Volunteering in South Africa

What I will be doing:

For 24 weeks I will have the honor of being apart of a volunteer program run by the International Volunteer Head Quarters (IVHQ).  I will travel to Cape Town, South Africa and will be working daily with local underprivileged children grades 1 - 7. Primarily I will be working with these children through physical activities such as surfing, swimming, volleyball, soccer, cricket, and even some indigenous sports. On Tuesdays and Thursday I will be asked to participate in other programs offered through this organization such as childcare, teaching and computer training. 

Like most African countries, South Africa has a great number of children living in poverty.  Although some of the children attend school during the day, often they have no one or have no activity to occupy their time after school which can lead them into trouble.  Children in Capetown are found begging for money in the streets, stealing, drinking and engaging in abuse of other substances.  The sports development and surfing/swimming outreach I will be involved in primarily was created in an effort to combat these issues, which are far worse than most countries in the world.  The latest life expectancy data I have found puts South Africa ranked 178 of 194 countries, a life expectancy approximation of just 49 years old. 

The South African National Burden of Disease Study from 2000 indicated child mortality for children under the age of 5 at 9.5%. That is nearly 1 in 10 children born in South Africa dying before they reach kindergarten.  The leading causes of death at this time were 40.3% AIDS/HIV, 11.2% Low birth weight, 10.2% Diarrhoeal diseases, 5.8% respiratory infections, and 4.8% malnutrition.  With the exception of AIDS/HIV, the health related causes of death can be treated with simple medical care and secure access to food.  In regards to AIDS/HIV, 42,749 related child deaths occurred during this time, which is nearly double all AIDS related deaths for adults and children combined in North America. 

While I have no medical background, I do not pretend to believe I can go there and eliminate hunger or cure diseases.   Rather I take this information and think about how most children who get past the age of five have already lost a friend, sibling, or neighbor.  I think about how difficult it must be to grow up with this lifestyle, knowing you are likely going to die before most people in the world we know retire.  I take this information and realize that the best skills I have developed in my life that can help these children are to make them enjoy the time they have here, forget about their troubles for a few hours, and stay healthy through physical activities.  

http://www.volunteerhq.org/gallery-southafrica.html  - Take a look at some photos from previous volunteers at the International Volunteer Head Quarters website.

Cost of the Program:

(please note: As I have been receiving donations outside of this website I have been decreasing my over all goal. Should you wish to donate via check, give me a call)

While my heart is decidedly ready to embark on this adventure, unfortunately my accounting mind makes me think far into the future to plan for the financial issues related with this trip. IVHQ has the cheapest fees of any international volunteer organization I could find, however, the total costs are still rather steep.  In addition I have to utilize my savings to pay for any costs I will be incurring while I am gone and for when I return.  Below is a break out of the costs:

Registration Fee: $220
Program Fees: $4,580
Flight: $1,600 - $2,000
Visa fees: $100

Meals and housing are included within the Program Fees. 

If you have any questions contact me anyway you please:

Email: [email redacted]
Phone: [phone redacted]

Thank you very much for reading!

FYI: The site charges 5% processing fees of the donated amount, so if you desire to send me a check I'd be happy to get you that information.

Also, If monetary donations don't suit you, I would be happy to accept any hygienic products (toothpaste, brushes, soap) to give to the kids at the school, word is they don't even have hand soap.

Various Supporting Articles:


 See top
  • Hannah Sultana 
    • $50 
    • 100 mos
  • DeWitt  
    • $50 
    • 100 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 101 mos
  • Kate Rogalski 
    • $25 
    • 102 mos
  • Zack Kinslow 
    • $50 
    • 102 mos
See all


Ryan Barnes 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more