Volunteer in South Africa on our care work project and help look after orphans and vulnerable children at a community centre providing much needed support and love. This project is ideal for anyone who wants to volunteer, travel and do something worthwhile when in South Africa.
Community Work with Orphans in South Africa
Due to lack of government funding, the burden of maintaining community centres tends to fall on willing volunteers. Therefore, many locals and volunteers are overstretched and overworked. However, this placement will give you the chance to help a number of local community workers and make a significant difference to the level of care offered to South African children.
Your Care Work Volunteer Placement
This community work placement is based at two care centres in Port Elizabeth (this may change depending on the needs at the time of your visit). Your time will be split between the two so that your skills can be utilised by both centres, which are in desperate need of volunteer support. The first centre is called The Haven and is a care centre for children whose parents have died or are suffering from the AIDS virus. The children staying at The Haven also have the HIV/AIDS virus and are living as normal a life as possible. The children range from as young as 6 months up to 15 years old and some of the children attend a nearby school.
The second centre is The Human Dignity Centre and is designed for parents in crisis who cannot afford to send their children to school. The Centre provides pre-school education, care and a meal for the children who attend in the mornings until after lunch. The Centre cares for babies and children up to age of 5.
Your Care Work Role
Your role at both of the centres will involve looking after the general welfare of the children, helping out with meal times and assisting staff with education. Your love and attention can make a huge difference to the children you meet – whether it’s through teaching English, playing games or simply listening to them talk about their families – and the heartfelt hugs and smiles you will receive in return are unforgettable. You will work alongside local staff and should be prepared for the unexpected – a sense of creativity and the ability to improvise when things don’t go according to plan will go a long way. This is a challenging placement but the local staff will be by your side to help you in any areas you are unsure of.
Many of the children at both centres speak the local language, Xhosa, and the staff tend to speak Xhosa and English, as well as Africaans. You will almost certainly learn bits and pieces of both African languages during your stay in Port Elizabeth and you are sure to leave having made some extremely close friends and having had a truly eye-opening experience.
Optional Teaching in South Africa
In addition to your main placement, you will have the opportunity to teach classes, or assist in teaching classes, within schools based in Port Elizabeth. With a western education, you will be able to contribute massively to the standard of tuition that the students receive. Subject areas include English (language and literature), maths, science, journalism, business, IT, RE and a whole variety of extra-curricular activities.
Gap Year Care Work in South Africa
A gap year care work project in South Africa during your gap year is the perfect way to enjoy gap year travel while giving something back through a gap year volunteer project. Our care work project will provide fantastic gap year opportunities, unforgettable gap year memories, close friendships, and the gap year experience of your life.
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