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Athlone Children's Home

The Children’s Home provides full-time care for up to 49 babies and children from 0 - 5 years old. The children are either neglected, abandoned, abused or orphaned and are accepted at the home irrespective of HIV status, race or gender. Volunteers help with care, feeding and education activities in and out of the classroom.

Athlone Children's Home
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Location Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 8 weeks
Dates All year round from mid-January to mid-December.
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: It is an advantage to have worked with children before. You need a love for children and you should display sensitivity and empathy
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


  • Your willingness to assist and gain experience is very rewarding for both you and the children.
  • Giving love is the best gift you can give, sharing this cost nothing but means the world.
  • Teach kids about your country, your culture and learn more about theirs.
  • Spend your days playing with kids in the South African sun.
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Get personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

Athlone Children’s Home provides full-time care for 49 abandoned, abused and neglected children from birth to 5 years old, irrespective of race, religion or HIV status. It strives to create a warm, friendly environment where the children can grow emotionally, physically and socially. The home is registered with the Department of Social Development and receives a subsidy for each child they care for. Through the assistance received from volunteers, they are able to provide these children with much needed individual attention. They care for the children until they can be placed back with their families, or sometimes with foster families; however, in certain cases where home circumstances have not improved or no suitable foster families have been found, they are transferred to other children’s homes.

In order to facilitate the process of reintegrating the children into the community, a weekend and holiday hosting programme is run. Families and individuals who have been screened take one or more children out for the day, weekend or holiday.

They have an onsite school for the older children, which they attend every weekday. Three teachers run the school, with the assistance of volunteers. A panel of volunteer doctors regularly examines and treats the children when they are ill. Children who indicate behavioral or developmental problems receive specialised care from various clinics in the area.

Your Role

Monday – Friday (Wednesday is off), from 08:30 – 17:00.

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

  • Feeding, bathing, dressing.
  • Arranging of age-appropriate indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Help with play sessions, games and outings for smaller groups of children.
  • Accompany children on doctor’s/hospital visits.
  • Assist with tidying children’s bedrooms.

You will also get to go along with children on special outings arranged for them and you may also arrange outings for children themselves.

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 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.


Emilia from Brazil


"Doing a volunteer work was so nice and made me feel a lot of emotions. I've learned about caring, empathy, friendship and love, pure love. I came to South Africa to give my best, but I ended up getting so much more. It was the best months of my life."

Iwona from Germany


"Thank you very much for everything! It’s been an amazing and unforgettable time. I was able to develop myself further through this experience. I had a wonderful time with the children and I will miss them so much. Good Hope Volunteers - a professional and recommendable organization! Awesome! I will follow up on this project and support it from a distance."

Lisa from Germany


"Hey everyone. My name is Lisa and I did two months volunteering through GHV. I had one of the best times in my life in Cape Town. Meeting new people in the student house or the project was great and we explored Cape Town together. We all became good friends and I will never forget this time! Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to. Not only because of the wonderful nature like the mountains and beaches. There is also so much shopping and sightseeing and parties to go to. Thanks a lot Good Hope!"

Josephine from Germany


"Volunteering in Cape Town was a great experience for me. The project was amazing and I had many co volunteers working with me. The children made me smile all the time and some of them will probably never leave my heart again. Also living in Cape Town and experiencing the city was wonderful. I fell in love with the lively city and all the opportunities it has to offer."

Janique from Switzerland


"Thank you for everything! My time in Cape Town was just amazing, there are no words to describe. I've met a lot of great people, some of them I'm still in contact with, got unforgettable experiences and learned lots if important things for my life. The first month I went to school, where I made a lot of new friendships all over the world and for sure where I could improve my English. The next two months I volunteered in the Athlone Children’s Home, where I also had a great time, which I never forget. Those kids gave me a big smile and my heart got much bigger! I love and miss them soo much! In my free time I did everything you could, I really saw my other side I haven’t known before. My host family was like: "You had the most adventure time from all our students yet!" Also my host family was amazing I had my own room and I felt very comfortable with them. Now I'm back in Switzerland for already five weeks and I'm still not really arrived yet because my heart stayed in Cape Town! I can't describe that I just can say I had my best time of my life and I'm soo thankful that I got this chance! I will always think back to this time and then I will always have a smile and a little tear on my face! Thanks to everybody who helped me making this trip possible and unforgettable!!"

Mariah from Brazil


"The last few months in South Africa have been such an amazing time for me. Sometimes I think people, myself included, forget how fortunate we are. I am so thankful I have the opportunity to be in these kids lives, and that they have welcomed me with open arms. These kids will always be in my heart. They have nothing, and they're still smiling. I'm taking so many wonderful and loving memories to Brazil that I'll always remember! I'm gonna miss my time at the Children's Hospital and Athlone Children's Home, but I'm thankful for the experience and will never forget. Thank you so much!"