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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

By Jesse Baron

“Every human being has a basic instinct: to help each other out. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.”

This quote is from the movie/novel The Martian, in which a man is sent to Mars but accidentally left behind. NASA then tirelessly works to rescue him. Cape Town is flooded with those who care, and we see this in the thousands of non-profit organisations working relentlessly to help communities. We can join these people. And you don’t need to go to Mars and back to help.


If you have a soft spot for our furry, winged and pawed friends, you can give your time to the NGOs below.


This non-profit aims to save seabirds, and it operates in Tableview and Gqeberha. You can help them run the daily operations of these centres on the weekend or during the week. Their primary focus is the African penguin, but they rescue and rehabilitate other marine species and release them back into the ocean. What can be expected of you? 

  • Help rehabilitate the seabirds
  • Assist with cleaning, feeding and transportation 
  • Marketing/fundraising

There are also opportunities for internships and training if you would like to rehabilitate animals. SANCCOB is just one non-profit that you can volunteer to and make a difference.


Tears is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming dogs and cats. You can donate your time by volunteering at their centre in Sunnydale. You would have to go through an orientation, and after that, you would assist with training, walking, and playing with the puppies, dogs, and cats. If you do not have time, you can always drop by their charity shops and purchase books and all sorts of gems, which will help fund their non-profit.

Help Children and ELDERLY

There are children in the Western Cape who are neglected or abandoned every day. Many NGOs take them in, but they require a lot of community support. You can create an impact by volunteering to change the lives of young children positively.

Rainbow of Hope

This non-profit helps mistreated children and acts as a sanctuary for them. It is a home for them, and you can assist by filling out a form for volunteering, buying from their charity shops, or helping with their maintenance. Their goal is to care for children in need and end the cycle of neglect through raising these children.

Nazareth House Cape Town

Nazareth House is not too far from UCT, and it provides not only frail care but also long-term care for children aged 5-18. These children have disabilities such as cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome and foetal alcohol syndrome and will most likely be permanently in care. You can assist by volunteering to read to the children and elderly and assist in the charity shop. There are other ways you can support this NGO, such as assisting with care for the elderly or entertaining the children. Fill out a form and volunteer!

Help Communities

Helping can range from banding together to clean up communities to feeding those needing food. These are both honourable deeds: one nurtures the earth we stand upon, and the other nurtures the destitute.

Intaka Island

Volunteer and help preserve the earth by uprooting alien plants, picking up litter, and managing green waste. Intaka Island is located in the middle of Century City and is known as a home to hundreds of bird and plant species. By keeping Intaka Island clean, you will be saving the habitat of all these species. In your free time, help clean Cape Town.

Ladles of love

Ladles of love has a warm name for their members: love activists. People who help local communities in need by holding weekly soup kitchens for the hungry, handling urban gardens and more. Volunteer quickly as they put up weekly programmes that one has to book for. You can provide children with hot meals and help tend a garden in Ocean View all in one week if you wish.

We all have the time, and we all can make it. When the holidays roll upon us, try volunteering the most precious thing you can give: your time. Cape Town is diverse and full of non-profits that anyone can join. You can choose to assist animals, children, or whole communities. Naturally, humans are prone to helping each other out in difficult times, and we have found ourselves in difficult times. What are you going to do to help? 

I am a undergrad student majoring in English Lit and Media and writing.Extremely nervous for what's coming but equally elated for the new experiences.I have a great interest in the arts and business worlds as I think they go hand in hand. They are a peculiar pair but I have faith in their relationship as we would all benefit from it. My other interests are writing as well as reading have novels but I would be lying if I said they were always my passion. I had(have) a freakish obsession with movies as well as series of all genres. Picture a girl scrolling through her phone for 2 hours researching a film only to pick the one I thought of in the beginning. After I watch a film I sometimes like to do research on them to get context or to just get some understanding. The movie Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro is a fascinating animation that only is appreciated fully if one researches how it was produced. (Cue cheesy line)Similar to a life one can only appreciate it once you know who and how it was produced.I couldn't not squeeze myself into 3 paragraphs and no this doesn't truly capture me but it has a fun tangent on movies. P.S Horror movies are poetry