- CO OWNER AT VIA VOLUNTEERS -
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.
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.
Heather is a co-owner of Via Volunteers, proud mother to her son and wife to the love of her life, Ed, with whom she runs the organisation.
- CO OWNER AT VIA VOLUNTEERS -
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 emigrated 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 decade, Ed has coordinated volunteering experiences for thousands of volunteers from more than 50 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. He has even been kissed by a baboon...but that's another story.
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.
- FIKELELA CHILDREN'S HOME MANAGER -
Join this vibrant, hands-on project where you will be playing with the children, reading them stories, assisting qualified teachers twice a week in afternoon programmes, helping with food preparation, child care and lots of other tasks at a beautiful children's home near Cape Town.
- BAPHUMELELE FOUNDING DIRECTOR -
Join CNN Hero 'Mama Rosie' and her team and assist with child care, developmental play, preparing food, feeding, homework, fun educational activities and a wide range of other tasks at Baphumelele, a world famous children's home in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town.
- ELEPHANT & RHINO MONITORING PROJECT COORDINATOR -
Join a dedicated team of conservationists for a rich African wildlife experience, focusing on monitoring Elephants and Rhino in the Greater Kruger National Park.
- GREAT WHITE SHARKS VOLUNTEER ADMINISTRATOR -
Work closely with a team of shark-specialist marine biologists, enjoy shark cage diving, and experience a wide range of South African marine wildlife.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 optionion.
- 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.