Volunteer to Teach Sports to Kids in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa Children & Youth Development



Started in 2008 by a local resident, Prof Mtyaleka, and Khaya’s founder, Martijn Van der Put, this project has been part of a broader initiative to promote community togetherness. Walmer Township, while known for its cosmopolitan makeup, remains one of Eastern Cape’s poorest neighborhoods. Issues such as the spread of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, crime, teenage pregnancy and illiteracy cripple this area, which hosts a population of 70,000 people. Along with these problems, and the lack of stable housing for residents, children in Walmer lack educations, in huge part due to having very few educational institutions. Only two primary schools and one high school exist in Walmer Township, which leaves many children at home or in the street lacking structured activity to keep them from trouble. Your role in this sports project will be critical to ensuring Walmer’s children have structure and putting their energy into constructive outlets through physical activity. Sports such as basketball and swimming will encourage children to get fit, learn more about their physical capacities and meet other children along the way. You will also get a chance to interact with local volunteers, mainly unemployed South African youth, and help them run aspect of this wonderful program. Whether it’s primary school or during after-school hours, these children, aged 6-18, will have an activity to keep them engaged throughout each day. You will feel just as engaged while watching and playing with these children, preventing them from being married to the streets and making sure they live normal and productive lives. This essential initiative serves underprivileged children in need of direction. As a volunteer, you will be their compass.


Seeing children play is often a joy, whether it be in your own backyard or the local park. This initiative mirrors those images on a wider scale, for a greater purpose. Having a chance to impact lives of children in this underprivileged neighborhood while playing sports will build trust, growth, and fitness amongst them. This program keeps children from making decisions they will later regret and could even prompt them to become the next LeBron James or Michael Phelps one day. Be a part of this amazing program and make it your duty to educate and uplift these children through sport, an avenue where people from all backgrounds can find common ground.

Field conditions

Work days normally start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. except on Fridays, when work finishes around lunch time. Here are aspects of this program you will be called upon to help run, and enjoy yourself while doing it. Primary School Sports: From Mondays to Thursdays, you will provide physical training lessons to children, aged six to 18, with assistance from local coaches. These lessons will be provided to the primary schools in the area, each session lasting 90 minutes. You will show them the importance of warming up, learning new games and having fun while playing. After-School Sports: You will help coordinate basketball training for 12-18-year-olds at the local high school from 2:30 p.m. onwards. Once the children have freshened up and put on their basketball uniforms, you will help them understand the nuances of the game. Basketball in South Africa isn’t nearly as popular as in North America or Europe, so start them with basic knowledge, rules of the game and team them about teamwork. Swimming Program: Six to nine-year-old children will be beneficiaries of swimming lessons as you offer basic training and hand out diplomas to top swimmers. If you’re a water lover and love kids, what more could you ask for?

Arrival and orientation

You will either be picked up at the airport or any accommodations in Port Elizabeth on a Monday. Then you will be given time to explore your surroundings and get comfortable. On Tuesday, you will receive your formal introduction to the project and get a full rundown of what is expected.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

Your volunteer house is in Humewood, a popular beachfront area located in Port Elizabeth. The house offers spacious living conditions and is shared with other volunteers who work with various missions, including Door of Hope, Missionvale Care Centre and Izizwe Township Projects. So be prepared to make a lot of new friends! This house is fully furnished. It includes nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, two kitchens, two washing machines, a dining room and a television lounge with satellite TV. Plus, there’s a garden with a swimming pool to cool off after a tiring day at work. You will also have access to free Wi-Fi should you bring your own laptop, phone or tablet. You will likely share a room with other volunteers, but these rooms are large, so you won’t be getting in each other’s way too much. Some of these rooms have four beds in a dorm-style setup, others are smaller but can hold two volunteers at a time. There is also a cleaning lady on the premises to help keep things tidy in case things are a bit messy. Beds and sheets are provided, but you will have to bring your own towels. Couples and older volunteers, meanwhile, can make requests for private rooms, but for a fee. As for meals, you will be covered daily by a full-time cook who will treat you to some delectable, homemade South African meals. She will also teach you how to make those meals, so you can impress your family and friends back home with your enhanced cooking skills. From chopping vegetables to cleaning dishes and warming up food, you will be asked to help the cook at every turn. You will get three meals a day, including toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and eggs for breakfast and sandwiches with cheese, marmalade, meat or spreads for lunch. There are also alternate meals such as stews, curry, stir-fry, soups, and pasta. On weekends, you can heat up your own meal or make your own, while free tea, coffee, and cordial juices are available at any time.


Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house.


from $370 USDper week

from $370 USDper week


What’s included

  • Information and assistance before departure

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

  • Welcome pack including an information guide, free sim card, maps etc. upon arrival

  • City tour and introduction program

  • Accommodations in volunteer house in close proximity to the beach

  • Onsite volunteer coordinator available 24/7 -3 basic meals a day

  • 15% direct donation to the project͛’s needs

  • Daily transfers to-and-from the project

What’s not included

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

  • Costs for weekend outings to safari parks etc.

  • Airfare

  • Insurance

  • Weekend pick up and drop off at airport

Start dates

Volunteer work starts on Mondays only. (If you arrive before Monday, we can assist with accommodations at the backpackers or guesthouse for you.) Participation is for full weeks only and the project will be closed for approximately 3 weeks over Christmas and New Years͛ time.

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.

You may also be interested in…

Applying through Abroadly gets you access to exclusive travel scholarships and a no-fee fundraising platform

17 people are researching this project