Teaching in South Africa


Caring for fellow human beings and nourishing the minds of youth through education, kindness and compassion has to be on the most selfless and rewarding acts of a global citizen. By becoming a teaching volunteer in some of South Africa’s more poverty stricken communities, you’ll provide essential teaching support.

Program Overview

Caring for fellow human beings and nourishing the minds of youth through education, kindness and compassion has to be on the most selfless and rewarding things we can do as a global citizen. By becoming a teaching volunteer in some of South Africa’s more poverty stricken communities, you’ll provide essential teaching support. You’ll get to know the children and be a positive role model for the under-resourced.

Located in various townships of Cape Town, the education project supports classes using limited resources. The program’s aim is to provide local children with better opportunities and brighter futures – whether it’s preschool, mainstream primary, a non-governmental school or afterschool care.

When and where it is possible, the schools also provide nutrition through school meals. Some even try to incorporate sports, physical education and arts into their program. By participating in this volunteer experience, you’ll have rewarding opportunities to help prepare and implement weekly learning activities.

Project Details:

  • Project Activities: Assistant teaching, reading support, making crafts with the kids and helping to uplift and empower a community through the provision of education and training
  • Project Availability: Projects start the 1st and 3rd Mondays every month that school is in session, which is as follows: 18 January – 18 March / 5 April – 24 June / 18 July – 30 September / 10 October – 7 December
  • Project Duration: 2-12 weeks. Please note: from May to July each year, only 4 and 8 week placements are accepted
  • Working Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Excursions: There are a variety of cultural activities and places of interest volunteers can choose to visit on their own (at own expense) outside of project hours. Our on-site staff can assist in providing advice.
  • Support: 24-hour on-site support from our Project Leaders and Continent Site Director
  • Police Check is required
  • Minimum Age: 18+
  • Language: English

Sample Itinerary

Here is an example of a typical weekday on the project. This serves as a guideline only and we ask that you remain flexible as itineraries may change to best serve the community.

  • 7am – Rise and shine! Eat breakfast of cereals, toast, tea & coffee, and begin to get ready for your project
  • 8:30am – Depart house to be taken to your morning project
  • 9am – Start work at your community project. You will be able to use lesson plans, resources and ideas created the previous week
  • 12:30pm – Pick-up from your school for lunch at the volunteer house or a packed lunch
  • 2pm – Depart for afternoon project
  • 5pm – End of the working day. You will be picked up from your project and taken back to the volunteer house where you will evaluate the day and discuss the schedule for the following day
  • 6pm – Dinner at the volunteer house. After dinner, volunteers often relax and unwind around the house, watch a movie, go to trivia night, or head off to one of the local pubs or coffee shops

The Volunteer's Role

The schools in townships of Cape Town are desperate for additional educational support, including delivering the day-to-day curriculum and providing a safe, supportive and stimulating learning environment. Extra pairs of hands are always needed in under-resourced communities.

As a teaching volunteer, you will be an essential part of the project team, assisting in the efforts in providing vulnerable and at-risk children with a better education and brighter futures.

Teaching placements vary with the constantly changing needs of the community. As a volunteer, your role may involve some of the following:

  • Pre-School
    Schools are often understaffed and lack essential resources. You will be supporting the development of the kids as they move from pre-school into the primary curriculum. English forms part of their curriculum through song, play and fun activities.
  • Mainstream Primary School
    This role involves assisting the teacher in the classroom by delivering English lessons, facilitating the daily routine and giving one-on-one attention to those kids who might be struggling.
  • Non-Government School
    This is an inclusive school specialising in providing a safe and positive learning environment for kids who have missed school for 6+ months. Most of these kids are former street children or are classified as at-risk youth with unstable backgrounds. There are opportunities here for you to help implement intervention strategies through reading, maths, sports and leadership.
  • After-School Care
    This program was established in 2007 by local grandmothers who saw the need to provide a safe environment for at-risk children. You’ll provide reading support, homework help, planning outdoor and gardening activities, as well as some fun arts and crafts.

Depending on the length of time that you are volunteering, you may be able to also become involved in other community work related to vulnerable and at-risk children. If getting involved in teaching, dance or healthcare initiatives is of interest to you, then please don’t hesitate to ask us more about how you can get involved.

Required Skills
Teaching in the schools requires no formal qualifications but if you have a passion (and some experience) in working with children, your love and compassion will be incredibly valuable. Individuals who have worked with children in an educational setting are most desired. You’ll need to have plenty of energy and enthusiasm to bring new experiences to the programs and delivery of education. Children’s needs change each day so it is important you are prepared to be adaptable to work in different situations as required.

For this project, a police check is required for all volunteers. Prior to commencing the project you will need to arrange a police check from Australia at your own expense.


Weekends are free for you to explore as you wish. There are a number of possible adventures in and around the area. Get up close and personal with the Big 5 on safari, float over ancient mountains in a hot air balloon, surf down the face of massive sand dunes in the desert, canoe through impressive gorges and valleys, dive with sharks off the coast, or take time to wine, dine, shop and relax – you can do it all in South Africa. These activities should be undertaken outside of working hours (at own expense). On-site staff are happy to help you plan and provide advice and can assist you with bookings and recommendations.

There is so much to do in and around Cape Town and in South Africa! Other ideas include:

  • Robben Island Museum Tour – World Heritage Site
  • Table Mountain – lots of hikes!
  • Boulders Beach
  • Cape Point
  • Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens
  • Western Cape wineries – there are lots!
  • Safari
  • Surfing
  • Kayaking
  • Shark diving
  • Skydiving
  • Paragliding

The on-site team also runs exclusive tours such as a Community Tour and Peninsula Tour – two of the most popular things to do on the weekend.


