We have partnered with, and currently work with, many social welfare projects in the communities that surround Cape Town – these include homes and centres that cater for children with special needs, schools that cater for children with Autism and other learning challenges, etc.

The Sunrise Special Care Centre is a great example of one of our Social Welfare projects. Here is a brief overview of this facility.


A group of parents of children with severe and profound intellectual disability formed Sunrise Special Care Centre in 1988. The reason for forming this centre was due to there being no day-care facilities for children who require specialized care. The centre has to overcome various challenges on a daily basis (running costs, staff/patient ratios, transport, meals, etc.) but through hard work and commitment from staff, parents and volunteer helpers, they are able to provide quality care to 30 children and adults with severe disability.


The children at Sunrise Special Care Centre have profound intellectual and physical disabilities and require round the clock care. Basic skills like feeding themselves, going to the toilet, walking, talking and playing are all very challenging tasks. The children will never be completely independent, and total care will be required for the rest of their lives. The children are transported to the centre every day, from various surrounding local communities, on the school bus and this can also sometimes prove to be a huge logistical process, requiring many hands.


Children and adults are cared for between 07:30am and 15:30pm. The centre provides exciting, stimulating and much needed programmes. Continual staff development programmes, educational workshops for staff and ongoing support and guidance from therapists ensures the staff provide the best care they can, however, a shortage of teaching aids, equipment and staff places ever-increasing pressure on the facility. Two cooked meals are provided to each child daily, with some children requiring special care like tube-feeding.


Due to constant shortages in funding, the centre is always in need of volunteer staff assistance. They are mainly required and used in the following areas:

  • Kitchen: to help prepare, serve and assist with feeding the children.
  • Assist with Bus trips: Volunteers are welcome to come in early and assist with the transportation of the children to/from the centre. This job requires many hands so they are always needed.
  • Admin duties: volunteers that are efficient behind the desk may assist with office duties, recording and updating patient information, assisting with fundraising ideas and drives/functions, etc.
  • Assisting with the children: Volunteers are encouraged to use any Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy knowledge and experience when assisting with the children. Due to a lack of funding, the centre cannot afford to employ a resident OT or physio, so this area remains one of much-needed assistance.
  • Daily walk: The children are taken out for a daily walk around the area and this again requires a high number of staff to carry out. This time outdoors is vital for the development and health of the children.

*PLEASE NOTE: This project is not available during the South African school holidays.


  • Placement in a suitable project and accommodation
  • Placement inventory information prior to arrival in South Africa
  • Transfer from the airport to the StayAfrica Volunteer house
  • Dormitory accommodation for 1 night during Orientation
  • Transfer to StayAfrica office for Orientation
  • Orientation Programme, including Welcome Session and Orientation Session
  • Meals and accommodation at Host Family
  • Assistance with Bookings for tours and activities
  • 24-hour support whilst in Cape Town


  • Flights and Insurance
  • Meals during Orientation days
  • Lunch during the week and Meals over weekends for volunteers placed at the Volunteer House
  • Evening activities
  • Transport to and from the City and to and from projects
  • Airport shuttle back to the airport after completion of Programme
  • Additional cost for special dietary requirements
  • Visa (if applicable)


“Volunteers don’t get paid because they are worthless… but because they are priceless.” – Unknown.

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