Surfing Smiles - Surfing Instructor

As a volunteer you can make a positive difference by using surfing as a tool to change the lives of Cape Town's underprivileged children.

About Surfing Smiles

The Surfing Smiles project is an organization that aims to establish a way out of gangsterism, crime and drugs for children from disadvantaged communities. The ‘way out’ entails a new outlook on life, brought about by the love of surfing and the ocean.

The project wants to share surfing and the lifestyle and culture it offers with others, to make a positive difference in society by using surfing as a tool to change the lives of the projects’ children and to make them ambassadors for change in their communities.

Volunteering & Impact

Currently, they are working with 12 children from Ukhanyo Primary in Masiphumelele. They hope to build long-lasting relationships with the children, develop their surfing skills, and help them get to the point where they too can teach others how to surf. They want to push them to become qualified surf instructors and perhaps start their own surf school one day. 

In order to facilitate this, the project offers a unique surfing and volunteering experience to anyone with a love for the ocean, a sense of adventure and the will to give something back. At this project, you will not only get to experience the best Cape Town has to offer while learning to surf but also help make the project’s dream a reality and change the lives of their children.

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Suitable for


Typical day

After breakfast, a typical day starts on the beach with a surf lesson with your coaches. You will have a bit of time to free surf after your lesson. This is followed by lunch and making packed lunches for the children. The kids finish school and are then brought to Muizenberg for their surf lesson.

You have a session with the kids where you pass on what you have learnt in your surf lesson. This happens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday you plan activities for the children. If the waves are really good, you will most likely go surfing. 

Other activities include hiking, soccer, swimming, slack-lining, arts and crafts, beach clean-ups, etc. You will have brainstorming sessions and plan new activities. You will also help with social media and blog posting. 

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
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
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
CV and Police Clearance Certificate
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You must bring a good attitude, have a love for the ocean, be passionate in teaching children and have surfing skills.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

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

Free-time activities

You have the opportunity to join in with the social activities organised by our Social Club.

Activities could be: City Tour, Visiting Table Mountain, a tour to Cape of Good Hope, transfer to nightspot: Long Street, Waterkant, Waterfront, a 3 Day Garden Route, Safari and Bungee (on weekends), Sunset Boat Cruise, Shark Diving, visiting the Winelands etc. 

Water Sports


What's included?
Project placement, airport transfer on arrival, accommodation placement fee, accommodation, a donation towards the project, welcome pack, an orientation at the beginning of your volunteering, local support incl. a 24-hour emergency number, Wifi.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

A driver will meet you at the airport. Look for a sign that says ‘Good Hope Volunteers’ in the arrivals hall.


The Volunteer House 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 will be not provided.

Dorm Room
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
11 weeks
19 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)

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 tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Cape Town International (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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
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