Mar – Sept

Volunteers visiting any well-structured and sustainable project within South Africa, be it community or conservation based, immediately gain the opportunity to play their part in creating a real and long-lasting difference to South African society as a whole providing benefit now and well into the future. The Kariega Community Development Program is a prime example of this and a provider of ongoing proof of the genuine benefits that volunteering can bring!

The Kariega Community Volunteer Program, which VWI are proud to be associated with, finds its home in the beautiful seaside town of Kenton on Sea and surrounding villages – all home to a diverse and vibrant array of peoples.  Our volunteer’s accommodation is just a stone’s throw from the ocean and beaches that will take your breath away – the perfect base for your South African community volunteering adventure.

Daily tasks for volunteers are as varied as the people you will meet, and all designed to create a lasting benefit to the local communities both young and old.  From assisting with ‘Early Education’ in the Masibulele and Kamvilehle Preschools, all the way through activity coordination aimed at youth empowerment to assisting the elderly of the communities – every day presents a new opportunity to take part in a new, hugely rewarding activities!

All of the activities associated with this amazing program are specifically designed and developed to provide lasting benefit and provide an alternative take on the term ‘charity’ – the various initiatives in operation through the Kariega Community Program are focused on enabling empowerment giving affected individuals the opportunity to develop skills that will actively enhance their abilities to become self-sufficient and in turn, instilling a sense of pride – a hugely important yet lacking factor within many deprived communities.


The Kariega Community Development volunteer experience – undoubtedly a prime example of South Africas premier volunteer programs, all set in one of the most stunningly picturesque regions in South Africa

If stunning scenery and amazing location arent enough for you though, check out below some of the reasons exactly why volunteers visit Kariega and then go on to return year after year!

  • Gain active involvement in some of the most enriching and rewarding volunteer experiences available
  • Become a part of the local community and touched by the lives of the local children and people you will work with
  • Enjoy a wide range of involvements from early education classes to coastal conservation and beach clean ups!
  • Get a famous hug from ‘Mrs Adams’!
  • Be a part of a program committed to making a lasting difference in the local region guaranteed to leave all visiting volunteers with a hugely rewarding experience and the knowledge that they have made a genuine and real difference!

With great scenery, great people and the potential for every experience you could possibly wish for as part of your ‘community development’ volunteer experience, theres no excuse not to join the many volunteers that return to Kariega year after year to take part in all this amazing program has to offer!

The Kariega Community Development Volunteer Program offers volunteers a variety of amazing opportunities to become integral in the ongoing development and empowerment of the local people and communities surrounding beautiful Kenton on Sea.

To provide maximum benefit, the Kariega Community Program works with all generations of the surrounding communities – from helping kids with early education at the Masibulele and Kamvilehle Preschools all the way through to housekeeping assistance for the elderly (or ‘gogos’ – the Xhosa word for a granny!) – this is truly a hugely engrossing program that has the proven potential to leave even the most shy and wary of volunteers with a real sense of empathy for the people they meet and a genuine ‘lump in the throat’ as a result.

Volunteers will generally work a 5 day week (Monday to friday) with the exact daily itinerary planned and sculpted by your coordinator – during the course of your stay though you may well become involved in any or all of the below activities:

  • Assisting with early education at the local Masibulele and Kamvilehle Preschools.  Under the guidance of ‘Mrs Adams’, visitors will soon appreciate exactly why these programs are so popular within the local communities!  With real affection for the children and a passion for education, volunteers often become swept away by the sheer enthusiasm on show even under testing conditions – the children of these schools are an absolute delight and through the course of your stay, will give you so much more than they will receive!
  • Youth empowerment which involves coordination of fun activities for 13-17 year olds in leadership, business and strategy simulations – an integral aspect of the programs empowerment drive to provide the youth with the necessary tools to become self sufficient in later life.
  • IT Literacy.  Volunteers play an invaluable part in helping with the mobile computer lab providing education into basic computer literacy and windows navigation – essential skills development in todays modern world without which, it is nigh on impossible to find employment.
  • Coastal Conservation.  Hosted by the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), a few Saturdays a month children from the local primary and secondary schools assist the SST in their work with ongoing research projects, including the ‘Working for Wetlands’ initiative.  This initiative in particular gives responsibility to the kids as ‘primary researches’ of the local wetlands system bordering their community and source of local drinking water and promotes a love of conservation and the environment whilst opening an array of potential career opportunities for the kids!
  • Helping with the education of primary age children with basic literacy.  Under the supervision of a permanent teacher at the local Ekuphumleni Public Library, volunteers join the ‘JOT’ program to work with illiterate kids forgotten by the education system giving them the skills to pass Grade 5 exams and beyond.  There really is no greater sense of pride than hearing one of the kids spontaneously use English words and phrases you have taught to them!
  • Homework support – assist the local education group providing help and encouragement to kids with homework and pen-pal correspondences whilst providing a safe environment for some of the most at risk and vulnerable children of the communities.  Volunteers have played a massive part in in supporting this project and in its 3 years of operation – EVERY child associated to the project has passed their exam and moved on to the next grade, all by simply providing a caring, positive and supportive attitude and environment!
  • Feeding Scheme Assistance – helping the famous (locally!) Cynthia in a whirlwind of bread buttering and soup making for local children at the Noluthando Soup Kitchen – an interesting contrast and perspective to the humanitarian assistance vs active development debate…
  • Elderly Housekeeping which sees volunteers assisting Kenton Age-in-Action with looking after the frail.  Once a week, the ladies select a frail and often destitute member of the community and set to work cleaning the house from top to bottom – a great fun experience and if any energy is left over, volunteers are more than welcome to join the ‘gogos’ in their exercises!

