Teaching assistant volunteering in South Africa

“A 5-12 week teaching assistant volunteering placement in townships around Port Elizabeth. Staying in volunteer accommodation in Port Elizabeth. All meals provided. Teaching experience preferred. ”


Port Elizabeth | Long teaching assistant placements | South African township schools | Opportunity to contribute to extracurricular activities | All meals provided | Shared volunteer accommodation in Port Elizabeth | Airport transfers

Description of Teaching assistant volunteering in South Africa

Become a part of the education system in South Africa, supporting teachers in under-privileged areas to teach children English. You will be working in some of Port Elizabeth's poorest townships, helping the teachers around the classrooms and working in small groups to improve the children's English.

The kids here are motivated to get a good education, and the presence of an English speaking volunteer stands them in very good stead for later life. You can become part of extra curricular activities as well, such as music lessons, after school clubs and sports sessions.

There is very little money within the schools here, and often teachers are working with large groups with limited resources. Volunteers help smaller groups of kids within the classroom to ensure that they have understood the work and that they can learn. Volunteering in these schools is a rewarding experience, and gives you an insight into an upbringing far from your own.

If you’re a fun-loving person with a big heart, you’ll be perfect as a volunteer teaching assistant. The staff will be delighted to have you and the children will all want to be your best friend! It is important that you have already had experience of working with children and preferably teaching experience to become part of this.

Accommodation and food
You will be living with other volunteers in a shared volunteer accommodation in the leafy suburbs of Port Elizabeth. Three meals per day are provided, as well as trips to explore and enjoy the local area.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival day is a Saturday. You will be met at the airport and transferred down to your accommodation.
Days 2 -5:The first four days on the project is spent receiving an induction. You will be taken around the schools and the townships, receive instruction on how to teach and bring the best out of the kids and more.
Day 6+Get stuck in! You will be working 5 days per week with weekends free to enjoy the local area. Minimum participation on this project is 5 weeks, with most volunteers choosing to stay for the full term of 12 weeks.
Last dayYou will be transferred back to the airport in time for your onward flight.

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Teaching assistant volunteering in South Africa


Our programmes are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too.

We send out comprehensive pre-departure briefing, which includes a section on protecting the local environment. In particular we advise participants to take care with water, which is scarce in many of our destinations. We recommend they avoid unnecessary washing, using hand wash gel where they can. We also instruct them on how to dispose of waste properly, not to litter and, where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles which are not easy to dispose of environmentally. Those going trekking are advised to keep to marked footpaths so as to prevent further erosion of the landscape.

Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.


Meeting local needs
This project allows children living in some of the poorest townships in Port Elizabeth to have access to English-speaking volunteers and learn from them. As well as improving the children's knowledge of English, you will also contribute directly to the area’s economy. The volunteer scheme provides work for domestic staff at the accommodation. You will eat locally-sourced food and make use of shops and leisure facilities in the town. You will not be taking jobs away from local people. The project employs local staff where possible, but relies on volunteers to support them.

All our volunteers are fully trained on arrival and will work in groups when coaching the children so will never be left unsupervised. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteers are required to have a referee and a background check.

Cultural sensitivity
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in South Africa’s poorer communities. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.

All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing as well as training on arrival. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.

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