The Volunteer


In addition to our permanent programme at our arts centres, Dramatic Need hosts international and local volunteers in creative fields (please see the "Required Experience" section for more details of who we accept onto our volunteer programme). Volunteers travel to rural South Africa to host workshops with children living in underprivileged communities.




We prefer for volunteers to work at our art centres for a period of between three and eight weeks, either individually or in teams of 2 - 4 people. Workshops are based around the particular expertise of the volunteer, be it drama, visual arts, music, film or dance. Dramatic Need provides a support framework and guidance on workshop themes and methods, and the volunteer is required to submit a workshop outline ahead of their placement. 


We encourage volunteers to stay as long as their work/study schedule permits, so both students and volunteers can get as much out of the programme as possible.

Interested in 


Dramatic Need currently has links with 19 schools in South Africa, reaching almost 5,000 school-aged children in some of the most impoverished and isolated parts of these countries. The Dramatic Need Programme is very much a cultural exchange, with volunteers often learning as much from the children as the children do from the volunteer.



*Please note that we do not accept volunteers for less than 20 days and that the maximum length of a volunteer programme is two months. Local volunteers can choose to break up this time over an extended time (for example, individual weekends over a six-month-period). Consistency and sustainability are two aspects of Dramatic Need’s work we take very seriously and any programme shorter than three weeks risks being disruptive to the children’s schooling schedule rather than beneficial and instructive.

Contact Us

For general enquiries, contact:


England and Wales Charity Number: 1119443

England and Wales Company Number: 06051122


South Africa Non-Profit Company Number: 2017/212994/08

USA 501(c)(3) Foundation Number: 82-1037862


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All content © 2006 - 2020 by Dramatic Need. All rights reserved.


Dramatic Need is a registered charity and company in England and Wales, numbers 1119443 and 06051122 respectively; a registered non-profit company in South Africa, number 2017/212994/08; and a registered 501(c)(3) foundation in the USA, number 82-1037862 


Official Patron: Her Excellency, Dr. Lindiwe Mabuza, former South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.


Board of Trustees UK and South Africa: Ms. Vanessa Garwood, Mr. Phil Drew, Mr. Simon Oakes, Ms. Amanda Lambert, 

Mr Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Mr James Mullighan and Ms Helia Ebrahimi. 

Board of Trustees USA: Ms. Aubrey Henderson Siegel, Ms. Amanda Lambert, Ms Holly Noland Dunlap.