Southern Africa is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, but there is much more to this fascinating region than what the average tourist sees. There are large social inequalities and the growing population is putting more and more pressure on nature. Countless NGOs and other projects, in addition to government programmes, work hard to help people in great need and to protect animals and their habitats. Their work would not be possible without local and international volunteers.
Whether you have volunteered before or whether it is the first time, below we give you some basic information about volunteering, what you need to consider in finding your ideal project and how we select the projects we offer.
Developing countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Botswana rely on thousands of NGOs to help where governments fall short. They all compete for funding and volunteers. Determining which projects are suitable for foreign volunteers is one of our core competence. Our projects must provide a work environment which is safe for a foreign traveller. The projects must also be reasonably organised. Volunteers can only work for projects that have at least a basic level of organisation.
An important feature is that there is no commercial aspect behind the project or at least the volunteers purely assist in community upliftment or conservation. Also, where the projects are outside our own base in Cape Town, the projects must reliably provide adequate accommodation and other infrastructure to be able to host foreign travellers.
Having said all that, one of the most important aspects for us is that the projects and the volunteers must be able to learn and benefit from one another. Some projects receive volunteers exclusively from Good Hope Volunteers, but usually projects receive volunteers from a number of organisations. This is necessary for the projects to be able to have a solid number of volunteers throughout the year.