As part of this volunteer placement, ASPECT AFRICA and the strategic partner of WPWC, Coaches Across Continents will make online educational programmes available to volunteers to study and look at before they arrive and then volunteers as part of their orientation will receive practical on-field training with WPWC’s senior coach, Vincent Mudzanani. These training programmes are certified by CAC, and so by the end of your placement, you will gain a certificate in sport for social development.
ASPECT AFRICA and our host organisations welcome volunteers who are between 18 and 65 years old, to join us on an educational adventure where you will DISCOVER, LEARN & EMPOWER. If you have a keen interest in education, drama and sports, especially football, netball, volleyball athletics, we'd love to hear from you.
As volunteers, you will live with host families spread across the area; we try only to have 2 volunteers living in the same village at once. You will live with communities separated by a colonial past but joined by culture, ancestry, heritage and land, these communities are Mutele, Makuleke and Makuya in South Africa and of the Malipati area under Chief Sengwe in Zimbabwe.
In South Africa, the WPWC community-based organisation operates in 2 primary schools in the Mutele area 3 in the Makuleke area, and 1 in the Makuya area. The villages in the Mutele area include Bennde-Mutale, Tshikuyu and Sanari, just inside the Makuya Tribal Authority, in Makuleke the villages are Boxahuku, Makuleke and Mahlahule.
The Malipati Development Trust in Zimbabwe has connected the WPWC project to 10 primary schools in Ward 15. However, we are only rolling out the volunteer project to 4 schools in the area, Chisheny primary and secondary, and Samu Primary and secondary school. The reason for this is we, and the MDT want to see how the programmes works out first and then if all is good and the ability to expand the volunteer programme is there we will slowly introduce more volunteers to the area.
Monday to Friday
MORNINGS: 0800 to 1330 Volunteers will assist in the primary and secondary school as teaching assistants with the guidance of a volunteer coordinator. Subjects volunteers can expect to help with are Math, English, Life Orientation.
AFTERNOONS: 1400 to 1800 Volunteers will help with the scheduled sports for social development project, and drama programme (Bennde-Mutale only currently) as well as homework clubs or after-school clubs, these will typically last for 1.5 to 2 hours.
EVENING: 1830 to 2100. Sometimes there is a need to run an evening activity so that others who are busy during the day can attend if this is the case we urge volunteers to help out.
There are planned activities included which will take place from a Friday afternoon till Sunday evening, some are overnight, others will be full or half days, all with something to eat, be it breakfast, lunch and dinner or just lunch on a half day trip. See our list of activities here.
Our activities will allow you to explore the natural beauty of the area, understand the history, watch elephants and other game and also to while away the day relaxing in a hammock listening to the birds. Aspect Africa and your host organisations will make sure you leave with some superb memories, new friends and a new found love and understanding of rural Africa.
Our Host Families
Accommodation is typically in a traditional Venda, Tsonga home, a rondavel - a thatched, circular home. Volunteers will have a private room and ablution facilities will be rustic, but functional. Hot water is available. Host families prepare three meals a day for volunteers. Special dietary needs can be happily accommodated.
Volunteers are welcome to shadow host families during daily chores in their free time- such as collecting water and firewood, laundering clothes at the river and gathering livestock at sunset.
Do you want a true raw African experience? then Friends of Mutale is for you. It's a laid back program that gives you more control of your time there. You feel like you are a big part of the team that your input is valued and adhered to. my time there over the course of three months was an absolute beast of a roller coaster from bowing down to the chief to cheeky sunny children. It's a beautiful place that you can really get stuck into the Villages life. You wash your clothes in the river together. You collect water together. You share food and listen to stories. Being in Mutale gives you a sense of purpose, it centres your life in reflecting upon your self. Not only do you see the wonders of rural village life, but you are right next door to the Kruger park where you have an incredible safari experience. The main focus is on the children and you are theirs, you are a doorway into a different world of views and knowledge and wisdom. in the end, you will probably learn more from them and become a changed person. I would never change a thing about my time there if you are reading this and thinking about going from the bottom of my heart take that leap and do it. you will not regret it. Sebastian Potts 2017
During my gap year between high school and university, I volunteered in Bennde Mutale for four months. It was an amazing time and I would not want to miss it for anything!
With Kruger Park right next door and a stunning bush landscape, a homestay with lovely and very welcoming people - you are in the middle of African life. On weekdays, I was primarily volunteering in the crèche and the after-school program, helping out with teaching, which was a very rewarding experience. The kids, no matter how young, were very eager to learn something new as well as to teach you new things too (such as counting in Venda or their favourite ball games). On weekends, we mostly went out and explored the surrounding regions - Kruger Park (bucket list: tick; AMAZING!), Makuya Park, Phalaborwa, and even a short trip to the amazing scenery of the Drakensberg! Or, just stay in the village for some peaceful hours, enjoying local life, and a delicious braai in the evening.
All in all, I had a very rewarding experience, that I would recommend to anyone looking for some amazing adventure in the African bush with lovely people! Ladina 2016, 2017
Having volunteered with Friends of Mutale a number of times over the course of a few years, I can absolutely say that the experience of volunteering and living in Bennde Mutale is an experience of a lifetime.
Bennde Mutale is the most northeastern village in South Africa, so the remote location without access to "city life" and it's amenities requires complete immersion into the daily life and culture of the Venda people. The Venda are very warm and welcoming - the highlight of my trip may have been the homestay with village elders.
Wait - perhaps the highlight was living next door to Kruger National Park and the weekend get-aways into the bush.
Or, wait...maybe the highlight was working with the children in the village - who so desperately need a quality education and promise of hope.
Tough to choose the highlight of my experience with Friends of Mutale as the children, culture and weekend activities all qualify as an authentic African experience. Erin Kaiser
What to pack
You don’t need brand new clothing, hand washing and the sun can take their toll on fibres. Feel free to bring clothing which you know won’t go back home with you and donate it to the Host Organisation as they will give it out to those who need it.
Sleeping bag (essential)
Head torch/torch and batteries (essential)
Camera (also for taking ID photos)
Battery charger/spare batteries
Long trousers (for walks/evenings)
Beanie, gloves and scarf (especially during winter)
Sun hat - very important for Zimbabwe
Working/gardening gloves (for potential conservation work)
Walking socks/thick socks
Hiking type shoes
Comfortable shoes (time off)
Small rucksack/day bag (for when going on activities)
Water bottle/camelback (at least 1L capacity)
Sun cream (SPF 30+)
After sun lotion
Binoculars (8x42 or 10x42 recommended)
Plug adapter (South African three-pronged and two-pronged plug sockets available)
Money, typically while in the community you will not need more than $30 - $50 per week.
If you have any old football boots in the back of the cupboard and space in your luggage then please squeeze them in, we are always on the lookout!
Find out ways to fund your trip
If you are ready to start planning your trip but discouraged by a financial roadblock, Aspect Africa has another solution for you. We have teamed up with FundMyTravel, who provides us with an online platform where you can fundraise for your meaningful travel experience. You create a campaign page, complete a brief profile to build trust, add a video and tell your story!
FundMyTravel has a team of dedicated staff that will help participants reach their fundraising goals. They can provide tips and insights on the best ways to spread your word and offer sharing tools to get your campaign greater exposure through social media and email. Click the button above to learn more and get started!
Through a partner programme with World Nomads, a small commission is paid to Aspect Africa which we will be able to pass onto our host oganisations if you purchase Travel Insurance here