Isabella Neves: Volunteer Teacher in Cape Town and visit to Jacobs Bay

Isabella Neves fulfilled the dream of her life when she went on a trip to South Africa where she volunteered in Cape Town with the children of the Doreen Crèche in Masiphumelele:

This trip was first and foremost a dream come true, I had long wanted to visit South Africa and this country did not leave anything to wish for, was everything I expected and a little more. The voluntary work option came because I’m passionate about this type of trip, so I went to an NGO where most of the money was spent on the project and found Iko Poran, who also had the advantage of being much more into account that tourism companies that offer this kind of trip, I chose a project with children in a township, and then, with the tickets bought (TAAG airlines) I went to what would be the best and biggest adventure of my life.

  • Isabella com um menino em Masiphumelele
    Isabella com um menino em Masiphumelele

Volunteer teacher for a group of children in Cape Town

The first few days were quiet, I was introduced to the other residents of the house (who later became good friends) and then the next day I met the group of children I would be a volunteer teacher, I was received with shouts and celebrations, “teachá” was like they called me everyday, it’s impossible not to fall in love.

Masiphumelele Township: Volunteer work in Cape Town

Duas meninas na Creche de Doreen
Children at Doreen’s Crèche

The Township in which I worked was called Masiphumelele, but called Masi affectionately, it was not the hostile and dangerous place they painted, so the importance of entering a culture before judging it. As soon as I arrived, the transfer company told me that it was very dangerous to take the vans leaving from the townships. However, this was the transport I took every day and I never had any kind of problem. The townships people are cheerful, friendly and very helpful and the children are very well cared for despite all the poverty that can not be denied there.

I worked about 3 hours a day in the morning and had the afternoon and the free weekends, I usually stayed with the other volunteers at home during the week and at the end During the week we had group tours to explore the region.

Volunteer House in Fish Hoek and Muizenberg Beaches

In contrast with the poverty of Masi, it was the place where the volunteers’ residence was located, Fish Hoek is a rich region and I did not suffer any kind of harassment or insecurity during the whole stay there, definitely a place I recommend, especially for who will stay longer, besides having one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in life. Fish Hoek is an hour by train from Cape Town and is 20 minutes from Muizenberg, one of the most famous beaches there and where are the largest surfing schools, I even took a chance and got waves, I got to stand on the board by 20 seconds, what for me is a win hahaha :D

Sightseeing in Cape Town


Because of the distance from the Cape Town sights, I only got to know two (yes, I did not go up to Table Mountain, I did not go to Robben Island or Cape of Good Hope) but I want to go back to do everything, I met the V & A Waterfront and to Boulder’s Beach, the famous Penguin Beach, I really enjoyed Cape Town and despite the reports of harassment and insecurity I was able to walk around quietly without any of it, my tip is: do everything in a group if possible and try to stay close to the tourist areas.

Visit to Jacobs Bay

In my penultimate week we made a trip to Jacobs Bay which was incredible, starting with the hostel called Jacobs Bay Backpackers and had a whole fairy theme, one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed, no doubt.

Praias lindas
Beautiful Beaches

The beaches were indescribable and the feeling of peace was present in every corner, we met only a few tourists and had much to behold. The trip cost 600 rand (about 200 reais) per person, including car rental, gas, hostel and food, we were in a group of 9 people.

My tip for those who want to do any type of volunteer work, mainly in South Africa is: JUST GO FOR IT! I hope it changes your life, just as it changed mine. – Isabella Neves, Brazil

Read Isabella’s post on the Site Mochileiros (Portuguese).

How to work as volunteer teacher in Cape Town, South Africa

Find all volunteer programs in South Africa here, where you will also read about working as a childcare volunteer at the Doreen Kindergarten. In our home, see also all international volunteer projects in 17 countries!

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