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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 projects supported by the organisation during their experience. For this project it is important to be flexible and take initiative.

Safe Haven


Location Newlands, 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 Thursday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Improve the quality of life of children facing life-threatening diseases.
  • Assist their families in difficult and challenging times.
  • 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.

Project Information

The Save Haven Project was established in 2007. This project is a NPO that strives to improve the quality of life of children facing life-threatening and terminal diseases. They support the children and their immediate family in a dignified and compassionate manner.

The project provides accommodation for the direct families of ill children from out of the Cape Town area during the children’s hospitalisation and recovery. A home away from home is offered to those who cannot afford the high cost of hotels and the daily travel to and from hospitals whilst receiving treatment.

The project also runs a unique empowerment and youth care facilty programme in a number of areas around the city:

Children's Centre and Parents' Accommodation
The project aims to be:

  • to strive to be open and honest in all their dealings with every parent, patient, nursing staff member and others;
  • to assist the ill child and their families with their hospital experience by making it more comfortable; therefore, they provide accommodation, meals and friendly staff. For the healing process, it is imperative to keep families together whilst going through a traumatic time;
  • to assist families who can no longer take care of their babies. Together with social workers, the project places babies in foster homes.
  • to care for all their children and treat each and every one of them with love, respect and dignity;
  • to offer a friendly, homely environment for all their families and children.

The Boyz and Girlz Empowerment programme
The project operates a full aftercare and youth facility:

  • Hot meals are served daily
  • Children are assisted with homework and sports
  • Guidance is provided for children focussing on their future and development
  • Holiday programmes to keep the children off the streets

Your Role

You will gain a fun-filled volunteering experience in which no two days will be the same.

Your daily tasks and activities will change from day to day and can include:

  • visiting hospitals and interact with children,
  • work in an aftercare facility for the youth, helping with homework and sporting programmes,
  • help serve hot and nutritious meals which are sometimes the only meals that a young child receives each day,
  • doing art therapy with children,
  • assisting with events (daytime/evening),
  • visiting local schools and being involved with the Schools helping Schools Project,
  • assisting with public relations via telephone,
  • assisting in other project-related activities. 

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 so you will get to choose which programme you would like to do again while you are with Safe Haven. 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 will be not provided. In addition to the self-catering option, you can order homemade lunch and/or dinner which are delivered on a daily basis.


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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."