Khaya Volunteer Projects

Assistant at Children's Hospital

Cape Town , South Africa show on map

Work with babies and children in a recovery hospital in beautiful Cape Town.

The Children’s Hospital was opened in 1964 to provide medical care for impoverished children that cannot afford proper care for serious illnesses. It was partly funded by an Irish lady, who saw the great need for a children's hospital in the underdeveloped and poverty-stricken areas of the Western Cape.

Our patients are transferred from hospitals such as the Red Cross Children’s, Groote Schuur, Tygerberg, Victoria and the New Somerset Hospital, after their conditions have been stabilized.

The age group of patients being treated ranges from 0 to 12 years of age. The more common conditions treated at the hospital are various forms of Tuberculosis, Malnutrition, victims of physical or sexual abuse, the effects of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, pre and –post operative rehabilitation, respite care for cerebral palsy and abandonment and of course various medical conditions arising from HIV and Aids.

For some families living in the townships looking after their sick children is a challenge in areas such as keeping medicine refrigerated, wounds clean and to monitor the child`s recovery sufficiently. This Recovery Hospital meets a vital need of Cape Town`s poorer families. Just like any other child, these little ones need love, attention and stimulation, which the staff is usually too busy to offer, so volunteers are much appreciated!

As a volunteer, you will have a wonderfully varied experience and be involved with all the different aspects of running a charity recovery hospital. As with any home, assistance is needed with laundry and storage of all the little baby clothes and linen, simple food preparation, managing of donations of toys (given out at children`s birthdays, and when they go home) and tidying of the baby play areas.

Volunteers with bright fundraising ideas will be given scope to implement them, and then there`s the sorting and selling of second hand clothing donations (to raise funds) and admin, such as writing to thank sponsors for their donations.

There is also opportunity for volunteers to run a simple computer literacy course for the local staff nurses, who haven`t had access to computers - there are computers available at the hospital but none of the nurse’s benefit from this, as they do not even know the basics about computers. So a volunteer`s time is divided between all these vital tasks, as well as spending time with the children and babies.

The children love playing games and singing and need mental stimulation such as learning the words for parts of their body, and having stories read to them.

Some of children are HIV positive, so common sense caution is employed. Volunteers work side by side with paid nursing staff, who will attend to any medical conditions the children might have.

There is, besides daily aid and assistance, also a need for ongoing financial support. Khaya commits to work with the Childrens Hospital, to financially support them and to donate a part of your fees towards their running costs and other needs. Any additional gifts and donations provided by volunteers and their network of people are extremely appreciated. Instead of collecting goods and materials for donation, it is recommended to purchase and donate these on location.

Typical day

Some of the activities you can be involved in are:

Teach and encourage development through play
Work at the development stage that the child is and help the child develop to the proper stage where the child should be.
Collect toys from around the ward and sterilize toys daily, at the end of day each child should have one toy and one numbered soft toy in their cot
Assist with feeding, show nurse how much child ate when finished

Help teacher and teacher`s assistant with teaching activities
Ask teacher what the children is learning and how you could help
Assist with art projects, teaching-sums, letters, time, English, computer
Assist with keeping room tidy and organized
Organize children with puzzles and games

Assist with organizing the linen room and keeping it tidy
Assist with preparation of meals in the kitchen
Assist with keeping storage rooms organized i.e. labelled and tidy
Keep in mind that some children might be HIV+ but there is a non-disclosure policy in line with Government regulations and laws, so volunteers need to exercise caution when working with children and wounds.

Details on Arrival

This project is open all year round, except for a short holiday over the December holidays in between Christmas and New Year’s.

Starting the project is possible on any Monday on a weekly basis for a minimum stay of 4 weeks. You will then start volunteering on Tuesday.  

Arriving at the project

Your pick up at the airport or hostel in Cape Town is included. Arrival should ideally be on Friday afternoon or anytime Saturday.  The day after arrival will be a half day orientation/city tour where volunteers will be given an introduction to the city and its history and the Do’s and Dont’s will be covered.

Daily transport

Your daily transport to and from the project is not included in the total price, as we use the services of a company for this. The weekly fee of R300 (25 euro) can be paid in cash upon arrival or to the driver of your transport.

Free-time activities


Hiking - there are numerous day hikes around the city.  Some of the more well-known hikes are Signal Hill, Table Mountain, Elephants Eye and Chapman's Peak.

Beach/Surfing - Cape Town has a selection of some the most beautiful beaches and Muizenberg is known internationally as one of the best beaches to learn to surf.

Table Mountain Cable Way - The most popular way to summit Table Mountain is with the cable car. Once at the summit, the panoramic views of Cape Town are breath taking.

Cape Point Nature Reserve - Cape Point is the most south western point on the African continent where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet and there are a selection of activities including hikes, pristine untouched beaches and some wildlife.

V&A Waterfront - For those keen on purchasing gifts to take back home the V&A waterfront is the perfect outing. 

There are also day trips to Robben Island, art galleries, food markets, live music and a wide range of activities to keep you entertained.


Program Requirements

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
- Relaxed and friendly with children, but also firm with the naughty ones
- Ability to comfort and calm distressed toddlers and babies
- Ability to play games, sing songs and be like a child
- Ability to communicate in a warm and simple way - meet children at their level
- Basic counselling and conflict management (for older orphanages)
- Assist with homework from school (older orphanage)
- Creativeness in regard to after school activities
Good listening skills
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for


Included Services

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 Khaya Volunteer Projects cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Khaya Volunteer Projects.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Khaya Volunteer Projects (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Khaya Volunteer Projects
Costs will include the following:

Airport pick up 
Half day orientation, the day after arrival
Accommodation in shared bedrooms 
Breakfast and dinners 
Guidance and supervision during your stay 
Direct donation towards the project  
Certificate & Report on Volunteer’s Program should this be required for studies or other purposes 

Costs are excluding the following:

Air tickets 
Insurances, your medical insurance must 
include work and emergency evacuation. 
Personal luxuries 
Tours and outings 
The cost of a visa in the case of your volunteer stay being longer than 90 days  
Local Transport of R300 per week 
Towel and toiletries 

Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

Your pick up at the airport or hostel in Cape Town is included. Arrival should ideally be on Friday afternoon or anytime Saturday.  The day after arrival will be a half day orientation/city tour where volunteers will be given an introduction to the city and its history and the Do’s and Dont’s will be covered. 


Volunteers are accommodated in a backpacker’s style house, in the popular area of Woodstock. The house is comfortable with a communal lounge, kitchen, internet (extra costs apply) and easy access to the city and any facilities you might need. 

Guest Family
Food & Beverages
Breakfast and dinner is included in your fee, which will be served daily. Breakfast is self-service and lunch is for your own account, you can either bring your own lunch on working days or join the (basic) meals offered at the project. 

Please make a note to mention special dietary requirements and allergies before you arrive. You will have to supply your own groceries if your needs are very complicated to match with other volunteer’s meals.

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Cape Town /South Africa between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Khaya Volunteer Projects will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
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 {} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Cape Town , 49 Petunia Rd

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