"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." - Nelson Mandela

At Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University we offer study abroad students the opportunity to make a difference in communities where assistance is much needed. Students can volunteer through our service learning initiatives by assisting at one of our approved community service learning projects.

This service learning is offered as a credit bearing module where students can obtain 8 NMMU credits (2 USA credits / 4 ECTS credits) for volunteering 2 hours per week, attending community service learning workshops and submitting a journal and visual presentation on their experiences at the projects.

Students who have too many credits or very little time in their university study timetable but would love to give back and make a difference are also welcome to volunteer without obtaining the credits or submitting a journal and presentation. These students are, however, encouraged to attend the workshops as these provide the necessary platform and guidance when volunteering in South African communities.

At Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University we strive to live by one of our core values, the spirit of Ubuntu, meaning "humanity to others" and "I am what I am because of who we all are". So what are you waiting for live the spirit of Ubuntu and Make a Difference in the lives of others.

Nelson Mandela Speaking on Ubuntu:

“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu - the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity." "We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” - Desmund Tutu

Our Community Projects

Youth Care Centre

Maranatha Streetworkers Trust (IT 814/2002) is a registered NPO. The General Manager of the project is Dr Trudi Basson who continues to oversee the organization that she founded over 11 years ago. There are a number of projects falling under our organization. Student Volunteer Project: Siyakatala at Maranatha (our primary project) is a Child and […]

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Little Angels
Child day care

Little Angel’s is situated in Walmer Township area. The day care was started by Joyce in a shanty with 38 children. She now has up to 105 children on her present premises. They range from 3 months to 6 years old. She teaches them to speak English and prepares them for pre-primary school. She is […]

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Pendla Primary School
Reading Corner

Pendla Primary school is located in New Brighton Township. Historically learners at this school have not had the opportunity to have individual reading sessions in class. We are hoping to develop and nurture a love for reading amongst the learners. Learners have been coming to the reading corner during recess and love the interaction and […]

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Zanethemba Babies Haven
Home For Abandoned Babies

The Zanethemba Charity Foundation was founded in March 2008 as a social outreach initiative by Father’s House Family Church in Port Elizabeth. The aim of the organisation is to reach out and make a difference to the orphans, widows and disadvantaged within the community. In September 2008 the Zanethemba Baby Haven opened its doors. The […]

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Cheshire Homes
Home for disabled adults

Cheshire Homes started in South Africa in 1965. There are six branches and sixteen homes in South Africa providing full time accommodation to severely and permanently dis Abled adults and children. Today 54 chronically physically adults, of both genders and all races, are permanently accommodated at the Home. 90% of our residents are entirely dependent […]

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Khaya Cheshire
Home for disabled childre

In 2001 Cheshire Home determined the need to initiate and start an outreach project. We opened a day care / inclusive education centre called Khaya Cheshire. This project has been a vibrant success as it positively impacts on the lives of disadvantaged disabled children, both physically and mentally disabled, from the disadvantaged community of Walmer […]

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Sinethemba Childrens Care Centre
Homework Club

Sinethemba” literally translates to “We have hope” in Xhosa, the native language of the Eastern Cape. This is the name of the home, and you will find fits in quite nicely. It is a children’s group home made up of an average of twenty six street children almost all of whom are orphans or come […]

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Thandusana Babies Home
Home For Abandoned Babies

Newton Park methodist Church opened the Thand’usana Babies safe home for abandoned and/or abused babies 0-2 years of age in Newton Park Port Elizabeth. Many of these will be HIV infected or affected infants. Thand’usana is caring for the physical, psycho-social, spiritual, medical and educational needs of the child. The home is a temporary safe […]

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Homework Club

Masifunde Learner Development is a proactive youth development organization. The team consists of a range of young professionals – locals and internationals with one goal: educating the youth of Walmer Township. At Masifunde they believe that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders and continuously strive to mould future role models of South Africa who can in […]

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SOS Children’s Village
Child Development

SOS Children’s Villages strongly believes in quality education as the means to break the cycle of marginalisation, poverty, violence and family breakdown, as it helps children to develop the necessary capabilities they need to live a life in dignity, with respect, and empowered to participate actively in their society. SOS Children’s Villages focuses on the […]

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NMMU Campus Health
Student nutrition project

NMMU Campus Health require assistance with our Nutrition project to assist needy students. This involves volunteer work, 1-2 hours per week – in the format of packing food. This is a feeding scheme for hungry Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students. It was a need identified as long ago as 2000 by Campus Health staff […]

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Bird rehabilitation

SAMREC is Port Elizabeth’s marine bird rehabilitation and education centre situated in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. The centre’s purpose isn’t just to rescue and rehabilitate, but to also inform and educate the public through their different programs.Tour our marine rehab and education centre and experience nature through sight, sound and touch. Visitors can experience […]

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