Flexibility to run your own programs and lessons
Using your initiative to create activities
Helping children develop life and educational skills
Experience working with children and groups within an organisation
Facilitating new experiences for children
Learning about South African culture and way of life
Making new friends for life
The Western Cape, where the program is based, is a very culturally diverse area of South Africa. There is a large integration of the poor with the wealthy. The children in this program range from 0 to 14 years old and live in the townships in Cape Town such as Dunoon or Site 5. Most of them can speak English, yet their mother tongue may be Afrikaans or Xhosa. The homes they live in are often built from scrap metal and second-hand wood and usually do not have running water. Forty percent of the families in these areas lack a male head of household and the children often have no one to monitor their educational progress or after-school activities. Furthermore, alcohol and drug abuse is common in the townships where they live and especially at this age they are susceptible to recruitment by local gangs.
Day 1: Welcome to South Africa
You are collected from the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation in Tableview where you can check in and get comfortable before your welcome orientation and evening BBQ (braai). You will also receive your arrival package which includes a little bag, t-shirt, welcome book and sim card.
Day 2: Orientation Tour of Cape Town
You will head in to Cape town with a member of staff who will take you on a walking tour of Cape Town together with the other new arrivals.
After the walking tour you can take a bus or walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sit back and sip a cocktail, enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around taking in the shops, markets and musicians on the sidewalks. Alternatively, you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era (own expense).
In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View. Sunday dinner is a DIY evening, allowing volunteers to show case their local meals or join in a bring and BBQ.
Volunteers work 5 days a week from Monday to Friday. Mondays are office based for both new and old volunteers. New volunteers receive their teacher training and additional information on our projects and the areas they will be working at. Old volunteers assist with planning for the week, equipment maintenance, re-organising storage spaces for equipment, donation sorting etc. Working hours at the school or educare center are between 08:00 and 14:00 or 09:00 and 12:00. Some days volunteers will work a full 8 hours and other days 4 to 5 hours depending on the needs of the project.
Volunteers will help in the daily running of the projects including:
- Teaching lessons to children in the older groups (colours, letters, shapes, art etc.) as well as teaching English through play and vocabulary stimulation
- Stimulating smaller children in the younger groups with developmental toys, touch and by speaking English to them. We believe that speaking English to the children will assist them as they get older as English is compulsory later in their education. The earlier they learn, the more they will benefit.
- Educating children in life lessons such as HIV, drugs etc.
- Supervising children at all times
- Helping with events and fundraising
- Administration, lesson planning, developmental activities, research etc. This is mostly done after project hours in preparation for upcoming days. You may be required to do some of these tasks in your free time.
- Helping with the baby room (changing diapers, feeding babies, assisting with naptime)
- Assisting in the vegetable garden where we grow fresh produce for their meals
- Helping with washing up after meals, cleaning classrooms, washing bedding and toys
- Maintaining a safe and hygienic environment for the children at all times
- Many of the children do not pay school fees so the school's funds are stretched and any assistance is welcomed.
This project runs all year round, however, during school holidays we run the project according to our holiday program which mainly takes place in the settlements/townships where they live. The program includes sports days, game days, outings to the beach or pools etc. During the holidays it's a time for the kids to have fun so the programs are less structured and may change depending on the number of children that arrive on the day. Working hours are generally from 08:00 to 14:00. Depending on the funds available you could also be involved in a construction or renovations program (building work, vegetable gardens, painting etc.).
School Holidays 2019:
15 Mar - 02 Apr
14 Jun - 09 Jul
20 Sep - 01 Oct
06 Dec - 09 Jan 2020
In addition there are a lot of public holidays spread throughout the year. Please note that during the holidays, it's a time for the kids to have fun, so the programs are less structured and may change depending on the number of children that arrive on the day.
Due to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations between December 23th - Jan 1st, all projects in Cape Town are closed, however, volunteers may still use the accommodation and food and join us for Christmas lunch on the 25th.
With every new arrival we have a safety and orientation briefing where we discuss issues such as general safety in South Africa for example, what to do in the settlements, where not to go, what to do in case of an emergency, sea currents, HIV AIDS and crime. There is a volunteer co-ordinator with our volunteers at all times while on project to ensure the safety of the children and volunteer. We offer all our volunteers 24/7 support and assistance.
2-day orientation in Cape Town
Three meals a day
Transport to and from your project
24-hour support and supervision
Weekly social events
Donation to the project
Certificate of appreciation
Minimum age of 18
Police clearance certificate
Intermediate to advanced level of competency in English
Copy of return flight itinerary
Acceptance subject to availability
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.