APEX Foundation

Volunteer in Children’s Village South Africa

Working with children in South Africa

Duration: Unlimited but min 4 weeks (see “Details”)
Season: Year round
Arrivals: Any Thursday before the start date (Monday)
Program Fee: $745
Age: min 18
Student Status: Not required
Participants from: All nationalities
When to apply: 4 months prior to your planned arrival
Work: Unpaid


There are a total of 17 houses in the village and each home will accommodate 8 – 10 children of all ages. Each child is cared for as part of the family, and the children are raised like brothers and sisters.

The head of the family is the “Mother”, who provides the children with the affection and security they need for their sound development. The mother is supported by an Aunt and together they run the household.

Volunteering activities will include helping in the mornings with young children who are not at kindergarten yet, helping at the kindergarten, helping older children with homework, entertaining and playing games with the children, helping with household activities like cooking, washing clothes, homework etc.

The village also has a park and recreation area, a kindergarten school, a library, a community hall and a youth house for children over the age of 16.

The project works with children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. It gives these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a “family” and to live in and grow with love, security and respect.

There is the option of booking an English language course in Cape Town before starting the Volunteer programme. However a course is not compulsory. If you are able to converse fluently in everyday situations, you can go straight into the programme.

How it works

Why participate in a Volunteer project

There is nothing more rewarding than helping those in need. South Africa is in many ways a first-world country. Yet in other respects it is very much a developing country. This dichotomy presents the country with some of its greatest challenges.

As a volunteer, you get to experience both sides of South Africa. You will be therefore able to gain much greater insight than the usual tourist into South Africa’s people, its cultures and its religions.

How the program works

You need to fill in the application form and provide all the necessary documents (CV/Resume, Police Clearance etc). See “How to apply”.

All documents will be then forwarded to the project for approval. Projects can deny an application and are not obliged to give a reason. We would then recommend applying for a different project.

As soon as the programme is paid in full, you will receive the full programme details. This includes the itinerary, full contact details of the programme, airport pick-up details and details of meals, accommodation, daily transfers etc.

Working day at Children’s Village

This is an example of a working day. Each volunteer will be assigned to a specific duties. Duties will also change as the need arises. Volunteering times: 8:00 – 16:30:

  • ?Assist house – mother with house chores
  • Supervise toddlers not yet in kindergarten
  • Prepare lunch
  • Serve lunch
  • Collect toddlers from kindergarten
  • Assist house – mother with shopping
  • Supervise programmed activities
  • Assist kindergarten teachers
  • Assist staff with administrative tasks
  • Supervise children with leisure activities
  • Draw up programme for leisure activities and supervise homework
  • Volunteers arrive at their accommodation in Cape Town on the Thursday in the week before the project starts.
  • If you will attend a language course in Cape Town before the Volunteer project starts, please follow the arrival instructions of the course.
  • On Friday afternoon, an orientation meeting takes place together with other new volunteers.
  • On Saturday, the volunteers have a full day tour together with students from other programmes.
  • Sunday is free.
  • On Monday students are fetched from their accommodation and driven to the project (private transfer at an extra cost).
  • Note: It is only safe to use public transport in daylight, and never board an empty minibus taxi after dark, or get on an empty train coach. Always travel during daylight times and do not isolate yourself!