The wealth of positive benefits that are generated by volunteers to this program are immeasurable, all of which leave a lasting impression with our visitors and the potential for life changing experiences – indeed many volunteers to the Kariega Community Program leave feeling indebted to the local people they have met having received so much more than they could ever have given.

The Kariega Community Development Program, situated in sunny Kenton on Sea and only an hour or so’s drive from the tourist hotspot of Port Elizabeth, enjoys one of the most spectacular locations of any South African volunteer program.

Lying a short distance from its sister project and one of South Africa’s most established Game Reserves, our volunteer accommodation finds itself within walking distance of the sand dunes of this regions stunning coastline meaning visitors to the Kariega Community Program truly get to experience the very best that South Africa has to offer.  The surrounding area also provides visitors with a wealth of activities to take in part in their free time away from the project from visits to the famous Addo Elephant Park, to the nightlife, shopping and everything else charming Port Elizabeth has to offer.

The perfect project, location, scenery and entertainment to ensure any volunteers visit to South Africa is one to remember for ever!

Kenton-On-Sea is a beautiful small coastal town right on the doorstep of your accommodation and it is here that many of our volunteers take the opportunity to relax at the weekends – the beaches here are pristine and tailor made for whiling away long sunny afternoons.  The most popular local hang-out is a pub/restaurant overlooking one of these stunning beaches beyond which lies the Indian Ocean!

There are also many additional activities that can be organised for you on weekends (at your own cost and on condition that a few others in the group also want to partake in the activity), including:

  • Horseback riding on the beach or in a game reserve
  • Trip to Port Elizabeth for shopping, to soak up the nightlife or catch a rugby or football match
  • Sky diving
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Two-day canoe trail on the Kowie river (this is a hit with many of our volunteer groups)
  • Quad biking
  • Addo Elephant National Park field trip
  • Paint ball
  • Weekend trips away can include bungee jumping, canopy tours and shark cage diving.

The above list is a small taster of the possibilities open to our volunteers in their freetime at the Kariega Community Development Volunteer Program – if there is anything you find that isnt listed above, let us know and we will happily arrange it for you if required!

Whats Included

  • Accommodation at the volunteer house in Kenton on Sea.
  • Three meals per day prepared by volunteers themselves
  • All domestic services – cleaning, laundry etc
  • All on project transport
  • Comprehensive pre and post departure support from the VWI team in Cape Town

Not Included

  • International Flights and Visas
  • *Airport Transfers (transfers can be arranged as an optional extra if required at R700 one way)
  • Gifts, entertainment and beverages (unless otherwise detailed)
  • Medical/Travel Insurance
  • Weekend excursions (if required)
  • Monthly stipend


*Why do we not include airport transfers in our pricing?  Through experience, we know many of our volunteers wish to travel South Africa before/after their programs so including costs for transfers in the pricing would represent wasted funds should this be the case.  By not including a cost for airport transfers and offering this separately, we strongly believe we offer our volunteers the maximum choice and transparency over pricing.

The Kariega Community Development Volunteer Project accepts new volunteers every Monday and volunteers should aim to arrive to the project on this day.  Should airport transfers be required, volunteers should ensure they arrive to Port Elizabeth Airport on the Monday (or before) and advise their requirements and flight details to Volunteer World International as soon as possible in advance in order for us to arrange transport appropriately.  Whilst weekends are freetime on the project, volunteers are welcome to stay in the accommodation until the end of their stay prior to their return flights.

Note: VWI uses Paypal to issue all our invoices – should you require a quotation in a currency not listed above, please contact us detailing your requirements!


FROM £325