This trip was first and foremost a dream come true, I had long wanted to visit South Africa and this country did not leave anything to wish for, was everything I expected and a little more. The voluntary work option came because I’m passionate about this type of trip, so I went to an NGO where most of the money was spent on the project and found Iko Poran, who also had the advantage of being much more into account that tourism companies that offer this kind of trip, I chose a project with children in a township, and then, with the tickets bought (TAAG airlines) I went to what would be the best and biggest adventure of my life.
The first few days were quiet, I was introduced to the other residents of the house (who later became good friends) and then the next day I met the group of children I would be a volunteer teacher, I was received with shouts and celebrations, “teachá” was like they called me every day, it is impossible not to fall in love. The Township where I worked was called Masiphumelele, but called Masi affectionately, it was not the hostile and dangerous place they painted, so the importance of entering a culture before to judge her, as soon as I arrived, the transfer company’s own girl said that it was very dangerous to take the vans leaving from the townships, that was the transport I took every day and I never had any kind of problem, people from the townships are cheerful, friendly and very helpful and the children are very well cared for despite all the poverty that can not be denied that exists there.
I worked about 3 hours a day in the morning and had the afternoon and the free weekends, I usually stayed with the other volunteers at home during the week and during the weekend we would make group tours to explore the region. In contrast with the poverty of Masi, it was the place where the volunteers’ residence was located, Fish Hoek, is a rich region and I did not suffer any kind of harassment or insecurity during the whole stay there, definitely a place I recommend, mainly for those who will stay longer, besides having one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in life. Fish Hoek is an hour by train from Cape Town and is 20 minutes from Muizenberg, one of the most famous beaches there and where are the largest surfing schools, I even took a chance and got waves, I got to stand on the board by 20 seconds, what for me is a win hahaha
Because of the distance from the Cape Town sights, I only got to know two (yes, I did not go up to Table Mountain, I did not go to Robben Island or Cape of Good Hope) but I want to go back to do everything, I met the V & A Waterfront and to Boulder’s Beach, the famous Penguin Beach, I really enjoyed Cape Town and despite the reports of harassment and insecurity I was able to walk around quietly without any of it, my tip is: do everything in a group if possible and try to stay close to the tourist areas.
In my penultimate week we made a trip to Jacobs Bay which was amazing, starting with the hostel called Jacobs Bay Backpackers and had a whole fairy tale, one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed, no doubt. The beaches were indescribable and the Peaceful feeling was something present in any corner, very few tourists and much to be admired. The trip cost 600 rand (about 200 reais) per person, including car rental, gasoline, hostel and food, we were in a group of 9 people .
My tip for anyone who wants to do any kind of volunteer work, especially in South Africa is: ONLY GO! I hope it changes your life, just as it changed mine. – Isabella Neves, Brazil
Read Isabella’s original post on “Mochileiros” (portuguese).
Caregiving and Teaching children in Cambodia. There are no words to describe the magic, the love, the kindness, and the gratitude you will experience. Apply today to volunteer abroad with Iko Poran. Your best travel is here
This project provides for you as a childcare volunteer in Cambodia a chance to make a difference to such deprived children by helping them on a day-to-day basis.
Your volunteer work schedule will include sanitation, learning, recreation and offering extracurricular activities such as drawing, painting, singing, and dancing.
The main objective of the childcare volunteer program is to bring mental, intellectual, physical and social improvement to the orphans.
Dr. Hugo Tolomei, a lawyer from Brazil, advocating for children in South Africa. With lawyers like you we can surely build a better future, thank you very much!!
In Cape Town, South Africa, you can do volunteer work at Doreen’s Crèche, educating the children at the day care. Recently, two volunteer physicians from Brazil did even a health screen for the children.
If you are into therapy, or psychology, you can even work with occupational therapy for children with special needs. Moreover, there is a teaching internship available at a school on the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town.
Dr. Ana Elisa Pena & Dr. Fernanda Rangel de La Peña doing a health screen of the children in South Africa. Both physicians came as volunteer from Brazil 👏👏👏 Well done ladies!! The world needs more people like you 😄
Visit our page with all the volunteer opportunities in South Africa, including health screening, volunteer work with children at Doreen’s Creche, a Marine Biology internship, wildlife veterinary internship and many more!
This 6-weeks volunteering experience in Padre Cocha remain like a dream, a wonderful sharing moment for me.
I was a teacher assistant at a Kindergarden, with a three-years-old children. This experience to teach to little kids was very interesting because of the difference of culture I discovered there. The education of the children at the Kindergarden is really different from a “common” Kindergarden. Of course, children always lived in the jungle, and act sometimes like if they were at home. What’s more, the teachers, because of peruvian laws, are not allowed to scream or punish the kids. So it was challenging to fine another way to make them obey. (Sometimes some sweets were enough ahaha)
Anyway, it was sooo nice to take care of them as well as teach them. After some time, they have confidence in you, they listen to you, they want to tell you their family memories and laugh with you, and show affection and respect. I really fell in love with them, their so-cute smiling faces.
The teacher I was with called Teresa was fabulous ! The best teacher for little kinds, skilled, sensible, affective, and involved. Great moments with her !!
Outside the school, I lived four weeks in the backpacker sunrise of the association. Prepare to spend time alone, you are not “part of a family” but definitely a guest. I recommend you to spend time with Louisa, a very interesting and honest person !
The two last weeks living in a family of artisans were the best of my volunteering, far ever. Time share with my family speaking, telling stories, eating all together for the morning and the lunch, chilling in the hammock, just being together.
It was so intense!!!!!!!!
I felt deeply lucky to have expérienced this with these people. I will never forget how wonderful was the family, how much you feel welcomed and integrated.
