The South Africa Experience

Tues, May 16 to Wed, May 31, 2017

8-10 students are selected to participate in the South Africa Experience in Cape Town, South Africa.  

​Recruitment will begin in september 2017


TO LEARN: Participants will have an opportunity to explore inequality through the lens of the Jesuit conceptualization of social justice by being exposed to the political, sociological and economic issues associated with apartheid & post-apartheid South Africa

TO SERVE: Participants will work with those of the greatest need—the impoverished & challenged elderly and youth and children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic of Africa. (Working in a HIV/AIDS Ministry)

HISTORY OF LOCATION: Cape Town, located on the shore of Table Bay, hails as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It is the second most populous city of South Africa, the capital of the Western Cape, and the legislative capital of South Africa.

Although it is the most popular tourist destination on the continent of Africa with well-known landmarks Table Mountain and Cape Point, its history and present are plagued by the remnants of the apartheid regime and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There are many injustices that stem from the apartheid era, such as inadequate housing and sanitation, high unemployment, insufficient education, and high instances of poverty. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has claimed the lives of many and has orphaned children of all ages and levels of medical need.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The South Africa Experience is designed to expose Loyola University undergraduate students to the history of the apartheid regime, post-apartheid social injustices and progress, and the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Participants will spend approximately two weeks immersed in the culture, history, and ecology of Cape Town through nature & history tours and direct service in the city of Cape Town and in Cape Town's largest informal township, Khayelitsha (kai-e-li-tcha).

Participants in this international immersion program will learn, serve, reflect, travel, and live as one community. The program is rooted in an Ignatian spiritual foundation of finding God in all things and will include ongoing reflection within the community and during the program. 

10 students will be chosen to participate. Upon acceptance, all students will be required to participate in an overnight retreat held at a local retreat house, weekly meetings during the semester before travel, and a community living experience in Cape Town, South Africa. All participants will be asked to abstain from technology during the duration of the community living experience. Fundraising for the program will be done by the group and as individuals. 

SERVICE SITES: Participants will spend varying amounts of time during the experience volunteering at the following partnering organizations: 

  1. Nazareth House:  Located in Cape Town, one of the oldest non-profit organizations in South Africa run by the Sisters of Nazareth that provides specialized residential care to abandoned and neglected children, as well as the elderly.

  2. Fikelela Children’s Home:  Located in Khayelitsha Township providing safe, secure and nurturing home-based care for up to 40 children aged between 0-8 years that are either affected by, or infected with HIV/AIDS.

  3. Baphumelele Children's Home: Located in Khayelitsha Township, a place of safety for abandoned, neglected, or orphaned children from babies to 18 years of age. 

  4. Homeless Feeding Programme: Located in Cape Town, a community project helping provide essential meals for the homeless as well as assisting underprivileged children at the after-school programme. 

COST: Fundraising with a goal of $1,800. This covers air transportation (New Orleans/Cape Town) and local transportation, housing and meals for the entire week. Participants will be asked to fund-raise as a group and individually and assistance in such will be given. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance.

RECRUITMENT: Recruitment has ended for the 2017 South Africa Experiene program. Recruitment for the 2018 South Africa Experience will begin in September 2017 


  • Applications Due: Sunday, October 16, 2016
  • Interview Dates: October & November 2016
  • Post-Selection Meeting: November 2016
  • Pre-Trip Mandatory Overnight Retreat: Fri, Jan 20 to Sun, Jan 22
  • Pre-Trip Weekly Meetings: Evenings in Jan 2017 to May 2017
  • Pre-Trip Group Service Day: Saturday in Spring 2017 TBD
  • Post-Trip Written Reflection & Evaluation: July 2017
  • Post-Trip Reflection: August 2017
  • Hepatitis A Vaccination
  • U.S. Passport Required or South African Visa for Non-U.S. citizens
  • $100 non-refundable deposit upon acceptance

   For further information, write 

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