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Volunteer Teaching in Cape Town, South
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Volunteer Teaching in Cape Town, South

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    4

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Community Engagement

    4

  • Health & Safety

    5

  • Day to Day Life

    4

Providing educational experiences for disadvantaged children South Africa June/July 2015

I travelled to South Africa after my original GVI trip to Nepal had to be cancelled due to the terrible earthquakes four weeks before I was due to leave. I am grateful for the opportunity to visit South Africa and I had some memorable experiences during my 4 week stint there. As an experienced early childhood teacher of over 40 years, I was sad that my knowledge and experience wasn't used to it's full advantage- I was very disappointed that I didn't get to work in the Kindergarten (as I had been led to believe,) and spent my whole time in Ikalythemba. I brought an entire month's of preparation and planning activities with me -including resources and craft materials for the Kindergarten. I did use them with the older children, but not to the extent to which they would have given the most impact for the younger children. The turn over of volunteers was an issue as the children were constantly adjusting to new faces ever week or so. I hope the resources and items I purchased with money I fundraised back at home, were used and benefitted the children and that a bit more organisation and thought to where volunteers are placed is now in place, as I felt I really didn't make a lot of difference in the four weeks there, despite doing my very best. I made some amazing friends in the house we all shared and it was a fun and interesting time. My reason for volunteering wasn't to see the sights but did have the most amazing experiences while I had free time on the weekends. I don't know whether I would volunteer again with GVI but I still would like to go to Nepal, and may give GVI another go as it could probably be the most amazing opportunity.

  • GVI responded to this review May 21, 2018 at 8:27 AM

    Hi Jo,

    Thank you for your feedback on your experience in Gordon's Bay. As a feedback led organisation, we take all kinds of feedback very seriously and do our best to work on all elements of someone's experience, to improve it for future participants.

    We're sorry to hear that your experience in 2015 wasn't as expected. If you would be keen to discuss this with us in further detail, please email us at feedback@gviworld.com.

    All the best,

    The GVI Team

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Glorious Gordon's bay

My trip with GVI was one of the best things I have done during my summer holiday! The people on the project were amazing, the local people were amazing and the children we simply inspiring and wonderful!
We taught the children to count using songs and games, we provided them with art and drama lessons which they wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise and we read with children who had no parents to hear them read. It was such a rewarding and life changing trip.

I would recommend GVI to anyone; they look after you, provide a brilliant programme and engage all people in sustainable development.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The greatest gift you can give anyone is your time!

GVI is definitely the best thing I have ever done. It has improved my self-esteem as well as my confidence massively. The programme was very eye opening and a good way to compare what we have in England and how little they have in Cape Town and to be grateful of our luxuries. It has given me confidence to work with children of all capabilities and backgrounds. The children were so grateful for everything and especially for your time. You also gain a lot of free time especially at the weekends so you are free to explore the country. I did ticked off so many things off my bucket list including shark cage diving, boulders beach, table mountain the list is endless.
The support from GVI has been amazing and if anybody wants to volunteer abroad I would definitely recommend the company as they help you every step of the way from booking to arriving in Cape Town to coming home, they have it covered. I have just booked my second adventure with GVI but this time it is a 6 month internship in Costa Rica!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Cape Town South Africa volunteering with children

Global Visions International is an amazing organization. The program I was involved with made a huge impacting helping children ages 3-7. During my 6 weeks volunteering I was able to see so much change in the children. From not being able to speak any English to after only 6 weeks being able to comprehend and speak simple words and phrases understanding so much better. This allowed them to engage with other children and express themselves in a more positive way. The impact made in such a short time is motivating to want to do more. 6 weeks went by incredibly fast during my stay I met so many new and amazing people that life on project was never a dull moment. Constant laughter and happiness from all volunteers and GVI staff made my trip personally amazing. The staff members GVI has employed are also inspiring people that are there for you every step of the way. Anything you need they are there to help. After project this organization has motivated me to try to further my volunteer work by helping others and educated me on worldwide problems that require our help. The staff and other volunteers also become life long friends constantly keeping in touch with connections all around the world.Global visions international is an organization that is changing lives around the world.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Two weeks, too little time

I spent two weeks volunteering with GVI on the Child Care project. I had such a wonderful time, getting to know the children, staff and other volunteers. Two weeks was just not enough time - I was not ready to leave at the end and could have stayed for months more. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the children, especially the songs and dances (which I have taken back to use in my own classroom!)
I would recommend this project to anyone who is interested in making a difference through education.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Incredible, rewarding, life changing!!

