Fikelela Children’s Home is situated in a quiet area of Khayelitsha township not far from Cape Town and began life in 2001 as an outreach programme of the Fikelela AIDs project.

Fikelela provides safe, secure and nurturing home-based care for up to 40 children aged between 0-8 years of age. It is a registered place of safety that cares for children that have been abandoned, orphaned, neglected or abused. Many of the children in Fikelela's care are nursed back to health and put on anti-retrovirals when necessary.

The wonderful team at Fikelela are committed to reunifying children with their families or placing the children into good foster homes, which are carefully screened and monitored by their social workers.

As a volunteer you will assist qualified teachers with structured lessons twice a week. The children come from backgrounds where education has not been a priority, so these lessons are designed to help the children improve their Maths and English fluency, improve their fine motor & gross motor skills, build confidence, and improve self-esteem.

You will also be involved in helping the children when they get home from school, assisting the staff to serve food, folding laundry, playing with the children, preparing for bath time and getting them ready for bed. A library book is provided every day to be read before the end of your day with the children. Throughout your stay, you are encouraged to interact with the children in a beneficial way which promotes learning through play.

To join this project you will need to be in good physical condition and aged 18 years or older by the time you arrive in Cape Town. We can accept 17 year olds with parental permission. Emotional maturity is an important asset for volunteers at Fikelela, and you must also have personal characteristics like commitment, flexibility, patience and the ability to use your initiative if you find yourself at a loose end. To ensure effective communication between all team members, a good understanding of the English language is also required.

View Photos of Fikelela Children's Home

Main activitiesAssisting qualified teachers, reading stories, singing songs, educational activities and assisting the care workers with duties and basic child care.
LocationKhayelitsha near Cape Town in South Africa.
Arrival dayYou can arrive in Cape Town on any Friday throughout the year, subject to availability. Your first day at Fikelela will be on the Monday, so you will have the weekend to settle in and start exploring Cape Town.
Meeting pointOne of our team will meet you when you land at Cape Town Airport.
DurationYou can volunteer at Fikelela Children's Home for 4 weeks or more.
Working hoursVariable hours. Approximately 2:30pm - 7:00pm, 5 days each week.
Age limitYou must be aged 17 years or older when you arrive.
Volunteer FeeVolunteer fees for each duration are shown on the top-right of this page with the option to select from several currencies.
Pre-arrival supportOur experienced Cape Town team is on hand with expert advice and assistance to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip to South Africa.
Airport transfersWe provide escorted transfers between Cape Town Airport and your accommodation.
Welcome briefYou will receive a comprehensive welcome brief shortly after you arrive.
OrientationOn your first afternoon with Fikelela Children's Home you will receive a full orientation.
AccommodationDuring the week you will stay in a volunteer cottage close to the beach in Gordon's Bay. Over the weekends you will stay at Ashanti Lodge, one of Cape Town's best backpackers with a restaurant, bar and wonderful views of Table Mountain.
TransportAll project related transfers are provided between your accommodation and Fikelela Children's Home.
BadgeWe will provide you with a personalised Via Volunteers badge to wear while you are at Fikelela Children's Home. This will be yours to keep and take home.
T-ShirtAn attractive Navy Blue Via Volunteers T-Shirt
In-country supportBeing based in South Africa means that we can give you real support during your stay.
CertificateOn completion of your placement we will send you a special thank you to accompany your CV or resume.
VisasCitizens from most countries can arrive in South Africa and stay for up to 90 days without a Visa. Refer to our FAQ section for more details if you are unsure.
FlightsPlease ask us if you need any recommendations for keeping your flight costs to a minimum, or consult our FAQ section.
FoodSelf catering
InsuranceWe have partnered with World Nomads Insurance to give you access to great value insurance for volunteers. Check out our Insurance page under the FAQ tab for more details.

Your first visit to Fikelela Children's Home will be on the first Monday after you arrive in Cape Town. We will take you through to Fikelela, introduce you to the team, and help you to settle into your volunteer cottage in Gordon's Bay.

During the week your afternoon schedule might include the following activities. 

Please remember that times and duties can vary at short notice as no day is exactly the same at Fikelela. You will need to be prepared to use your initiative if you find yourself at a loose end with no planned activities or duties:

  • Arrive at Fikelela Children's Home at about 2:30pm. This is a quieter time at the children's home as the older children haven't come back from school yet. During this time, you might help to fold washing, play with any babies that are awake or do any tasks that need doing at the time.
  • When the children get back from school, you will help them to change out of their school uniform, assist with afternoon snacks, and get them ready for activities/play.
  • On a Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, you will assist qualified volunteer teachers with the 3-8 year olds.
  • If you are comfortable working with individual children, you might be asked to assist with some teaching activities planned for those childen not in school as well as listening to a select group of children doing dailing reading, on a variety of levels.
  • On some days you will assist the doctor who checks on the children regularly.
  • Playing with the children and doing activities that you have planned for them.
  • Changing nappies (diapers).
  • Assist the kitchen staff with meals and snacks as well as helping to clean up afterwards.
  • Getting the older children washed, dressed and ready for bed.
  • Reading to the children.

One of the Via Volunteers team will collect you from Fikelela at about 7:00pm and take you back to your volunteer accommodation in Gordon's Bay.

