Work in a rural township community on the Garden Route where you will support children from the ages of 2 to 6. Volunteers provide basic day care and assistance with daily developmental programmes. This project requires lots of hands-on work both in the classroom and outdoors.
|Location||Kurland Village, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa|
|Duration||From 2 - 12 weeks|
|Dates||All year round from mid-January to mid-December|
|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|
Working within a historically disadvantaged yet vibrant, multi-cultural rural township community in the greater Plettenberg Bay region, this project is centred around a long-established non-governmental care facility, registered for 100 children, plus a more recently established independent facility for 60 children. Both facilities are driven by concerned, passionate individuals who provide basic day care and formative developmental programmes for children aged between 2 and 6 years old.
You will have immediate, hands-on involvement lending support with routine daily activities in the classroom and outdoors, as well as with the daily feeding programme. You will also be encouraged to participate in the activity planning process, making use of available resources and/or those newly acquired. While your volunteer experience can include rotation through two vastly different child development centres, your involvement will make a real and meaningful difference where it is most evident, and needed – 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.
The project has two pre-school care facilities:
A routine programme from Monday to Friday could be as follows:
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.
You will stay in a backpackers’ based in The Crags, a rural suburb of greater Plettenberg Bay. The backpackers’ is set on a 5-hectare smallholding 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.
Stephanie from Belgium ()
"I came to the Community Children's Project to soak up the South African optimism and energy. I'll be leaving behind a new family at the accommodation, a beautiful area filled with amazing hikes, views and sights and of course a school of children with ear to ear smiles. I've been filled with energy and the simplicity of life and nature has pulled me back to reality. Coming here was certainly a highlight of my life story. Thanks to all!"
Santiago from Colombia ()
"My experience was better, because in my first couple of weeks I went to different places within the project. I was introduced to the children, the elderly and many of the different projects within the community. I have more opportunities to create some projects in different contexts. Mac also helped me to visit the kindergartens in the area and the library. It’s good to know you can stop when you need a break at the Pepper Mill Cafe. I had the most wonderful experience and I am so glad I did this."
Rikke from Australia ()
"This was the most amazing, challenging and fulfilling experience. I have learnt a lot about myself especially when having to initiative in situations that I would never have even considered. I came here wanting to experience the real South Africa and I’m definitely feeling as though I have."
Laura from Brazil ()
"Working here in South Africa and the kids for five weeks was the best experience I have ever had. It was all about coming here with a wide open heart and bringing live and happiness to the children. I hope that I made a difference in their lives as much as they did in mine. They are so lovely."