Khaya Volunteer

Program Reviews

Ronald
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

During this project I've learned a lot about the culture in the townships. People are very social and want to talk with you whenever you want. My best memory is when I was talking with some locals about their days in the township. They are all so happy and thankful for the help they get from the volunteers, like me. I'm sure that I'll be back soon, it's the best I ever did in my life. Go to Africa without any expectations and enjoy your best time there.

Maud
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an great experience the last six months in South-Africa. I definitely will come back! It is such a beautiful country and the people are very friendly. Izizwe Projects gave me the experience to be connected with the people in the township and to know more about their culture. And the work you do is variously, what make it interested.

What brought me still in doubt at the beginning to do this was the fact that my English wasn't that good. Let never stop someone or something your plan to do volunteering work, if you really wanna do it. Just go for it! With pointing and learning some important words in their language I came far. And my English is better now, because you live in a volunteer house, together with people from different countries and you met a a lot of other people. You make very fast friends! The people in the house are very sociable and you can do a lot of nice things together. Also the house was well located, with a swimming pool, nearby the beach, restaurants and pubs.

And I miss already all the children and their hugs, they are always happy! I'm thankful that I could give a contribute to the township of Port Elizabeth.

I recommend this to everybody! I had an awesome time in South Africa.

What would you improve about this program?
-
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Anja
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks in the Great Karoo and the African Bush and Wildlife Experience. The time flew by and if you have the chance to stay longer - do so. I have a full time job so have to volunteer in my holidays so the fact that I was able to stay for only two weeks was great. It was an amazing experience and I got to see both the good and the sad work that conservation has as their oldest cheetah girl died during my time there although we and the vet did everything we could to save her. Sibella had done her work for cheetah conservation by giving birth to 20 cubs and being an icon for the game reserve. I got to see her children, Chilli and Pepper, as well and I´m sure they have learned from their mother. The everyday schedule was well organized but since it is wild animals plans tend to change suddenly. I got to see a lot of different antilopes, buffalo, white rhino, giraffes, zebras and many other animals and birds when we were out in the veld and learned a lot from the volunteer manager, Bethia. She was incredibly knowledgeable and a great person to be around! We were only two volunteers but in spite of the age difference (of over 20 years...) we got on like a house on fire - so much fun! Can´t recommend this enough. It is proper conservation work you get to experience. They also have a Tracker Academy at the game reserve - you get to join them one day and learn. We also spent one day with the children at the orphanage they support and what joy it was to see the children´s smiles and happiness at the park. Still thinking? Just go! :-)

What would you improve about this program?
Can´t think of anything at the moment.
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Bo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In August 2015, I went to Port Elizabeth (SA) to volunteer with Khaya Volunteers. Before I went I had spent a lt of time figuring out which organization would be the best for me, and which project I liked the most. Right away I really liked both Khaya and the Door of Hope project. After some more research I decided to go for it. This was probably one of the best decisions of my life! Khaya made sure everything was arranged for me, and living in the house with other volunteers was so much fun! This way you are really able to meet other volunteers and do fun stuff together to explore the country when you are not working. The project itself was also better than I could have ever hoped for. Mama Gladys is by far the most special person I have ever met in my entire life. Words cannot even expain how beautiful her soul is, I am proud that I was able to work with someone like her. Mama Gladys and the kids made sure I felt welcomed from the very first second I walked in Door of Hope, and this didn't change during my stay. Spending time with the kids was such a good experience and I really got to love every single one of them. Saying goodbye was probably one of the hardest thing, BUT this is why I will return as soon as possible:). If you love kids: Door of Hope is the place to be for you. You will give, but also receive lots and lots of love!

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Matteo
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My stay in Port Elizabeth was really great! Izizwe Projects offered me various Projects to work for and also alternative ways to do help the Township community with Holiday programms and s soccer tournament.
I worked in a pre-school for 3.5 months and it was a very special esperience. If you stay for a while there you can really change something in the lifes of those kids. You won't change the world but you can do little things and make a differents. I also learned a lot about South African culture and somehow also a lot about myself and what I want to do in life.
But working is not everything, not in Europe and neither in Africa. I met many amazing people and especially my house-mates became my friends. With our group, almost like a family, we traveled a lot during the weekend and experienced the country South Africa and many of it's beautiful and amazing places.

