- VIA VOLUNTEERS CO-FOUNDER & TEACHER -
Heather had the privilege of growing up on the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve for the first 20 years of her life. She had lots of interesting pets like meerkats, lynx, bat eared foxes, buck, a dassie (rock hyrax) and lots of other creepy crawlies!
Although she has an appreciation for nature, her first love lies with the education of young children. After getting her teaching degree, with music and drama as major subjects, she taught for 17 years in a variety of South African schools as well as an International School. For as long as Via Volunteers has been on the map, she continues teaching at the Fikelela Child and Youth Care Centre in a variety of ways.
Her experience is invaluable when working alongside children and community based projects, especially assisting volunteers with a variety of ideas for creating exciting enrichment programmes with the children and for preparing lessons for those childre unable to go to school.
Heather is a co-owner of Via Volunteers, proud mother to her son & daughter in law and wife to the love of her life, Ed, with whom she runs the organisation.
- VIA VOLUNTEERS CO-FOUNDER & PROJECT COORDINATOR -
Ed has been involved with volunteering for most of his life, donating many hundreds of hours of his free time to conservation & community projects during his 17 year career in the British Royal Navy. When he moved to South Africa in 2003, he took up a part time teaching position at the South African Navy College and used his spare time to volunteer with the penguins at SANCCOB for three months.
It wasn't long before Ed's passion for volunteering found him transferring his experience as a technical coordinator for helicopter repair teams to the equally rewarding role of coordinating international volunteers on projects around South Africa.
Over the past 17 years, Ed has coordinated volunteering experiences for thousands of volunteers from more than 60 countries, and built long lasting friendships with project partners and ex-volunteers alike.
His passion for people and wildlife, and his commitment to supporting non-profit organisations in particular shows in everything he does. When it comes to running a successful volunteer organisation, Ed believes that working with genuine, sustainable projects is key. He strives to ensure that volunteers expectations are exceeded by providing them with accurate and up to date project information...warts and all.
During his shortish life he has experienced everything from freediving with sharks, whales & dolphins, to learning how to relocate snakes, joined many night walks looking for rare spiders, and enjoyed a wide variety of wildlife encounters in game reserves across South Africa.
Ed is a co-owner of Via Volunteers, proud parent & grandfather, and is married to the love of his life, Heather, with whom he runs the organisation.
- CAPE TOWN VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS -
Gary and Chantal were born and bred in Cape Town. They have been involved in volunteering since 2005 and have co-ordinated and hosted numerous volunteers in their home since then. They are a passionate husband and wife team that go above and beyond to make sure our volunteers are happy, comfortable and safe.
Gary and Chantal are great company, and you will immediately feel right at home once you get chatting with them. They will be there to welcome you when you arrive in Cape Town, and are on hand to support you during your stay. Together they will ensure you have a memorable Via Volunteers experience in Cape Town.
They have an adult son, two daughters in primary school, a small adult dog and a pet rabbit that completes their family.
- BAPHUMELELE FOUNDING DIRECTOR -
Join CNN Hero 'Mama Rosie' at this award winning project near Cape Town and assist the care workers with child care, developmental play, preparing food, fun activities and many other tasks.
- VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS FOR PLASTIC POLLUTION IN THE OCEANS -
Join us for a unique volunteering adventure in Cape Town that incorporates core activities like sailing, beach clean-ups, and educating children about the impact of plastic pollution on the health of our oceans and marine life.
- FIKELELA CHILD & YOUTH CARE CENTRE MANAGER -
Join our highly rated enrichment program at Fikelela Child & Youth Care Centre near Cape Town. You will assist a qualified teacher with a weekly group lesson aimed at improving fine & gross motor skills, and basic Maths & English literacy. You will also be helping the care workers with serving and feeding the babies and younger children at meal times, keeping the children occupied with games, arts and crafts, and many other tasks.
