• Please select what you would like to do, where and for how long!

Social Work in a township of Port Elizabeth

Praktikum und Volunteering
In South Africa, "townships" are settlements established during the period of racial segregation for the non-white population. Many people living in townships still face poverty and social disadvantages. As a volunteer, you can support people in the townships in social projects for people in the township in a variety of ways. This placement is also suitable for Social Work related internships.

What is your placement organization doing?

Poverty, child neglect, alcohol abuse, a lack of educational institutions, and a high unemployment rates are just a few of many challenges facing many people's lives in the South African townships. The Missionvale Township is a particularly disadvantaged township in Port Elizabeth where many people live in need. The Missionvale Care Center was founded as a non-profit organization by sister Ethel, an Irish nun, and is committed to the care, support, and social participation of the township residents. Volunteers are an important part of the individual projects.

How can you get involved?

As a volunteer or intern, you can get involved in the following projects:
Food Donations: Every day, the Missionvale Care Centre provides half a loaf of bread and nutritious powdered food ingredients to disadvantaged people in Missionvale so they can prepare a meal for themselves and their families. In addition, food parcels including further food ingredients are distributed weekly to disadvantaged families.
Sewing Project / Arts and Crafts: In this project women are taught the basics of sewing. Fabrics such as curtains, placemats, handbags, aprons, and pillowcases are sold both at the Missionvale Care Center and at weekly markets. The women involved can gain valuable vocational experience through their work, which increases their chances on the job market. As a volunteer or intern, you can support the project with your creative input!
Child Care: Through this afternoon program, Missionvale ensures that children do not end up on the street and instead find safe places to play. They receive a meal, computer lessons, hear stories, learn how to play the drums, participate in cultural dances, and play sports outdoors. As a volunteer or intern you should bring a lot of commitment, and patience and come up with fresh, creative ideas that you playfully implement with the kids.
Garment Storage: Textile donations are cleaned and sorted at Missionvale so that anyone in need of clothing can be given a package of matching and clean garments to take home. Missionvale is happy about your support!
Community gardens: The inhabitants of Missionvale can grow their own fruit and vegetables at these gardens. In exchange, they donate part of their harvest to the soup kitchen.
Do you feel like working wherever your help is needed the most?
As a volunteer in this program, you should not shy away from a challenging day at work. Be prepared to meet people in difficult circumstances. This application is therefore particularly suitable for stable personalities who are willing to get involved in the conditions in the townships.
Info Box
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Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Availability: throughout the year, flexible starting date
Minimum duration: 1 week
Maximum duration: 90 days
Language skills required: English
Accommodation: Dorm room or single room at shared volunteer house
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Internship possible: Yes
Qualification of supervisor: Social Workers
Minimum qualification intern: -
Further contribution to the project: -
Volunteering possible: Yes
Expected qualification volunteers: -
Further contribution to the projekt: -
We expect: Ability to work independently, stable personality, reliability, respecting local culture, signing a Code of Conduct, the "right" attitude

Accommodation in Port Elizabeth

You will stay at a volunteer house shared with other volunteers. It is located in a safe upmarket residential area of Port Elizabeth, the popular beach area of Humewood, at just 5 minutes from the beach. Shops, beach cafés and restaurants are easily reachable. It is the perfect location to enjoy the beach after your work, or on weekends.
The house has 9 bedrooms, 2 kitches, 6 bathrooms, 2 washing machines, a large dining area and 2 sitting rooms. Great Extras: There is a garden pool to refresh and the house has ocean view! Wifi internet is free and you can access it with your smartphone, tablet or computer. Two cleaners are making sure the accommodation is clean and neat.
Bed sheets are provided, but you should bring your own towels, preferably of the kind that easily dries in hot and humid climates.
You share your room with other volunteers. Some larger rooms accommodate 4-6 persons, while some smaller rooms accommodate only 2-3 volunteers. The room plan is made by the local coordinator depending on availability.
The dorm rooms and bathrooms are separated by sex.
If you prefer a single room, this is possible at a small extra (subject to availability).
Your accommodation includes 3 meals per day, which are freshly prepared by a cook. During weekends, the residents prepare their own meals, for which ingredients are provided. Free coffee, tea and juice are always available. Please inform us if you prefer vegetarian meals or if you have any food allergies, and we will try to consider your wishes.
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Most popular! - Dorm room bed at the volunteer house

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Single room: If you prefer more privacy, you can stay at a single room at the volunteer house (subject to availability)

