The volunteering program

Daily activities

Depending on your project or combination of projects you will generally work Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 4pm with 30 minutes to 1-hour lunch break but days and times may vary from project to project. (Times depending on the season). Volunteers are encouraged to be flexible and be advised that changes may occur due to the needs of the projects and unforeseen circumstances.

Evening activities

Generally: Have dinner and spend time with your host family. In case you wish to be involved with community activities during the evenings please consult your local site mentor. You can even cook with the family or share your own favourite food !

Weekend Highlights

During the weekends you will have time to explore the area. Please take note that it is not the task of your Homestay hosts to show you around, nor is it included in your volunteer fees, though our local site mentors will share all the local knowledge with you and our “walk about Kamamma’s and Bhuti’s can at  a fee take you around in the area. We can arrange this with ease as you will be familiar with the people you will go about  and explore with. If you wish to explore the region, please contact your local site mentor or Dreamcatcher for assistance. Many opportunities exist to explore but being part of the local community is an endearing and unique experience. There are many tours and safari options available, perfect for a weekend break (depending on your volunteer location), and Dreamcatcher is happy to assist volunteers with any arrangements they may wish to make.

Support

Support and advice is available on a 24/7/365 basis by a well developed Dreamcatcher tried and tested communication and mentoring mechanism.

Orientation

On arrival in Cape Town all volunteers undergo an orientation programme, which is included into the fee. Developed over 25 years and researched in terms of volunteer needs to be the best volunteer they can be, this Dreamcatcher orientation programme, which is mandatory at the onset of your stay with us for just 1  to 2 days, depending on the time you will be spending with us and the projects you are registered with. Volunteers who have been with us have acclaimed our induction programme. It offers and equips you to “see” out of the box, understand the many facets of South African community life, which impacts on its locals and is also a great learning experience.

Accommodation and meals

Volunteers will reside in a family atmosphere in our homestays. Homestays with Kamamma is a ground breaking project of poverty alleviation and building of universal bridges of intra-cultural understanding. Homestays have been acclaimed as one of the top 3 projects in the world in the’ Investment in People’ Category, offering unique and authentic day-to-day contact with the locals in the communities and home-from-home hospitality. Through this project Dreamcatcher has now communal houses for volunteers as well. Your Homestay hosts and homes have been chosen for their welcome, high level of authentic cultural and lifestyle experience, level of service, and safety. All the Homestay hosts have been trained to receive visitors and offer a heart-warming home-from-home experience.

Please Note: Experience has shown that volunteers living together and working closely with their local site mentors and project managers is the best way of guaranteeing their safety, and being able to attend to their most pressing needs. The site mentors reside with the volunteers in their host communities and it is expected that all volunteers will stay only in the accommodation provided for them. It is not permitted for volunteers to spend nights away from the house in nearby towns or villages unless on pre-arranged sightseeing excursions. The benefit of living in a Dreamcatcher community is that the volunteer will benefit fully from integration into the community and the local volunteer community feels encouraged that it is not a “I the volunteer and them the people approach”, instead the volunteer becomes one of the community and are thus 100% ensured of full co-operation, getting to know the community, so every party will benefit.

Food

Your local hosts will provide basic food, which means 3 meals a day. Breakfast normally consists of cereals and toast; packed (sandwich) lunch to take to your project and a nutritious home cooked dinner (meat & vegetables, rice or potatoes & salad). You can join in on the cooking at your host family if you like. South Africa is blessed with an abundance of fruit, vegetables, and meat like lamb, beef, fish, pork and poultry. This is home from home cooking at its best. Special dietary needs like vegetarian or diabetes can be catered for. Please mention this in your application. Whilst everything is done to provide varied and interesting meals, they will generally be quite simple and volunteers are requested not to be overly fussy or ungrateful with what is provided for them. However, advance notice of any food allergies or specific food requirements is essential.

Getting there

Volunteers should fly into Cape Town Airport (arrangements to be me made by volunteers themselves) where they will be met by a representative and taken to the volunteer accommodation.