South Africa Volunteer Projects
Reach out to children in underprivileged communities & conserve endangered wildlife!
South Africa has a turbulent history, resulting in a great divide between rich and poor. Many South Africans live in poverty and struggle to meet every day needs. Greater infrastructure development is a priority to meet basic human needs of the many South Africans living in townships. Carefully structured volunteer programs, such as building schools and playgrounds, urban renewal projects, water and sanitation development provide a means to make a real difference in South Africa.
South Africa has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. However, due to urban expansion, hunting and habitat destruction, many species are threatened by extinction. You can make a difference by assisting researchers in surveying and monitoring of flora and fauna used for conservation management or volunteering on a wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Poverty, HIV-Aids, broken families, inadequate housing and school facilities, and other basic necessities are just some of the barriers that millions of South African children face in their struggle for a better life. Education is a powerful vehicle that can transform societies and break cycles of disease and poverty. Education empowers people so that they can live healthier and more prosperous lives where people can make choices about their futures and in doing so, shapes the course of their communities. As such, ISV is working to assist local organizations with their efforts to fill the gaps left by government systems in selected communities.
Here is a unique opportunity to volunteer in beautiful Swaziland (a country completely inside the borders of South Africa!) where you will be involved in monitoring a variety of amazing and threatened African wildlife. Some of these species may include the marabou stork, bat communities and tortoises. You may be tracking animals using radio transmitters, observing daily habits, and recording important data. There will also be an opportunity to learn about and get close to some of the larger African animals such as the white rhino and the African elephant in their natural habitat.
Populations and urban sprawl are increasing globally and are significant issues for wildlife conservation in South Africa. Together with farming practices, population growth means that humans are encroaching on the habitats of animal. Where once there were open plains where animals roamed freely, there are now roads, fences and power lines. Many species of animals are running out of space and their territories are overlapping with that of people – conflict results; animals are sometimes poisoned, shot or trapped. Wildlife care and rehabilitation centers not only have a role in caring for injured wildlife but also in education programs to help people learn to live with their animal neighbors more harmoniously.
The greatest issue facing South Africa is poverty. This ongoing issue has marginalized millions of South Africans. The result is that many needs, such as access to quality medical care, housing, electricity, food, employment, and education are not met. Poverty is an enormous problem to overcome, yet with the help of volunteers, there are things we can do at the local level to make a positive impact on communities, while being careful not to take away local employment opportunities.