Volunteer Testimonials   |  Fikelela Project Photos  |   Download Fikelela Volunteer Guide

Fikelela 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 some take anti-retroviral medication 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 screened and monitored by their social workers.

Most of the children come from backgrounds where education has not been a priority, so you are encouraged to include activities that 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, preparing the babies and older children for bath time and getting them ready for bed with a relaxing activity or story. 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 17 years or older by the time you arrive in Cape Town. 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.

Arrival AirportCape Town (CPT)
Arrival DayFriday recommended - you can arrive earlier or over the weekend
Join Project OnMonday
DurationYou can volunteer at Fikelela Child & Youth Care Centre for 4 weeks or more
Volunteering HoursApproximately 1:30pm - 6pm, from Monday to Friday each week
Main ActivitiesPlaying with the children, reading stories, coming up with fun activities and assisting the care workers with duties and basic child care
Fly Home OnFriday or later
Minimum AgeYou must be aged 17 years or older when you arrive
AvailabilityAvailable dates for each duration are shown on the top-right of this page with the option to select from several currencies.
Pre-arrival SupportOur experienced team is on hand to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip to South Africa
Airport WelcomeOne of our team will be at the airport to welcome you and escort you to Ashanti Lodge
AccommodationOn Friday, Saturday and Sunday night you will stay at Ashanti Lodge in central Cape Town with a pool, restaurant, bar and wonderful views of Table Mountain. During the week you will stay in our volunteer cottage close to the beach in Gordon's Bay
FoodBasic breakfasts are included at Ashanti Lodge. All other meals are self-catering
TransportAll transfers are provided between Ashanti Lodge, Fikelela Child & Youth Care Centre and the cottage
OrientationOn your first day with Fikelela Child & Youth Care Centre you will have a full orientation
BadgeWe will provide you with a personalised Via Volunteers name badge to wear while you are at Fikelela Child & Youth Care Centre
Vodacom Sim CardA free, pre-registered Sim card for your phone
Wi-FiFree Wi-Fi at Ashanti Lodge and the Volunteer Cottage
In-country SupportOur volunteer coordinators are available 24/7 for emergencies, and are on hand to help you make the most of your stay
CertificateOn completion of your placement we will send you a special thank you certificate 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. Please refer to our FAQ section for more details if you are unsure
FlightsPlease refer to our FAQ section for recommendations about keeping your flight costs to a minimum
InsuranceWe have partnered with World Nomads Insurance to give you access to great value insurance for volunteers. Please check out our Insurance page under the FAQ tab for more details.
Wi-FiNo Wi-Fi at Fikelela Child and Youth Care Centre
Transfer back to Cape Town AirportUber works really well in Cape Town and is the best value option for this.

Volunteer Testimonials   |  Fikelela Project Photos  |   Download Fikelela Volunteer Guide

Your first visit to Fikelela Child & Youth Care Centre 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 at about 1:30pm. 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.
  • 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 4:30pm (Mon) or 6pm (Tue, Wed & Thu), 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 at about 1pm. We will depart from Fikelela at about 5pm and take you through to Ashanti Lodge for your weekend in Cape Town.

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.

Volunteer Testimonials   |  Fikelela Project Photos  |   Download Fikelela Volunteer Guide

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, doctor, dentist 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 for lunch, go zip-lining in the mountains, visit the Eagle & Owl Sanctuary 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):

Voted in 2019 as Cape Town’s best backpacker accommodation, Ashanti Lodge has excellent facilities and is perfectly positioned in central Cape Town as an ideal base for volunteers. This will be your home every weekend and is a great place to relax when you aren’t out exploring everything Cape Town has to offer.

Uber works very well in Cape Town, and 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 or watching Table Mountain while you have breakfast, 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
  • A basic breakfast is included in the kitchen, with tea, coffee, juice, cereals, yoghurt, toast, peanut butter and jam
  • 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. If you're extra hungry, 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.

Volunteer Testimonials   |  Fikelela Project Photos  |   Download Fikelela Volunteer Guide

Your arrival airport is Cape Town (CPT)

  • We have arrival dates for this project on most Fridays throughout the year.
  • You can also arrive earlier or over the weekend if you prefer. We can easily add extra nights to your stay, before and/or after your placement.
  • You can book your arrival flight to land at Cape Town International Airport at any time of day.
  • One of our team will be at the airport to give you a warm welcome. We will also escort you to Ashanti Lodge and help you get settled in.
  • You will have the rest of the weekend to explore Cape Town before joining Fikelela on Monday.

Durations & Pricing

Change your currency
4 weeks - £ 1040
5 weeks - £ 1300
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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