I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
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1 Person
690 EUR 750 EUR 800 EUR 850 EUR 900 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
630 EUR 690 EUR 700 EUR 750 EUR 800 EUR
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype; together with further participants
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Port Elizabeth (PLZ) Airport in case of placement in Port Elizabeth respectively Cape Town (CPT) in case of placement in Cape Town on arrival and departure
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Port Elizabeth / Cape Town
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • Contribution to your project of at least 50 USD
  • Local SIM Card with 100 ZAR air time
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • 15% Discount for Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Excursions and Watersports Activities offered by "Budget Safari Tanzania"
  • Costs for 10 seedlings of indigenous trees that we plant on the slopes of Kilimanjaro

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Port Elizabeth / Cape Town (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport in Cape Town (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can choose between the following options:
Preisangaben in EUR
Währung umrechnen
 All durations of stay
(1-365 Days)
WG-Zimmer oder Hostel  
Shared Volunteer House on Full Board
in Port Elizabeth
1 Person
(single room)
230 EUR/week
Dorm room bed p.p. 170 EUR/week
Hostel without meals
in central Cape Town
1 Person
(single room)
40 EUR/night
2 Persons p.p.
(double/twin room)
28 EUR/night
Dorm room bed p.p. 20 EUR/night
Room at shared apartment
in central Cape Town
1 Person
(single room)
400 EUR/month
2 Persons p.p.
(double/twin room)
250 EUR/month
Surf Hostel without meals
in Muizenberg Beach
1 Person
(single room)
40 EUR/night
2 Persons p.p.
(double/twin room)
20 EUR/night
Dorm room bed p.p. 15 EUR/night
Lodge without meals
in Table View (northern Cape Town)
1 Person
(single room)
35 EUR/night
2 or 3 Persons p.p.
(double/twin/triple room)
25 EUR/night
Dorm room bed p.p. 100 EUR/week
Host family of upper standards
on full board in Cape Town
(incl. Muizenberg Beach & Table View)
1 Person
(single room)
25 EUR/night
2 Persons p.p.
(double/twin room)
25 EUR/night
*You pay incomplete months (exceeding the first month) proportionally per day
In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates.

Overview of other costs:

  • Small local expenses in Cape Town (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month
  • If your flights are scheduled outside the time slot from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., there will be an additional cost of 25 EUR per night transfer


How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer, credit card or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR / 250 USD when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings.

Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Day Trips, Watersports

budgetsafaribannerAs "Budget Safari Tanzania" we are arranging cost-effective yet high-quality safaris, Kilimanjaro climbs, excursions, and watersports activities in Tanzania and Zanzibar. You will group with other World Unite! participants and further travellers.
As a World Unite! participant, you get a 15% discount on all offers of Budget Safari Tanzania. We will share a Discount Code with you that you can use with the online booking of your safari, Kilimanjaro climb, excursion or watersports activity.

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
Travel Health Insurance

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is located on South Africa's southern Indian Ocean coast.
The city, which has around 240,000 inhabitants, and which the South Africans usually simply refer to as "PE", has the reputation of being the "friendliest city of South Africa". It stretches for 16 km along the coast of the Algoa Bay. The parts of the city you can find along the shore line with its attractive beaches, are tidy, clean, modern, chic, and have lots of open space.
Just next to this, you can however find the densely populated townships, of which only the Walmer Township is located within the official grounds of the city of Port Elizabeth and is therefore included in the city's official population count. Other major townships around Port Elizabeth are Motherwell, Zwide, Kwazakhele, KwaMagxaki and New Brighton, where many people live in very little space under poor conditions.
The Algoa Bay is of major ecological importance for many seabirds at the southernmost tip of the African continent. Approximately half of the entire global population of the endangered African penguin (African Penguin) live on the islands of the Algoa Bay.
Due to the tidiness of city, its high development level, our accommodation at the shared volunteer house of high standards, and the personal and comprehensive support provided by Samantha, we recommend a placement in Port Elizabeth particularly to younger and less travel-experienced participants.
During your leisure time, you can relax at our cozy volunteer house (with pool!) or take long walks on the beach, which is just a 5-minutes' walk from your accommodation. Port Elizabeth is the perfect destination for excursions to the numerous National Parks and nature reserves of the Eastern Cape such as the Kragga Kamma Game Park, Shamwari Game Reserve or the well-known Addo Elephant Park.

Getting to South Africa

South Africa's two largest airports, Cape Town (CTP) and Johannesburg (JNB), are internationally well connected.
Port Elizabeth (PLZ) can usually be reached by flight with a transfer in Johannesburg or Cape Town. There are several low cost carriers in South Africa offering domestic flights that you might also book separately from your international flight to reach Port Elizabeth. In the case of our placements in Cape Town, your flights should be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.. If your flight arrives outside of this time frame (or departs on the return journey), we charge an extra 25 EUR per night transfer.
Some South African airlines such as mango connect certain South African cities with Zanzibar, however not throughout the year. They might be an option to look into when combining our two destinations Zanzibar and South Africa.

Our Partners

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