Partner With Envoys

We collaborate with partner schools and organizations to customize programming in South Africa.

South Africa

South Africa

Participants develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for South African people, history, and culture that is deeply enriching.

We delve into the history of apartheid, examining both the international actions against the policies as well as how the system created economic imbalances within modern South Africa. Through our partnership with the Calabash Trust, we partner with school and community groups in Port Elizabeth to make lasting connections and ensure a mutually beneficial exchange.

  • [Envoys] knows kids extremely well…they know how to be cool with them while still commanding authority and establishing ground rules…I was incredibly impressed with the protocols established and put in place by Envoys.

    Micah M., Traveling Faculty Friends Seminary Peru 2015
  • With its emphasis on empathy and general intelligence in planning, Envoys has quickly emerged as a premier global program provider. They are well worth the attention of any of our schools.

    Paul Miller Former Director of Global Initiatives,NAIS
  • Envoys was at the top of their game from start to finish. What initially interested me was their focus on curriculum during pre-departure meetings and the program itself. Envoys cares deeply about the experience of the participants and faculty. [They] constantly ask for constructive criticism and make changes when necessary.

    Joe Vogel, Executive Director Global Education Benchmark Group
  • Envoys carefully constructed an educational trip for students that purposefully engaged them to think, reflect, act, and enjoy. The travel logistics were always well-planned, and I had peace of mind knowing that my teen-aged daughter was in safe, responsible, and caring hands

    Alice T, Parent Deerfield South Korea, 2015
  • I could not have been more satisfied with the performance of Envoys throughout the entire process of planning and executing this trip. All Envoys staff demonstrated the utmost professionalism and dedication, as well as knowledge and competence. I am so glad that [we] chose to partner with Envoys!

    Rick S, Traveling Faculty Hingham Japan 2015
  • The team at Envoys did their very best to ensure that the the “i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed.” The staff was also quick to respond to any and all questions that arose prior, during and after the trip. My husband and I greatly appreciated the time Envoys took to provide preparation tips as well the planned activity schedules to help make our child’s South African trip a safe and memorable adventure”

    Regina J, Parent Dalton South Africa 2014
  • We had an amazing program. It was a biology teacher’s dream and Felipe and his crew couldn’t have been more thorough and professional to work with. Thanks for all of your efforts to organize an unforgettable experience for us all.

    Gerry, Traveling Faculty LCC Colombia, 2016
  • As a parent I felt the experience was well orchestrated and managed by Envoys. As a participant my daughter loved the whole experience; it is something she will treasure for the rest of her life

    Linda T, Parent Hingham Japan 2015
  • I don’t think it is possible to pull a trip like the Amazon and the many activities that you directed without the sense of purpose you have, without your drive for experiential learning for teenagers. All our experiences with the envoys team were amazing!

    Angela, Traveling Faculty RoundSquare Colombia 2015
  • It was not only the good times with our friends or the relationships we built but how we were after we came back, returning to this agitated society with a new view of ourselves and not just our impact on the world, but the world’s impact on us.

    Gabriela, Student Deerfield Colombia, 2014
  • The individuals we worked with, without exception, were all professional, courteous, patient, and greatly attentive to detail. As stated above, Envoys is flexible and works hard to make sure that if you have custom aspects to a trip that you want to add, they will work hard to make it happen for you.

    Adam H, Faculty Belmont Hill Japan 2016
  • I can honestly say that this was the best 10 days of my entire life. I feel as though I have grown as a person, and that I have made lifelong connections. This experience changed my life, so thank you very much to the entire Envoys staff!

    Eliza C, Student Hingham Japan 2015
  • Every single person working for Envoys is excellent and committed to the kids and their experience, not just during the trip, but before and after. We would recommend Envoys to anyone looking for a high quality and enriching summer experience.

    Amy G, Parent Envoys Malawi 2014 & 2015
  • The Envoys staff has been amazing. I have bonded with each of them in different ways and they made the trip to Colombia nicer that I expected. Envoys helped me open myself up to interacting with the locals wherever we traveled!

    Illeana G, Student Deerfield Colombia 2014
  • My goals were to learn about post-conflict Colombia and step out of my comfort zone. These were fulfilled each and every day through activities, reflections, and first-hand experience.

    Julia D, Student GEBG Colombia 2016
  • I was incredibly impressed by the care taken by Envoys. Before we even hit the ground, there was an emphasis on comprehending impact on our destination’s environment that I appreciated..Throughout the trip, our Envoys leaders made sure that we continued to be conscious of impact. That awareness of cause and effect is something that often gets lost when traveling, and Envoys did not allow it to. During this trip, there was never a moment I did not feel safe and cared for nor a moment where I did not feel I was learning something!

