Each year, Grassroot Soccer selects a small group of recent college graduates and young adults to serve as unpaid volunteers in Africa. Volunteers fill crucial roles and assist in the successful delivery of Grassroot Soccer’s programs in Cape Town, South Africa. Volunteer placements offer valuable work experience in fields such as international health and education, HIV/AIDS prevention, and youth development through sports. Most importantly, volunteers develop meaningful, long-term relationships with team and community members to help build capacity, local ownership, and ultimately sustainability.
Grassroot Soccer volunteers come from many walks of life. Most have recently graduated from college or even finished a graduate degree, while others are young professionals who have been working for several years. Although the volunteer class is diverse in terms of background and life experience, each volunteer embodies several key character traits, which are consistent throughout the group: flexibility, creativity, independence, open-mindedness, enthusiasm, cultural sensitivity, and passion.
Volunteers are an integral part of the GRS team and significantly help run the daily operations of the organization. In the early years of Grassroot Soccer programming, volunteers had been directly involved with curriculum delivery. Today, volunteers are primarily focused on logistical and programmatic support.
Volunteers will be assigned to office-based departments, including marketing & communications, monitoring & evaluation, operations, partnerships, and programs. These volunteers can expect to be called upon to provide a variety of support services. All volunteers are expected to abide by the same human resource and personnel policies as paid staff.
Find your specific job descriptions for our volunteer program
Volunteer placements are based in Cape Town, South Africa with potential travel to GRS’s program & partner sites in southern Africa. The volunteer placement is a yearlong (12 months) position and will most usually last from early August until the end of the following July. There will be an orientation in Cape Town, South Africa to familiarize volunteers with GRS culture and programs, as well as provide volunteers with an opportunity for team building.
Grassroot Soccer does not provide financial compensation to Volunteers or transportation to/from South Africa. Throughout the course of the entire volunteer placement, it is the volunteer’s own responsibility to source funding for airfare, transportation, visa fees, required health insurance, meals, personal activities/travel, and incidentals. Grassroot Soccer suggests that volunteers plan to have $10,000 available to support themselves during their volunteer placement year. For those who will need to fundraise in order to have the necessary dollars to support their volunteer placement, GRS will provide suggestions and guidelines to assist with fundraising.
Grassroot Soccer has a strong network of nearly 200 former volunteers who continue to be engaged in GRS after completing their year long service commitment. Many former volunteers have continued working for GRS as country directors, program managers, and various other staff roles, while other alumni have pursued various jobs and professional degrees in the fields of medicine, education, and public health to name a few.
Most alumni continue to be engaged in the alumni network and many participate in GRS-related events and activities such as fundraisers, Endurance Events and Soccer Tournaments. Alumni are also consistently communicating about volunteer work, and GRS regularly reaches out to its alumni network for job opportunities and postings with its partner organizations, affiliates, and key stakeholders.
The experience with Grassroot Soccer doesn’t end after the yearlong placement!
The 2017-2018 volunteer application process is now OPEN. GRS accepts and processes applications on a rolling basis with a goal of filling the placements by April 30, 2017. To find out more about the application process and what life is like as a GRS volunteer, please visit our FAQ page.Apply Now