Rural Zululand in South Africa is a remote and beautiful area where many of the local children are in desperate need of education and care. With nearly 25 percent of the local population believed to be living with HIV and access to schools extremely limited, a large orphaned community exists and many of the children you will be helping have lost one or both their parents and need positive role models in their lives.
In addition to your work with the young children in the village, this project also gives you the opportunity to get involved in some of our wider community outreach projects. You will be offering urgent assistance to families who have little or no support, often grandmothers who are the sole carers for their grandchildren. This project gives you the ability to be part of a team providing comfort, security and a safe place to learn. A truly unforgettable, life-changing experience!
St Lucia is located near beautiful beaches, lush coastal forests, savannas, and wetlands. The abundance of wildlife and natural beauty in this area of South Africa is incredible. During your stay with us, you will have some fantastic opportunities to explore some of what this area has to offer. With the warm Indian Ocean and Big 5 game reserves all around, amazing marine and wildlife can be found everywhere!
St Lucia is a cute little tourist town. It has a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, roadside craft markets and a supermarket. It is easy to get around St Lucia on foot but it is also possible to hire a bike/car if you wanted to see more. St Lucia is home to the highest concentrations of Hippos and Nile crocodiles in Southern Africa with approximately 1,200 Nile Crocodiles and 800 Hippo. It’s not uncommon to see the hippos wandering about the streets at night eating the grass.
Work You'll Be Doing
Orphan Day Care Centers
Within the local village, several crèches and daycare centers have been established to provide children with a meal, basic education, and the attention and care they so often lack at home. Our aim is to assist the crèche caregivers by helping with basic learning, fun activities and lots of educational play for the children. On occasion, there are as many as 80 children to be looked after!
Volunteers visit the day care centers every morning and will assist in taking care of a class of children younger than 6. Your role is fundamental to the development of the children and for their preparation for their next step into primary school.
Orphan-Care After-School Club
After-School Club is an opportunity to provide the orphaned children with stimulation that might otherwise be lacking and be positive role models. Volunteers lead after-school playtime activity for the children (7-15 years old). You will be involved in educational games, sports, dance, drama and crafts with these energetic children.
Family Relief Assistance Program
You will be helping families who need urgent support. The focus varies depending on daily and personal needs but includes providing food parcels, educational lessons, repairing or providing homes, providing access to water and clothing, as well as creating sustainable vegetable gardens. You will find that the community greatly appreciates your presence and you will receive a warm welcome!
This amazing community outreach project is only made possible through the hard work of volunteers and it is a unique insight into how traditional Zulu families live. As a volunteer, you will bond with each family and learn more about the daily struggles they face.
Why You Should Join
- Interact and help disadvantaged and vulnerable children in rural African villages
- Provide orphans with much needed care and education to improve their future choices
- Keep children and teenagers off the streets through Reading After School Care projects
- Support families living in poverty through education, building and community and HIV/Aids Support groups
- Immerse yourself in the local Zulu culture, learning all about the traditional African customs
- Spend your weekends on safari, spotting lions, elephants, rhinos and more!
- The Indian Ocean is just down the road – stunning beaches and warm waters filled whales and turtles!
HIV/AIDS AWARENESS EDUCATION, As a volunteer you will play a profound role in helping to share knowledge and create awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention with primary school students.
READING CLUB, One of the most popular activities for both students and volunteers. We provide a relaxed setting and make learning and literacy fun. Most weeks there are 50-80 teenagers attending!
GARDENING, Happens with Mothers and Child Support Groups where they
We know you’re going to be working hard during the day but we want you to enjoy your downtime in the evenings and on the weekends. Here are just a few ideas:
- Take a day trip – or even overnight trip! – and go on a safari with an experienced guide in one of the surrounding Big 5 Game reserves
- Have a beach day, with picnic and go snorkelling
- Enjoy a fantastic cultural evening learning to dance and play drums Zulu style
- Get an extra stamp on your passport. Go on a weekend trip to Mozambique and have the chance to swim with wild dolphins
- Stroll to the local Cafés for a coffee, smoothie, milkshake and a homemade cake
- Take a walk to the beach or the estuary to watch the African sunsets with hippos in the back ground
Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
Countries: South Africa
Ages: 16 and up
- Genuine love and concern for people and the environment
- Good understanding of English.