Key Points

  • Min. 4 weeks for older children, 8 weeks for younger children
  • You pay the one-off Program Fee $739 (for accommodation see “Prices”) and the only condition is to stay for 4 (8) weeks. The definitive length of your stay depends on you.
Start dates
  • Every Monday all year round.
Dates Closed
  • To be confirmed
  • Accommodation is not included in Program Fee.
  • 3 types of accommodation are available: the Student House (shared rooms – two to a room, self-catering), the Student Residence (single rooms, self-catering), hostfamilies (single rooms, breakfast and dinner). See “Prices”.
  • In case of Student House and Student Residence the volunteer will need to pay for a private transfer or a hire car. Host families in the area are within walking distance of the project.
  • Meals are not included in Program Fee.
Local Transports
  • Local transport is not included in Program Fee.
  • Depending on the distance between the accommodation and the project, daily transport can be by MetroRail, bicycle, rented car or private transfer.
  • The volunteers will need to pay for transport directly, and can expect to pay anywhere from $10 (MetroRail) to $150 (private transfer) per week.
  • Thornton (close to Cape Town central area)
  • All participants are required to provide details of the cover to the program sponsor in writing before departure.
  • You can use insurance arranged by the program sponsor, or you can arrange your own.
  • Details of the sponsor-arranged insurance are available upon request.
  • APEX Foundation is not involved in arranging the insurance in any way and can not offer any kind of support regarding insurance whatsoever.
  • In case of any problems, no matter how serious or small they are, inform the organization you are volunteering for immediately in order to give them a chance to rectify the problem.
  • In the event that the problem cannot be solved to your satisfaction, inform the program sponsor about the problem immediately.
What you will need
  • Camera, toiletries, any medication, warm clothes if winter, pair of slippers to keep your feet warm, sun screen in summer (despite the heat it can still get rather cold in the evenings so make sure you still bring a couple of jumpers), rain jacket, adaptors, mobile phone, food, spending money, towel, household cleaning products (i.e. washing powder).
  • All these goods and anything else can be bought at local supermarkets in South Africa or you can bring them.

Funding is a major concern for most projects. Your donation will be forwarded in full directly to the project. So besides all the efforts you are making while working at the project you are also making a financial contribution.

Potential Health Risks

Some children have HIV/AIDS or TB.




Age: Min 18
Student status: Not required
Experience: Not required
Required languages: English
Required level: Intermediate, IELTS 5.0 (or equivalent) or better*
Nationality: Nationals of all countries are eligible
Type of visa: If staying less than 90 days, free “Visitor Visa” obtainable on arrival.
If staying longer than 90 days, applicant must arrange for own visa
for duration stay in South Africa.

*You must be able to understand English in everyday situations, in this case you can go straight into the program. If your English level is lower we recommend to attend a language course in Cape Town before the beginning of the volunteer program.


  • All fees are subject to change without notice.
  • All bank transfer fees are always born by the participant.

Application Processing Fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Payable with your application, includes:

  • Processing your program application
  • Processing your payments for the program sponsor
  • Transferring materials and communication between you and your program sponsor
  • Responding to your email questions until your departure for South Africa
  • Check APEX Foundation Terms & Conditions for more details

Program Fee: $745
Payable after you are accepted, includes:

  • Placement at a project
  • Documents for your visa application if required
  • A certificate & report on the volunteer’s programme if required for studies or other purposes
  • Assistance by the program sponsor during the entire program
  • Sponsor’s 24 hrs emergency number
  • A South African SIM card
  • Orientation package (airport transfer*, 3 nights accommodation, Cape Point full day sightseeing trip, orientation, a ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus in Cape Town, Moola Backpacker discount card, transfer to accommodation around Cape Town)
  • Social programme with other volunteers
  • Donation which will be forwarded in full directly to the project

Note: To avoid any confusion, the Program Fee does not include:

  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Visa Fee (if required)
  • International airfare and airport taxes
  • Any pre/post project accommodation and meals
  • Local transport
  • Meals
  • Weekend excursions (not part of the social programme)
  • Spending money for evenings and weekends

*An airport transfer on arrival can only be provided if the program sponsor receive the arrival details (date, time and flight number) at least 3 days before arrival.

Accommodation Placement Fee: $60

  • Non-refundable booking fee

Accommodation per week: $186

  • Self-catering
  • Double room
  • Ask for other accommodation options

Note: You are free to arrange your own accommodation, such as inexpensive room-share with your friends or other students. Great if you are planning to come for a longer time. A sensible strategy is to pay for the sponsor-arranged accommodation for the first few weeks and find your own during this period.

