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Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Community Township Project in South Africa

Overview
  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Lavender Hill township, Cape Town
  • ROLE: Assisting with ongoing community projects and building work in the township
  • Requirements: None
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

A group of children spend time with a female volunteer in a South African township

Contributing to sustainable community development is an ideal way for volunteers to give back to communities in need. Lavender Hill, an impoverished township in Cape Town, South Africa, is one of these communities. Here, Projects Abroad volunteers can get involved in a wide range of community initiatives designed to benefit and support the people living there. Whether you are volunteering on a gap year, summer placement, or career break, joining the Community Township project in South Africa is a great opportunity to make a difference and immerse yourself in South African culture.

The Community Township project involves work in the following areas:

  • Assisting with ongoing building work
  • Nutrition project work, including work on an organic garden and preparing meals for the children
  • Educating local people about organic food production
  • Clearing and creating a sports field and running physical education sessions

Community Work in South Africa with Projects Abroad

Most of the building work typically takes place in the mornings. Volunteers work under the guidance and supervision of a building manager, assisting with all levels of building and construction. The buildings are made using an eco-bag system. Eco-bags are filled with sand and using this technique it is possible to build better quality houses for less money, while also using ecological materials such as recycled rubble and eco timber beams.

Currently, volunteers are working on building a community centre in Village Heights, Lavender Hill, which will serve as a multi-purpose building with its own toilet and kitchen. Future proposed projects include a building which will house arts, culture, dance, drama and music facilities, and an extension to the communal garden.

As a volunteer, you will participate in a variety of activities, which may include digging foundations, mixing cement, placing the eco-bags to build walls, building a roof, plastering, and putting the finishing coat of paint on the completed building.

A volunteer contributes to the Building Project in South Africa

In the afternoons you will have plenty of time to get involved in the other projects taking place in the local community. This includes looking after the children present on site and participating in our nutrition project.

On the nutrition project, you will help look after our organic garden, research nutritious recipes that can be prepared with our produce, prepare the food, and feed the children.

Our plans also include clearing a nearby site in order to transform it into a sports field and then get the children involved in physical education, as well as educating the township people in organic food growing and basic permaculture techniques.

The building project site is sometimes closed during the South African school vacations, including about five weeks from early December to mid-January and a week-long break over Easter and at the end of September/start of October. Extra community projects are available during these times and our local staff will advise you of exact dates when you apply.

If you have a particular interest in any aspects of this project please let us know when you apply.

You can join the Community Township project in South Africa for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. The project is available all year round in Cape Town.

If you are aged 50 and above you may want to consider our Grown-up Special program in South Africa.

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