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Special Needs Care Centre

This centre exists for a small percentage of the many marginalized people in the Cape Town community and provides specialized care for 90 profoundly intellectually and physically disabled citizens. Make a real difference in the life of someone who needs it most!
The project offers a half-day option when combined with an English language course.

Special Needs Care Centre


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 have a LOVE for people, be kind, patient and honest. You should know how to interact and communicate with people with special needs
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


  • Bring happiness to the lives of people with severe disabilities. Be involved in their daily routine, special events and outings.
  • You have the opportunity for creativity within the organisation, such as art and music therapy. You also learn to communicate and build relationships with people with varying levels of intellectual disability which would in turn help strengthen your personal & social development.
  • Learn from health professionals in the domains of occupational therapy, physiotherapy and nursing.
  • Be involved in additional initiatives in order to market and raise funds for the facility.
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Receive personal support from our 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 Special Needs Care Centre is a residential home caring for 80 profoundly intellectually and physically disabled residents and is situated in Cape Town, South Africa. Since its inception in 1976 the centre has worked diligently towards building a home of safety and security for its residents, all of whom require specialised care and who are unable to remain within their family units.

The centre also fosters children who are wards of the state – these are children who have been neglected or abandoned by their families.

The key services that the centre provides are:

  • 24 hour professional nursing care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Respite care (daily or hourly relief care to families with multi-disabled children)

The main aim of the centre is to provide holistic care and stimulation to profoundly multi-disabled residents, and offer hope and help to discouraged families. The centre also aims to be equipped with the necessary materials and equipment which will enable the staff/volunteers and therapists to operate at a high level of professionalism in all spheres of the services they offer. 

The service levels at the care centre are of a very high standard and comprise of a professional administration under the guidance of a general manager, a professional nursing sister and qualified staff nurses, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, and a fundraising and public relations department.

Your Role

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

The programme varies depending on the individual’s level of experience and area of interest. Volunteers are welcome in the occupational therapy, physiotherapy and nursing departments as well as those who would like to volunteer in a more ‘general’ capacity, which may also include kitchen duties, administration and general interaction/play/socialisation with the residents.

You will help with the daily routine of the centre, which may include group activity sessions, individual stimulation activities (and therapy, if appropriate), feeding residents during mealtimes, socialising and special events/outings.

Specific administrative, or other general tasks, relating to the greater running of the home.

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.


You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area in Cape Town. 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 Miriam from Switzerland

“The two and a half months I spent here went by too quickly! Whether it was at school or at my project at the Care Centre, I really enjoyed my stay. Exploring Cape Town and making a lot of new friends during my free time made the whole experience perfect.”

Good Hope Volunteers Marcieli from Brazil

"I really loved it. It was amazing! I got to know people who I will never forget. This place is special because of the connections that we can make here and I had made some amazing connections with people here."

Good Hope Volunteers Taciana from Brazil

"I had a wonderful experience doing volunteer work at special needs care centre. The people there are receptive, friendly and very affectionate with all patients who live there. I could play and learn a lot with all the patients and employees. It was certainly a gratifying experience and I wish to repeat it one day."