Teaching at Primary School

Volunteer with children aged 6-13 years as a teacher's assistant at a primary school in Cape Town. Make your travel to South Africa meaningful!

About the Program

All children have to attend a school and more schools serving poor communities have been built. However, the quality of education for the poorest South Africans largely remains sub-par. Material shortages exist, and the influx of rural migrants into cities like Cape Town has brought overcrowding. Additionally, many children come from homes with problems like abuse, HIV/AIDS, illiteracy and unemployment. These translate into poor student attendance, behavioral problems and undernourished children that cannot concentrate in class. Volunteers bring energy and new backgrounds into the classroom. They help local teachers maintain classroom order and provide more individualized attention to students, especially those falling behind. They share their culture and skills, and help expose the children to new ideas. Volunteers live and work in Cape Town or the surrounding areas. 

Structure and Facilities 

  • Vary according to location, resources and level of trained staff 
  • Overcrowded classrooms (40+ learners per class) 
  • Need for additional teachers and more resources 
  • Limited facilities 
  • Little or no recreational activities (e.g. sport and art) 

The kids you will be teaching are between 6 and 13 years old.

Suitable for


Typical day

Usual working days go from 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM (Monday to Thursday) or 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Friday) and include the following activities.

  • Assisting teachers in the classroom 
  • Possibility of teaching a class with no supervision 
  • Assist the slower learners 
  • Contribute to activities like arts or sports with your creativity

** This may vary depending on the specific school and after school programs **

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Health Declaration
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
CV and Police Clearance
Other Skills
Enjoy working with children. A basic understanding of local primary schools and the challenges faced within the educational system in South Africa.

Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 14:30

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in South Africa? Volunteer World directly connects you with South African Students Travel Service (SASTS)

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Free-time activities

Cape Town is one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations for a reason. Its beaches, such as Camp’s Bay, are world renown, and Cape Town’s beachfront and downtown areas are lively at any time. During the day it is easy to find artisans selling their crafts or outdoor cafes to enjoy the Mediterranean climate. At night, there are many excellent bars, clubs and restaurants where locals and foreigners can relax and socialize.
There are numerous cultural sites to visit, including the Bo-Kaap neighborhood and the Castle of Good Hope. They reflect Cape Town’s long history and help explain why the city is one of the most multicultural in the word. Robben Island, the infamous prison where political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were held during apartheid is a difficult but necessary stop. For outdoor lovers, Cape Town has a wide mix of opportunities. Table Mountain is a breathtaking spot to visit, and there are many nearby hills, mountains and trails that make for great biking, climbing and hiking. Many, like Lion’s Head Mountain, also offer stunning views over the city and ocean below. Join in on tours down the Garden Route and a Game Drive to spot the Big 5!

Water Sports
Winter Sports


What's included?
Placement in a suitable project and volunteer house - Placement inventory information prior to arrival in South Africa - Transfer from the airport to the SASTS house - Transfer to SASTS office for Orientation - Orientation program, including welcome session and Orientation Session - Meals and accommodation at volunteer house - Access to email, internet and mail holding facility at the SASTS House - Bookings for tours and activities
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

Volunteers will be collected at Cape Town International Airport on the Set Arrival Date. A representative from the shuttle company will have a signboard with SASTS on it to meet you. If you cannot find the representative because your flight is early or delayed, please look out for SASTS. If you are unable to see anyone, please make your way to the information desk in the main terminal as the driver will page for you.


The SASTS House can accommodate up to 30 volunteers at a time (5 dorm-style rooms sleeping between 4-8 people) , on-site, live-in SASTS hostel manager, fully-equipped kitchen and communal lounge area with satellite TV, fully-fitted bathroom with 4 showers and 3 toilets, individual lockers for each volunteer, prepaid WiFi internet connection, located centrally on transport route close to supermarkets, internet café, laundries, restaurants, etc.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Breakfast and dinner is provided Monday to Friday only. Lunch and weekend meals are the volunteer's expense. Breakfast is self help and normally includes coffee, tea with bread and cereal. Dinner includes a wide variety of dishes featuring food such as chicken or beef with beans, pasta, vegetable or rice. Dinner may also include a salad or soup.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)

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. South African Students Travel Service (SASTS) 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 South African Students Travel Service (SASTS) 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?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in South Africa upfront.
92 Loop Street, Cape Town, 8001 Cape Town, South Africa