And honestly, having experience in the jungle, disconnecting with others and before all the mobile phone IS SO GREAT !!! Thats allows you to create deeper Links with everyone. So special people !
I miss the nature, thé forest, as well as people.
I definitely recommend this experience to everybody !!!! – Albane, France
Please visit the child development project at a kindergarden in Padre Cocha, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon on our official homepage. There, you find all the details, and how to sign up. On our blog, you can find also more volunteer opportunities in Peru, and how to sign up!
Albane Pournin from France had joined a childcare program in Cambodia last year, this year she is joining 4 programs on a roll. In this picture, she is working as a teacher assistant in a kindergarten in Iquitos, Peru.
Albane, you rock!!
If you are looking for a truly inspiring workaway volunteer opportunity, try out our childcare program at a Kindergarten or Wawa Wasi in Iquitos, Cusco or Arequipa. The Quechua words means house of the kids. While the parents are working during the day, the Wawa Wasi National Peruvian Program provides comprehensive early childhood care for their children. Since children up to four years sometimes live under conditions of extreme poverty, the program provides a safe learning environment, where the children can grow. The Management Committee and the Supervisory Board perform their tasks free of charge, providing their time and social commitment in support of the children of their community.
Since the work with the children is so rewarding, you will begin to see life in a different way. With you voluntary work, you will give the chidren the chance to socialize, play and learn new skills in a safe area. These day care centers desperately need volunteers because each of the team’s educators has to care for at least 8 children from 1 month to 4 years. So, you can fill in the gap and give the children more attention! Your role includes also to organize short indoor activities such as art & craft, reading fairytale stories, coloring, playing games, serving food, cleaning and tidying, etc.
Enzo Klein, from France, smiling and making children smile in the Childcare & Teaching program in South Africa.
Thank you very much Enzo!!!
Quite a few of our volunteers have already been teaching children at Doreen’s Crèche, located at Masiphumelele Township, around 45 minutes from central Cape Town. All of them enjoyed caring for these loving kids!
The crèche receives over 60 children aged 3-6 during the day while their parents work to earn a living. Taking care of these dynamic and energetic children requires a lot of work, which is why you’re your help will be greatly appreciated.
During your stay as a volunteer in South Africa, you also will learn about township life, culture, and history.
You also may enjoy to read more testimonials form our volunteers in South Africa at Doreen’s Crèche:
I spent two weeks as a teaching assistant at a rural kindergarden. The experience was way different than I expected.
The children live very difficult family circunstances and you have to be ready to see and hear some heartbreaking experiences. Nonetheless they are very loving and affectionate to volunteers so you instantaneously feel welcomed. Then is up to you how you want to make an impact.
In my experience I came to the realisation that you cannot educate them in two weeks, and what these children really needed was love and support.
I recommend Iko Poran for this type of program because they offer support at all times if any doubts or concerns arise.
I was able to contact the Peruvian based advisor by whatsapp at al times regrding my situation and even touristic doubts and the host family was always there for a chat if you are having trouble adjusting.
Adriana has been volunteering in Cusco, Peru
Volunteer on child development in Peru working as a teaching assistant in a rural kindergarten.
In the teaching assistant projects you will be working as a part of PRONOEI. PRONOEI is a Peruvian government sponsored preschool initiative in the poorest areas of Peru, where mothers from within the community receive teacher training to work with a group of 30 children between 3 to 5 years old.
These community mothers, also called promotoras, have a huge challenge to keep their classes running, receiving very little support from the Peruvian state. They are nonetheless doing a formidable job, but that’s why receiving volunteers to assist in the classroom can be such a huge help.
You will be assisting them with classroom activities and playing with the children. The facilities in these PRONOEIs are limited to the most basic; they are often missing adequate restrooms, large enough classrooms, playground areas and teaching materials, but the children who attend them are so happy and thankful to be receiving an education that you will find the experience to be truly humbling. In your spare time you can explore the mysteries of this astounding place and get to know the real Peru.
You can choose between volutneer programs in Arequipa, Peru’s beautiful white-stone city shadowed by the famous El Misti Volcano; Cusco, the Inca capital and the archaeological capital of the Americas; and Iquitos, the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon.
Volunteers in Iquitos will be located inside an Amazonian ethnic group located 15 minutes by boat from Iquitos city.
Volunteers must love children and have a positive and creative attitude to make the most of the limited resources available. You will gain valuable teaching experience, while helping to keep these educational projects going.
Sangeetha Agara, volunteer from Canada, sharing her love in a Childcare program in Cusco, Peru. Way to go Gita!!!
Be a childcare volunteer in Peru at a rural kindergarten. Work with children in Arequipa where we place volunteers in a Wawa Wasi (Quechua words meaning house of the kids). The Wawa Wasi National Peruvian Program provides comprehensive early childhood care in responding to the need for day care for children under 4, children of working mothers or parents. The program focuses particularly on girls and boys who are vulnerable, and/or are living in conditions of poverty or extreme poverty. The Management Committee and the Supervisory Board perform their tasks free of charge, providing their time and social commitment in support of the children of their community.
Working with these children is extremely worthwhile and will give you the opportunity to see life in a different way. Children assisting in this day care center have the chance to socialize, play and learn new skills in a safe area. These day care centers desperately need volunteers because they work with 8 children from 1 month to 4 years of age to each one care giver. Your role is to organize short indoor activities such as art & craft, reading fairytale stories, coloring, playing games, serving food, cleaning and tidying, etc.
Volunteers must have a lot of love and energy to give to these children, and can expect to receive the same in kind. A flexible attitude is also vital to making the most rewarding experience.
You will be living in Arequipa, Peru’s beautiful white-stone city shadowed by the famous El Misti Volcano. In your spare time you can explore the mysteries of this astounding place and get to know the real Peru.
Join us for the experience of a lifetime.