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Volunteer Work in Cape Town, South Africa: What to Expect

Over the past couple of years, South Africa has become one of the most popular destinations for volunteers from around the world. From the wilds of its game reserves, to the traditions of its local communities to its sleepy coastal towns, South Africa is a country of extremes and diversity and will offer you the adventure of a lifetime.

Why become a volunteer in Cape Town, South Africa?

South Africa has one of the most unequal distributions of wealth in the world, leading to areas of great inequality. The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the legacy of apartheid means that community development initiatives remain an important part of the country’s growth and that there are plenty of opportunities for volunteers.

Nowhere is this more true than in the beautiful city of Cape Town. In some ways a sophisticated city, there are also communities that lack access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, food and proper shelter.

As a volunteer, you will be performing a service for free but the value you will receive while giving this service is beyond the measure. Volunteering in Cape Town gives you the opportunity to come into contact with new cultures, to explore new ways of living, to discover yourself and to have adventures with new people.

Take a walk on the wild side

South Africa is home to many different cultures, religions and languages. There are eleven official languages and the country is also known as the “Rainbow Nation”. It is a dynamic country, full of different perspectives and human experiences. While volunteering, you will be able to visit some of the most incredible animals that exist on the planet. However, don’t expect to see lions or giraffes walking down the road. You will have the opportunity to get hands-on wildlife experiences, but most animals are in reserves or national parks.

South Africa, and especially Cape Town, combines flourishing art, design, music and film with a growing business industry. Cape Town’s considerable popularity rests on its celebrated natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or an art lover, it’s easy to have a good time in this city. Take a hike up Table Mountain, paraglide down Lions Head, tour Robben Island and see the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, catch awesome live jazz in a shebeen, go on a wine tour or just lie on one of the magnificent beaches.

Cape Town’s crime levels are lower than any of the country’s other large cities. But, due to poverty in certain areas, crime and theft can be a problem. Try not to carry large amounts of cash with you and be discreet with expensive items like cameras, jewelry, etc. Do not walk in deserted areas, especially after dark, and always park in designated well-lit areas. Travel insurance is also a must for anyone leaving their home country.

Why choose Dreams To Reality?

Dreams To Reality (DTR) encompasses what the international volunteer experience is all about. DTR focuses on placing international volunteers in two local communities near the city of Cape Town. These are the Capricorn/Vrygrond community near Muizenberg and the Imizamo Yethu community near Hout Bay. While volunteering with DTR, you will come in contact with many different cultures and will be offered a huge opportunity for personal growth.

By focusing on working with children in several aspects of their lives, you will get to care for them and give them the support and encouragement that they lack. DTR will give you the opportunity to share your love of sport and teaching with low-income children who want and need teachers, mentors and coaches.

DTR is a well-rounded organisation. When signing up, volunteers can choose their volunteer period, from 1 week to 6 months. Volunteers can choose which program they want to get involved in which includes the Teaching Program, the Childcare Program, the Computer Training Program, the Sports Development Program, and the Surf Outreach Program.

Dreams To Reality helps facilitate the travel, accommodation and introduction to the various programs which they run. On average, DTR gets about 50 volunteers a month, which means you will get to meet people from different countries, backgrounds and cultures as well as develop new friendships. DTR also provides safe housing with other volunteers and your weekends are free to explore the beauty of our country.

To find out more about our programs, click here.

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