Travelling alone, I was very nervous but the GVI team instantly made me feel safe. Transport was always provided to the school and on all excursions. We lived in a safe area in a beautiful house.
I received full support when I was teaching in the school and it was so rewarding watching them develop. The children are challenging in a fun way!
It's not all about teaching and going home to watch television, GVI provided nights out or nights in with games, so we were never bored! There are also lots of excursions available on the weekends. I wanted to go Shark Cage Diving but was scared to go on my own, so GVI eased that fear by arranging me a place with a reputable company and provided me with transport to and from the boat, leaving me with only the sharks to be worried about! This whole experience with GVI changed my outlook on life completely and has given me the courage to do it on my own again!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    9

A thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile experience, one I hope to go back to.

Came back from two weeks volunteering with GVI at the Childcare and Healthcare project in Cape Town, South Africa. I was originally only meant to stay for one week but was so impressed by the standard of good work being done of project and the excellent set-up that the GVI staff maintained there that I wasn't prepared to leave. As it was, leaving was very difficult being as invested as I was just in those two weeks in the wide range of teaching, childcare, and healthcare opportunities available. i'm deeply grateful to GVI for this opportunity and look forward to going back to this project in the future one way or another.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I am going to miss the kids

I am going to miss the Kids as the unconditional love I had from them and when they say 'Teacha' haha just make you to hug them tightly.I will be definitely be back in March or April next year to spend at least 6-8 weeks with the Kids.Actually will try to come back every year.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Wonderful

Living in the remote African bush, getting a close look at animals, as well as learning so much about them are some of the most wonderful experiences I had during my stay.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Most of the day was always enjoyable!

Working with the children and getting to interact with them and help them was my most memorable part of my stay. They instantly brightened my day and it didn't feel like we were working at all as the most of the day was always enjoyable!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I absolutely loved my time

I absolutely loved my time, I didn't want to leave. My most positive experience in South Africa with GVI as the program coordinator was working with the children and the community atmosphere we had during our stay.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

I found the support and structure beneficial

I enjoyed the enthusiasm and the joyfulness of the children - their trust and their willingness to engage - both at the school and especially the Orphanage. I found their energy very inspiring, given especially the backgrounds they may have come from.I feel privileged that I have had the opportunity to get to know the children's personalities a little during the time I was there, and hopefully temper my teaching accordingly. I appreciated also the mature company of my co volunteers Steph and Claire, and the commitment that was very apparent from everyone involved in both the projects from the first day I arrived. I am very grateful for the confidence this has given me to try new things, take on a challenge, and learn from my (many) mistakes. It has given me a new perspective on my future and I hope to return to this kind of work again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

It went too quickly

My most positive experience was the teaching. The kids were fantastic and were the most grateful kids I'd ever met.
Overall I just had a great time and was sad when the program was over. It went too quickly.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I was made to feel very welcome by everyone involved

I was made to feel very welcome by everyone involved. The school were enthusiastic and grateful for all contributions and this made it a very worthwhile experience - I felt I made a difference if only in a very small way. I enjoyed painting murals at the pre-school. Best experiences off project (independantly organised) - Abseiling down table mountain; stroking cheetahs; visiting schools in Maenberg and Mitchell's plain. Best experiences aided by project leader: Hout Bay Green Faire ( a whole day involving children's work on recycling, stalls selling fresh food, information about the environment etc, hula hoops, music and dancing, fire dancing and watching the sunset. Drumming lesson - Afro beat Most positive experience - seeing the children enjoy learning. Seeing the power of education not just to improve chances of employment in the future, but for the pleasure that learning brings in its own right.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Time of my life!

I learned about GVI via personal research of volunteer organisations online of volunteering organisations. Though they seemed a little on the pricey side, videos of past volunteers and conversations with GVI representatives gave me confidence that I would enjoy this.

