- Make a meaningful difference by bringing joy to the lives of adults and young children alike while working with inspirational people from the general community.
- Get acquainted with the local cultures of rurally based Afrikaans and Xhosa speaking people who share English as a common second language.
- Experience the many areas of natural beauty in the immediate Plettenberg Bay region and broader Garden Route district.
- Choose from a long list of outdoor and adventure activities to add to your experience – including the world’s highest bridge bungy, swimming with seals, marine safari’s, river-rafting, sky-diving and many more.
- Enjoy a comfortable, busy yet supportive home-stay environment (with all needed mod-con’s), surrounded by open agricultural pastures and indigenous forests away from the usual routine of urban living.
- Make new friends from all over the world.
The community also has two long-established non-governmental youth-care facilities, one registered for 100 and the other for 60 pre-school children. Both facilities, driven by concerned, passionate individuals who provide basic day care and formative developmental programmes for children aged between 2 and 6 years old, have batteled through the Covid pandemic and are operating at vastly reduced capacity levels.
Volunteers engaging with the pre-school youth do everything from formal formative level class input, outdoor sport & recreation activities, feeding & cleaning through to the learner rest time after the midday meal.
Participation in their routines of youth development and care activities cannot be taken for granted but will be subject to the applicable access rulings in place at the time.
Under 'normal non-Covid' conditions, the volunteer will have an immediate, hands-on involvement lending support to routine daily activities in the classroom and outdoors, as well as with the daily feeding programme, plus outdoor play and rest periods. You will be encouraged to participate in the activity planning process, making use of available resources and/or those newly acquired. While your volunteer experience could include rotation through two vastly different child development centres, your involvement will make a real and meaningful difference where it is most evident and required – helping prepare the foundation needed by village children for their eventual transition to the more formal public sector education facilities.
The children’s home language is mainly either Afrikaans or Xhosa (although there are some other minority languages) but English, as a common second language, is increasingly understood from age 5 years upwards.
Covid has substantially disrupted what was once taken as 'routine' but also introduced new needs and opportunity to the community. Under existing circumstances the volunteer routine is widely varied around the feeding, vegetable growing, facilities upgrades and commissioning plus the mentor-centre activities, so a great degree of flexibility is required.
As the pre-school centres volunteers will again be participating in formative input processes so will be expected to assist with and supervise the children engaged in developmental activities such as joining dots, colouring in, improving manual dexterity by using scissors to cut and paste, building models, learning the alphabet and to count, recognising script, singing, dancing, group activities and outings to the play-park. You will also assist in meal preparation, meal dispensing and tidying up thereafter, and also maintaining discipline when it’s group activities or quiet-time.
A routine programme from Monday to Friday could be as follows:
- 07:00: Breakfast.
- 07:45 – 07:50: Transfer from your accommodation to the project.
- 08:00 – 12:30/13:00: Participation in morning routine activities of the currently operational feeding scheme and mentor-centre, the pre-schools according to their programme.
- 12:30 – 14:00: Finalisation and distribution of meals, tidying up and lunch-time break.
- 14:00 – 16:00: Afternoon programme activities (mentor-centre, sport or any other hands-on activities) and then transfer from the project to your accommodation
- 16:00/16:30 onwards: Leisure time.
- 19:00 – 19:30: Dinner with the team and leisure time.
- Friday evenings: Traditionally, a braai (BBQ) takes place on Fridays with the meal served around 20.00.
- Saturdays & Sundays: Enjoy some time off (note that shops, but not supermarkets, close at 13.00 on Saturday and Sunday)
Any public holidays, whether falling on weekdays or weekends, will follow the Saturday/Sunday routine.
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.
The accommodation is set in a 5-hectare small-holding amidst indigenous forest and open grazing pastures in The Crags and about 25 minutes from the main town of Plettenberg Bay.
You are accommodated in fully equipped, shared two-bed rooms, with bedding & towel provided, so might be sharing with another volunteer of the same gender. There are numerous bathrooms for communal access and use. Volunteers have full use of the well-equipped kitchen plus the two verandah areas - with large fire-places. It is here that guests and hosts gather for social interaction and where evening meals are served for all to enjoy.
A large group entertainment area complete with an under-cover combination plunge-pool/hot tub, a bar facility plus an outdoor braai (BBQ) area are provided. Friday is officially declared as “Braai day” with local residents visiting for sundowners and a braai to mark the end of the week with the team and guests. The property also provides a golf practice putting green and a proper boule/petanque track.
Free WiFi is available at the main homestead and entertainment areas only.
Three daily meals are provided. You will make your own breakfast and lunch.