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Patricia
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After my round-trip from Johannesburg to Capetown I chose to do voluntary work at Amakhala Game Reserve, in Paterson which is a one-hour drive from Port Elizabeth. My airport pick up was all arranged via Khaya and when I arrived at the voluntary house we left in a half hour for the game drive. Great! Let's spot that lion and leopard, my two animals missing to complete the big 5.

Looks like we did a game drive every morning, which is great because we saw a lot of animals. Not only the big 5, but also the most beautiful birds. In the afternoons we mostly had the social part of our day: 2 days a week we went to the local school and played with the children. Very fun! On other days we worked in the greenery of the reserve and, for example, kept the paths free of trees and bushes. Once a week we had a fun activity. Think of canoeing, going to the elephant farm or visiting the cat sanctuary. The weekends we were off and usually did something with the other volunteers like visiting Port Elizabeth.

To be short: if you want to see more of the beautiful animals and nature of South Africa, definitely do voluntary work at Amakhala Game Reserve!

What would you improve about this program?
To be short: more work.

I didn't feel really 'useful' as a volunteer.
The daily game drives were really fun and entertaining, but I expected more work / contact with animals.
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Kevin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Missionvale run so many worthwhile activities it is almost impossible to select one however the community garden project stands out for me as it offers the prospect of becoming self-sufficient in vegetables which would enhance family nutritional intake. I also found making sandwiches for school children to be very rewarding as it was for many the only certain meal of their day. While the Christmas parcel section delivering upwards of 6,000 presents would undoubtedly generate much goodwill and satisfaction.

What would you improve about this program?
personally i would prefer a slightly longer day -we arrived at Missionvale @ 9am and left around 3pm this left a very long evening and while the accommodation was very homely another hour or so at Missionvale would/could help to prevent boredom setting in.
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Rob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's hard to explain the feeling of hunting with cheetahs and hand feeding cubs. While there is not a lot of variety to your days and you must be prepared for a physically demanding experience (walking 5-15 miles per day), the intimate experience with these beautiful, loving, powerful animals is simply amazing. Yuko who works with volunteers is wonderfully supportive and ready to answer all of your questions. The reserve is beautiful and there is a wide variety of animals beyond the cheetahs.

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Pim
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It has been an amazing three weeks during my stay at Modgaji.
At first the landscape, it is mindblowing, just bush as far as your eyes can see with 'springbokvlak' as my personal favourite.
The variety of game that's walking around and the close encounters you sometimes have with them.
And also the hyena's, caracals and servals have been big fun to work with.
But above all; the cheetah walks, they were without a doubt the top of the bill!
How much closer to nature do you want to get?
If I had the chance to go back tommorow I would have left yesterday!

What would you improve about this program?
Organisation wise some things could have been better arranged, on the other hand a bit 'ad hoc' policy improves your flexibility.
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Lucy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

On my arrival at Port Elizabeth I was met by the very friendly face of Junayne one of the co-ordinators and he was joined by some of the volunteers so a very nice welcome.

I travelled alone and the first day or two is quite daunting joining a house where some people have been living for weeks already and you wonder if you'll fit in but do not worry about this, before you know it you're just part of the 'family' and I have honestly made friends for life.

I volunteered at the Human Dignity Centre and I suppose you'd call my job a teaching assistant, helping to children who take a bit more time to learn than some of the other children in class and working with them one to one. The first day I was full of nerves again wondering how I'll fit in what my actual role would be but everyone was welcoming especially
the children who were very excited to have a new girl in class!

I've never volunteered before and although I knew I would enjoy it I under estimated how much I would take away with me. The children are amazing, always smiling and happy and sometimes a little naughty. They have so little compared to the children that I know and love at home in the UK yet they seem to not ask for anything. Helping a child who couldn't write their name when you arrived but could by the time you left is an amazing feeling.

I would recommend volunteering at the Izizwe Project to everyone and Port Elizabeth is a great city to be in. Beach, beachside pools, karaoke all within walking distance. Trips out at weekends to the surrounding areas. I tried sand-boarding (I was useless), black water tubing and much more. It's good balance of 'work' (if that's what you call it) and seeing South Africa a beautiful country.

Thank you to Roos and Junayne the co-ordinators who live at the volunteer with you, miss you guys so much!