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ZOTE, South Africa  in SOWETO is located in the heart of South Africa’s Youth uprising in 1976, Orlando West, near the historical matchbox homes of two prominent Noble Peace Prize winners, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.  The area has now blossomed into an International Tourist Site, inviting hundreds of visitors to the site monthly.  

Orlando West area is located in the Southwest area of Johannesburg and can be considered a little bustling city.   Volunteers will have the unique experience in sharing in the diverse cultures and languages of families in Soweto.  Historically, Soweto was developed to house workers coming from all corners and home lands in South Africa.  So volunteers can hear almost all the official South African languages while living in Soweto.

It has supermarkets and shopping centers, cafes and restaurants, movie theatres, and outside markets.  

The culture of Soweto is very vibrant.  People are always outside, some sitting around in front of homes discussing politics; children are frequently running and playing on the roads; and cars and tax-vans beeping to collect or drop off daily commuters.  Soweto will have a mix smell of any other city.  Smells of different foods and desserts, soil, trees, and car exhaust.

Volunteers will live with host families in brick and mortar homes.  Most homes in Soweto are clean and comfortable, some larger and more impressive than others. Volunteers will have their own room with bathroom facilities Families spend resources extending homes to make room for rentals, or other business generating opportunities.  Sowetan’s are very entrepreneurial, so homes may have internet cafes or small food shops.

The head of the household is typically the Mom or Grandma.  They will serve as the best resource for volunteers. Soweto’s weather is moderate depending on the season, but the nights are very cool.

There is shopping facilities in the state of the art Maponya Mall, where all young people frequent.  

Urban Soweto