    Keylee S, Student Dalton South Africa 2014
  • “Many student groups participate in ‘Voluntourism’. This trip did not attempt that, but rather funneled the collective energy of each member into meaningful, mutually beneficial cultural interactions..Thank you so much for this unforgettable and transformational experience.

    Altana, Student Friends Seminary South Africa, 2016
  • The Envoys staff were very open about sharing their first-hand experiences, which was a game-changed in terms of learning about post-apartheid South Africa. Also, having everything planned to the T made me feel very safe. I knew that I was in good hands.

    Gio H, Student Friends Seminary South Africa 2016
  • The Envoys Staff were exceptionally committed to us and to the goals of our trip. They were thoughtful, kind, caring, friendly, with great sense of humor, yet serious in their connection to the ethos of professional development that was our trip’s purpose. I was struck over and over again by how they literally RAN to be in the right place to respond to any given situation.

    Constance, Traveling Faculty Friends Seminary Colombia 2016

Program Partner

The Calabash Trust is a non-profit and public benefit organisation in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, who has been working on various programs in partnership with local schools and communities in the urban township areas for over 14 years. The trust facilitates the development of community schools through parent and community engagement, using Asset Based Community-led Development (ABCD), story-telling, arts and permaculture design as tools. The main focus of the trust is on helping people acknowledge their own assets to use for social and economic upliftment.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1-2 (Arrival)

We fly into Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the most popular tourist destination on the African continent. Cape Town’s stunning surroundings and historical sites are emblematic of South Africa as a whole. Along with the dramatic landscape, traveling to Cape Town provides students with opportunities to delve more deeply into South Africa’s complex political history, learning about the conflicts, atrocities, and triumphs of the ‘rainbow nation’.

Day 3-5 (Cape Town)

We spend three days exploring the city and environs, starting with a trip to the top of Table Mountain. Journeying to the top of Table Mountain via cable car is a ‘must-do’ for every visitor to Cape Town. We continue through the park for 60 kilometers outside of the city to the Natural World Heritage Site of Cape Point. Taking the short walk to the Cape of Good Hope provides a rare opportunity to combine natural beauty and historical significance

We continue with a visit to Robben Island, famed site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment. The island sits a short ferry ride from the city. Former political prisoners serve as our escorts, explaining how South Africa’s rich heritage is embodied in Robben Island’s multi-layered history. We also visit the District Six Museum, which serves as a memorial to the forced movement of more than 60,000 inhabitants of District Six during the apartheid period. We tour the museum and learn about the state-sanctioned system of racial discrimination and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny.

Day 6 (Port Elizabeth)

We travel by plane to Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s largest and most welcoming cities. We are met by leaders from the Calabash Trust, a community-based NGO working to develop sustainable improvements in local schools.

Following lunch at the Donkin Reserve, we travel outside of the city to stay at the ‘Red Location Backpackers’. Owned by local women, this hotel is based in the midst of one of the oldest townships in South Africa. Staying here allows students to learn about the realities of township life, while supporting the women owners to develop their business.

Day 7 (Port Elizabeth)

We begin with an exploration of “Art Route 67”, comprising 67 public works by local artists that symbolize Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of work dedicated to the freedom of South Africa.

Following a visit to local art galleries, we journey to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to meet with members of the Unako student group. Unako students travel into the local communities to provide after-school enrichment, ranging from arts and drama to spelling competitions.

Days 8-12 (Port Elizabeth)

We visit several schools that are part of the Calabash Trust network, including WB Tshume Primary School, Joe Slovo Primary School, Charles Duna Public School, and Samkelwe Secondary School. During this time, we meet with school leaders and teachers to discuss the realities of educational life in South Africa. We also learn more about the projects undertaken by the Calabash Trust to bring community members into the life of the school, focusing on the creation of permaculture projects and asset-based development. Students spend time observing classes, sharing their skills, and engaging in collaborative projects to learn more about each other’s culture. We close the visit with a group dinner of local Xhosa cuisine, taking time to celebrate our learning and develop connections for the future.

Day 13

We spend our last full day in South Africa checking off one of the ‘must sees’ for our trip. We take a photo-safari to see the “Big Five’ in Addo Elephant Park and Scotia Game Reserve, closing our day with a spectacular dinner in the bush.

Day 14

International Flights back home