South Africa - Soweto Orphanage Project

Make a real difference in the lives of children in South Africa

Did you know Soweto is the home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu>? Now you can help children living in poverty there realize their own potential!

Children's projects in the community need your help

There is an urgent need in the community for volunteers due to staff shortages and strain from the large number of children that need these social projects.

Bonus: See beautiful landscapes and reserves on an included Safari tour

Get outside of the city for a break on an included 4-day Kruger National Park tour, where you'll see the "Big 5" of African wildlife!

Volunteer Placements since 2002

Our trusted partner in South Africa has focused on volunteer projects since 2002, and we're proud to offer the opportunity for a more exciting and fulfilling travel adventure to Canadians.

South Africa - Soweto Orphanage Project

  • This is your chance to make a real and impactful difference in South Africa as a volunteer.

    Soweto is a sprawling community that falls under the municipality of Johannesburg. Due to the drastic numbers of HIV and AIDS related deaths amongst young parents, there is an unprecedented number of children who have been orphaned and are struggling while living beneath the poverty line. Reports have suggested that almost half a million Soweto children are living under the poverty line and there is an urgent need of social service support.

    Our local partner in Soweto have been working in the community for years, utilizing volunteers from all over the world. They have a system whereby projects are able to best utilize volunteers where they are most needed. It allows the opportunity to support projects in accordance to their needs.

    For the SWAP South Africa Soweto Children's Orphanage Project, we are looking for caring, hardworking team players who are tolerant and open to different cultures and traditions. Volunteers should be flexible and open to assisting with the projects' needs. Working as a volunteer in Soweto, helping the community and making life easier for the children will be sure to be an absolutely rewarding experience!

    Volunteer tasks include:

    • Food preparation in child feeding programs
    • Help out in the nursery with babies
    • Assistance in taking care of orphaned children, from newborns to 18-year olds
    • Assisting with children's homework
    • Personal interaction with children to help with social development
    • Basic maintenance projects at the homes which are in need of repair and upkeep
    • Help with hygiene and health education amongst the children and community
  • Bonus: Kruger National Park Safari

    You'll also go on an amazing Kruger National Park safari! On Day 1 you'll travel with the other project volunteers on an air-conditioned bus to your accommodation for an evening dinner. Bright and early on day 2, you'll see breathtaking landscapes, including Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Berlin Falls, and God's Window before continuing on day 3 to Kruger National Park to see the Big 5 of African wildlife! For those brave souls there is also the chance to go on the Graskop Big Swing (or you can just take in the view while on solid ground). Day 4 will take you back to Johannesburg or the continuation of your volunteer placement, so all transportation is taken care of for you.

    Note on program lengths: While this program is designed for a 3 week placement, there are longer programs available if you wish to volunteer more time! Extended placements for 4, 6, and 8 weeks can be arranged - just contact us for more details.

  • Program Gallery

  • Local Support in South Africa

    Get support from the local staff during your placement! They have been hosting foreign participants for years and will make your volunteer placement as comfortable as they can.

    • Airport pick-up services to the orientation centre in Johannesburg
    • A comprehensive 3-day orientation to prepare you for your placement
    • Local transportation to your project placement
    • ALL MEALS are included as part of the project placement
    • Our partner will provide ongoing guidance and support services throughout the full duration of your stay

  • Accommodation

    Volunteers are accommodated within the grounds of their project in cottages, which is specifically set aside for the volunteers themselves. Each cottage has shared bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Volunteers are provided a limited preloaded card each month in order to purchase food from the local grocery store.

    Your placement is located in Soweto (3 weeks) and the orientation will take place in Johannesburg (3 days).

  • SWAP Support and Resources

    • Support from SWAP staff to arrange and confirm your volunteer placement
    • SWAP's personalized assistance in reviewing and editing the necessary applications forms
    • On-location staff and managers to help ensure the program runs smoothly
  • SWAP Volunteer Experience Video

  • Booking the Soweto Orphanage Project

    Being part of the SWAP South Africa Soweto Orphanage Project is easy! Download the Application Package, read through the information carefully and complete the forms.

    When you have your application ready, register online HERE.

    Your personal help and your funding will provide needed social services and help keep this the Soweto community strong.

Make a huge and lasting difference in the lives of underprivileged orphans in Soweto, South Africa

Program Info

  • Eligibility

    Canadians ages 18+

  • Registration Timeline

    Minimum 8 weeks prior to your preferred start date. The program dates can fill up fast, so register as early as possible - dates subject to availability

  • Program Length

    Three weeks + 3-day orientation (and a 4-day Kruger National Park safari tour)

  • Length of Visa

    3-month tourist visa (you can stay in South Africa before/after your program ends)

  • Upcoming Start Dates

    Orientations start on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, available year-round!

  • For Only

    SWAP's Soweto Orphanage Project is only $2100 $1600 CAD! That includes a 3-month volunteer visa, 3-week volunteer placement on the Soweto Orphanage Project, a comprehensive 3-day orientation in Johannesburg, an exciting 4-day tour to Kruger National Park, plus full accommodation and meals for the length of your placement

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