Kariega Community Development

The Kariega Community Volunteer Programme and the Kariega Project work hand in hand with a shared vision. Through continued sustainable support, education and skills development initiatives we aim to better enable and empower individuals to achieve their potential. Secondly, to help improve the basic quality of life of the children and people fighting the daily pressures of poverty in the greater Kenton area.

The Community Volunteer Programme is the heart of an ecosystem of social change where initiatives are both mutually beneficial and dependent. Our approach is termed ‘Adaptive Development’: we listen and learn about what the community needs and we provide tools that can be used in inspiring and unintended positive ways. Our start point is our ethos: even the poorest of communities are resources rich. You will assist with various community development initiatives in the greater Kenton on Sea area, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Volunteers will help with pre-primary education, soup kitchens for vulnerable children, after school education and food gardens just to name a few.

Full Course Details


Project Type: Community Project, work with children.

Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Pick Up Point: Port Elizabeth Airport.

Duration: 2 weeks – 12 weeks.

Price: from £700 for 2 Weeks.

Start Dates: Projects start on a Monday and operate year round.

Accommodation: Volunteers are accommodated at volunteer house.

Meals: Three meals a day included, meal preparation is semi participation.

Age Range:17 Plus.


Volunteers will be involved in the following community development initiatives:

Early education:
Assisting with the day to day teaching and play activities in Masibulele Preschool and Kamvilehle Preschool. One just has to be the recipient of Mrs Adams’ famous hugs to understand why her preschool is so popular in the community. She has genuine affection for the children and a passion for education, coupled with all the resourcefulness of a mother in trying to keep her school operating in such austere conditions. A task she accomplishes with a broad smile and infectious laugh. Her children are an absolute delight. Even the most child-wary volunteer leaves each early education session on a high… some with a lump in their throats. However, the real transformation comes from providing these children with the strength of foundation that can be relied upon for the rest of their lives.

Primary Education:
Classroom assistance with basic literacy programme under the supervision of a permanent teacher in Ekuphumleni Public Library. Our volunteers join the JOT programme for our primary education service. This wonderful initiative takes often illiterate pupils, forgotten by the education system, and unlocks their potential to pass grade 5 and beyond. Often volunteers describe the sense of pride when they hear the children spontaneously use English words and phrases that they have taught them.

Feeding scheme assistance:
Helping to prepare and serve food to vulnerable children in the Child Welfare and Noluthando Soup kitchens. The wonderfully eccentric Cynthia takes charge of the volunteers in an enthusiasm not dissimilar to Rafiki from The Lion King. Expect a whirlwind of bread buttering and soup making. The experience provides an interesting contrast to the volunteer programme. It is intended to give our volunteers a hands-on perspective on the Humanitarian Assistance vs Development debate.

Elderly housekeeping initiative assistance:
Assisting the members of the Kenton Age-in-Action with housekeeping for the frail. The gogos (Xhosa word for granny) of the Age-in-Action redefine the notion of the elderly. They have an enthusiasm for life that one can only hope to emulate. Our volunteers join the group for their weekly service to the community. Each week the ladies select a frail and often destitute member of the community and set to work cleaning their home from tip to toe. This fun experience will allow the volunteers an alternative view of charity, as well as the haves and have nots. If there is any energy following the housekeeping task, the volunteers should ask to join the gogos in their exercises and be prepared to be amazed.

Homework support:
Assist the education support group helping primary school kids with homework and pen pal correspondence. The Education Support Group is the jewel of the crown. This inspirational organisation provides a safe environment for the most vulnerable children of an already underprivileged community, in which to complete their homework. Most of the children suffer from learning or behavioural problems. In its three years of existence, every child of the ESG has passed on to the next grade. This phenomenal success is
without scientific intervention or hitech solutions; simply it is a caring and positive attitude, with a healthy dose of individual attention.

IT literacy:
Teaching primary school children the basic of computer literacy and windows navigation. This is a brand new feature to the local adult education curriculum that is made possible by our mobile computer lab and the assistance of our volunteers. The course covers the basics of computer literacy and windows navigation. It also allows students to gain a National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 4. This volunteer task is a good example of adaptive development as it provides the community with a crucial skill it lacks in the modern world; a skill that can benefit the community in innovative, unintended ways.

Youth empowerment:
Activity coordination for 13 to 17 year olds, doing leadership development, business and strategy simulations. Prepare for the future, it’s where we’ll spend the rest of our lives. Providing our youth with the tools to make selfempowering decisions has never been so vital to the success of South Africa. Our empowerment programme incorporates activities and games often taken for granted in developed countries. We use fun team building exercises to lay the foundations and skills in Leadership and Management. We also use computer based business and strategy simulation games to improve our ‘kids’ planning and decision-making abilities, and to instil the basics of business and entrepreneurship. Our participants treat each of our volunteers as a new adventure: learning about foreign cultures and countries, options for the future; lifting hope and raising ambitions.

Coastal conservation:
Assist with a community based coastal research programme on some Saturdays of the month. This wonderful initiative is hosted by the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST). It sees primary and secondary school children complete community service by assisting the SST with local research projects. The ‘Working for Wetlands’ project places the kids as primary researchers of a wetlands system that borders their community and is the source of all of its drinking water. Interestingly, it is the first study to be conducted on this specific wetland. The initiative is also a participant in the National Geographic Project Noah and joins the annual Coastal Clean Up every September. In addition to teaching basic research methodology and a love for the environment, is lifts the veil on a host of careers the kids never even knew existed. Pass science by loving science.

Where You'll Stay


Our volunteer house is situated in the lovely seaside town of Kenton On Sea. Kenton lies between the Kariega and Bushmans Rivers and boasts stunning beaches and beautiful scenery. The accommodation is clean and comfortable (not luxurious) and only a short walk from the beach and the Kariega Estuary – a swim in the Indian Ocean is a must after a rewarding day’s work.

Volunteers must be prepared to share a bedroom and bathrooms with fellow house mates, but there are single room options available for couples. All bedding is provided for you. The house has got a fully equipped kitchen, lounge with T.V , a court yard and BBQ facilities. Volunteers are required to help keep the house clean and presentable. The accommodation is within walking distance of all of Kenton’s shops, banks, an internet cafe and restaurants.


Kariega Community Project is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting regions on planet Earth. The Eastern Cape’s biodiversity is unmatched in Southern-Africa. The province covers 5 bio geographic regions of the seven found worldwide, spanning from the semi-desert Karoo in the interior to the lush green forests of the Garden Route.

The Eastern Cape offers visitors a wealth of fauna and flora, including the big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and African Buffalo. The area also boasts some of the most luxurious and compelling Game Reserves not just in Africa, but in the world, of which Kariega is one of the leading reserves.

Gallery Rates


2 Weeks – £850
3 Weeks – £1,050
4 Weeks – £1,250
5 Weeks – £1,450
6 Weeks – £1,650
8 Weeks – £2,050
10 Weeks – £2,450
12 Weeks – £2,850


£200 deposit to secure placement at time of booking, final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.


– Pre departure support and documentation.
– Programme fee and contribution.
– Return Transfers from Port Elizabeth Airport.
– Accommodation for duration of stay.
– Housekeeping costs.
– All meals (Semi Participation).
– Community activities.
– Donation to projects.
– All transportation on project.
– 24 hour in country support


– Flights.
– Travel Insurance.
– Any vaccinations as recommended by your GP.
– Internet access.
– Soft drinks and snacks.
– Any visas required.
– Any additional activities outside of project itinerary.


If you have any questions, or if you’d like to find out more about this incredible adventure and create some unforgettable memories, just fill in the form below and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

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