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Good Hope Volunteers

Childcare Assistant at a Children's Hospital

Cape Town, South Africa

This amazing program is committed to helping make the hospital experience less traumatic for the young patients that are treated there.

About the Program

This hospital is the only dedicated specialist pediatric hospital serving the children of Southern Africa. The hospital is a national asset and handles the worst cases of disease and chronic illness in children under 12 years of age.

Focus areas include renal and liver transplants, specialised burn care, neurosurgery, cancer treatment, intensive care, HIV/Aids research, TB, re-hydration and co-ordination, and management in the care of chronic disorders.

The Friends of the Hospital Association is a non-profit organisation based at the Children’s Hospital. They’ve been in existence since 1978, operating as The Family Resource Centre. 

Their purpose is to accelerate and maintain the recovery of patients attending the Children’s Hospital by providing resources, education and support to patients, caregivers and immediate families. As FRIENDS, they believe that physical and emotional healing work simultaneously.

Throughout our lives we all need friends – and even more so when one of our children is sick and in hospital. This program is committed to helping make the hospital experience less traumatic for patients and their families by providing emotional support as well as practical assistance. This association depends solely on the support of the community. With your help they are able to provide a more comfortable stay for the children and their families at the hospital – because happiness is going home!

This is a “Play Volunteer Program”:

Play in the wards is a time and space where patients can express the healthy part of themselves. It aims to bring about a sense of wellbeing, an escape from the “illness”. It creates a warm and happy environment where kids can be kids and not patients. It is during this time that patients can express their playfulness. It is also within this playful relationship that the child’s emotional and social development is encouraged. You will come to realize that you form part of a multi-disciplinary team, which facilitates the healing process of the little children. It is important to remember that you will not be involved in any medical procedures as per South African health professional laws. Your main responsibility will be to have and create fun.

Highlights

  • The difference you will make in these kid's lives and daily recovery will be thanked in so much love, hugs and smiles.
  • Through playing with and reading to the young patients, you comfort them and make them forget about their reality, even for just a moment. For them, your friendship and company is worth more than anything.
  • Volunteering changes lives - for both you and the children.
  • You will become a kid’s hero. Their faces will light up when they see you, their little hands ready to take yours and go play.
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Get personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Typical day

Your Role

Monday – Friday, from 09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:00:

You take turns visiting the wards and clinics. You may choose to be in the ‘healthier’ wards if you are not strong enough to handle the really sick areas. You visit the hospital wards, all dressed up in a fun apron and with brightly colored toy trolleys filled with fun goodies, giving love and comfort to sick children who are often scared and missing their families. You interact with patients through appropriate play, reading, and other interactive activities. You will be expected to help wherever necessary, including doing administration tasks, helping in the storeroom and assisting the Friends’ Fundraising Shop.

Free-time activities

Together with other volunteers and language students from Good Hope Studies you can take part in the entertainment program of the Social Club. There are organised events, outings and tours most evenings and at the weekends. 

Local activities in Cape Town

  • City Tour (Wednesday late afternoon)
  • Visit the highlights of the city centre: the Company Gardens, Parliament, the South African Museum, Green Market Square and many other places of interest.
  • Table Mountain (Thursday evening)
  • Take the Cable Car to the top of the mountain and enjoy a magnificent view of the city. Take along a picnic and enjoy the sunset. Alternatively, you can get a light meal from one of the restaurants.
  • Transfer to nightspot: Long Street (Friday night)
  • Explore one of Cape Town’s best nightlife hot-spots. Meet local people, enjoy live music and dance into the night.
  • Cape of Good Hope (Saturday, full day)
  • A highlight and an absolute must for every visitor is the Cape of Good Hope. Experience the beauty of this nature reserve and, with a bit of luck, view some local wildlife.
  • Township tour (Wednesday late afternoon)
  • Visit a township and see a different side of Cape Town. You’ll witness people living in difficult circumstances and poor conditions, but you will also experience the vibrancy and spirit of the South African people.
  • Dinner with a teacher (Thursday evening)
  • Take a drive to Bloubergstrand, where there is a picture-perfect view of Cape Town. Enjoy the sunset on the beach and have dinner at a popular restaurant.
  • Transfer to nightspot: Waterkant area and Waterfront (Friday night)
  • The Waterkant area has experienced a major overhaul over the past few years and is now one of the best areas to go out at night. Enjoy trendy bars, pulsating clubs and some excellent restaurants.

Weekend trips away

On most weekends, especially on long weekends, we organise trips further away from Cape Town that include overnight stays in hostels. The Garden Route tour is the most popular of all.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High school or University degree level
Required Documents
Enrolment form, CV, Letter of motivation, Passport copy, Proof of medical insurance and Police clearance certificate
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You must have an Upper Intermediate level of English.
You should have a sensitivity and empathy towards the children.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples

Any questions? Just ask. We at Good Hope Volunteers are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Good Hope Volunteers 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 Good Hope Volunteers.
Services by Good Hope Volunteers

  • Program placement
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Accommodation (Volunteer House: shared room, shared bathroom, self-catering)
  • Daily bus transfer to and from the program
  • Full-day excursion on the first Saturday
  • A donation towards the program
  • Good Hope Volunteers welcome pack
  • Weekly site visits by our coordinator
  • An orientation at the beginning of your volunteering
  • Participation in the activities of the Social Club (extra charges may apply)
  • Electronic certificate (printed copy on request)
  • Local support including a 24-hour emergency number
  • WiFi

Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

You will need to arrive at Cape Town International Airport. Our driver will meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation.

Accommodation

You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area and consists of rooms with 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen, a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool. A commercial laundry service is close by. Bedding is provided. Towels are not provided.

Meals are self-catering. The main shopping areas as well as restaurants, pubs, etc. are within walking distance of Volunteer House. The Children’s Hospital has its own tuck shop and a canteen; furthermore, it is close to a shopping centre with a Woolworths.

Dorm Room
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. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
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.
Vaccines
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)
$1,828.00
5 weeks
$2,110.00
9 weeks
$3,238.00
17 weeks
$5,495.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$14,802.00
Average fees
$377.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Cape Town/South Africa between 4 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Good Hope Volunteers 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 Good Hope Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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