International Volunteering in South Africa

We have a wide variety of projects you can choose from in South Africa that directly connect you with the communities you’ll help. We work hard to place you in a project type and location where your skills and passions will make the biggest impact possible.

If giving your time and talents to improve the lives of South Africans feels like the right avenue for your international volunteer experience, connect with us! Based on your unique skills and strengths, we’ll set you up with a project in one of the following areas.

Volunteer raves about Dreamcatcher volunteer experience

“There are not enough words to describe the experiences and emotions I encountered on this trip and it was an honor to work with Dreamcatcher. The children were wonderful and I know they’re going to grow up and become SO important to the world. I’m so glad I could make an impact on people! The people, environment, and atmosphere were spectacular. I was very well informed the whole entire time and was fully aware of when and where I was supposed to be. The information was succinct and clear and left no room for confusion or chaos.” — Emily O’Brien, 2015 Volunteer

Projects in South Africa with Dreamcatcher

Utopia Volunteers and one of our South Africa partners, Dreamcatcher, work to create a future where everyone can thrive, providing individuals and communities living in recurring poverty access to opportunities that improve quality of life. Working and living in 20 communities across South Africa for over two decades, Dreamcatcher brings us experience and credibility that will offer you the unique chance to go truly local, integrating into the communities in which you serve.

Make sure to check out the OOG VOOR Afrika (Eye For Africa) magazine for more on Dreamcatcher’s history, impact, and future!

Volunteering with children at-risk

Children need to develop skills, knowledge, confidence, and hope, and many of the children we work with require nurturing support to grow in these areas. Building vision and capacity in the communities are crucial to the future of thousands of children and the communities in which they live.

Our child empowerment volunteer programs are developed around the needs in the community and the skills, talents, and abilities of the volunteers and the length of their stay. If you’d like to volunteer with at-risk children, some of your options include providing childcare in rural day care centers, mentoring high school students, and offering support, play, and basic meals to children in bad economic and family situations.

Social work assistance

The Dreamcatcher social care office works with 200-400 cases at a time, serving mostly women and children living in extreme poverty. If you have experience or training in social work, or have a big heart and loving hands and want to get involved with our social work office, talk with us about some of our community enriching projects and a program manager will be happy to go over many opportunities like the options below.

If you’d like to work with children and youth, you can choose to volunteer with physically handicapped children, offer support and nurturing to babies and toddlers with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or care for abandoned and runaway young people by providing valuable life skills training and support.

If you’d like to help with social work projects in a different area, consider volunteering with South African individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or caring for the elderly — you’ll help support their day-to-day needs and engage in conversations and activities that improve their quality of life.

Education and tutoring programs

You have many options to make an impact with South African children if you choose to dedicate your international volunteer experience to education. You do not have to have formal teaching experience or training to work in our education projects so if you’ve ever wanted to work in learning instruction before, this is a great opportunity to lend your talents and skills to furthering knowledge.

You can help children from age 2 -19 in any of the areas below, or even offer training and mentoring to adults. These projects will take place in schools, libraries, or at a tourism-training institute.

Offer your time and talents to teaching English or basic primary subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. Teach computer skills and help provide environmental education about energy consumption and waste. Promote creativity by helping develop art and music skills. Train and teach sports and basic athletics to encourage healthy movement and positive social development. Whatever your strengths and talents, we have an education project that will be a great match for your goals as a volunteer.

Healthcare support and mentorship

We have many options for offering support and assistance with medical projects in South Africa for trained medical professionals and untrained volunteers alike.

As a trained medical volunteer, you can assist alongside nurses and doctors, providing care to patients infected with HIV/AIDS in hospitals, clinics, or emergency-care centers. You can also choose to work at home-care organizations where you’ll help deliver medications to patients and check on those unable to come into a formal healthcare setting for appointments. For those who aren’t trained medical professionals, you can mentor patients under stress as they arrive, or help with paperwork and administration duties.

Another option for helping provide care for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS is to work at a Voluntary Care and Testing (VCT) clinic. Here you can participate in support groups and provide encouraging and beneficial information on health, hygiene, and building self-esteem.

If you’d like to volunteer with Dreamcatcher to help individuals affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa, talk with us and we’ll connect you with a project that will help to ease the community burden caused by this devastating disease.


Projects in South Africa with Hermanus Rainbow Trust

Another partner organization of Utopia Volunteers in South Africa is the Hermanus Rainbow Trust (HRT). HRT is a leading social enterprise providing community and social development services and support to hundreds of orphans, vulnerable children, and disadvantaged families living in the impoverished communities of the Overstrand in the Western Cape. In this area, nearly all families are affected by HIV/AIDS in one way or another.

Social programs in Overstrand

HRT has four main social programs aimed at eliminating poverty, hunger, malnutrition, child morbidity, and HIV, and supporting early childhood development.

If you want to volunteer with this organization, talk with us and we’ll find a specific project that will use your skills and talents to make an impactful difference for the communities in the Overstrand area.


Projects in South Africa with Global Citizen Artist

Check out our upcoming art-based projects here! Note that these are open to professionals, amateurs, and non-artists alike — find out how you can help today.