By CJ ROPER, DIRECTOR, AFRICAN SUNRISE
From our experiences, we’ve noticed that a lot of people who volunteer in South Africa opt to arrive at the same time as people who undertake internships, which is the South African spring and summer periods. Interns are obligated to do their internships to coincide with their university semesters, which means that the spring and summer are the only options available to them. Volunteers don’t usually have the same restrictions – they can usually take time off at any point during the year, depending on gap years, studies, or holidays. So why not choose May, June or July – where we will need all the help we can get for our projects?
Many volunteers do not think of coming during the autumn and winter months, and this often leaves our projects and initiatives with less assistance.
Winter volunteering can be a great experience, especially for volunteers who have already experienced a summer volunteering experience. Blanket drives can be done, the homes of safety, where our children reside, often need extra help during the rainy season.
Cape Town weather can be unpredictable – the colder months are May, June and July. Our winters are mild compared to most Northern Hemisphere countries. Sunshine, rain, overcast, wind: you’ll experience it all during a good Capetonian winter. This is what the facts say: The average high temperature during winter is 17 degrees with a minimum temperature of 8 degrees in June, July and August. Rainfall in Cape Town is between 82mm in August and 105 mm in June.
With a lot of our projects, you will get first-hand experience of how vulnerable people try to cope with weather conditions when they lack the basic necessities. If you really want to make a difference, come and join us during the winter months, where we’ll feed the homeless, fundraise for blankets, raincoats or gumboots, and play lots of sports with the children to keep them warm!
For those doing a gap-year, why not volunteer in the last winter months, going into spring, where Cape Town blossoms. Our projects need your help all year round, so book a volunteering experience with us, and together we can make the winter months so much better for those in need. Our team can match you to a project that will best suit you, as well as those you would like to help – be it babies, children or adults in need.