Live within the stunning world heritage site of iSimangaliso Wetlands and provide teaching assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the village creches of St Lucia in South Africa. Combine this project with a volunteer trip to Thanda Private Game Reserve and SAVE, plus we'll give you a free Elephant Interaction Experience! Click here for more details!
Orphan Day Care & HIV/AIDS Education Project, South Africa St. Lucia, East Coast of South Africa
We aim to increase provisions by partnering with caregivers in the community, providing direct assistance to Orphan Day Care Centres as well as Educational Forums about leading a healthier lifestyle. This project gives you the opportunity to engage with people – young and old – to make a positive impact while at the same time undergoing an unforgettable, life-changing experience in South Africa.
Orphan Day Care Centres
Within the local village of Khula, several crèches and day care centres have been established to provide children with a meal, basic education, and attention and care they so often lack at home. Our aim is to assist the crèche caregivers and local teachers by helping with basic learning, fun activities and lots of educational play for the children- on some occasions there are as many as 80 children to be looked after!
Volunteers visit the day care centres every morning (Monday to Friday) and will assist in taking care of the children and teaching basic lessons to a class of under 6’s. The volunteer role is fundamental to the development of the children and in the preparation for their next step into primary school. This is a great opportunity to help enrich the lives of many children in the community through developmental play and education, by giving them the individual attention they so desperately need.
Volunteers play a huge part in the Orphan Day Care and HIV/AIDS Education Project and you can anticipate the opportunity to forge special bonds with the adorable children, teachers, and other community members during your stay.
In addition to teaching the children, we are attempting to show the teachers more interactive and engaging teaching methods. The crèches have little or no resources for play or education and most of the teachers have received little or no formal teaching.
We work together with the teachers and the Department of Welfare when writing our curriculum. In an average week, the children will study a range of topics such as letters, numbers, colours and stories. We also dedicate one morning a week to physical education in which the children work on their ball and team playing skills. We try and maintain a consistent daily routine by structuring the day with lessons, circle time, story time, singing, dancing and playtime.
As a volunteer, you will observe that the children’s range of abilities at crèche is quite vast. Many of the crèches are overcrowded with up to 60-80 children attending each day. One of the great benefits of having volunteers is that there is extra help and the possibility for one to one or small group teaching so the children can receive more individual attention. The volunteer role is fundamental to the early development of the children and in the preparation for their next step into Primary School. The one to one attention the children get from volunteers is so valuable as this is otherwise not available with the restricted number of carers and teachers.
Orphan-Care After-School Club
African Impact volunteers are currently involved in two outreach facilities for orphans in the area. Due to the widespread poverty and prevalence of HIV/AIDS, many children are born into situations where their chances for a good upbringing are very low. The children in the afterschool project come from teenage pregnancies or have lost their one or two parents and some were abandoned.
After School Club is opportunity to provide the children with some attention, care and stimulation that might otherwise be lacking in their lives. Volunteers assist with serving lunch and planning and leading after school playtime activity for the children 7-15 years old. You will be involved in playing educational games and sports with these energetic children.
Adult English Classes
Although English is one of the official languages of South Africa, many people in the villages of Khula and Ezwanlisha have Zulu as their mother tongue with little or no confidence in using English. Many adults and teenagers in these villages are very keen to improve their English, as they recognise that it is the path to finding employment here in KwaZulu Natal.
We follow the ‘Headway’ teaching English course that has a simple but thorough coverage of the English language and includes all aspects: speaking, reading, writing and listening. Volunteers need to use their creativity to make lessons relevant, interactive and fun.
Thorough support is given by the project manager during the planning sessions to ensure the students are receiving the best English lessons to improve their opportunities for the future. Be prepared to put a lot of hard work into the planning and you will be amazed with the results. Teaching English to adults can seem daunting but you will be fully supported by our project team and it is a great way to gain insight into the culture and make new friends - many volunteers do find this project most rewarding.
We are incredibly lucky to have a donated shipping container which is filled with books and games for children and adults. Volunteers have helped turn the container into the village library and we have now introduced a weekly Reading Club for the community teenagers. This project is one of the most popular projects for both students and volunteers.
The aim is to provide a relaxed setting and to show that learning and literacy can be fun. Most weeks there are 30-50 teenagers attending. The surrounding schools have very few resources and limited text books. This is an opportunity for students to have access to a huge range of books and for them to develop a love of reading and increase their confidence in English. As a volunteer you will assist with the following:
- Help the children find appropriate books for their reading level
- Sit one-on-one with children as they read and help improve their reading skills
- Give a fun ‘Story Time’ for all the students
- Help record student’s progress and the number of books they have completed so they can feel empowered and proud of their achievements
- Motivate children to discover more about the world
10 Families Community Outreach Project
Building and Refurbishment
Our focus is on responsible volunteering, particularly when it comes to vulnterable or orphaned children. We have worked with our charity, The Happy Africa Foundation, to create a set of protocols and guidelines we adhere to strictly when dealing with local communities. We encourage you to view our Child Protection Policy on our website.
What is the minimum stay?
Where exactly is it?
St. Lucia, East Coast of South Africa
What will I be doing?
Live within the stunning world heritage site of iSimangaliso Wetlands, providing teaching assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged Children in the Village Crèche’s
- Teach disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the rural village Crèches through songs, games and crafts
- Form close bonds with the Village Children you will work with daily
- Get hands-on teaching experience in a Rustic African Setting
- Help uplift people’s lives through Adult English Classes
- Keep young people off the street through After School and Reading Clubs
- Provide orphans with much needed love, care and stimulation which they would usually not receive on a daily basis
- Help build, refurbish, and paint school and community buildings
- Immerse yourself in the local Zulu culture learning all about the customs and also a bit of the language!
- Live within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of iSimangaliso wetlands, 5 minutes from the Indian Ocean and beautiful beaches with close proximity to Big 5 game reserves such as Hluhluwe and Umfolozi
- Make friends for life with other International volunteers!
- Project fee – this goes directly back into the project that you are involved with. It facilitates funding for items such as resources, building materials, equipment and project supplies. It also covers operational costs such as housing, communication, and project vehicles.
- Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day at our volunteer house (excluding Saturday evenings and Sunday lunches)
- All airport transfers from Durban International Airport upon arrival and departure
- All daily transfers to and from your projects during your stay
- Weekly laundry and housekeeping service
- Comprehensive Orientation Program
- Any visits to other African Impact Projects based in St. Lucia
- Assistance and support from the African Impact staff and Project Managers
What’s not included in the cost?
- Flights to and from Durban International Airport
- Visa fees
- Personal travel insurance for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
- All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
- Email and telephone calls made during your placement
- Any activities and excursions outside of your planned project itinerary
- Soft drinks, wines, spirits, between meal snacks, and weekend food
- Introduction to St. Lucia and the surrounding area
- Overview of the Day Care Centre and some basic teaching skills to prepare and deliver lessons to the children
- A basic language course where you will learn some basic words and sentences in Zulu – the local language in St. Lucia
Throughout your stay at your placement you will have the support and guidance of experienced field-workers and coordinators. They are part of our greater African Impact support team, and will provide you with competent 24-hour field support and assistance.
Minimum 17 years, maximum decided on health of potential participant.