Program Details

Cape Town Community Development Experience

Contribute to Vital Community Development Initiatives in South Africa

Program Information

Travel to South Africa and join a construction project in iconic Cape Town's surrounding township areas, working to improve infrastructure and the general learning environment for local disadvantaged children. Immerse yourself in a South African township community while supporting our long term projects and experience a unique opportunity to work with local families.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals



Immerse yourself in a South African township community while supporting our long-term projects and experience a unique opportunity to work with local families.

Volunteers will work at educational facilities assisting with much needed construction projects. These centres typically take care of children from abusive and neglectful families, providing them with a loving, caring home. Students will work on a construction project with one of our partners, such as one of the township educare centres, for some hands on practical work improving the infrastructure and learning environment. The exact work will depend on the needs of our partners at the time but typically may involve some basic maintenance and renovation work or painting and brightening up the space with murals or other artwork.

Taking part in our programmes will contribute to long-term goals and further development and empowerment of this community.


Contribute to our long-term community projects and experience first hand, life in a township; enjoy stunning views of the mountain ranges including Table Mountain; accommodation is in a private and secure compound.


This trip takes you to the breathtaking city of Cape Town, and to a coastal community 45 minutes from the city where you will be based. The city is dominated by the magnificent Table Mountain and Lions Head, standing guard over the CBD (central business district), Camps Bay and the waterfront suburbs of Greenpoint and Seapoint. Renowned for its natural wonders, the city will never fail to amaze.

GVI works in an informal community 40 minutes from Cape Town and in the small sea suburb of Gordon’s Bay. Having been involved in the area since 2008 (and South Africa for almost 15 years) we have established relationships with Ikhayalethemba Village Care Centre, Nceduluntu Educare Centre, Nceduluntu Grade R and ACJ Primary School.

Cape Town's short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Cape Town:

  1. Improve the quality of education in Nomzamo and Zola.

  2. Promote gender equality in the local community

  3. Increase the health and wellbeing of less privileged people in the community

  4. Increase in-country capacity by providing training to less advantaged people in South Africa

I enjoyed being able to experience South Africa in a less "touristy" way. It was interesting to meet locals, as it gives a better perspective about South Africa.
- Cindy Wong (Canada)

Program Details

Program Type Schools , University

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Health & Safety

At GVI we take health and safety very seriously. We run comprehensive risk assessments for each of our activities, in each of our locations, and are prepared for any eventuality, no matter how unlikely.

We have over 150 expertly trained staff members who live alongside the local communities in our locations year-round. This means that we know the areas intimately, and have dedicated, experienced professionals available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We keep in regular contact with relevant embassies and foreign offices, ensuring that we’re able to give you the most up-to-date information and travel advice regarding our locations.

Our Risk Assessments and Emergency Action Plans follow a comprehensive quarterly review process and can be provided to you upon request.

Teacher Info

Additional Teacher Info

GVI runs curriculum, CAS and experience focussed service learning opportunities around the world on multi-award winning trips. With over 25,000 travellers since inception, GVI’s know how to ensure safe, life-changing challenges that make a real difference, fostering global citizenship and intercultural understanding. Staffed and resourced by GVI all year round, our projects offer unique opportunities to engage in long-term, high impact work, whilst experiencing deep cultural immersion and some adventure.

A teacher travels free with groups of ten or more students!

GVI provides 24/7 support from our experienced staff who are based full-time on the ground, as well as support from HQ. An experienced group leader will accompany the group, taking overall responsibility for the safety of the group.

Please note prices are subject to seasonal fluctuation and will vary depending upon the needs of the group.

**Optional extras include travel insurance and flight services

Example Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Cape Town Airport and Welcome to Base

GVI will meet the group at Cape Town International Airport and transfer them to their base in Gordon’s Bay for the upcoming days.

There will be a welcome presentation and introduction to the GVI staff, history and background of the projects as well as health and safety requirements for your involvement with GVI. After some time to settle into the accommodation, and perhaps having a meal (depending on your arrival time) students will be taken on an orientation walking tour of Gordon’s Bay.

An afternoon language class will help to familiarise students with the local culture and basic phrases to be used while on the project. South Africa has eleven official languages, but luckily we will focus on just one!

Day 2-5: Service element

Students will be transported to the project sites and will be introduced to the local community and other local partners we work with. Depending on the requirements at the time, students may get involved with children at Ikhayalethemba Care Centre, Nceduluntu Centre and the Grade R classroom. There will be opportunities to get involved in creative activities, basic healthcare and hygiene programmes, sporting and physical development.

The group could also elect to get involved with a construction project for the duration of their trip. This may be in the form of mural painting, classroom maintenance and painting, playground maintenance etc. The exact work will greatly depend on the needs of the childcare centres at the time. This is a great opportunity for students to work as a team in achieving an overall goal that will have a great effect on the community members and local partners.

Day 6: Cultural Day

Today we venture to the beautiful city of Cape Town! We will tailor this day to the group’s interests. They can choose from a number of activities; District Six Museum, Township Tour, V&A Waterfront and Aquarium visit, city tour, Silvermine South African National Parks reserve hike and swim in the reservoir followed by braai lunch, Boulders Bay Penguins and Simon’s Town tour. The group might elect to travel by cable car up majestic Table Mountain or take in some of South Africa’s fascinating history by visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.

Day 7: A Fond Farewell

GVI field staff transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavour to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field and with particular reference to the projects volunteers contributed to during their time in South Africa, through "GVI Live" on social media.

**Your trip can be extended to include additional side trips and / or further service work.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24/7 back up and support
  • A dedicated trip co-ordinator
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Access to local medical facilities
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Comprehensive health and safety procedures (Emergency Action Plans and Risk Assessments)
  • First aid equipment
  • Flight booking service on request
  • Food and drinking water
  • Group leader
  • Highly experienced and well qualified GVI field staff
  • In-country support
  • In-country transport costs
  • Insurance on request
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Pre-departure information
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Up-to-date safety and country information
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Additional spending money
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Vaccinations
  • Visa costs
  • Visas

Why Choose GVI?

There are many reasons why you should consider GVI for your group trip. Allow us to take you through some of the important points:

  • GVI has over 15 years of experience - Since we began in 1997, we have sent over 20,000 young people on trips all over the world. Most describe their experience with us as life-changing with a 95% approval rate from our customers

  • We are a ground operator - We run and staff our projects 24/7, all year round which means we understand and know the area you will be visiting enabling us to deliver a high quality level of support, safety and training at very competitive prices

  • Our variety of programs is unique and unrivalled - We offer language courses, community and conservation projects, leadership programs, cultural immersion, adventure activities and mountain trekking.

  • Peace of mind - You know that our projects make a real and positive impact on the local communities you visit. Since we started we have developed over 150 projects around the world.

  • Project ownership - We run our projects in partnership with local communities, according to the needs on the ground, so you know they are genuinely worthwhile

  • We are different from most other school providers - We already have projects and programs in place. We have been working in these countries for over 15 years and are working hand in hand with the host communities to ensure their needs are being met.

  • Teachers/Educators travel free

  • Safety is our priority - We have comprehensive safety and back up procedures in place.

  • Flexibility - Our trips are available all year round so you tell us when you want to travel.

  • The GVI Charitable Trust - Enables your school to stay involved with your program after you return home.

  • Students will automatically become GVI members, enabling them to benefit from discounts on any future GVI trips.

  • There are opportunities for students to be GVI Ambassadors – excellent for university and college applications.


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Enquiry Details

Speak to us about Scholarships, available if you book before the end of August.