Izizwe Township Projects

Volunteers will work in vibrant Walmer township with the locals, while helping with the care and teaching of young children.


Minimum Duration: 1 week
Cost: From 210 Euro per week
Minimum Age: 18 years

The townships of South Africa are places of rich culture, interesting characters, delicious food and a places where people live happily under often difficult circumstances. This is place where people live simple lives and appreciate what they have. In Walmer Township (also known as Gqebera), Port Elizabeth, South Africa the community faces many challenges on a daily bases such as poverty, high unemployment, alcohol and substance abuse, child neglect and lack of educational institutes. The needs and lack of services are very diverse. So how do we uplift this community without taking away what makes them unique?

Since 2008, with the assistance of international volunteers, students and a small team of local staff, Izizwe Projects have been answering the call to uplift the community of Gqebera. This township is relatively calm and easy to access and most of the residents are Xhosa (indigenous tribe and language) speaking. Communication can be a challenge, especially with the very young, but fortunately English is also a commonly used language. Although there is still a lot of work to be done in this community, Izizwe Projects have setup sustainable programs aimed at underprivileged children to address oral health, sports development, literacy, education and fire prevention.

Many of the children in these programs are affected by HIV/AIDS both directly and indirectly. Some are orphaned due to parents having died from AIDS related diseased and grow up with grandparents or extended family. This has ripple affect as children may not have the guidance, family support and/or financial means to attend school and excel. As a volunteer at Izizwe Projects you may find yourself in a position to offer such children mentorship and/or social support.

If you are someone who wants to experience a South African township from the inside and enjoys working with children, this project is for you!


Programs offered

The team at Izizwe Projects have setup a number of programs which are supervised by Izizwe’s local staff. Volunteers & students support local staff in presenting and maintaining these programs.The diversity creates opportunity for volunteers and students to work with the project manager to allow for involvement with specific age groups according to personal preference.

  • Dance Program
  • Primary Schools
  • Preschools
  • Sports Program
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Oral Health Awareness
  • Fire prevention program


Project needs

Izizwe Projects is a registered non-profit company and besides the hands of willing volunteers and students, there is a need for financial support to “keep the lights on”. Regular expenses include a rent, electricity, salaries, training of staff and the costs of running programs.

Any possible gifts and donations provided by volunteers, students and their network of people are extremely appreciated. Without the support of our volunteers and students over the years, Izizwe would not have been able to run the programs and provide much needed services this community.

Because needs are always changing, Khaya recommends that volunteers do fundraising and discuss the need with the project manager on site. Our coordinators will happy to assist you with the logistics of purchasing and donating items locally.

  • Learning materials and school stationary for the children
  • Sporting equipment and materials for the children
  • Toys, puzzles and educational games for the children
  • Food parcels for families and children in need
  • Clothing for families and children in need
  • School uniforms for the children

If you want to find out more about the needs at Izizwe Project, check out their website here.


Tasks and activities

The beauty of Izizwe Projects is that activities can differ in many ways. Because the project offers such a variety of programs, it allows for customization where possible. Khaya always recommends volunteers to be flexible and discuss their preferences with the project manager or our coordinators.  Some volunteers will prefer to work with young children and babies and therefore work at a crèche/day care, while others may want to teach at the High school and help with homework guidance during afternoons. Each volunteer will have the opportunity to get familiar with the variety of projects and choose the activities that appeal to them the most.


Working days and hours

This depends on which project you will be working at. Normally we work weekdays from 8:30am until 15.30pm, Friday until 12.00 and weekends are off.
There are many factors to take into account, so be sure to communicate with your project manager and local host regarding times.


Daily guidance

Guidance will be offered in multiple ways as different people are involved in your stay with Izizwe.

During their time at Izizwe Projects, volunteers and students are guided by the project manager and local staff. Outside of the Izizwe Projects, volunteers and students are guided by your local host.



