Volunteer in South Africa with SASTS

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group of children and volunteers in South Africa
group of children and volunteers in South Africa

About

SASTS believes that international voluntary services help empower local communities by developing self reliance and sustainability, whilst providing guidance and support on global issues such as poverty alleviation, skills training and development. We aim to help improve the quality of life of many local South Africans, whilst uniting groups of people with a common cause, and empowering them to make a difference in society.

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Reviews

8.88 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 16
Default avatar
Catherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

great to go with vacation or study abroad program

I had a little bit of a different experience in that I decided to do this after my study abroad program. I was already used to the area and felt very safe where I was. With that being said, I moved in with a host family and really became a part of the township culture. It was a great experience after driving by there for months while I was attending the university down the street. The area is a short walk from the college scene and you are literally right on top of a railroad that leads into Cape Town. While I wouldn't stay in the township at night, there were enough things close by. As long as you practice safety precautions while out and about and are respectful it's a very safe place to be! The kids you work with are amazing and you'll gain a new perspective quickly from working with them. They come from very little but have a light in their eyes like you couldn't believe. The teachers are awesome as well and passionate about what they're doing.

Lara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful time in South Africa

From the beginning to the end of my trip, I enjoyed my life in Cape Town as much as possible. The organization, the staff, the other people- everyone made my time so incredibly wonderful!

To start with, I got picked up by the "host dad" at the airport. Then we went to my home for the next three months: a big house with a lot of room, a nice kitchen, garden and a big living room. I shared my room with 5 other girls that came from all over the world. I quickly felt really comfortable and everyone was so nice to me. In the next weeks, we had so much fun together. We went to the beach, to our workplaces, the city or just having a drink at our favorite bar in town. Our house had one of the best and safest locations in Cape Town, so I always felt really safe.

Every Monday until Friday I worked in a creche. I was supposed to sing, dance and play with the children which were between two and four years old. Not only the children were unbelievable nice, but also the teacher have been friendly at all. They were very interested in my German culture and how I am feeling.
Although the kids have been veeeeeery energetic, I always had so much fun and couldn't stop smiling. Sometimes, I just thought what these kids make them so different from the German kids. Well, I quickly recognized that the little Africans do not ask for mobile phones, tablets or other electronically stuff to play with. No, these children asked me to put a doll with a blanket on the bag so that they can "cook" lunch for me...

Always when I came home from work (that was around 12 o'clock a.m ;-) ) I was asked how my day has been so far and how I am feeling. That was great. In addition, I was able to have some "specials" on my trip to South Africa. Once I did a gigant skydive. Furthermore I joined several (cheap) trips around Cape Town and see the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen!

I would really commend everyone not just to work. But also life your live there. Enjoy every moment as much as you can. Be a "yes- sayer".

All in all, this was one of my most wonderful trips in my life and I would definitely go there again. SASTS - thanks so much for your support!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change is that I should be cooked in the house itself. We got food in a small cafe/restaurant, and that was not that good.
Default avatar
Dan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This Is How You Do South Africa.

I just came back home from one of the most enjoyable months of my life, from Cape Town, South Africa.

I volunteered with SASTS after a recommendation from a friend last August for about a month. I was placed in the township of Kayamandi with a gracious host family and put into a school where I got to teach some of the coolest kids ever. I lived an adventure volunteering as I connected with my learners in grade 6, and even took some of them out to experience Cape Town. I was able to teach English grammar, mathematics, and computer literacy. I even tried my hand at a TON of excursions offered like sky diving, hiking Table Mountain, safaris, shark cage diving, bungee jumping, surfing...geez what else?? Besides the learners I connected with that came to my home stay everyday after school, I met some pretty cool volunteers from all around the world that I hung out with on my free time. Yes I did a lot, and SASTS didn't mind that I would take some time off to go and experience all the amazing things South Africa had to offer.

The whole time I kept in touch with Clyde, the head of the organization, and let him know of my adventures and he would contact me to check up. I was in good hands the whole time. A friend recommended this to me and now I am recommending it to people as well. If you volunteer here, go out and make the best of it because South Africa has so much to offer. I guarantee a very, very good time.

