Cape Town, South Africa
Volunteering to achieve gender equality
Through this project you ́ll get the chance to visit one of the most beautiful cities on Earth while at the same time getting the unique opportunity of immersing yourself in the vibrant township communities that many tourists don’t often get to discover, and play a vital role in bridging the gender gap which still largely exists in South Africa.
Most of these townships were formed during the infamous Apartheid era and the reduced equalities of this process hit women and children the hardest, and you can still see the effects it had on today´s society. Our volunteers are vital in this project to help empower and educate not only girls and women but boys and men as well since true gender equality can only be achieved by working together with the whole community.
For a long time, I have been a passionate feminist who loves to go into the field and learn with everything that I can. In this way, I really loved my time with the project Girl Impact since it fulfilled my desire to know more about Gender Inequality in South Africa and I got to meet and connect with people that taught me really important life lessons. I’m really glad I got to go through this experience.
Volunteering in Cape Town
Gender inequality is one of the biggest problems of the modern world and although we have collectively made huge progress in this area; there are lots of communities and countries facing terrible issues where girls are clearly at a disadvantage and with fewer opportunities. For instance, out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls, and half of all first births in the developing world are to adolescent girls. In Sub Saharan Africa 75% of all HIV infected people aged 15 – 24, are young women! And worldwide 50% of sexual assaults are against girls aged 15 years and younger.
Unfortunately, in South Africa, things are no different and the Apartheid system has made it even worse for women and children creating a terrible effect that still lasts today. Girls and teenagers in Cape Town and South Africa are facing lots of issues such as, violence, restricted access to healthcare, high abuse rates, forced marriage, early pregnancy and missing out on basic education simply because they are girls. These issues result in scarce job opportunities leading many women to be unable to provide for their families and secure a better future.
Through this project, we aim to educate and empower young girls but also give them a voice to speak up for their rights. We work closely with boys, girls, men and women on a daily basis to create equality through our 6 basic key elements (self-confidence, income generation, education, health, early pregnancy and safety) and address the UN Sustainable Development Goals for Gender Equality.
As a volunteer you will visit different communities and townships in Cape Town such as Langa and Khayelitsha on a daily basis and work with different age and sex groups delivering workshops, lessons, games, sporting activities and more, so to work around these elements and help achieve our goal towards gender equality!
This is your opportunity to get a unique in-depth look at the life in the township communities and play a huge role in the life of girls and help them find their own voice so to speak up for themselves and their rights!
A Day In Your Life
You will be working Monday to Friday both in the morning and afternoon in different communities and projects. You will break for lunch and either come back to your accommodation for a relaxing time before heading back out or have lunch in traditional places in the townships so to try the local delicacies. Evenings and weekends are free for you to explore this amazing tourist destination that has so much to offer anyone who visits it.
- You will be joining our job readiness group for unemployed youth (16-31 years old) who are looking for better opportunities in township communities where crime, poverty and unemployment prevail. You will organize and deliver workshops and activities that can help them improve their CV, take better interviews, gain self confidence, help them speak up and learn the ropes around the workplace. Besides this we open the space up for discussions about the issues and topics they face on a daily basis in their communities such as violence, substance abuse, lack of father figures, economic problems etc. We aim to build a safe space for them to open up and see there are people interested in listening to their issues as well as finding support figures not only in us and our volunteers but also in each other, creating in that way a strong sense of community.
- Abuse is one of the major issues children and youth face in South Africa and it is reported that over 22 % of all abuse cases are perpetrated by family members! The afterschool period is the most dangerous since it ́s when children are alone at home or at a certain family member ́s home who is supposed to be looking after them. Our volunteers work to create a safe after school activity for young children where they can express themselves through art therapy and tackle very important issues such as health, early pregnancy and safety. We aim to grow their self confidence and help them speak up about issues they are facing and find support and mentorship in our team.
- Our volunteers also get the opportunity to join different boys’ and girls’ clubs in the township communities so to engage with the community, provide a safe space, and through innovative and creative ideas, tackle issues such as our 6 key elements: self confidence, income generation, education, health, early pregnancy and safety.
- We also deliver on occasion sporting activities for a group of girls to break that false prejudice that sports or certain sports are only for men. Occasionally we also partner with different organizations and deliver computer skills or English lessons to a group of women looking to improve their employability.
- Many women in the area who become mothers at a young age believe their dreams and goals, which they had before, are unachievable since now their only role in life will be to become a mother and look after their children. Sometimes our volunteers get to provide pregnant youth at a support group with physical, emotional and educational skills so that they can see they can still pursue their dreams and goals once they become mothers.
- Cape Town is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities on Earth and has something for every tourist! You can enjoy your free time hiking or taking the cable car up one of the Wonders of the World – Table Mountain, going shark cage diving, surfing, wine tasting, taking in the scenery on the many tourist routes it has, diving, relaxing by the beach, visiting the famous markets and trying the world class restaurants or even going on safari! Trust us, there’s no way to get bored in Cape Town!
→ Prices start from $1372 or £1100 for 10 Days
Our start dates for 2019 are:
- 7, 14 and 28 January
- 11 and 25 February
- 11 and 25 March
- 8 and 22 April
- 6 and 20 May
- 3 and 17 June
- 1, 8,15, 22 and 29 July
- 5, 12,19 and 26 August
- 9 and 23 September
- 7 and 21 October
- 4 and 18 November
- 2 December (2 weeks placement only)
Project Closes 16th December 2019
During school holidays, activities may differ from the usual schedule but the work will be equally engaging and rewarding. The school terms for Cape Town for 2019 are as follows:
- Term 1: 9 January – 15 March Term 2: 2 April – 14 June
- Term 3: 9 July – 20 September Term 4: 1 October – 4 December
We ask volunteers to arrive at Cape Town International Airport on the Monday your project starts between 9 am and 3 pm and we’ll pick you up from there. You can volunteer from 10 days up to 12 weeks. Project ́s last day is on the Monday when we’ll drop you back at the airport.