It is important that volunteers of this project understand the importance of the following:

  • To be enthusiastic and independent
  • To sign a “Code of Conduct” when arriving
  • To show respect towards the people and culture of the local community. You might not agree with certain ways of conduct during your stay here, but don’t forget you are a guest here, and you can’t try to change everything in a period of just a few weeks.
  • To show flexibility and patience towards responsibilities, tasks and activities.
  • To be willing to take initiative and come up with ideas.

Volunteering at this project is very diverse and can be challenging. Volunteers will get acquainted with the circumstances in which 70% of South Africans live today, and experience their culture and situation. Be prepared to face misery and poverty. For this reason, it is of absolute importance that volunteers are independent and mature individuals. You will be singing and dancing with the children, you will make them laugh, help them with schoolwork and teach them there’s a whole world waiting for them. This way you can change a mind-set that will enlarge their horizons and contribute to a better future.


Other volunteers

You most likely won’t be alone when volunteering at Izizwe, and will meet both local and international volunteers. We get volunteers from all over the world –  from the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and many other countries.



The volunteer house in Port Elizabeth is a gorgeous home with loads of space.  Whether you prefer to unwind in the garden, at the pool or in the lounge; this home has a special place for everyone.

The home was built in grand old architectural style and is decorated with modern touches. A pool for summer and a fireplace for winter, what more do you need?

The property is well secured and superbly located within walking distance of the beach, restaurants, laundry & shops.



We include three basic meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).



Airport transfers and daily transport to and from your project is included in your fees. Keep in mind that daily transfers to projects are planned between projects and your host.


The Fun Stuff

Volunteering with Khaya also means there is time for fun things and to share your time with all the other volunteers the best way possible.

There is so much to do in the area and we love organizing weekend tours and day trips (additional costs may apply). We however provide a free activity weekly during our Friday Social.

As we finish early on Fridays we use the afternoon to do fun activities together like visiting the Penguin Rehabilitation Centre, visiting Animal Welfare to walk their dogs, go for a hike along the beaches, play games on the beach or start the weekend with a beer at one of the beachfront bars.



What is Included?

        • Information and assistance before departure
        • Pick up on arrival and drop off at the end of your stay (Monday to Friday)
        • Basic family style meals during your stay Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
        • Shared dorm style accommodation with our host. Single and double/twin rooms are available upon request at extra cost.
        • Daily transport to and from the project
        • Direct donation to the project

What is Excluded?

        • Personal luxuries such as snacks, cold drinks and alcohol
        • Costs for weekend trips
        • Flight tickets
        • Insurance
        • Laundry service
        • Arrival/departure transfers on Saturday/Sunday

Starting dates

Our volunteers arrive on Mondays and start at the project on Tuesdays. We can pick you up from the airport or from any accommodation in Port Elizabet/Gqeberha.

Arrivals and departure transfers from Monday to Friday are included in the fees. If you need an arrival or departure transfer over the weekend (Saturday to Sunday), we ask for a local cash payment of ZAR 250 per transfer.

Participation is in full weeks (7 nights) only. Please also keep in mind that projects close for 2-3 weeks over December/January each year.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The team at Khaya loves Port Elizabeth (PE to the locals). Our head office is based in Port Elizabeth, so we know what we are talking about!

Here we enjoy beautiful beaches, scenic hiking trails, the Big 5 is on our door step, amazing restaurants, whale watching, sand boarding, canoeing, diving, international sports events and much more!

East of PE you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei). Here you can experience the unspoiled rolling hills & rural villages in wide open spaces between larger towns like Grahamstown, East London & Port Alfred. Along the Wild coast there are numerous coastal towns where many locals go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

To the North you will find the great Karoo; a semi desert area with wide open spaces, large nature areas and long open roads with historical places such as Graaff Reinet, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness and much more.

To the West towards Cape Town, you will be amazed by the Tsitsikamma National Park, holiday villages such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and Nature’s Valley or the surf mecca of Jeffreys Bay.

This gives you plenty to see and visit while you are here, and we believe even provides you more diversity than staying in Cape Town to volunteer. You can always visit Cape Town or any other city or area on weekends or after your stay with us.

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