What would you improve about this program?
To be honest, everything went very smooth. The entire staff I met was very friendly.
Default avatar
Princess1991
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nothing but love

I arrived in South Africa with a mind full of thoughts. How would my family be? How would I get along with the children, the teachers and my tasks??
I am from Germany. That means: Two completely different cultures had to live and work together, hand in hand.
I was told a lot of security stuff by my organization especially concerning night time and the care of health. Too much, if I am honest...
Unfortunately I only spent five weeks in SA but it was the time of my life in the end.
I loved everything beginning with the children, my host family, the whole mentality, the food and the people.
Everyday was special in its own way and this was just magic.
I learned a lot about life and the things you need and which are nice to have but unnecessary to survive...
The children are full of love and next to a simple pencil they mostly just needed a hug and nothing more.
The african lifestyle is easy, sometimes too easy when you are told to be picked up at 2 p.m. and no one arrives till 3.30 p.m..
So this is one point that could be improved for forthcoming volunteers.
So if you love working with children and if you are prepared to give a lot of your personality to someone who gives it back twice to you than participate in this program and I promise you'll definitely have the time and experience of your life.

Default avatar
Memory
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer Overall Experience

My name is Memory Manyimo,come from Zimbabwe and i was the first Zimbabwean ever to volunteer with SASTS.My placement was at a preschool and it was eight weeks long.
The overall experience was very rewarding and enjoyed every bit of it.Cape Town is a beautiful city and during the weekends i had plenty of time to sight-see and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The preschool i was placed had a mixed group of both middle and lower class to the children were bit of a challenge as i had to learn each one's individual needs but i enjoyed playing and teaching them.Am sure i made a difference in their lives.
My host family were such lovely people who made me feel at home, Charlene the host mum was a very good cook and i looked forward to her every meal ,she was always full of surprises.i do not mind going back to volunteer again in a different country though to explore and travel other places. The SASTS staff did support me during my whole stay except noone came to pick me up on the last day, the host family had to cater for that expense.
The experience changed me in a very positive way, i realised my passion for working with children and right now am in the process of opening my own preschool. The neighborhood i stayed was not a very safe place , this one time the host mum's car which was parked outside was stolen when we where wide awake sitting in the lounge. Shooting happened during the day and innocent people where caught up in the gang fights.
The program costs were not appropriate for what was offered as i still had to pay money for accommodation at the volunteer house and had to cater for my own meals.I would have appreciated it better if i was told beforehand that the money i was paying was for Monday to Friday, i would have come prepared financially.The local community were nice people and staying with a host family was also great, as i got to live with 3 more volunteers from different countries. I brought a sleeping bag in the hope of going out camping but did not manage.Socially i had fun with other volunteers and visited most of the 'must see ' places of Cape town. One event i attended that i enjoyed immensely was the Cape Town Carnival festival. i would without regrets recommend this program to a friend.

Default avatar
Rmahoney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living the dream in Cape Town

when i first arrived in cape town, i was so nervous with it being the first time i had every volunteered abroad alone. everyone was so kind and caring and i really felt appreciated.
the sasts group really looked after everyones wellbeing, my project was based in a school and after being there a few days i felt like i had known all the children and teachers all my life, i was really sad to see them go and I'm already planning my visit this year!

while in SA i did the worlds highest bunjee, did a shark cave dive to mention a few of the amazing things that i did!

Default avatar
MLH
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Experience!!!

The only thing I didn't quite love was the fact that I was told I would be doing the Sports Education program, but then I was told a week prior that I would be teaching instead.

Also, I was told I would be staying in a home stay, but when I got there I found out I would be staying at the SASTS house.

Both of these things were okay, I just wish I knew ahead of time instead of last minute.

Response from South African Students Travel Service (SASTS)

Hello MLH
Thank you for taking the time to review our program.
We are pleased that you had a great time in South Africa
Your insight is important to us and we have used your experiences to improve and better manage future volunteers experiences.
Regards
The SASTS Team

Default avatar
Irene
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering In Kayamandi, Stellenbosch. Truly Amazing!

I spend 5 weeks volunteering in a Township near Stellenbosch, had an amazing host family and my project was also very fun. Helping those kids in second grade was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It was an experience which I will never forget nor will I forget about any of the amazing people I've met, like the other volunteers, my host family, the teachers and the kids. I also had some great weekends in Cape Town, partying & sightseeing with the other volunteers. It was a life changing experience!

Thank you so much to all the people of SASTS for making my experience truly amazing!