This is an early intervention literacy programme. It supports children who are at risk in learning to read. To do this, the programme focuses on language enrichment, offering extra help and remedial assistance to children. This project runs during school hours but volunteers can choose to assist directly in the school as well.
|Location||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Duration||From 2 weeks|
|Dates||This project operates during school terms. It is closed during all school holidays and public holidays|
|Documents required||Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, police clearance certificate|
|Day of arrival||Thursday|
|Day of departure||Saturday|
Many parents and caregivers choose to send their children to inner-city schools, far from where they actually live, in the hope of them receiving a better education. English is usually the language used to teach in these schools and is, for most children, a second language. Larger classes add to the challenges of children whose below the norm literacy levels put them ‘at risk’.
The teaching centres provide individualised support to children to strengthen their English reading, writing and speaking skills. These children are chosen based on their level of need and the level of competency the volunteers can provide.
This project also brings benefits for the whole school, not just for those children who attend this programme. Classrooms with young learners are also equipped with multi-cultural, age-appropriate storybooks to promote a culture of reading throughout the school.
Using the slogan "Words can Change Worlds", the Teaching Centre successfully encourages children, parents, schools and communities to work in partnership at a critical stage in early childhood development in order to secure a better education for these children.
Depending on which Teaching Centre you are placed in your roles and responsibilities could vary. In general, your work schedule is from Monday to Friday, from ± 08:30 – 12:00 or 14:00.
A possible work schedule could be:
± 08:30 – 12:00:
The centre runs a parent workshop on some Saturday mornings, and all volunteers are welcome and invited to participate.
It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.
You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area and consists of rooms with 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen, a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool. A commercial laundry service is close by. Bedding is provided. Towels will be not provided. In addition to the self-catering option, you can order homemade lunch and/or dinner which are delivered on a daily basis.
Shana from Switzerland ()
"I did volunteer for 6 weeks at the Teaching Centre. These six weeks were unbelievable and I learned a lot about the education system of South Africa. It was so lovely to spend time with these children and I will go there for a visit again. In my free time I did a lot with my housemates. I lived in the student house and met a lot of people from all over the world."
Celine from Germany ()
"I think this project is a very good opportunity to show the children a different way of life. A life that provides learning, people who care about them and activities that allow them to be successful. Cape Town gave me a perspective of what's real and what's not real. I'll go back to Germany with a new awareness of myself. The work with the children gave me a lot of new experiences that I will never forget. Since my first day at the project, I fell in love with their big brown eyes and their real smiles even if life isn't that easy for them. I really put my heart in this project to show them that there are people who care and believe in them. Thank you GHV for this experience and this amazing two month in Cape Town!"
Camila from Brazil ()
"It was very enriching to participate in and get to know a little bit more about education in South Africa. The children are great and the project supervisors are very welcoming and thankful that we are there to help them."
Idarosa from Italy ()
"I really enjoyed this volunteer experience, the children were enterprising and I'm grateful to have worked with them. It was interesting to observe their psychology and their ideas. It was also an opportunity to improve my English. I met a lot of people from around the world and it was awesome. I think this kind of experience can change a bit of yourself."
Giulia from Italy ()
"My experience couldn’t have been more rewarding, I spent my time following learners either during remedial classes or during extra activities such as the astronomy group and gardening. The environment of the school is extremely friendly, everybody is always happy to help, answer any question or just spend some minutes with you chatting in front of a cup of tea. It really gives you the possibility to work in a multicultural environment where you can learn so much about the South African culture. Children are always enthusiastic to take part to any new activity, they are full of joy, curiosity, kindness no matter their personal and family situation which is often difficult and disadvantaged. I could not imagine a better way to get involved into the South African community, you can really see and try to understand the situation of some people in this beautiful country that has still a long road to do at which you can give your personal contribution. It has been a touching and beautiful experience that I will never forget. Thanks Good Hope Volunteers!"
Alexandra from Germany ()
"I really enjoyed my volunteering work at the Teaching Centre. It was an awesome way to experience the daily life of South African children and teachers. You spend a big amount of time with the children and get to know their interests as well as their strengthens and weaknesses. What I loved the most was that the children were very trustworthy. If they had a problem, they ask for your help. I loved encouraging the children who had no self-confidence. It was amazing to see the progress some children made just in a short time. Some children who used to say I am not able to read this word or sentence, later just tried it and did very well. For me it was also a very important experience to learn how to deal with children who have a different culture and normally speak another language."