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Nyanga Upliftment Project

Volunteers joining this multipurpose facility can assist with education and social welfare programmes as well as outreach work focused on health and economic development. This project is set in Nyanga, a township in Cape Town where the need is great. The project offers a half-day option when combined with an English language course.


Location Nyanga Township, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 2 - 12 weeks
Dates All year round from mid-January to mid-December
  • You must have an intermediate level (B1) of English
  • Special skills: You need to be passionate about working with people and have knowledge about HIV/Aids and poverty in South Africa
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, police clearance certificate
Day of arrival Thursday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Giving love to vulnerable children is the best gift you can give; sharing this costs nothing but means the world.
  • Learning more about the challenges and lives of children and women in Nyanga.
  • Spending your days playing with children.
  • Assisting in social welfare programmes to underserved township communities.
  • Assisting in the ‘Fit For Life, Fit For Work’ programme, which helps unemployed school leavers to set goals and make healthy life choices to positively impact their futures.
  • Experiencing amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Getting personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Making new friends from all over the world.
  • Option to volunteer half-day only and combine the project with an English course in the morning.

Project Information

This project is a registered non-profit organisation that is a multi-purpose facility which delivers a variety of educational and social welfare programmes as well as outreach programmes to underserved communities in Nyanga, Cape Town. The organisation was founded in 2001 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic which was rampant (and continues to be presently) in Nyanga and its surrounding areas. Besides having alarmingly high HIV/AIDS rates, Nyanga is a township that faces considerable social challenges as well as underdevelopment. Once known as having the highest crime rate in Cape Town, Nyanga is slowly improving through the efforts of community members who are working hard to alleviate poverty and create job opportunities.

The project offers services to families affected by HIV/AIDS and, most specifically, vulnerable children infected and affected by the AIDS epidemic. It caters for the Nyanga community and the surrounding informal settlements such as KTC, Barcelona, and Europe, amongst others.

Since its inception, the project has evolved to encompass a more holistic approach, serving the diverse needs of the communities of Nyanga while maintaining a special focus on women and children. Today, it runs numerous successful programmes including preschool care; afterschool care for orphaned and vulnerable children; a women’s wellness micro-enterprise programme; psycho-social and therapeutic support; mobile HIV, TB and STI Testing and Counselling; a nutrition programme that includes food gardens, and the Breastfeeding Peer Counselling Programme; and a Greening Nyanga initiative.

The project’s most innovative and successful programme thus far has been the revolutionary ‘Fit For Life, Fit For Work’ programme that aims to give young unemployed school leavers the opportunity to take stock of their life, to set goals and make healthy life choices, especially concerning their sexual and reproductive health and to plan for their future by either getting a job, or by accessing tertiary or vocational studies, or by establishing small or micro enterprises.

Your Role

Monday – Friday, from 09:00 – 16:00.

Half-day option: Monday - Friday, from 14:00 - 16:30.

The children at the project love to have people come and play with them but they do not speak English and so reading stories and communication is difficult for volunteers who do not speak Xhosa. However, it is good to break down barriers and teach the children some English, so we welcome volunteers who are reliable and love children (from birth to six).

Depending on which programme you are placed with, you assist with the following:

  • any administrative duties
  • kitchen duties, including preparation of meals as well as offering the children breakfast and lunch.
  • interacting with the children
  • in awareness and campaign activities that take place at the project
  • gardening: helping with cleaning up the site and surrounds, weeding, composting, planting and watering
  • helping with the housekeeping
  • helping the projects’ community builders to make blocks for building, interior painting, etc.

It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.

This project can be emotionally draining. It is important that you are aware of this before applying for this project. We will assist you during your stay to make sure that you are coping with the experience, but you need to be mentally prepared to be open to the challenge.


You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area and consists of rooms with 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen, a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool. A commercial laundry service is close by. Bedding is provided. Towels are not provided. In addition to the self-catering option, you can order homemade lunch and/or dinner which are delivered on a daily basis.


Jelle from the Netherlands


"I chose to participate in projects in Cape Town, South Africa due to it being a multicultural society, a nice city with great people. I loved the interaction with the kids and the teachers at my volunteer project, and believe my volunteer projects make a positive impact by uplifting the community and helping kids who need it most. I would advise other volunteers to be patient and remember why you are there, its for the kids, not for you. One of my best memories at the projects were the happiness in the kids faces when I brought cookies and muffins."

Mariana Messere


"I had a wonderful time in Cape Town and I will never forget this experience. I had the best time of my life and today I am the most grateful person in the world! I want also to thank all the Good Hope crew, because everyone was so kind and comprehensive."