Volunteer at a Community Project in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa Children & Youth Development



This centre operates in Missionvale township, located on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape. This non-profit organization was founded by under a tree donated by a local resident and has blossomed into a lovable hub for poor people. Emphasis is on people living with HIV/AIDS, which is rampant throughout Africa.

You will be an essential piece to making sure people in this impoverished part of South Africa are cared for and able to live normal lives. Missionvale Care Centre’s holistic approach to many challenges that face the township daily helps to alleviate physical and mental scars those challenges have caused. In addition to HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, child neglect and unemployment. There is a great need for food, clothing and other necessities and this centre helps to provide all that and more. For this project, you’ll be able to provide men, women, and children with facilities, so they can do constructive work, get healthcare, schooling and learn how to make income. Give them an outlet to forget their circumstances, even for a short while, and be able to take stances on things they never thought they could before.


Be of great help by providing opportunities to some of South Africa’s less fortunate through these means. So many things to learn, so many people to meet and you can do it all while taking in a superb atmosphere and new culture!

Field conditions

Your work days will begin each weekday at 8:30 a.m. local time and conclude at 3:30 p.m., with weekends off. However, some days may start earlier, and hours might change depending on weather conditions, especially during summer time.

There is a wide range of activities for you to get involved in. Here are some of the features:

Clinic: Here, you will provide extra check-ups and care for illnesses, particularly serious illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. If you have prior medicinal experience, this is an ideal fit as you will be able to adequately assist the doctor and clinic staff. You can also help in the pharmacy to hand out necessary medication.

Crafters' Unit: You will help teach women how to develop sewing skills and put them to use by making handbags, aprons, pillows, curtains and other things. These items are sold at the centre as well as Art in the Park on the first Sunday of each month. Through learning these skills, these women stand a better chance of being employed.

Child Care: Children at the centre are presented with various activities that help them to learn and participate in constructive situations while keeping them away from violence and other issues. You can help provide them with meals, give them computer lessons, read them stories, play sports with them, dance with them and help them play the drums. Do it all with a smile too!

Community Gardens: Help residents plant and grow their own fruits and vegetables; providing them with seeds, water, and tools to ensure they harvest crops and reap income going forward.

Clothing Warehouse: You can help the ladies at this fine establishment fold, clean and pack clothing items ready to be distributed to people in need.

Primary School: Missionvale’s primary school has three well-equipped classrooms, but some children get left in the fold when it comes to the learning process. Be an extra eye and ear for students, helping slower learners and ensuring each child gets individual attention.

Food distribution: Many families in Missionvale are unable to have proper meals together with a lack of quality food items available. At the centre, soup mix and bread are provided daily, while food parcels are also given out. You will assist staff by making parcels and distributing as many as possible.

Arrival and orientation

You will be picked up at the airport by your project coordinator and carried to your accommodations where you will be shown around, go through your work activities and rules.

Your introduction day will be on a Monday before starting your volunteering on a Tuesday. Any day can be your pickup day, but if you choose to arrive on a weekend, a taxi will be provided to any accommodations of your choosing, or you can take an Uber. From there, you are picked up at 9 a.m. local time on Monday morning and taken to the project.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

You will stay with a selected host family, located within walking distance of the Child Development Support Organization, otherwise known as Chideso. The accommodations are located 25-30 minutes walking distance from project headquarters. You can also take a bicycle taxi to and from should it be too hot to walk.

This home has two bedrooms, with two to three bed each. There is also a private bathroom equipped with a western toilet and a shower with warm water. Furthermore, it has a dining room area, lounge with TV and a large garden. You will share your room with other volunteers, while male and female volunteers will share their rooms separately.

In Malawi, the cuisine is very different from what you are used to, but you are highly encouraged to try some of the local food. You might just be inspired to cook one or two of these dishes when you get home, so you can boast about your cooking skills! Three meals are provided each day, which will include local food mostly consisting of fish, rice, pasta, vegetables, meat and nsima, a porridge of maize meal. Breakfast includes porridge or bread with coffee or tea. Lunch and dinner are freshly cooked meals. Mineral water is not provided, but you can drink tap water after it has been boiled and deemed safe.


Volunteers will be staying with a host family.


from $390 USDper week

from $390 USDper week


What’s included

  • Transfers to and from the project daily

  • 15% direct donation to the project͛’s needs

  • 3 basic meals a day

  • Onsite volunteer coordinator available 24/7

  • Accommodations in volunteer house close to the beach

  • City tour and introduction programme

  • Welcome pack with information guide, free sim-card, maps, etc. upon arrival

  • Pick up upon arrival and drop off at the end of your stay

  • Information and assistance before departure

What’s not included

  • Weekend pick up and drop off at airport

  • Insurance

  • Airfare

  • Private luxuries (snacks, cool drinks, alcohol etc.)

  • Weekend trips and outings (extra costs apply)

Start dates

Volunteer work starts on Mondays only. If you will be arriving before Monday, we will gladly assist with accommodations and your pick up; extra days will be charged prorate. On the Monday, you will be given your introduction and shown around the area so that on Tuesday you can start your volunteering. Participation is per full weeks only and the project will be closed for about 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year's every year.

Established in 2005, Khaya Volunteer Projects offers unique and affordable volunteer and gap year projects in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zanzibar. Khaya projects run the gamut of volunteer interests with project areas including Children; Communities; Sports Development; Healthcare; Wildlife and Conservation; and Education projects. A common thread running through all Khaya projects is a commitment to ethical volunteering. They work to ensure that your volunteering efforts and your financial contributions are used in the best way possible. In alignment with that goal, Khaya, with its base and several offices in Africa, can and does assist its local partners and projects in Southern and Eastern Africa with keeping the focus on responsible and ethical volunteering.

Their mission is simple but resonant:

“...we provide volunteering opportunities for international travellers that are both unique and as affordable as possible with high standards of service and facilities. Needless to say, we also prioritise our selected volunteer projects’ needs in ways that benefit both project and you, the volunteer.”

Honest pricing, crystal clear information, timely communication, and great service are all hallmarks of how they run a successful organization. True to the meaning of “Khaya” in several African languages, Khaya Volunteers makes sure its volunteers feel secure, well informed, and that they belong to the project to which they commit. Khaya believes that if you join on of their volunteering projects, you’ll have an African experience you’ll never forget.

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