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Safe Haven

This organization supports children and their immediate family in a dignified and compassionate manner and also provides a safe haven for abandoned and abused children. Volunteers join a variety of initiatives supported by the project during their experience. For this project it is important to be flexible and take initiative.
The project offers a half-day option when combined with an English language course.

Safe Haven


Location Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You must be passionate about working with children
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 Sunday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Work towards improving the quality of life of disadvantaged and ill children.
  • Provide love, positive attention and lots of smiles.
  • Help to create opportunities for all, regardless race, financial situation or gender.
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Receive personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Share this experience with other volunteers from all over the world.
  • Option to volunteer half-day only and combine the project with an English course in the morning.

Project Information

The Safe Haven Project was established in 2007. This project is an NPO that aims to help the less fortunate in South Africa by improving their quality of life. The project’s focus is to provide positive attention, educational activities, play time and basic needs to mainly children and youth in various communities. This all takes place in a safe environment so that everyone involved can develop and grow.

The project supports various organisations in Cape Town, providing a safe haven to underprivileged, abandoned and abused children.

This volunteer experience will be very rewarding if you are passionate about caring for children and can bring a positive, creative and proactive attitude. You will have the opportunity to interact with interesting people from all walks of life and get to know different cultures and religions.

Your Role

Monday – Friday, usually from 09:00 – 15:30 (depending on the locations and travel time).

Please contact us to learn about the half-day option when combining this project with an English language course.

As a volunteer on this project, you will have a fun-filled volunteering experience in which no two days are the same. The project team plans a weekly schedule with some fixed days where certain organizations are visited, but will prioritize organizations where help is needed the most on on other days.

What you do:

  • You give love, hands, attention and a smile: sometimes just being there is enough.
  • You play: all kinds of educational and fun games, sports and art activities.
  • You help: with supervising, meals, homework and activities in aftercare facilities, so that the children stay off the streets.
  • You get things done: arrange and give meals, build and paint playgrounds, furnish facilities, or any other way where hands-on help is needed.
  • You help create tiny miracles: when wishes from a child, small or big, cross the project’s path, they try to make them happen - a gown for a gala, sports equipment for a talented kid or even the simple things like school books and uniforms.
  • You connect & share: by bringing organisations and people together to make things happen, this project creates possibilities, gives hope and an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences. Together we are strong!

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 sometimes be emotionally draining so you will get to choose which programme you would like to do again while you are with the Safe Haven team. 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 with single beds and twin bedrooms. Volunteers are accommodated in twin bedrooms but may upgrade to single rooms upon request. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen to cater yourself, 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 will be not provided.


Good Hope Volunteers Jasmine from Switzerland

„Every day when I arrived at the project in Safe Haven, all children waved to me, run to me and gave me a warm hug. I really enjoyed spending the time with the children and I learned a lot about their culture. Although the communication with the children wasn't always easy, we had a lot of fun together.“

Good Hope Volunteers Isis from the Netherlands

"It might not always feel like you’re making a very big difference, but you give the children your time and that is already something very precious. On my second day I tried to make a beat by clapping my hands and all the children started to follow me. 8 weeks later they still remembered it. I honestly had the best time of my life here!"

Good Hope Volunteers Camille from Switzerland

“I was allowed to visit the fascinating school for the deaf several times and tried my skills more and more in sign language. I visited the school for the blind and also went to the City of Refugee and met many people of different ages and saw how they are striving for a better and new life. I visited two different day-care centres in the townships. I admired the way the caregivers teach with very little resources and became aware of how different the available resources are, or the norms and customs of my culture and the ones in South Africa.
The children welcomed me in a lovely way at all projects. They were patient with me even though communication was not always easy but they were grateful and appreciated that I was interested in them. 
I didn't always feel insanely needed but I was always aware that all I did was for the children. Children who have to grow up without parents, who have to live with fear day after day, children who don't get a hug from an adult every day and no one to tell them they are proud of them. I saw that most of the time the capacity was not there to give the children the attention they would deserve as a child. I am so happy I was able to offer these children a smile, affection, and loving attention during these two months.
It was the right decision to organize my stay with Good Hope Volunteers. I always knew that I could approach them any time. I am satisfied with my entire stay and will return after this "world crisis" and finish what I started. Thank you very much for the exciting impressions, the unforgettable moments, and the touching stories that will shape my life forever.”

Good Hope Volunteers Marina Bianchi

"Cape Town is a beautiful city! The culture here is so rich! The good thing about my project was the fact that I could go to different places and organizations and I met wonderful people like my supervisor. Good Hope Volunteers was really helpful and the staff is awesome."

Good Hope Volunteers Vinicius from Brazil

"It was an amazing experience as a whole. My project was a truly personal development experience and Cape Town was a really great city to do tourism as well."

Good Hope Volunteers Gabriela from Brazil

"I was in Cape Town to join the Safe Haven volunteer program and it was the best experience of my life. I’m very happy and grateful to have helped the children in townships, because they are amazing and can show us how simple and gorgeous life can be."

Good Hope Volunteers Beatriz from Brazil

"Being a Good Hope Volunteer was the best experience I ever had! During all the time that I was with the kids at the Safe Haven project, I was happy and when it was time to leave I was anxious to see them again for the last time. My last day was so sad, that I cried thinking that this amazing experience was over."

Good Hope Volunteers Patricia from Brazil

"My experience in Cape Town was amazing. It's a big challenge being in a different country to help people but when we are with the children, we realize how much they need an hour of your time and the attention is important to them."

Good Hope Volunteers Gabriela from Brazil

"Volunteering in Cape Town on the Safe Haven project was the best experience I could have been through. I met a lot of nice people, made friends, learned English and got to change the way I see the world."

Good Hope Volunteers Emanuelle from Brazil

"It was the best experience in my life. When I dicided to go to South Africa my specific motivation was work as a volunteer on a project supporting people. I knew it would be a great experience but I never imagined or dreamed to live what I lived. Cape Town is a really beautiful place, but if anyone asks me what I liked most, I will have no doubt in saying that it is the people, they are completely lovely. And Kim, the founder of Safe Haven project, is one of the biggest reasons for this statement. I worked with Kim for a month and I've lived and learned a lot from her. The main objective of the NGO is to help children who have a serious illness, such as cancer. Providing support and often a home to the families of these children. But the projects go far beyond that, daily we were working on different projects, sharing and helping with what we can. And what I get back is pure and true love from these beautiful children."

Good Hope Volunteers Alexandra from Brazil

"I thank Naomi and Vanessa for welcoming me with great warmth. My days in Cape Town were full of joy and I had such a great experience. Kim from Safe Haven is such an inspiration and I loved my volunteering work."

Good Hope Volunteers Renata from Brazil

"Nothing in this world exists that feels better than making a difference. I felt this all the time here. Seeing the smiles on the children's faces was the best experience of my life. Thank you so much Good Hope for these happy moments."