- You must be in good physical health, as you will be expected to participate in physical activities
- Ability to work as part of a team, be flexible and cooperative
Project start: Every other Sunday (see scheduled dates below)
Dates: 28 January / 25 February / 25 March / 22 April / 20 May / 17 June / 15 July / 12 August / 09 September / 07 October / 04 November / 02 December / 30 December
South African School Term dates:
17 January – 28 March
10 April – 22 June
17 July – 28 September
9 October – 12 December
*Schedules may vary during the South African School Holidays when we run fun educational holiday clubs for children aged 5 – 14
2 weeks – $1,524.00
3 weeks – $1,935.00
4 weeks – $2,345.00
5 weeks – $2,755.00
6 weeks – $3,165.00
7 weeks – $3,575.00
8 weeks – $3,985.00
9 weeks – $4,395.00
10 weeks – $4,805.00
11 weeks – $5,215.00
12 weeks – $5,625.00
PM: After-School Club, Stroll to Sunset Jetty for Sundowners
PM: Reading Club, Relax at the volunteer house
|Wed||AM: HIV Education
PM: Family Relief Assistance, Enjoy dessert in a local restaurant
PM: Planning/ Zulu language lesson, Volunteer Night
PM: Reading Club, Veyane Zulu Cultural Night
|Sat – Sun||Enjoy a full day game drive at Hluhluwe/Imfolozi game reserve or take a weekend trip to Mozambique for an incredible dolphin swim
Take a short stroll to the local beach and have the chance to spot some amazing marine life. In the afternoon go on an iconic hippo and croc tour and watch a beautiful African sunset.
Please contact us if you have any questions!
Our volunteer house is located in the center of town on the main road when you enter St. Lucia and currently accommodates between 8 and 14 volunteers. It’s directly across from a grocery store (Spar), ATM, service station, and within a two block radius of at least five restaurants. A two-minute walk to a pharmacy, bank branch, and local fruit and curio market. There is a night guard and a safe in the office.
The house is surrounded by a large tropical garden which is perfect to relax in. We also have a beautiful pool, a lounge come dining area and a braai area. If you fancy going for a walk in your downtime it takes only 30 minutes’ to get to a beautiful beach or to see the breathtaking sunsets over the estuary.
We can cater for most dietary requirements, but please let us know beforehand so we can prepare for your arrival. The food we serve is a mixture of International and South African cuisine. Breakfast is continental style with cereals, toast, jam and peanut butter. Lunch and dinner is normally a hot meal.
We don’t provide food on Saturday (lunch or dinner time) or Sunday (breakfast). On these days there is always plenty of yummy leftovers in the fridge, a variety of different restaurants to eat at or if you fancy cooking you can go and grab some ingredients from one of the supermarkets in town.
Airport Collection and drop off on arrival and departure
Laundry @R40 per pillowcase load
All your daily transport to the project sites
3 meals a day (Monday to Friday) from our team of great chefs
A full-time housekeeping service and 24-hour support
Comfortable shared accommodation
A great experience with the opportunity to make new friends!
Optional Tours and Trips
Be sure to have your camera ready. Our weekend tours will give you an opportunity to relax and see more of what this area has to offer.
Hippo and Croc Tour – From ZAR250 The best way to learn about the Estuary and its inhabitants is to go on a boat cruise with a knowledgeable guide. This exciting trip will give you the opportunity to discover, observe and learn more about Hippos, Nile Crocodiles and a variety of bird species.
Thanda and Elephant Interaction – Prices depend on season This overnight self-drive allows you to spend the night in a luxurious tented camp at an exclusive 5 star lodge situated in a Big 5 game reserve. You will also get the chance to get up close and personal with Rambo, Rachel and Jabulani, a family of habituated elephants. You will be given opportunity to feed them well as touch Rambo’s ears, behind his tusks, between his front legs, and even get to feel his tongue!
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park – From ZAR895 Go on a day long game drive and experience the magic of the South African Bush. This trip involves getting up early but seeing an African Sunrise makes it worthwhile. You may get the chance to see the Big 5 (Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo and Elephant) and myriad of other animals. If you are lucky you might even get to see one of Africa’s most endangered animals, the Wild Dogs.
Night Game Drive – From ZAR450 Night games drives are unique and thrilling. Discover nocturnal animals on a drive into iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s First World Heritage Site. With the help of a powerful spotlight, you will go in search for some of our more elusive animals. This trip is also your chance to witness one of nature’s natural phenomena, the Milky Way.
Zulu Cultural Night – From ZAR150 Experience and learn more about the traditional Zulu way of life. Try on traditional Zulu dress, add more Zulu words to your vocabulary, watch Zulu dancing, fighting and get involved in the action. Round off your experiences with a traditional Zulu meal.
Kosi Bay and/or Mozambique Weekend Trip – Prices depend on season Get away to paradise for one night or two. Swim with dolphins, snorkel in Mozambique and enjoy beautiful white sand beaches. Enjoy solitude, amazing views and an ocean safari in Kosi Bay. Whale watch from July to November, search for nesting sea turtles – November to January and watch baby turtles make their way to the ocean from January to March.