are government schools which cater for the poorer communities and charge very low school fees and in some cases, nothing at all. Therefor amenities and facilities are very basic, and classes are big with teachers having to cope with larger numbers in the classrooms. In the past we have seen classes with learners of over 60 in a class although the average is around 45 learners per class.

English is taught from Grade 1 in South Africa, so we normally focus on the older classes from Grade 4 upwards although many volunteers prefer helping with the little ones. The learners mother tongue is often isiXhosa or Afrikaans, so the learners learn English as a second and sometimes third language. Volunteers really help a lot in this area as just by spending time with the learners they improve their conversational English making them more confidant with the language so we often as volunteers to try and do a few English classes too along with the other subjects they would like to assist with.

Volunteers give additional support to teachers and help wherever possible from lesson plans, taking lessons, marking papers and assessments, and coming up with fresh new ideas to keep the class stimulated. Help with social media, fundraisers, sports events, or talent shows is also hugely appreciated. For those not so confidants of their teaching abilities, there are work books to assist you with your lesson plans which are all based around the South African syllabus so you have guidelines to work from which is a huge help

There are a variety of areas volunteers can assist in.

  • Foundation phase classes of Grade R and Grade 1- the cutest classes of the schools
  • Drama, dance, and music in Creative Arts classes. Please let us know how your talents can be utilised here.
  • Physical Education and Sports which often take place in Life Orientation classes
  • Teaching English- always a huge plus!
  • Mathematics
  • Small reading groups with the librarian in the library
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Science
  • Technology and in some cases Computer skills depending on school

The school day starts at 7.45 am and ends the latest at 2.30. There are two small breaks in between for a snack or even just choir practice if music is your passion.

If you already have a qualification, skill, or experience, we will be extra happy to be able to put it to good use on your placement.  If you are using this project for practical credits for your studies, please let us know so that we can liaise with your university lecturer. If you do not have any qualifications or previous experience, then do not worry! The whole idea of volunteering is to provide help and assistance wherever needed, immerse yourself in a different culture, and make a lot of memories- both for you and the learners!

This project runs in the South African school terms only. We do suggest you try and book closer to the beginning of term and not the end as that is when assessments and exams take place. The last 3 weeks of the 4th term of the year are never a good time to volunteers as when the children have finished writing their final exams, the majority only attend school to pick up their reports and the numbers are very low in the classroom

If you are not able to volunteer in the dates of the school term and can only volunteer in the school holidays, we suggest that you get involved in our youth development placement holiday program or our safe house volunteer project helping to give the foster children safe, busy and occupied with fun activities in the holidays

After-school activities

There are a few activities that you can take part in after-school. You can either help at the children at the safe house with their homework, the after-school club with the youth development centre, assist with grassroots soccer coaching, visit the local elephant park, do some shopping, have lunch at the Waterfront on the lagoon edge, hike the Pledge nature reserve or just getting a well needed nap as the children can be exhausting as they have so much energy. Please note that after-school activities do not take place every afternoon.

Typical day

7am- Breakfast time and get ready for the day. It is advisable to pack a light lunch for the day

7.30am- Be collected at your volunteer accommodation by our driver and be driven to the school
7.45am- School starts. Monday starts with an assembly first. Lessons then take place until the next break and can be anything from 30 minutes to an hour longer depending on the school you are placed at
10.15am- quick break
10.30am- lessons resume
12.30pm- break for a lunch
13.00pm- lessons resume
2.30pm- school ends for the day and you are collected by our driver. You may want to take part in an after-school activities or return to your volunteer accommodation to explore the town

Depending on which school you are placed at may impact on the length of lessons and the time the school closes for the day. You will be given a roster of which classes you will be helping with and may have a free lesson or two in the school day which can be used to prepare for lesson plans or catching up on marking assignments and tests in the staff room

Free-time activities

Knysna is one of South Africa’s favourite towns based around the beautiful Knysna estuary with views of the iconic headlands. It is not known as the jewel of the Garden Route for nothing and is surrounded by magical forests, farmlands and a breath-taking coastline dotted with blue flag beaches which are great for swimming, barbequing or just simply watching dolphins surfing in the waves. It is also home to the famous elusive Knysna elephant which are the most southern free roaming elephants in the world and there are still hot debates about the numbers with some saying there is only one left and others a small herd of about 4.

The area that Knysna is situated is the Garden Route of the province of the Western Cape and it is a dream for animal lovers and extreme sports enthusiasts as there are numerous private wildlife reserves, national parks, whale watching, predator sanctuaries, primate sanctuaries, elephant sanctuaries, wolf sanctuaries, skydiving, paragliding, sandboarding, numerous interesting markets and so much more so boredom is not an option.

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 07:30 - 14:30

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
The cost of the project includes accommodation, a food allowance, daily transport to and from the project, airport collections and drop offs, staff on the ground available for emergencies 24/7 and to oversee your stay and safety, marketing costs, donations to the project, a Saturday tour and a Sunday braai (BBQ) either at the beach or the forest.
Airport Pickup at George Airport
You will need to fly into George Airport for your airport collection where you will be met by your Volunteer International Adventures representative and driven to your volunteer accommodation in Knysna. On completion of your project, you will be driven back to George Airport for your return flight. If arriving by coach from Cape Town, you will be fetched and dropped off at the coach depot in Knysna
The volunteer accommodation is at a charming 3-star bed and breakfast a block from the main road of the town of Knysna close to shopping malls, restaurants, take-aways, gyms, nightlife, entertainment areas and essential services. There is security and the area is safe to walk around. Accommodation is either shared with another volunteer or single depending on volunteer numbers with each room having its own bedroom with either double or twin beds, a TV, bathroom with a shower, basin and toilet. There is a braai facility and kitchen for meals. There is also WIFI. Couples, friends, and families can be accommodated.
Food & Beverages
Breakfast is included at your volunteer accommodation and you will also receive a food allowance for your basic food essentials for lunch and dinner. You will be taken for a grocery shop as part of your induction on your arrival. This means that you can choose the specific food if you have set dietary requirements. There is a kitchen for cooking
Internet Access
Limited 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 George Airport (GRJ) in George. 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

This project takes part in the South Africa School term

School terms for 2021
TermStartEnds1st13th of January26th of March2nd07th of April11th of June3rd6th of July11th of September4th28th of September1st of December

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)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$445 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Volunteer Int. Adventures 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 Volunteer Int. Adventures during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Volunteer Int. Adventures cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Volunteer Int. Adventures.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Teach at schools in disadvantaged communities

Volunteer teaching from foundation phase to high school with various subjects like English, Sport, Creative Arts, the Sciences and Mathematics in Knysna, South AfricA


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