- GREATER KRUGER CONSERVATION PROJECT COORDINATOR -
Join a dedicated team of conservationists, encounter a wide variety of African wildlife and assist with ongoing research projects within the Greater Kruger National Park.
- SOCIAL WORKER AT NAZARETH HOUSE -
Assist the wonderful Nazareth House team in Cape Town to provide palliative / end of life care to children with severe disabilities and terminal illnesses.
- RED CROSS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL VOLUNTEER MANAGER -
Assist the Friends Of the Children's Hospital Association with a rewarding Play Programme based at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town and help these special youngsters get back on their feet.
- VOLUNTEER MANAGER AND COORDINATORS -
Work closely with a team of marine conservationists and biologists. Enjoy shark cage-diving, ecotours and whale-watching and experience a wide range of South African marine wildlife.
- VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS AT THE BIG CAT SANCTUARY -
Ethical volunteering with lions, tigers and leopard at an environmentally friendly sanctuary for captive bred predators.
- KINYONGA REPTILE CENTRE MANAGER -
Work with a wide variety of snakes and other reptiles at a unique facility near Kruger National Park dedicated to the conservation of reptiles.
- VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR AT SANCCOB -
Help to rehabilitate endangered African Penguins and other marine bird species at the SANCCOB rehab centre near Cape Town.
- DIRECTOR AT ST. GEORGES HOME FOR GIRLS -
Inspire young minds through mentoring, play and homework support at this very special home for girls near Cape Town.
- LION SANCTUARY GENERAL MANAGER -
Join a dedicated team and contribute to the running of an ethical sanctuary for captive born lions that cannot be rehabilitated into the wild.
- VERVET MONKEY PROJECT DIRECTORS -
Help to rehabilitate over 500 orphaned, injured and abused vervet monkeys at a world leading primate sanctuary in South Africa.
- OWNER OF PISCES DIVERS -
Join this internationally accredited PADI Open Water Diver Course and open up a lifetime of intense adventures below the waves.
- OWNER @ STOKED SURF SCHOOL -
Join us for an amazing week in Cape Town with four 2-hour surf lessons suitable for absolute beginners and beyond. You'll also have time to explore and take in some of the many activities available in and around the city!
- NATURES VALLEY PROJECT COORDINATOR -
Join a committed team of nature conservationists to assist with a wide range of land and marine based research projects as well as help with outdoor education for local school groups.
- MASIGCINE CHILDREN'S HOME MANAGER -
Join a well-structured volunteer programme at this beautiful children's home near Cape Town, and assist with child care, developmental play, preparing food, feeding, fun activities, clinic visits and a wide range of other tasks.
- OWNER OF ASHANTI LODGE -
Ashanti Lodge is our main volunteer base in Cape Town and it is perfectly positioned to give you great access to everything the city has to offer.
- HOST AT GORDON'S BAY VOLUNTEER COTTAGE -
As a volunteer with the Fikelela Children's Home project you will have the wonderful experience of staying in beautiful Gordon's Bay during the week. This lovely cottage is less than two minutes walk from the beach, with easy access to lots of cafes, restaurants and shops. Gordon's Bay is also the starting point for the World's Most Beautiful Coastal Drive!
- OWNER OF BROWN SUGAR BACKPACKERS -
Brown Sugar Backpackers is our volunteer base in Johannesburg. They offer a wide range of services, tours and shuttles to give you access to the best of the city.
- OWNERS AT ELEMENTS LODGE -
If you're volunteering with the African Penguin & Seabird Rehabilitation project, Elements Lodge will be your home away from home if you have chosen the backpacker option.
- HOMESTAY FOR PENGUIN VOLUNTEERS -
If you're volunteering with the African Penguin & Seabird Rehabilitation project and have chosen the Homestay option, Janice will be your host at her lovely home in Parklands.
- OWNERS OF STOKED BACKPACKERS -
Stoked is perfectly placed next to the beach with stunning views of False Bay and some of the best bedding you'll find in any lodge.