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Protecting Children

Caring and loving volunteers help the staff at this unique organisation empower vulnerable children. The focus is to provide quality education and developmental programmes so that children reach their full potential and grow to become leaders in their communities.

Protecting Children
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Overview:

Location Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round from mid-January to mid-December
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 in the lives of the children. 
  • Work with a team of talented social workers, a psychologist and Biokineticists.
  • Experience the Garden Route’s natural beauty.
  • Get to know the Xhosa culture.
  • Take part in amazing physical, educational and therapeutic activities inside and outside the project.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

The project has been active for over 25 years and is based in the thriving township community of Kwanokuthula, Plettenberg Bay. This project ‘s Child & Youth Care Centre (CYCC) provides residential care for 30 girls and boys all of whom have been found by the Children’s Court to be victims of abuse, and need Statutory Care and Protection. The Projects so-called “Drop-in Centre” (DIC) provides a comprehensive range of Prevention and Early Intervention services in the hope that the child will never need to be placed in statutory care.

The children at the Child & Youth Care Centre, are provided with resources to have a dignified life, including clothing, three meals a day, school support, homework supervision, therapeutic 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 extended families. Once a child has left the Centre, the staff continues to engage with the family and school to make sure all is well and provide any assistance if needed.

The Drop-in Centre has an open-door policy allowing children who are not coping or who are experiencing further difficulties, to return on a daily basis. 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 project has developed services in two areas:

  • A child and youth care centre (CYCC), which provides full-time residential statutory care. This centre has capacity for 30 children who are referred to the project via the children’s court, having been deemed in need of care and protection. Once placed at the project, the children begin a stabilisation programme and are under the constant supervision of the child & youth care workers who, in turn, are supervised by a senior social worker.
  • A drop-in centre (DIC) that provides day-care services and life skills development programmes to children who are at risk of a life on the streets.

Your Role

You volunteer from 08:30 – 14:00/16:30. It may happen that you will be asked to stay after 16:30. Times depend on the needs of the centre and what activities are planned for the children in the afternoons.

Daily tasks at the CYCC could include:

  • Reading and tutoring sessions
  • Creating murals
  • Gardening projects
  • Maintenance projects, such as creating obstacle courses and jungle gym facilities
  • Arts and crafts projects
  • Move4Life Fitness training with the children
  • General sports activities and coaching
  • BeCalm- Kiddies Yoga and Mindfulness

Daily tasks at the DIC could include:

  • Daily Feeding PRogramme
  • Health Programme
  • Tutoring
  • Daily sports and cultural activities
  • Gardening
  • Community upliftment projects
  • General maintenance projects
  • Awareness campaigns run throughout the year as well as school holiday programs. (These include fun outings, activities and guest speakers.)

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.

This project can be emotionally draining. It is important that you are aware of this before applying for this project. We will assist you during your stay to make sure that you are coping with the experience, but you need to be mentally prepared to be open to the challenge.

Accommodation

Your accommodation will be in a peaceful suburban area, 5 minutes’ walk from the beach. A spacious two bed and bath unit with lounge and kitchen make for a comfortable stay. A young couple will host you and ensure your stay is home away from home. This proudly South African family will make you feel welcome from day one.

The spacious property is overlooking a park and close to shops and public transport.
Wi-Fi is included with Netflix to keep you entertained on a rainy day.
The famous Roberg hiking trail is approximately 5km walk from the cottage and is a "must do" during your stay in Plettenberg Bay, or as the locals call it, “Plett”.

Testimonials

Good Hope Volunteers Tairis from Brazil

"I was looking for a meaningful trip while in Brazil and as a pre-school teacher, I wanted to do something related to kids. As soon as I read about the 'protecting the children" project in South Africa, I knew this project was the one for me! I had an amazing experience with the kids. They received me very well and were full of love to give. I thought I would be the teacher for them, but they were the ones who taught me a lot. The place where I stayed (Rocky Road) was also amazing. I've met people from all over the world and was able to listen their stories. It has helped me open up my mind to traveling more and to follow my dreams. I believe everybody should have such an amazing experience like this in life. Being away from home made me realize how big the world is and how much we should help each other, if possible. I am sure I have a second family in South Africa and I will keep the special moments I have in my heart forever!"

Good Hope Volunteers Amanda from Brazil

"I discovered how important attention is to children, it makes all difference to them. When you give it, they return to you the most simple things in the world, and there is nothing that can pay or buy it,  (I like to call love) like a big smile, hugs, joke, affection...they make all difference  in my small world... for free , and I hope I could give some moments of happiness to them."

Good Hope Volunteers Isabela from Brazil

"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!"

Good Hope Volunteers Jessica from Brazil

"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."

Good Hope Volunteers Paulo from Brazil

"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."

Good Hope Volunteers

"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!"

Good Hope Volunteers

"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."