"> Primary School Teaching - Cape Verde- IVI Volunteers

Primary School Teaching

Join IVI Volunteers in Cape Verde and teach English to primary school children. Located in Tarrafal, a small coastal town with deep blue waters and beautiful beaches, you will assist at the local school, inspiring and educating young children. Using fun games and creative ideas, you will teach basic English skills to help them gain a better future.



Program Description

You will be interacting with and educating children, preparing them for future careers, in which knowing the English language can be extremely beneficial to them. You as a Westerner can greatly increase the children’s cultural awareness also.

There are 30 children in kindergarten and 260 students in the primary school, 130 of them being girls. There are only 5 educators for these children and so they could greatly benefit from your help.

Describing the background of this town in more detail, it generally falls to the mothers to raise their children alone, and who work hard to keep things running. This leaves very little time for attending to the children’s education. The men are either abroad, working as fishermen or living in other areas working as laborers. Many of the kids live with neighbours or their grandmothers. A household in Cape Verde has an average of 4 children; wealthy families usually have two kids and poorer families generally have more children. It is not unusual for children to frequently move houses within their extended families.

Cape Verde has a history of economic issues, particularly droughts, however the local people display strong sense of community and bonds with family members.

Program Duration & Availability

Min duration (weeks):1

Aims & Objectives

Teaching English to primary or kindergarten children, using fun, educational and inspiring games and lessons, to help prepare them for the future. Introducing them to the environment and teaching on geography.


Monday to Friday

  • Primary School or Kindergarten English teaching
  • Educating using activities such as board games, playdough and colouring books.
  • Physical education games to encourage team building and good health.
  • Introduction to colours, shapes and other intellectual exercises.
  • Basic lessons on numbers and the English alphabet.
  • Playground games and translating the actions in English.
  • Introduction to the natural and man-made environment, teaching names of trees, water, leaves, grass, metal, water, taps, buildings etc.
  • Reading short stories, poems and songs that are popular with the children.
  • Teaching on geography, where they come from and other worldwide countries across the globe.
  • Creating lesson plans for the following days teaching.
  • Maintaining a file on each subject that has been covered by yourself, to enable future volunteers in avoiding repetition and making it an easy transition for the next teacher.


Tarrafal (also named Mangui or Mangu), gets its name from the indigenous plant Tarrafe (Tamarix senegalensis). It is located on the Northern part of Santiago island. It is also a municipality (government town) and a fishing town.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

You will share a room on a single gender basis. The bathrooms areas shared, with western toilets available.

Available Room Types

Standard Room
All meals included Yes *
Free beverages Yes **
Persons per room 4 – 8
Wifi in public areas Yes
Laundry facilities No
Safety box No
Lockable rooms Yes
Hot shower Yes
Private bathroom No
Bed linen Yes
Towels No
Air conditioning No
Fan Yes
Mosquito protection No

* Three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the week and two meals (breakfast, dinner) during weekends
** Tea, Coffee and Drinking water

Food Arrangements

Local food is a mix of West African, European and Portuguese cuisine. Typical is fresh seafood, corns, beans, rice, potatoes, stews and vegetables. Your daily meals will contain a mix of local and various types of Western food.


There are ATMs, small supermarkets and some shops and restaurants available in the city centre.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On your first Monday you will join our welcome orientation day, to get familiarised with your new surroundings, as well as the local culture. Your project will continue as usual from Tuesday and throughout the rest of the week.


  • Welcome meeting, introduction to Cape Verdean traditions and customs, general house rules, code of conduct and sorting important documents
  • Basic Kriolu language lesson
  • Visit to the local supermarket and ATMs, a tour of the nearby surroundings and the volunteer centre.
  • Lunch
  • Spend some time on Mar De President beach, before returning back to the accommodation for dinner.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Tarrafal Beach

Tarrafal beach is the closest to where you will be staying and is situated in a pretty cove, popular for snorkelling and diving in its deep blue waters. This is the perfect way to relax on your day off, plus it’s said to be the best beach on the island!

Santa Maria Beach

This stunning beach is one of Cape Verde’s most popular and is situated on Sal island. With golden sand and turquoise blue waters, perfect for swimming, this is the ultimate beach lover’s paradise. There are numerous hotels and restaurants nearby too.

Santa Monica Beach

This is a huge beach on Boa Vista island, stretching for 10km. Much quieter, with few resorts, this expansive beach is perfect for those looking for a more deserted place, away from tourists.

Santo Antao Island

The most Western island in Cape Verde, Santo Antao is the most ‘off the beaten track’ and packed with lush green forest, banana, papaya and mango trees, tall mountains, terrace fields and many walking trails. This island was made for a true adventure!

Pedra de Lume Salt Mines

Visit the salt mines on Sal island, where you can even soak in the salty water. They are surrounded by old volcanic craters and a pretty spectacular view.

Go Shark Spotting

Also on Sal island, is Shark Bay, where you will find groups of lemon sharks swimming up and down the coast line. You can swim out close to them as they are not harmful to humans.

Pico do Fogo

Pico do Fogo is an active volcano on Fogo island, which sits at 2829m. For those who love outdoor adventures, you can climb the peak, which will take around 3-6 hours.

Cidade Velha Old Fort

Cidade Velha old fort is situated on Santiago island (where you will be staying) and is the remains of an old fortress and town built by the Portuguese in 1462. Its situated on a hill with stunning views out over the island.

Mindelo City

This is a very pretty city, with cobbled streets, colourful colonial buildings and a relaxing harbour. Its situated on the island of Sao Vicente, which is known for its music, culture and nightlife, as well as its carnivals. Mindelo is a lively and traditional town with lots of live music during the evenings.

Praia City

This is the bustling and lively capital of Santiago island, home to a great local market selling fresh produce and spices. Here you will find many restaurants, colonial buildings and museums.

Cape Verde has many other exciting activities on offer from horse riding, quad biking, fishing, diving, snorkelling, turtle viewing, kite surfing, and sightseeing in the old colonial towns and villages.

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