Every country in the world boasts exciting opportunities and impressive diversity, but South Africa is tough to beat. Get up close and personal with the Big 5 during your placement, float over ancient mountains in a hot air balloon, surf down the face of massive sand dunes in the desert, canoe through impressive gorges and valleys, dive with sharks off the coast, or take time to wine, dine, shop and relax – you can do it all in South Africa.

Cape Town is a veritable melting pot of creativity, colour, sounds and tastes. It’s a city bursting with livelihood – it’s sporty, fun-loving and sociable. It’s the third largest city in South Africa and occupies what is arguably one of the world’s most stunning locations. Pure crystal blue water, stunning beaches and relaxing vineyards all rest under the shadow of the magnificent Table Mountain, which is smack-bang in the centre of Cape Town. The Mountain is protected within a national park and is the ever present backdrop of a city that boasts the title of being an adventure playground.

On the weekends, you’ll have the chance to visit the Cape Peninsular where penguins are known to dive around people swimming at the beach. If you’re not a scaredy-cat and feel like something more adventurous, you can dive with Great White Sharks.

Like many cities in South Africa, there’s an uncomfortable juxtaposition of the incredibly wealthy and the dishearteningly poor. This project works in a number of towns where there is a mix of people who are facing daunting issues of high unemployment, health concerns and crippling poverty. Seeing life in the impoverished townships may shock and sadden, but through this experience you will discover that it’s not a struggling story of bleak survival. There are heart-warming tales of public pride and hopefulness that provide a balance against shocking crime and poor health statistics.


The volunteer house in Muizenberg is located in a prime surf location with plenty of marine life and close to vibey bars, cafes and restaurants. It is a big, spacious and authentic Capetonian home with a large backyard for relaxing. The volunteer house offers 10 bedrooms that can accommodate between 6-8 volunteers each. All bedding is provided, however you should please bring you own towel. While the house can cater for a large number of volunteers, each will always have their own space and private storage. A volunteer fridge is also available for your own shopping if you fancy extra snacks or drinks (the house is just opposite a major grocery store). Live music venues and local markets are also close by for volunteers to enjoy. Living in this area gives the best of both worlds – live close to the beach surrounded by mountains, while also having the city nearby.

Wi-Fi is available for a small fee of R20 per week (approx. AUD $2). There is also a safe located in the office for any valuables.

Laundry facilities are available for a minimal fee per week of R60 (AUD $6) per pillowcase-size load.

Volunteers will be provided with three meals each day (Monday-Friday). Breakfast is on a help-yourself basis consisting of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner will be cooked or prepared by one of the cooks at the volunteer house. On occasion, a packed lunch may be organised. Weekends are a great time for you to partake in tourist activities and explore this magnificent city! Volunteers have the opportunity to take advantage of the many amazing restaurants Cape Town has to offer, or you may cook your own meals at the house.

The volunteer house in Muizenberg is located within:

  • 3 min walk to the beach
  • 31 min / 26km to Cape Town city centre
  • 35 min / 30km to the airport
  • 35 min / 30km to the V&A Waterfront

Why Volunteer with CISaustralia

CISaustralia believes strongly in supporting volunteer initiatives across the world that promote sustainable and long-term societal, environmental and economic change to benefit and empower local communities.

While the term volunteering is widely known and accepted, we prefer to use the term Experiential Service Learning. This better relates to our philosophy surrounding close community engagement as well as a focus on projects that have a long-term approach and a range of positive impacts for both communities and our students. Over 98% of CISaustralia participants receive academic credit for their program abroad, which fosters a more culturally immersive and deeper reflective experience.

CISaustralia volunteering programs contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which aim to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. While not every program will achieve all seventeen of the UN goals, your role as a volunteer will have a positive impact by doing work that really matters. We partner with organisations that have in-depth, first-hand knowledge and close relationships with local communities. Prior to your departure, our team in Australia will prepare you with extensive resources so you feel supported every step of the way. You will also be supported throughout your entire overseas program by our fantastic and experienced in country staff. 

Volunteering abroad is a life-changing experience, enabling you to learn and grow on many personal and professional levels, to broaden your perspective on the world and to become a global citizen. CISaustralia prides itself in having the strongest global partners who are socially responsible and equally committed to their local communities and ethical practices. We love what we do at CISaustralia and are here to provide you with the support you need to successfully volunteer abroad – so that you can contribute to positively changing the lives of others, and yourself, along the way. Get ready for an exciting once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Read more: Why Volunteer Abroad with CISaustralia?

Program Fee & Dates

2-12 weeks - Year Round
Application deadline is 60 days prior to commencement. Arrival dates the 1st and 3rd Mondays every month that school is in session. If you would like to join a 3-week group program, see below for dates.
Program Fee A$ 2,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,913
October-November 2019 - 3 week group program
Application deadline is 60 days prior to commencement. Places are very limited. Please enquire for availability.
Arrival Date21 October 2019
Departure Date11 November 2019
Program Fee A$ 2,998
OS-HELP A$ 6,791


Program fees include the following:
  • Volunteer placement and supervision
  • CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off (on specified program dates within designated times)
  • On-site orientation and project induction
  • Accommodation – shared rooms in a volunteer house
  • Meals – 3 meals per day, Monday to Friday
  • Daily transfers to and from your project site
  • Booking and/or logistical assistance for optional excursions (excursions at additional expense)
  • 24/7 on-site support – Project Leaders and Site Director
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Police check (required)
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Weekend meals
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

Please do not book flights until you have received the dates in your acceptance paperwork and you are confirmed on the program.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partners.

Adventure Awaits

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