I worked at ACJ Parkade school in Cape town teaching in the class room and on the sports field.
I initially only planned to participate in sports coaching but ended up doing bits of everything including spending time at the orphanage at Ikhayalathemba (where I even got to act in a play as a Fairy subsequently earning the name 'Teacher Fairy")

My average day involved waking up around 8am, having breakfast and being picked up to go to the projects at 8.40am. Classes started at 9.10 and lasted an hour which seemed to always go by so quickly.

Some afternoons I was neck deep in the after school projects, others were spent playing football in the school compounds with the kids, or watching the school football matches at the field. We usually left work at around 3.30pm, and rested till 5pm before preparing dinner and engaging in social activities (and there were a flurry of these), from Pop quizzes on Thursday, Games night every other Friday, evenings spent down at the local university listening (and occasionally dancing to South African music) and the infamous Cape Town weekender, there's always something to get into.

The main highlights for me were being on the field with the kids, watching them finally understand maths topics and knowing that I contributed to that, and dancing with them.
My most interesting discovery was that the projects were set up to make a lasting difference whilst allowing each individual to find their niche, and flourish there.

My biggest challenge was learning to communicate in basic English with the kids, as well as learning when to be firm as teachers rather than friends.
I left South Africa with a scrap book filled with letters from the kids, unforgettable memories, and a warm glow of happiness that has since remained with me. So much so that I will be returning in a few weeks to hopefully re-live the experience.

If you are reading this and thinking about going, I urge you to "Go for it! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain; at the very least you will get a pretty good holiday out of it."

If nothing else, believe me when I say; it'll be the time of your life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I already miss them!

Getting to know the children and receiving feedback from them was amazing - I already miss them! I loved how social the project at Gordons Bay was, I felt I got to know the other volunteers really well with so many social activities and shared meal times. All project staff were really great.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

They inspired me.

The kids were the most amazing part of the entire experience. They inspired me in so me in so many ways and taught me so much. Also everyone I met during my time with GVI is truly amazing and made my experience that much more incredible.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My lifelong dream to go to South Africa and the country did not disappoint

My lifelong dream to go to South Africa and the country did not disappoint. The staff of GVI that were assigned in the program were brilliant helping with the construction and the kids were incredible.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Meeting new people from all over the world

My most positive experience during my stay in the program was meeting and getting to know the children we were working with, and also meeting new people from all over the world, many of who will be friends for life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Incredible experiences

The things that made my experience with this program of GVI in South Africa were working with the children and making a difference to their lives as well as meeting amazing people and all the incredible experiences.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

They were always very helpful and friendly

My most positive experience was spending time with the kids and seeing them smile. Also, being able to help them with numeracy and literacy and seeing them learn and grow! The children also loved the 'after school workshop' where they can be creative, play games and spend more time with other children. GVI staff and the other volunteers and also the teachers and the kids at ACJ Primary School in Nomzamo were always very helpful and friendly.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

It was a new experience for me

I most enjoyed the actual project work, the community was very welcoming and the staff treated us as adults rather than those they were babysitting. I personally loved the interaction with the children as it was a new experience for me and they were incredibly entertaining. Although I liked the work very much, I think I will always better remember the response it received; rarely before have I felt that what I've done has been so valued and that was one of the best parts of the trip. I also appreciated the relaxed atmosphere, with time to recharge and socialise in the afternoon/evening.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My project coordinator was awesome

My project coordinator, Rachael, was awesome and did her job well. I thoroughly enjoyed her.

But I think the way safety was portrayed instilled a fear in the volunteers that was unjustified. There was no need for us to be as scared as we were of our surroundings.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I really enjoyed being enriched with the culture of the country I was in.

I enjoyed helping the children I was working with and meeting new people and making new friends. I also really enjoyed being enriched with the culture of the country I was in.

Its a great way to travel, see the world, experience different cultures, help people and make new friendships.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Amazing

Meeting all the people, they were amazing, being with the children and defiantly the side trips!! shark diving was amazing!! we got told about the South African Spa which would be amazing if it was offered as a side trip.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation