How do you learn to surf and make a difference too?
This project has the answer. Based at the beautiful white sandy beach of Muizenburg near Cape Town you'll spend your time learning how to surf in the morning and then help underprivileged children do the same! These kids simply can't afford to try surfing without this project so your volunteering, whilst being fun for you, will also bring the kids enjoyment and hopefully a passion for a great sport too.
Muizenberg Beach is possibly one of the safest and best beaches to learn to surf at in South Africa! Gently breaking, sand bottomed waves, ensure that your introduction to this awesome sport will be a fun filled, thrilling & possibly life changing experience.
You will also have plenty of free time to explore the stunning Cape Town area; you could dive with sharks, hike through the stunning Cape region, sky dive…the outdoor adventure options are endless!
- Learn how to surf or improve your skills catching your first wave at Muizenberg Beach
- Ensuring the children are safe and following your instructions while you share your surf skills with them
- Doing outdoor activities like beach soccer and hiking
- Experiencing Cape Town and all it has to offer
What the project says
- Our mission is to identify and train children from disadvantaged coastal communities
- We aim to provide an outlet to crime, an opportunity for self-development, a transparent, accessible and representative surfing culture in South Africa and give back to our communities
- We also promote respect of the ocean and its power plus caring for the environment that surrounds it
What's not included
Day 1 (Monday) – Arrive into Cape Town International (airport code CPT)
Welcome to Cape Town! You will need to arrive into Cape Town International Airport before 4.15pm on your arrival day. You will be met by an i to i Volunteering representative at the information counter at International Arrivals and driven to the volunteer hostel in Fish Hoek (about a 45 minute journey) ready for your orientation. Your orientation is a crucial part of settling in to life in South Africa and will take you through what it’s going to be like at your project, do’s and don’ts, how to stay safe and it’s your prime opportunity to ask any burning questions that you haven’t yet had answered. After this you’ll have some time to relax, meet your fellow travelers and enjoy a delicious, traditional South African meal. The rest of the evening is then yours to start to settle in.
If you can’t arrange to arrive before 4.15pm on the arrival day you will need to fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pick-up for you including one night’s accommodation, please give us a call for more information.
Day 2 to 5 (Tuesday to Friday) Surfs up!
On your first day you will be give a short orientation on the surfing academy including health and safety on the project. Once you have your bearings you'll get a surfing lesson by a fully qualified surf instructor. Aching arms are certain as you paddle through the surf and get to grips with how to look cool falling off your board!! But don't worry - almost everyone manages to stand and catch a wave within a couple of hours and Muizenberg is one of the best places around to learn this great sport.
In the mornings (from 10am to 12pm) you'll then have access to surf boards and wetsuits to hone your skills before lunch. The kids come along to the beach from 3pm onwards and from 3pm to 5pm it will be all hands on deck to help them with their surfing. You might even find time for a quick kick around on the beach too!
Days 6 and 7 (Saturday and Sunday) The weekend is yours!
Your weekend is free to spend as you wish. You could go into Cape Town, climb Table Mountain, or for those that want a quieter weekend visit the local beautiful beaches of Misty Cliffs, Camps Bay or Clifton. Alternatively you could just chill and rest up after a tough week in the ocean!!!!
After a week of settling in you will really be starting to get to grips with this project now. Not only will you be improving your own surfing but you'll be seeing the improvements each day of the kids that come along too.
This project aims to help the kids in learning to surf but also to have a more positive attitude where they realise things are possible outside their immediate environments. While at the project you'll get the chance to visit their communities to understand their backgrounds and the challenges surrounding disadvantaged kids in the Cape Town area. In addition to surfing tuition you'll also get involved in teaching them about the ocean, the environment and general life skills.
You'll be looking good and feeling good by the time you have to go home!
Your Last Day (Monday)
Having said goodbye to all your new friends and packed your bag full of souveniers you’ll travel back to the airport. The return transfer from Fish Hoek to Cape Town International is not covered within your project fee but our regular transfer company will be able to sort the journey back for you, the costs will be around US$35 / R250 and this is easily arranged in country.
What does the project do?
This project was founded by a local surfer who runs his school through a passion to help disadvantage kids in South Africa. Surfing is an expensive sport and very few children from poor backgrounds can afford to have a go at it.
The Beach Club gives surfing lessons to tourists in order to fund their equipment and the work they do with underprivileged children. Their aim is to keep on growing so that more and more kids can be involved. Besides surfing they want to teach the kids to grow; including learning about the ocean and the environment. They are not just coming for a good time or a handout; they are coming to build their own futures through positive experience too.
What’s the project like?
While this project is all about having fun there is a serious side too. The kids that come along to this project have very little to look forward to; they are from disadvantaged backgrounds with very little money and will often spend a lot of time on the streets where they run the risk of getting involved with drink and drugs. Fun activities like surfing just aren't an option for them and they have little access to anything outside their normal sphere of influence. While on this project you also have the opportunity to visit the areas that the kids come from to understand the issues they face and then get involved in actively helping them to achieve more. This is an active project where you will be surfing, swimming, snorkeling, playing football and hiking for a large part of the day; with you practicing in the morning and then helping the kids in the afternoons - be prepared to get wet, tired and sandy!
Muizenberg is the ultimate place to surf in Cape Town so you will be surrounded by some of the best surfers in South Africa. It has a friendly and laid back atmosphere where you will be able to relax when you've had enough of the waves. There are plenty of beachfront cafes, some with internet if all the outdoor air gets too much. Muizenberg is walking distance from the train station where you'll arrive from the volunteer house.
Why does the project need volunteers?
You can never have too many pairs of hands when you’re looking after a bunch of excited children on the beach and in the sea! The project needs you to help make sure everything is prepared for the afternoons surf lessons and to help clear up afterwards. You’ll also be assisting the surfing instructors in the water, keeping an eye on your own small group of learners. The presence of international volunteers also exposes the kids who come here to ideas and attitudes outside their community and country; you'll be surprised how few of them have travelled outside the region let alone overseas! Volunteers set a good example, bring a positive attitude and also help to fund the project by being there.
Activities and schedule
This project operates from Monday to Friday and you will be helping out the permanent staff on the project. In the mornings (from 10 am to 12pm) you will have access to surf boards and wetsuits so that you can practice your own surfing skills. Then you will be giving a helping hand to ensure that all the equipment is fine and polishing or fixing any boards that may need it. There are fully qualified surf instructors as part of the permanent team so you'll be sure to get some good pointers on what to try next.
After wearing yourself out with your own skills you will have a chilled lunch and break until around 2pm when the local kids start arriving. You can buy lunch at the cafes in the area but you might also want to bring food with you as you will definitely build up an appetite.
You'll need to help the team out with the preparation of equipment and activities before surfing lessons start between 3pm to 5pm. When all the kids have gone home you'll need to help the team to pack up before you take the train back home.
Project resources and advice.
If you’ve got your own wetsuit, bring it along. If not, you'll be provided with one. Also, remember to bring your laptop if you have one- as some volunteers get stuck in with some administration duties too.
Please note that the weather can become quite cold during the months of May to September, please remember to bring some warm clothes with you.
What type of accommodation will I be in?
You’ll be staying in our large volunteer house in Fish Hoek throughout your trip. The house is reserved solely for i to i volunteers and you will have use of all facilities. The house accommodates up to 20 people in dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds which are based on same sex. There are three bathrooms and a maximum of 6 people in a room. There’s also a lounge area, balcony, garden, barbeque facilities, swimming pool and flatlet. The house is in a locked compound in a residential area and a short distance from the shops and beach. There are lockers at the accommodation for you to lock your valuables away but please remember to bring a padlock and keys with you!
A 10 minute walk away there is a supermarket, serviced laundry and an internet café and there’s also a shopping mall a little further on. You can also head down to the beach area for bars and restaurants, about a 10 minute drive away.
Please note that there is a 1000R deposit that will need to be paid to the in country team on arrival so please make sure that you have budgeted for this. Your deposit will be returned when you leave the accommodation at the end of your project as long everything is left as you found it.
Your time in Cape Town is on a self-catering basis. You’ll have access to the kitchen complete with cookers, loads of fridge space, microwave, toaster and kitchen utensils so you can cook up tasty morsels. There’s a dining area in the lounge or a table and chairs on the balcony if you prefer the outdoor experience! If you are feeling lazy you can even order a takeaway! While in the house you will be responsible for keeping the place clean so please tidy up after yourself, especially in the kitchen.
There is a supermarket and shops a 10 minute walk from the volunteer house. They are open late so you’ll be able to shop either in your lunch-break or after your days work. You should budget around US$50 per week for groceries, as prices are similar to home. There is a phone at the house where you can receive incoming calls and you can easily buy local phone cards to make outbound phone calls.
The bathroom facilities include hot water, showers, a bath and western style toilets. The property is well-maintained and reasonably new so the living conditions are good. There is a lovely garden to relax in, too! There isn’t a washing machine at the house but there is a laundry just down the road where you can simply drop off your clothes and pick them up later!
Cape Town maintains a temperate climate throughout the year and as a result properties do not have central heating. The volunteer house is no exception (apart from a fire in the living room) so if you are travelling to South Africa between June and August please be prepared for the Cape Town winter which can be cold at night. You’ll need to bring some warm jumpers, a decent sleeping bag and even some cosy socks especially if you’re prone to feeling the cold.
Things to bring from home
- Bedding is provided but we recommend you bring a sleeping bag for weekends and also for extra warmth in the winter (June to August)
- Warm clothes if your coming in the winter (June to August)
- There is a TV but don’t forget to bring books, music, cards and games
- Padlock and keys for locker
Where is the accommodation?
The house is based at the top of a hill within Fish Hoek, which is a suburb of Cape Town and is about 45 minute by car or an hour by train to Cape Town city centre. Fish Hoek is a quiet, residential area to the south of Cape Town centre over looking False Bay. There are shops in Fish Hoek where you can buy all your essentials except alcohol as Fish Hoek is a dry area. There is an off-licence in the next town (Kommetjie) a short taxi drive away. You’ll also find commercial laundry facilities closeby as well.
The trains are a great way to get into the centre cheaply, particularly at the weekend. They do stop running at 7pm so if you do want to go out into the centre at night you’ll need to budget around US$35 / 250 Rand each way for a taxi.
How far is it from my project?
Your project is about 30 minutes away, it's a short multi person taxi ride and a train journey. Please budget approximately US$20 per week for this journey.
What you get
What exactly do i to i Volunteering provide?
It may seem like a strange concept to pay for your volunteer experience. You'd be right if you think you shouldn't and the truth is you actually don't! Your placement is free; it's the benefits around it that you pay for. It's important to note that i to i Volunteering is a travel company and not a charity. We provide a professional travel service. We are responsible for finding and assessing worthwhile projects across the world, preparing you for the volunteering experience and supporting you whilst you're there.
Project sourcing and assessment
We work with hundreds of locally run partner projects around the world and are constantly sourcing new opportunities. We visit all projects to check that they are worthwhile and legitimate and we also conduct a thorough safety assessment before we'll send volunteers there.
Almost everyone who works for i to i Volunteering has traveled extensively or worked overseas. This means we're a goldmine of information; we're always available to offer support and guidance before, during and after your trip.
Thorough project briefing materials
Once you book on to a project you'll receive an online account that contains loads of general information about volunteering, about your chosen country and how to have fun and stay safe. We'll also give you advice on visas and inoculations.
It can be pretty daunting arriving in a different country for the first time - especially after a long flight! If you arrive on your project start date, there'll be a welcoming face at the airport to pick you up and take you to your accommodation.
Soon after you arrive you will attend a thorough orientation with our in-country team. This is to cover important safety and security information. You'll also get some tips about sight-seeing options for your time off and maybe even learn some of the local lingo!
Accommodation and meals
Accommodation is included with all projects and meals are even included with some. We only use locally-owned and operated accommodation so that part of your placement fee is filtering back into the local economy. Most projects offer homestay, guesthouse or shared volunteer houses as standard accommodation, but some offer the chance to upgrade to a more comfortable living standard.
Local in-country coordinators
Your in-country team will arrange a pick-up for you at the airport and will conduct your orientation upon arrival. All coordination teams are English speaking and are locals of your destination country. They won't be at your project every day, but will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need them.
24/7 emergency support
Aside from the local support from your in-country team you'll be given access to a 24/7 emergency phone line manned by our response team in case any problem should arise while you're overseas. We also hire crisis management professionals to be on hand in case of a situation that requires additional expert support.
The safety and security of our volunteers is paramount. For this reason we provide ongoing crisis management and emergency response training to our local teams around the world. We also fly in our in-country coordinators to the UK regularly for thorough training to help them offer the best safety to the thousands of volunteers they support each year.
Supporting our projects
We don't fund our projects directly from the project fee that you pay us. Instead we choose to support a number of projects through our Helping Hands Foundation to provide resources to those projects that really need it.
Recruiting people like you
We make no secrets of the fact that part of your placement fee is reinvested in to recruiting volunteers just like you! The volunteers recruited in one week will typically deliver over 2000 man-days of service. The difference this makes to projects overseas is immeasurable. Many of our overseas projects rely on assistance from international volunteers, so it's necessary for us to put together brochures and websites to find the people who can support them. This recruitment process is vital to ensure programs have a constant stream of reliable volunteers.
Please note: You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us.
What we will do after you've booked:
- Once booked on you will instantly receive a welcome email confirming your booking with access to your online account
- Community Development and Teaching customers will be requested to complete a police check (where relevant)
- We will contact you if we require anything else e.g. CV/resume for some projects, doctors note for medical conditions etc.
- We will prepare for your trip and you will receive all information required to prepare yourself in your online account
- We will ask you to complete personal information and pay your final balance if they are still due when required
- We are available for any questions you may have on email@example.com
What you need to do after booking your place with us:
- Book your flights
- Arrange suitable travel insurance
- Fill out your personal details through your online account
- Complete your police check if requested
- Make final payment at least 90 days before you go
- Make sure you have a visa for your trip if it's needed
- Visit a nurse or travel clinic for advice on inoculations and malaria prevention
- Read all details and prepare as much as you can for your trip
- Take contact details of the in country team and where you're going in your hand luggage - just in case!
- Get on the plane!
Flights & insurance
It's important that you get adequate travel insurance for your i to i Volunteering experience and as many of you will be working this often means standard policies won’t work. The good news is that no matter where you're coming from we have already found a policy to suit you.
The best time to get your insurance is when you book your project as this means you can get a fully tailored policy exclusive to i to i Volunteering, just ask your consultant for further details at the time of booking.
For prices, policies and key facts click here
As with insurance we advise you get these booked as early as possible to avoid high prices and to make sure you arrive on the right day. The i to i Volunteering team is right up to date with the best deals no matter where you’re flying from; their insider knowledge could save you some time and money.