Johannesburg, South Africa. Jo’burg. Jozi. JHB. Egoli. Nicknames are a term of endearment and the abundance of names Johannesburg answers to shows how near and dear the city is to the hearts of its citizens. Volunteering abroad in Johannesburg allows you to authentically experience the compassion these citizens feel for this country full of natural splendor and friendly faces. Having the opportunity to respond to this compassion might be the most meaningful way to travel. So no matter what you choose to call the city, definitely consider choosing a volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg.
How to Volunteer in Johannesburg
Diversity is the name of the game in Johannesburg, South Africa. This means that volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg come in all shapes and sizes. No matter what you are passionate about doing, there is a program that will help you find a spot to park it.
Popular causes for volunteering in Johannesburg. When one thinks of volunteer work in Johannesburg, the first thing that pops into their head is healthcare. Throughout apartheid, the vast majority of people had little to no health services. This, combined with political and social factors, has brought them to have the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world. The amount of poverty also makes working with children another common type of volunteering. Schools in rural and underfunded areas can use educational and recreational support to inspire the next generation of leaders. For those who are seeking to work in the field or the lab to support conservation efforts and get up close and personal with some really fascinating wildlife, volunteering in Jozi makes perfect sense!
Summer/short term programs. Once you decide on the what, the next step is to decide on the how long. The duration of volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg can vary from days to months or even longer. If you don’t have a lot of time, don’t sweat it. Many like-minded humanitarians opt to volunteer abroad short term and in the summer months because it is a great way to fill that cherished time off.
Long term volunteer stints. A couple of weeks or months of volunteering abroad in Johannesburg will definitely make a lasting impression (on you and the city), but volunteers are always encouraged to stay as long as possible to maximize impact. If compassion for Johannesburg is consuming you and you’re considering jumping in for the long haul, there are definitely long term volunteer abroad programs available in Johannesburg.
Volunteer Life in Johannesburg
Johannesburg is a city that truly has a little taste of everything. With its fast-paced city living, adventure, incredible shopping, proximity to national parks and safaris, as well as cultural opportunities like the Apartheid Museum and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, it truly checks all the boxes.
If you’re into sports you’ll be among friends while volunteering abroad in Johannesburg. Both soccer and rugby are considered a must, with several stadiums located in and around the city. Prefer shopping rather than a visit to the pitch? Be sure to find your way to the local weekend markets at Maboneng where you can sample some of the best cuisines in the area and then window shop through an assortment of eclectic boutiques.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
The reverberating effects of apartheid could be a lot to take in for volunteers, especially those who have never experienced a society with a high level of inequality. The beauty of the Johannesburg people is their love for life no matter what their circumstance is. During your time volunteering abroad in Johannesburg, your eyes will be opened to system challenges, individual struggles, and steadfast workers that will both break your heart and give you hope.
On a lighter note, Jo’burg will help you check a lot of things off your bucket list! Shark diving, bungee jumping, seeing a lion roar...you name it and Jozi will show you the way. And if you don’t have these experiences DURING your volunteer program in Johannesburg, you won’t have to go far to do any of the above.
While English is widely spoken, South African English has a flavor all its own. For example, the phrase now now doesn’t actually mean now (that would make too much sense). It’s a good idea to acclimate yourself to some of the nuances and slang of the locals before you go so you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of a dwaal.
Going out of your way to alleviate the hurts of another is an immeasurable experience. True compassion is a rarity that shines through when strength, guidance, and wisdom are given to empower another with absolutely nothing expected in return. And, whether you mean to or not, you will get something in return when you choose any of the volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg.
For more information, read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in South Africa.