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Protecting Children

Situated on the famous Garden Route, the project is home to 23 children. These children were potential or actual street children, but with a lot of love and care, the project has managed to brighten their futures!

Protecting Children
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Overview:

Location Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round
Requirements
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You need a love for children and you should display sensitivity and empathy
Minimum Age: 21
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, police clearance certificate
Day of arrival Sunday
Day of departure Sunday

Highlights

  • Bring joy and make a difference to the lives of the children. 
  • Work with inspirational people from the community.
  • Experience the Garden Route’s natural beauty.
  • Get to know the Xhosa culture.
  • Take part in amazing activities outside the project.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

The project has been active for over 15 years and is home to children who are there for various reasons, ranging from having no home of their own, having parents who cannot afford to look after them, or having been abused. These children were potential, or actual, street children but with a lot of love and care the project has managed to get them all to go to school on a daily basis. These are children who really did not want to be on the streets but had no other option.

The children receive clothing, three meals a day, homework supervision, counselling, camps, art lessons, sports activities and outings. Those children who do have a family to go back to are helped by social workers who work on rehabilitating the children and then re-uniting them with their respective families. Once a child has left the shelter, the staff constantly visits the family and school to make sure all is well and provide any assistance. The shelter's open-door policy allows children who are not coping or who are experiencing further difficulties to return and live at the shelter.

The project has a wonderful, very dedicated, long-standing committee and staff members, but they do need financial support to ensure the continued success of their project. This has been an ongoing community development project and their continued success relies on sponsorship and donations.

Your Role

You will work from 08:00 – 14:00/15:00. On some days it may happen that you will be asked to stay until 16:00. Times depend on the needs of the centre on those specific days and what activities are planned for the children in the afternoons.

Daily tasks could include:

  • Cooking a meal for the children on a daily basis.
  • Sewing curtains or sweaters.
  • Providing teaching skills.
  • Helping with homework and educational games
  • Music and singing.
  • Art and dance.
  • Counselling.
  • Sports coaching.
  • Maintaining the shelter.
  • Mowing and trimming play areas at the Children’s Shelter and Youth Centre.

It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer, the time of year and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.

Accommodation

You will live in a backpackers based in The Crags, a rural suburb of greater Plettenberg Bay. The backpackers is set in a 5 hectare small-holding amidst indigenous forest and open grazing pastures. You are accommodated in shared rooms and/or in under-cover luxury Safari bow-tents that come fully equipped with carpets, beds, linen, electric blankets, lights etc. You will, where required, be sharing with one or two other volunteers. There are numerous bathrooms for communal access and use. The main homestead is equipped with an office, TV lounge, two kitchens plus a large verandah, with a residents’ bar, and two fire-hearths for those chilly nights. It is here that guests and hosts gather for social interaction and where evening meals are served for all to enjoy. Immediately adjacent is an outdoor braai (BBQ) area, while close by, is a combination plunge pool/hot-tub (the latter fired up for Fridays) plus a golf practice putting green and a proper boule/petanque track where guests soon get to know their co-guests. Bedding and towels are provided and your laundry will be regularly done on a wash and fold basis by the housekeeper. Free WiFi is available at the main homestead area only.

Testimonials

Isabela from Brazil

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"About my experience as a volunteer...it was incredible. To look the sincere smile, to receive the best hug and to feel the amazing energy from the children was one of the best experience of my life. After all, I'm sure I received much more than I gave. Thank you so much for give me that opportunity!"

Jessica from Brazil

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"Africa was such an awesome experience for me. Thanks for all the support. All days I remember the children and I really miss to spend my time with them, to wake up and know that I gonna see them and receive their love and attention. This experience was really grateful to me. I want to donate my time and myself to people more and more now. I also gonna get in at a project here in Brazil with a NGO that takes care of children too. So this experience also gave me the necessity to continue helping people. And I hope that I never stop."

Paulo from Brazil

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"I loved the experience so much. I really felt a part of something good. I learnt a lot with those kids and I'm sure we become very special to them. These children also helped to show me what the important things in life are! It was an amazing experience."

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"I was a volunteer at this project for only ten days. However, you get attached to these children. Most of them have a hard background, but the joy which lights up their faces will shower you with smiles and happiness. I'm studying education and teaching ability in Switzerland. It was interesting for me to see what was different and similar between such different places! This experience was rich and I learned a lot! This gave me more of an understanding about essential real life lessons. Thank you!"

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"For me, a 63 year old man, even in a short period of time (only two weeks), it was a great experience to participate in this project. Te be welcomed by all, but especially by children from 2-7 years old, it was wonderful as well. I could also help with some activities and suggestions for improvement."