On Fridays you should pack a small weekend bag before we collect you after lunch. When we collect you from Fikelela that evening at 18:00 we will take you through to Ashanti Backpackers for your weekend in Cape Town.

On Mondays we will collect you from Ashanti Backpackers before lunch and take you to Fikelela for your next shift. That evening we will take you back to your volunteer accommodation in Gordon's Bay where your week will continue as normal.

You can expect to be busy from Monday to Thursday from about 2:30pm to 7:00pm, and Friday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm.

The educational activities planned by the teachers for Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are structured to provide the children with a wide range of stimulus and learning opportunities, but there is always room for you to introduce your own ideas. If you would like some inspiration, we have prepared lots of boards for you on our Pinterest page with plenty of ideas for fun educational activities for children.  

If you would like to book any activities or tours for your mornings or weekends off, please let Ed or Heather know and they will be happy to arrange these for you.

During the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday night):

You will stay at a comfortable Volunteer Cottage in Gordon's Bay, less than 2 minutes' walk from the beach, bars, restaurants, cafés, take-aways, shops, a library and a laundromat.

During the mornings (Tuesday-Friday) you will have time to visit Gordon’s Bay Beach or Bikini Beach, explore the local area, use free Wi-Fi to catch up with emails and social media, relax in the garden, visit local wine farms, go zip-lining in the mountains, or even go kayaking.

Your cottage has the following facilities:

  • Two bedrooms can sleep a maximum of 5 volunteers (3 single beds and 1 double bed)
  • Pillows, duvets and bed linen are provided (fresh linen weekly)
  • Electric blankets for winter
  • Wardrobe for clothes and shelves for storage
  • Fully equipped kitchen with mini oven, kettle, toaster and microwave
  • Shared shower and toilet facilities
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Lounge area
  • A lovely sheltered garden - ideal for relaxing, reading and having a braai
  • A housekeeper cleans the cottage once each week.

Weekend accommodation (every Friday, Saturday & Sunday night):

As one of Cape Town’s best backpackers, Ashanti Lodge has excellent facilities and is perfectly positioned in central Cape Town as an ideal base for volunteers. This will be your ‘home from home’ over the weekends and is a great place to relax when you aren’t out exploring everything Cape Town has to offer.

Ashanti is just a couple of minutes away from the excellent MyCiti bus route which provides cheap, safe and reliable transport to Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Hout Bay and much more. Close by you will also find an incredible variety of restaurants and bars, plenty of great hangouts in Long Street, a well-equipped shopping mall, supermarkets, health shops, cafes…the list goes on.

While you’re at Ashanti you can enjoy all of the facilities below. Whether you’re having a dip in the pool, watching Table Mountain while you have breakfast, or booking an adventurous activity at the Travel Desk, you will find that Ashanti have thought of everything:

  • Dormitory accommodation with all bedding and linen provided.
  • Free Wi-fi from anywhere on the premises
  • A fully equipped shared kitchen with fridge/freezers for storing your groceries
  • All bedding including linen, duvet and pillows (linen is changed every four days)
  • Laundry service – R70 per 0-5kg load including powder, wash, dry & fold. Drop it off at reception and it will be ready for you about 12 hours later
  • Lots of showers and toilets
  • A lovely pool area with sun beds and a BBQ
  • A restaurant bar with a pool table, and a balcony overlooking the pool with impressive views of Table Mountain. An all you can eat breakfast buffet is available for only R70, with great value meals available through to 10pm
  • A personal safe for every volunteer and coded access to your room
  • Lockable under bed storage for your suitcase/clothing (bring your own padlock for this)
  • CCTV Security, controlled access and a night guard
  • A night manager
  • The lodge is cleaned daily and rooms are also serviced daily.

Fikelela Children's Home is located in Khayelitsha township about a 30-minute drive from the centre of Cape Town, and just 25 minutes from Gordon's Bay. During each week, we will accommodate you in a volunteer cottage in Gordon's Bay. Over the weekends we will accommodate you in Ashanti Lodge, one of South Africa's best backpackers in Cape Town city centre.

We have arrival dates for this project every Friday throughout the year.

  • You should aim to arrive in Cape Town on or before your chosen Friday arrival date
  • You can arrive at any time of day and one of our team will be there to welcome you with a big ‘Via Volunteers’ sign when you land at Cape Town International Airport
  • We will then escort you to your weekend accommodation at Ashanti Lodge.
  • On Monday we will settle you into your volunteer cottage in Gordon's Bay and take you to Fikelela for your first afternoon with the children.

It’s easy to add extra nights to your stay, so if you find a cheaper flight that arrives earlier than your chosen Friday arrival date just let us know. You can also add extra nights after your placement for the same reason.

If you want to add another project, a Scuba Diving Course, a Surfing Week, or even a longer tour, we can help you with that too. Please ask one of our friendly team at any time before you arrive in Cape Town.

Durations & Pricing

Change your currency
4 weeks - £ 945 (10% discount)
6 weeks - £ 1359 (10% discount)
8 weeks - £ 1773 (10% discount)
10 weeks - £ 2187 (10% discount)
12 weeks - £ 2601 (10% discount)
You do not pay anything when you book. We will provide you with a detailed itinerary and quote for you to check. When you are happy with the details, you will be able to confirm your placement with a deposit of £90.

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