Miscellaneous fees:
Not everybody pays them:

  • Alteration of booking: $70
  • Administration Fee if extending the accommodation provided by the program sponsor: $35

Additional Expenses:
May involve for example:

  • Local transport
  • Spending money
  • Meals
Cancellations & Refunds

Cancellations received:

  • 4 weeks or more prior to the program start: Program Fee less $240 is refunded
  • Fewer than 4 weeks prior to the program start: Program Fee less $306 is refunded
  • Visa denial: Cancellation Fee is 20% of the Program Fee
  • No suitable placement from the program sponsor: Full refund
  • Cancellation by participant after the start of program: No refund
  • Cancellation because of unsatisfactory attendance or performance: No refund
  • Cancellation of accommodation provided by the program sponsor 14 days or more before arrival: Administration Fee $80 is charged
  • Cancellation of accommodation provided by the program sponsor 13 days or fewer before arrival:  Administration Fee $100 is charged
  • In the event a refund sent according to the applicant’s instructions is returned by a bank or the postal service as undeliverable or unclaimed, $20 administrative fee plus expenses are charged for each subsequent refund attempt.

How to Apply

Get the application kit

Complete application
At least 4 (four) months before the program starts, full application must be received. The full application includes:

  • Enrollment Form
  • An English Curriculum Vitae
  • An English Police Clearance Certificate
  • An English Letter of Motivation
  • $50 Application Processing Fee (non-refundable)

Application Approval

  • The application form is sent to the program sponsor and you will be waiting for it to be approved.
  • Once the application is approved, you will receive payment instructions for the Program Fee.
  • Please note,  the program sponsor can deny an application and are not obliged to give a reason. We would then recommend applying for a different project.


  • The balance payment must be made at least 6 weeks prior to the arrival. Payment can be made either by a bank draft (bank check) or by AMEX Traveler’s checks.
  • As soon as the programme is paid in full (no later than 6 weeks before arrival), you will receive the full programme details: the itinerary, full contact details of the programme, airport pick-up details and full details of meals, accommodation, daily transfers etc.


I am from – insert your country – can I participate?

Yes. The program is available to applicants from all countries.

I am not a student, can I participate?

Yes. You don’t have to be a student in your country to apply.



8 Responses to “Volunteer in Children’s Village South Africa”
  1. Besmira says:

    This is Besmira from Albania and I have been always interested in projects where helping children since I have done it for many years here in my home town , and when you speak about combining traveling with that, well…this is super! I read this project ans seems interesting to me so I wanted to ask if they pay for just basic needs such as food and accommodation or nothing like that, coz if I stay there for a year fees are very expensive and I cant really afford that. If not can you suggest me some other similar project?
    Best wishes,

    • admin says:

      Hi Besmira, thank you very much for your nice comment and your desire to participate. It isn’t common for people from your part of the world would go abroad to volunteer, despite the Mother Theresa’s legacy. The program fee for this program is flat for however long you decide to stay. It is not paid by the week for instance. So you can stay for a year and not pay anything more for it. Two things though. Just like internship isn’t a real job, these programs are also intended to give you the first taste of international volunteering in Africa. And just like an internship helps you, among other things, to develop connections in your field, here you also develop connections in organizations that do more serious projects. And you do so in a safe organized environment for the first time. So that’s the value. Now, value or not, we do understand that money is a problem. After all, mostly young people from Germany or Switzerland participate in these programs. Here’s what you can do. First of all, you can actually apply for the Work & Travel South Africa program. That allows you to get a paid job in South Africa. That way you can work in a normal job to support yourself, and volunteer in the Children’s Village in your free time. Another option, if you are a student, is to start by doing the Work & Travel USA program, make some money there, and then.. Perhaps still go to South Africa with the work travel SA visa, work as a volunteer part-time, and in the meantime look for some more exciting projects there.

  2. Thidarad Wisatchanam says:

    I want to Application.
    Please tell me about help.
    I want to go there.


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APEX Foundation