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Unemployment

In 2016 the unemployment rate in South Africa was 26.6%. And has risen again in 2017 to nearly 28%. With the vast majority of the unemployed being between the ages of18 - 28, this has lead to a number of other social issues in the communities such as crime, gangsterism, alcoholism and abuse. With nearly 6.5 million South African’s out of work, the country is scrambling to try and boost employment, especially in lower level sectors, where education is poor. South Africa also has a massive influx of refugees and asylum seekers crossing our borders to escape war, famine and even more unemployment in Southern Africa. Good Hope Volunteers aims to boost the tourism sector, increase international travel and voluntourism, and support the local unemployed through our own initiatives. We support children's projects that encourage learners to stay in school and receive their education, and we actively employ and support a number of lower income earners in our business. We feel that if South Africa is going to battle these numbers in the future, we all need to be actively involved and take responsibility.

Pollution in the ocean and overfishing

Most pollution in the ocean, and our declining fish stocks, is a direct result of our growing population and uninformed and uneducated communities. The expanse of the ocean sometimes seems to hide the awful truth of marine pollution and overfishing, but the realities are staggering. And the effects of these issues are being felt around the world. The consequences of these marine issues threaten not only the animals that live within it, our coral reefs and beaches, but also the families that depend on the ocean for their livelihoods. Here are some interesting facts about the threats the ocean faces:

  • Nearly every single piece of plastic touched by every human in the history of the planet still exists. This is due to the fact that the time plastic takes to disintegrate is longer that the time that has elapsed since plastic was invented.
  • Over 1 million seabirds are killed by ingesting plastic pollution each year.
  • There is an island twice the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean made of trash.
  • Studies say that global sea fisheries will face total collapse by 2040. This means the point at which our oceans will NOT recover.

The conservation of the ocean, the education of all our children on how to protect the ocean, and the research being done on the animals and processes is what Good Hope Volunteers is supporting. If you would like to be part of the change, and to protect this precious resource, join our Ocean Conservation project today.

Poaching

The illegal killing, maiming and stealing of wild animals and the products they produce is a very heart wrenching problem in South Africa, and throughout the world. Many of the products produced such as ivory, rhino horn, the claws and faces of lion, and scales of pangolin can reach astronomical prices on the black market, mainly in Asia. Rhino poaching has had the most notoriety in the last 2 years as the prices that raw horn fetches have led to the development of large and incredibly gruesome criminal enterprises. The illegal and illicit trade of animal products is said to be an industry of over 80 billion dollars annually.

Please request more information from our volunteering team and visit http://www.poachingfacts.com/ for up to date facts from the front lines. Join Good Hope Volunteers to support and learn about the people, organisations and animals this horrendous problem effects.

HIV in South Africa

South Africa faces the highest HIV epidemic in the world with an estimate of 7 Million HIV positive people. By 2013, 360 000 children were living with the virus. The government has since scaled up projects to focus on reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. More than 2.3 million children in South Arica have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. Orphans of HIV are particularly vulnerable to neglect and stigma.

The South Africans Strategic Plan 2012-2016 focuses on reducing the impact of HIV on orphans and vulnerable youth with adequate access to social services and basic education. The Hout Bay Children’s Programme afternoon project works to offer a holistic aftercare programme to support children in the community affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS. This school offers an important support system for these youths through educational tutoring, nutritious meals and love and care. Please see our social volunteering projects and public health volunteering opportunities.

Circuses and petting lion cubs

Circuses can be a place for fun, laughs and clowning around. When the majestic big cats come out and impress us with their tricks, jumping through fire rings and parading around with pride we may even think this is harmless fun. This couldn't be further from the truth. These animals can be caged, their teeth removed, declawed, imprisoned, abused and trained in brutal ways for the entertainment of humans. Even if circuses claim to treat their animals well, is this even the point? They are still prisoners for the purpose of entertainment. Rather than roaming the African Savannah freely, they spend their days in cages only being let out for training and circus acts. Daily activities at the Big Cat Rescue project include preparing food, building gates and repairing enclosures. Over the weeks, you will learn each of the animal’s stories and grow to love each one of them. By helping with the daily needs of sanctuaries and projects, you are contributing in more ways than you know, and your own personal growth can be significant.

A popular activity for both tourists and locals alike in South Africa is the petting and cuddling of cute lion cubs. Being entertained by tricks and cuddling adorable lion cubs may seem harmless but the truth that lies behind these 'fun' excursions is a dark and twisted one. The truth behind lion cub petting is that these cubs are taken from mothers who are imprisoned to reproduce another litter every six months. These cubs are in truth, factory farmed animals kept in enclosures to be petted and played with. Human interaction with these cubs is doing one thing that we may be unaware of as we cuddle these little rascals, installing trust in these cubs. As they grow to trust humans, they become less fearful. When they grow up, they may be sent to become lions in the canned hunting industry. Canned hunting is the hunting of animals within an enclosed space without the possibility of escape they would have in nature. Often, they don't even try to escape because after all, they have learnt to trust humans. The African Cat Sanctuary was founded by two well-meaning volunteers who worked with lion cubs. They soon found out that these cubs had been sold into canned hunting and breeding camps. They then started the sanctuary and work tirelessly to rescue lions from abuse and neglect. See wildlife & animal volunteering projects.