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Primary Schools and kindergartens at a township in Port Elizabeth

Praktikum und Volunteering
In townships there is still today a lack of educational opportunities. Additionally, many children don't even attend the existing schools regularly, often because they lack family support and financial resources. As an intern or volunteer, you can teach at various schools in townships and do other recreational activities with children.
"Township" is the term used in South Africa to describe settlements which where established during the time of racial segregation to accommodate the non-White population. Even today, many people living in townships are facing poverty and social disadvantages. Generally, education opportunities in the townships are limited. Without the help of charitable educational organizations, few children living in townships have access to a better education. As a volunteer or intern you can support the education of children living in townships. We can arrange placements at several educational projects.

Missionvale Primary School

Missionvale is a particularly disadvantaged township in Port Elizabeth where many people live in extreme poverty. The Missionvale Elementary School was founded by sister Ethel, an Irish nun, as part of a comprehensive community program. Around 140 children attend elementary school today. As a volunteer or intern, you can help the local teachers by practicing reading, writing, doing sports, or simply providing them with individual support during lessons. You also help prepare sandwiches for the children at lunchtime, and supervise the students during the playtime.

Human Dignity School and Afternoon Care

About 64 children aged 4-8 attend Human Dignity Preschool and Elementary School in the Walmer Township of Port Elizabeth. As a volunteer or intern you support the teachers with one of the four classes. A particularly important task is to provide individual care to the special needs children in the classroom, and help them with their homework.
You can also participate in the afternoon program of the school, which includes all kinds of leisure activities, and where you can let your creativity run free: Whether these are football games (very popular in South Africa!), art, or dance, the children will be thrilled to be active with you! Personal attention is an important part of the development of disadvantaged children: As a volunteer, you can provide homework assistance in the afternoon care as needed, or playfully practice English, writing, and math with the kids.

Children's dance project and helping at kindergartens and schools

The non-profit organization Iziziwe Projects has been supporting residents of the Walmer Township since 2008. The work is mainly aimed at children who are particularly affected by difficult living conditions: Many of them are suffering directly or indirectly from the effects of HIV/AIDS, and often are staying with family members (such as grandparents), as they have lost their parents to the disease. A large number of the children do not attend school regularly as they lack family support and financial resources. Without external help, the future prospects of the children in Walmer are limited. A life on the street, in crime or drug abuse, is outlined for many of them. The use of international volunteers who want to initiate changes in the life of the township children is therefore an important part of the projects!
Florence Mtengwana lives in the Walmer Township herself and has for many years been giving children the opportunity to learn traditional dances in the afternoon at her house. Every day about 30-35 children take part in the dance program. With her great commitment, Florence gives children in the township the opportunity to learn about their own culture, and creates a sense of community and belonging among them.
Together with the Izizwe Project, the dance program has been expanded to include weekly dance workshops at childcare facilities and schools. Volunteers can help Florence during the one hour or 1.5-hours workshops. Not only are the children being taught to dance in a fun way - who knows - maybe you will even feel like trying out the Xhosa dances!
In addition to the dance project, volunteers can also help out at various kindergartens or pre-schools, each taking care of about 20-30 children aged 3-6 years. The children should be individually cared for as well as possible, which is not always easy for the employees of the facilities! Therefore, as a volunteer, you play an important role in the development of the children. You can support the work of the institutions by playing with the children, teaching them the English alphabet, or count with them and practice English.
Furthermore, in two Walmer primary schools, attended by 700-800 children aged 6-12, you can assist teachers in the classroom, help out in remedial education, or run extracurricular holiday programs and sports programs.
As a volunteer, you can contribute to the projects of Iziziwe according to your interests and preferences.
Are you open-minded, like to take the initiative and adapt flexibly to a culturally different work environment?
Then you are the right person here! As a volunteer, you are ready to take responsibility for the good of others. Your volunteer work in the township can make you face mental challenges: Be prepared to experience misery and poverty during your stay. This mission is therefore particularly suitable for independent and mature personalities who are willing to get involved with the conditions and living conditions on the ground.
Working hours are generally around 8.30 am to 3.30 pm on weekdays and usually until 12.00 noon on Fridays. Depending on which project you work in, you may start your day a little earlier. In summer, working hours may be slightly different in some projects due to the high temperatures during the day.
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: Teachers
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.

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